Sailing Yacht SEA BUNNY

Battambang and Tonle Sap Lake

We travelled to Battambang, the second largest city in Cambodia, from Kampot by  bus , a four-hour trip skirting the Tonle Sap Lake.

We stayed two nights in a very pleasant old colonial villa, visiting some monasteries and the bustling local market, while arranging our trip down the river to Siem Reap.

Battambang to Siem Reap

Up early in the morning to catch the boat down river to Siem Reap.

The route is at first down a well-defined river. As we approach the Tonle Sap Lake the river spreads out through mangroves and marshes, with numerous fishermen and their houseboats Our boat occasionally runs aground or stops to clear weed from the propeller.

At the edge of the lake there is a large floating village, complete with shops, a catholic church and a school, all floating. We stop at the shop for refreshments before heading out onto the open lake, where the horizon is not visible. In the wet monsoon the flood waters of the Mekong back up the Tonle Sap River, which joins it at Phnom Penh and are absorbed in the Lake. The nutrients carried by the floodwaters make the lake a teeming reserve of fish. The lake is vital to Cambodia's economy for this reason and there are currently grave concerns that Chinese plans to build more dams on the Mekong may reduce the floods and damage the ecosystem.

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Last updated from Nongsa Point Marina, Batam, Indonesia on 17 November 2013

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