Tonle Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and is the second most popular attraction in Siem Reap, after Angkor Wat.
The Tonle Sap Lake is the most prominent feature on the map of Cambodia - a huge dumbbell-shaped body of water stretching across the northwest of the country. Also called Boeung Tonle Sap, it hosts one of the world’s most vibrant ecosystems, with massive numbers of many different species of wildlife in and around the lake, which helped to sustain and grow the ancient Khmer civilisation and continues to supply Siem Reap restaurants. It is also famous for its fascinating local communities and their floating villages. The massive lake is as much as 250 km in length and 100 km across at its widest point, making it seem like an inland ocean because it is impossible to see the opposite shore from ground level. Surprisingly, it is actually fairly shallow, with a maximum depth of only 10 metres, but the sheer size of it means that it can hold up to 80 km3 of water.
There are actually several so-called floating villages located on and around the Tonle Sap Lake and they are all somewhat different. Naturally, most of the villages depend on the lake for the natural resources it provides, in terms of fishing and wetlands. These are some typical floating villages around Tonle Sap: Chong Khneas, Kampong Phluk, Kampong Khleang, Prek Toal.