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Tonle Sap Lake
Tonle Sap Lake
 
Here the Khmer empire found it the capital on the bank of extraordinary source of food. Just like the river Nile which created Egypt; the remarkable Tonle Sap Lake created the glorious ancient Angkor.
 
The trip to Tonle Sap Lake is interesting and worth as you could see lifestyle of Cambodian people living on water, and even the fish farm, crocodile farm, market, school and church are all floating.
 
Tonle Sap is the largest lake in Southeast Asia.  Its location, which is almost in the middle of Cambodia, is 15km to the south of Siem Reap city, and it takes us 30-40mn to drive there.
 
There are five provinces bordering Tonle Sap Lake (show the map). They are Siem Reap, Battambang, Pusat, Kampong Cham, and Kampong Thom. One million Cambodian people totally depend on this lake in living. 90% of those people have houses constructed in the lake and 10% live in 170 floating villages.
 
Size:
Depending on the flood level of the Mekong River, Tole Sap Lake fills from the river for 6 month and also empties into the river for 6 months every year. During the dry season which is from November , this lake is getting smaller and smaller until it covers an area of only 2,500 km2 (1,000 square miles) with 2m deep in April, but in the rainy season which is from May, the lake keeps increasing to over 13,000km2 (5,000 square miles) with 14m deep in October.
 
Importance:
The pumping in and out of water which is the heart of Cambodia maintains a rich level of nutrients enabling the lake to rank the 4th largest source of fresh water fish in the world after India, Bangladesh, and China. Tonle Sap Lake is an abundant natural resource for Cambodia. About 60% of Cambodian population depends on this lake in living because it provides fish, fresh water, and fertile land for growing crops.
 
According to the fish department, there are over 300 differentspices of fish living in Tonle Sap Lake. Some fish grow to 200kg, but today those types of fish are in danger and almost extinct. Fishermen can catch at least10 tons of fish per skm of this lake.
 
Tonle Sap used to have a lot of fresh water dolphins, but about 2000 of them were killed by Khmer Rouge soldiers to take fat to make fuel to run fishing motorboats. Today about 100 of them remain, and they’re living in the canyons in the Mekong River in Kratie City, being preserved by Japanese government funds. To protect this lake from over fishing; the Cambodian government has a strict regulation and not allow people fish during the laying egg season which lasts for three months from August to October.  During this closing season, only fishing for family living is allowed.
 
Beside fish, Tole Sap also has many animals and water birds. The bird sanctuary at Preak Toul is famous for birds.
 
Why rich of fish:
The fact that causes this lake rich of fish is because it comprises unusual natural system of water level between the rainy and the dry season. during the rainy season from May to October, the winter snow in Himalaya Mountain melts and vast quality of water flows south toward the South China Sea by the Mekong which is one of the world largest river, but when its deluge hits the shallow delta at the mouth of the Mekong, they cannot all escape to the sea. And so the river backs up into Tole Sap Lake, which brings its 30% of water to fill up this giant lake while other 70% moves toward to the sea. Then makes this lake flooded and enlarges its size four months each year, drowning the whole forest of trees in process. Drowning great forest as it expands, the leaves of tree provide vast quality of food and spawning ground for the fish population. When the water rises up, fish move themselves to spawn in the sunken forest at the lake shore, and when the river recedes, one fish brings thousand of baby fish. From November to April of the dry season, the lake recedes and reverses to the Mekong River and all the fish go back to the lake, and then fishermen are happy to catch them. as the lake gradually grows and shrinks the people can use the new wet lake bottom to plant new rice as well.
 
 
 

Mr. Phanith is a knowledgeable and adventurous tour guide with a lot of heart. He loves to take people to sites off the beaten track -- in comfort! I am a repeat customer & look forward to many more excursions with him in Cambodia.

Panith is the best tour guide I've ever had. His service and level of knowledge are unparalelled and he is a great person to go with it. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending his services to anyone (in fact I already have) and we look forward to coming back over to Cambodia and visiting Panith once again.

