MY VISIT TO FLOATING VILLAGE OF KOMPONG LUONG
By Chris Green
The floating village of Kompong Luong offers the opportunity to visitors to discover the everyday life of Cambodian families on the Tonle Sap lake. The families live in floating houses with a constant movement of boats that brings people and goods to the village. The village consist of both Cambodian community and Vietnamese community both living in the same floating village.
Currently there are 2 additional families running a homestay in the village – Pu Yang Kg.Luong Homestay and Seng Peng Cambodian Homestay.
All homestay visits get organized based on the preferences of the visitors and the availability of local families as you arrive to the pier of Krakor. This is not an organized community project run by a NGO or the government, but a small initiative run by the families living in the village. People behind the project are the families themselves. Seng Lis who hosted our visit has a very nice guesthouse wher she lives with her husband and two children; one little guy and one little girl. The mother can speak English but the father can’t. The communication is relatively easy but you cannot in-depth conversation. So, it can be hard to obtain detail information about the communities leaving on the lake… something we would have loved to find out more.
Travelling from Phnom Penh, you will find several bus companies travelling to Battambang, the best way to book is Bookmebus. You will have to ask to stop in Krakor, halfway on the road to Battambang. The bus price is the same if you go to Battambang or if you stop is Krakor, around 7$. From there a tuk-tuk driver will take you to the pier for 4$. Visitors will have to choose between the three homestay and a boat will bring you to the homestay of your choice for 5$ in the floating village of Kompong Luong.
The village can be very peaceful and relaxing but it can also be really busy and noisy in the morning, so make sure you get to bed early. Seng Lis Homestay is located just near the main canal and all the motorboats coming and going to the village are driving close to the house. Wake up early (around 5.00am-6.00am) and watch the morning hassle and bustle of the village in the morning. There are some great opportunities to take amazing photos of the boats and people living in the village.
After your breakfast, you can take three tours with driver of the local area – visiting the floating villages and the local area. There are 3 different options – Cambodian Village tour, Vietnamese village tour
or Mangrove forest trip.
If you would prefer to do it yourself, there is also a possibility of renting a small wooden boat for half a day to visit the area on your own. By discovering the village by yourself and enjoying time to relax on the pontoons of these beautiful floating houses will allow you to appreciate the rhythm of the Cambodian life on Tonle Sap.
If you agree with the family before hard, you could also be taken by the local fisherman to go fishing with them.
The rest of the time, you can just relax at the house and enjoy the new experience of living in a floating village.