Pelican in Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary. Adam / Creative Commons
Cambodia’s Great Lake Tonle Sap provides dwelling and a way of living to millions of people, 300 species of fish, and more than a hundred varieties of water birds, including pelicans, storks, and herons. They flock to Tonle Sap in a stunning sight that will have bird watchers or anyone who’s watched too many National Geographic nature documentaries chattering in excitement.
As Southeast Asia’s largest fresh water lake swells every monsoon season when the floodwaters of the Mekong enter it and recedes in dry season back into the river, Tonle Sap makes for a uniquely rich ecosystem that’s an ideal habitat for water birds. Particularly at the western end of the lake, Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary becomes a vital nesting ground. It plays host to the largest number of threatened water birds in the region during the dry season, from December to May.
Bird watching tours at the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary can be arranged with a guided boat tour, costing $25 each for two persons ($20 each for three or more). While in Prek Toal, you can also include a side trip to see its floating village. Tonle Sap is also home to many locals residing in floating houses. After seeing the wildlife of the lake, exploring the village by paddle boats can give you a glimpse of the reality of living in a house that rises and falls with the lake.
Child at Tonle Sap village. Juan Antonio F. Segal / Creative Commons.
Painted stork in Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary. shankar s. / Creative Commons.
Tonlé Sap. Cambodia. Juan Antonio F. Segal / Creative Commons.
Similar Southeast Asia Experiences
Many other water-based communities exist in Southeast Asia – see them when you visit Vietnam's floating markets in the Mekong Delta; the lakeside villages in Inle Lake, Myanmar; and the water village at Kampong Ayer, Brunei.
The floating markets in the Mekong Delta provide a glimpse of everyday life on the river, amidst the delta's rice paddies...
The Philippines' highlands, Viet Nam's colonial remnants, and relics from Cambodia's generations of royal rule.&n...VIEW DETAILS
At the Phnom Krom pier near Siem Reap in Cambodia, you’ll board the charming 10-cabin Toum Tiou luxury cruiser. Sail to...VIEW DETAILS
Book using the promo code “ASEAN@50”, and save on your air connections with an extra AUD $1,500 flight credit per...VIEW DETAILS
Boasting glorious views of the South China Sea, Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & SpaVIEW DETAILS
Bring your entourage and explore Phang Nga Bay aboard your own private yacht while staying at Ocean’s 11 Villa.VIEW DETAILS
Unravel the enigma of Jim Thompson in the Jim Thompson Mystery Trail - Jim Thompson’s eye for beauty was not only confi...VIEW DETAILS
Go on an epic Asean journey with AirAsia Asean Pass, a travel pass that allows you to book our base fares at least 14 days or...VIEW DETAILS
Rent a car for 2 days or more at participating locations in Asia and enjoy up to 15% offVIEW DETAILS
Embark on a memorable stay with your loved ones at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, located in the heart of the arts and financ...VIEW DETAILS
Orchard Hotel Singapore commemorates ASEAN’s Golden Jubilee with a host of room offers and enhanced perks to celebrate ...VIEW DETAILS