Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and is of major importance to Cambodia. The lake expands and shrinks dramatically with the seasons. From November to May, Cambodia’s dry season, the Tonl? Sap drains into the Mekong River at Phnom Penh. However, when the year’s heavy rains begin in June, the flow of the Tonl? Sap changes directions and an enormous lake forms. Tonl? Sap is home to many ethnic Vietnamese and numerous Cham communities, living in floating villages around the lake.
Angkor Wat Archaeological Park
Home to world-famous Angkor Wat, this UNESCO heritage site stretches across more than 400 kilometers squared and contains hundreds of temples and structures dating back to the Khmer Empire era. The most popular are Angkor Wat, Bayon and its multiple faces and root-riddled Ta Prohm, which was the location for parts of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie.
Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center
Nature lovers will be in their element at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center, where animals rescued from the clutches of poachers and illegal traders are nursed back to health by Wildlife Alliance. Animals include elephants, monkeys, tigers, and sun bears. A behind-the-scenes tour is also available. Looking for Siem Reap Airbnb?
The laidback riverine town of Kampot has oodles of old world ambience. The compact central district is a joy to ramble around; full of surviving shop-house architecture, some of which has been painstakingly restored. Kampot’s charm lies in its exceedingly chilled out atmosphere, and many a traveler finds themselves waylaid here longer than they expected, having succumbed to its easygoing pace. For the more active though, this is also an excellent base for discovering the surrounding sights of the south. The old French summer getaway of Bokor Hill Station, with its abandoned church and eerie, empty shell of an once-grand hotel, is an easy day trip from town, as are the limestone caves of Phnom Chhnork and Phnom Sorsia, both with old temples inside.
Tonle Sap is Cambodia’s most important waterway and Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake. As well as being an important source of food and a vital tool for Cambodian irrigation, the lake itself is home to 170 floating villages that depend on fishing for their livelihood, with homes built directly on the water. The houses, shops, churches, schools, and temples of these villages are built on rustic buoy foundations of lashed together barrels and bamboo, and all transport is by boat. They’re a fascinating place to spend a day exploring. One of the most interesting is the sprawling village of Kompong Luong, near the town of Pursat on Tonle Sap’s western shore, although the most popular village to visit is Chong Kneas near Siem Reap.
When you visit Battambang, one of the places that you just cannot afford to miss is the bat caves at the base of Mount Sampeou. This is one of the top most tourist attractions here, which is why you can spot many foreigners around these caves. They are also known as Killing Caves.
Highlights – Bats, as we know, are nocturnal birds. Every evening, especially after sunset, you can witness thousands of bats fly out these caves into the woods nearby. You can continue to watch this spectacle for about 40 minutes, as that’s the time required for all the bats to fly out. However, it is best to leave within ten minutes, if you don’t want to put your lives at risk. There lots of bikes available to take you to the top of the mountain and back to the base at the evening, just in time for bat-spotting.
Location – Battambang.
Timings – Only in the evenings
Price – Around USD3 for trekking up the hill.