KOMPONG KHLEANG FLOATING VILLAGE
Unique tour of the floating village on Tongle Sap lake
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Community First: Kompong Khleang Floating Village Tours is a not-for-proft tour company benefitting Bridge of Life School, an NGO operating in Siem Reap and Kompong Thom Provinces. Their mission is to connect tourists to Kompong Khleang, a floating village on the Tonle Sap, in a responsible and meaningful way by both seeing the sites and learning about the community. The tours are unique because they are based in the community, run by local residents, and all profits are reinvested in Cambodian communities via educational programming – hence the name “Community First”.
There is no accommodation at this project.
LOCAL AREA & ACTIVITIES
This one day tour gives you a unique opportunity to visit floating villages on Tonle Sap with tour guides from a local NGO – Bridge of Life School , that runs a local education programme in the local community. You will have an opportunity to visit a stilted village of Kompong Khleang, walk through the village, visit a traditional stilted home and meet some of the local residents, then take a boat ride through the village to see the Tonle Sap lake. There will be also an opportunity to visit a second Khmer floating village plus an ethnic Vietnamese floating village.
GETTING THERE & TRANSPORT
Visitors will be picked up from Siem Reap and taken to Kamong Khleang by minivan, so book a minimum of a day before, to make sure that the project can plan for your visit.
The tour typically leaves around 2:00pm and returns at 7:30pm depending on season. We travel to Kompong Khleang via van and take a boat to visit the school and greater Tonle Sap lake. Please note, they do not allow unchaperoned guests visiting their project due to their child protection policy.
MEET THE PEOPLE BEHING THE PROJECT
Meet Paren: Paren is our guide who comes from Kompong Khleang. He was originally born on a boat (as his mother went into labor while out fishing) but was raised in Kompong Khleang with his family until his early teens. He then moved with his mother and some other family members to land they had purchased in Banteay Srey district. There he completed his education and also learned English at one of Bridge of Life School’s English sites. After graduating from high school he moved to Siem Reap to find employment. He worked briefly at a hotel and was then hired by PLAN, an NGO working in Cambodia. He was hired by Bridge of Life School in 2012 as the manager and English teacher at Tram Neak pagoda. Paren proposed the idea of providing pre-primary education in his homeland and offered his family home to run the school where they have been working since 2012. He also proposed the community-based tours so the NGO could become more sustainable.
GOALS AND ASPIRATIONS
Bridge of Life would like to use these tours to expand programmes outside the education sector. They launched a clean water initiative in May 2017 providing biosand filters for 30 families. They have also begun purchasing plastic bags from families so they can be recycled in Siem Reap rather than burned or thrown into the lake. They are also looking at adding adult literacy courses in the evening.