By Jay Austin
Every year at about this time, the waters of the Tonle Sap Lake begin to rise with the coming of the rainy season. Right now, the countryside surrounding Siem Reap is lush and green and we are only seeing rain once every couple of days, which is perfect! In the stilted-house village of Kompong Phluk, the rising waters mean that the usually dry streets become canals that the locals must navigate by boat, changing the whole dynamic of the village.
For many years, Journeys Within has collaborated with a local family in Kompong Phluk to greet our guests and allow them to see the village life through the eyes of the local people. This long-standing relationship not only allows us to provide unique access for our guests, but also offers a starting point for our sensational kayaking trips.
Just beyond the main village is a serene forest of mangroves which spends a few months a year completely flooded, creating the perfect route for kayaking. Our skilled guides lead our guests through the cool green canopy on a journey which finds you out on the open waters of the Tonle Sap – Asia’s largest freshwater lake. At a relaxed pace, this is an experience which is almost surreal. Having the opportunity to get away from the noise of the tourist boats on the main thoroughfare allows you to truly soak in the pleasantness of your surroundings and to thoroughly enjoy a day on the water.
Kayaking is available on Journeys Within Cambodia itineraries from around September to mid-January. The local team from the Cambodia office highly recommends this to guests as one of the most wonderful ways to see the real Cambodia.