Tag Archives: Angkor

A Breathtaking Ancient Wonder & the Kampong Phluk Floating Village.

8 Dec

Unfortunately, no words or photographs will be able to sum up how magnificent the Angkor region really is – with thousands of tourists flocking to Siem Reap every year to catch a glimpse of this incredible Wonder of the World. We decided to make the most of the day, waking up at 4:30AM, quickly gulping down a cup of coffee and heading downstairs to meet our tuktuk driver, Adam. With the crisp morning air breezing past us, we zooted off to buy our tickets (20 Dollars for a full day pass, 40 Dollars for a 3 day pass) and to begin our day. Sunrise is breathtaking and although there are heaps of fellow tourists plonking themselves wherever they can catch a glimpse of the rising rays, there is more than enough space for everyone to find a piece of tranquility and absorb one of the most beautiful sights at such a special time of the day.

After sunrise and a stroll around the grounds, we walked outside of the temple and enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the Blue Pumpkin restaurant – where our wonderful guide, Mr V, met up with us. Once we were all ready, we jumped back on the tuktuk to begin our day exploring the Angkor region, being fed incredible information from an experienced tour guide. Paying the 30 Dollar guide fee for the day, is worth every single cent! Being able to ask questions, know where exactly you are and have an array of knowledge sitting next to you – means that the experience is made that much better.

Kamphong Phluk Floating Village

If you are planning a trip to Siem Reap, you have to go and visit a floating village! I desperately wanted to see one but the reviews were mixed and I did not want to spend unnecessary money being ripped off in another tourist scam. However, we decided to take our guide with us, which (once again) made the experience even more wonderful and ensured that we did not get ripped off. As a treat, Mr V organised an old World War Two Jeep for us to get from the guest house to the port – how lucky we were! :) The drive through the local villages, off the beaten track to the port of departure set the scene for what was to come. The drive allowed us to see how the Khmer people live, how the locals ride their bicycles from one point to another and what a local market looks like.

This year has allowed us the privilege of travelling and exploring a number of different places, but very few places can compare to the floating village experience. After cruising through the village, passing floating government buildings, a school and community hall – we stopped off at a point where the engine boat could go no further. We decided to pay $10 and hop on a much smaller, slightly less stable, canoe – paddled by a local woman. Once we managed to collide comfort with stability, we peacefully glided through the alleyways of the floating village, seeing the most incredible sights and gaining a glimmer of insight into the way in which these fascinating people live.

During the wet season, the houses are floating. During the dry season, the stilted houses stand proudly off the ground. When we visited, the water was still a considerable 8M deep. Seeing children paddling home from school, babies being bathed in buckets and fishing nets being erected around us – was a truly magnificent experience. The locals were friendly, taking little notice of our presence – often appearing blissfully unaware of the magnitude of awe and manner in which we silently pondered just how people across the world survive and the depth of gratitude we felt to be exposed to such a unique way of living.

Siem Reap travel tips…

If you are planning a trip to Cambodia, with a few days to spare in Siem Reap, don’t have an excessive budget and are looking to make the most of your time – I highly recommend hiring a tour guide and dedicating one day to the Angkor region and another to exploring a floating village. We were privileged to know people who had already spent a considerable amount of time in Siem Reap, so we did not need to spend much time figuring out the simplicities of the town, pondering what we should/should not do. I am certain that without a guide accompanying you to the floating village, you may run into some complications relating to being ripped off. However, if you do decide to go alone – you are likely to be charged $20 per person to hire the engine boat, rather than $20 for the whole boat. Also, on the optional canoe trip through the village – you will more than likely be charged a per person fee, rather than the $10 flat rate which we paid for the trip – which lasts about 45 minutes.

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