Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Today a few of us took an excursion to the floating village of Konpong Kleang. It is Cambodia’s biggest floating village, with a population over 10,000. What an awesome time we had! The people there don’t see a lot of tourists, and they were very curious and very friendly.
So what is a floating village? Houses on the “mainland” are connected to a dirt street, which is nothing more than a big pile of clay soil. Other homes, stores, and even schools, float on the water. You see, the water level of Cambodia’s central lake, the Tonle Sap, rises 30 feet in the rainy season. It is just the beginning of the wet season, so the houses are still dry underneath. In a couple of months (September or October), however, the street would be the only dry land in the entire town.
We walked for a couple of miles down the road, stopping to take pictures of the kids (who almost all sout “hello”) and artisans. I took lots of pictures, a small fraction of which I share in this entry.
Within minutes, a man who runs a tour boat found us, and we made our way to his boat and out onto the lake.