Phanith is a very polite, well articulated and educated tour guide. He showed us (me and my husband) secret location that is only known to few tourist and tour guides. I highly recommend Cambodia tour services to everyone.

I was introduced to phanith when I visited Siam Reap for my honeymoon in January 2010. This was my third trip and he was the best guide ever. 12 months later and my Son, his girlfriend and 2 friends were travelling to Siam Reap and I gave them Phaniths contact details as I knew he would look after thier every need...and he did. They came back and said he was wonderful. Guides can make or break a holiday destination, so if you want to be guaranteed an indepth experience with a wonderful guide you will not be dissapointed. Debra Melbourne Australia

Panith's knowledge of Cambodia was most impressive, the information he provided us with was outstanding. I would not hesitate in recommending Panith to anyone considering a tour on their trip to Cambodia.

Travel to Cambodia with friends on the year 2009.Panith, is a well qualified tour guide who served his customers with whole-hearted attitude. It was hard to miss any important info with his guide. He always do his best to satisfy us with his knowledge on the history & culture of Cambodia & some funny jokes that cheer us up for the whole trip. if there is a chance to go back Cambodia, sure will look for you once again...Thanks for your companion for the 3days guide.

Cheab Phanith is a very kind and smart guide. It was a very nice experience to discover Cambodia with him. I can highly recommend him to everybody who wants to know more than usual about the country! Sehr freundlich und zuvorkommend! Nur zu empfehlen!

I had a great time at Siem Reap and Phanith was our tour guide for 3 days. He knows the place well and is always eager to tell us the histories and stories of the temples. Besides, I can still remember the mango and some local food that he introduced to us. Not forgetting his cheerful and playfulness especially when he knew you better. He is really passionate about his work and without a doubt, i would love to have him to guide me again on our next adventure at Siem Reap. Looking forward to go there again. By that time, I hope he would have time to entertain me!!!

Phanith is very knowledgeable and is an ambitious young lad. We've learned a lot about Siem Reap from him and apart from that, he represents the young mind of Cambodia. Impressed and looking forward to visiting Cambodia again. Well done Phanith!

Phanith is one of the most patient and knowledgeable tour guide I've ever had! We are a bunch of crazy girls who loves to run around for photoshoots! He'll always guide us patiently with all his hearts, love his service and love his companion!

My friends and I had a good time with Cheab Panith. He's very polite, accomodating and I'm impressed with all his knowledge of all the information about cambodia. He brought us to some location that no other tour guide does, making our tour more adventurous. contact him now!

I went to Cambodia a couple of years ago and had the pleasure of having Phanith as a tourguide for my group. Not only is he knowledgeable about the history of each site in Siem Riep, he's also very attentive to our welfare. My sister had a sprained ankle and he took his time to stay behind with her to make sure she gets to enjoy the trip as much as the rest of us. For other perks, ask him to do a tarzan move when he's near a tree! It's definitely entertaining to have him as your tour guide :)

It was a good star who introduced me to Phanith when I visited Siem Reap 5 years ago for a teaching week at Kantha Bopha Children`s hospital. Since then I prolong my yearly courses by 3-4 days to visit with him remote temples and provinces and learn more about everyday life in Cambodia.Phanith is a highly qualified temple guide, an outstanding scout through rural Cambodia, where he has grown up and an exceptional personality.He speaks English fluently, carefully organizes his tours and passionately introduces you to the hidden secrets of his wonderful country.Next year I will bring my family and hope he will also show my boy how to catch crickets, produce palm sugar and find medicinal herbs in the jungle

Panith is an absolute Gem! We wanted to pack him up and take him with us on the remainder of our journey. All the testimonials listed here are true to their word, Panith will certainly not disappoint.

Mr Phanith is very nice and full of patience. He introduced many good local restaurants to us. In each checkpoint, he would describe its history and find a very good place for photographing. Next time, I will find him again if I want to go Cambodia. Next time, when my friends would like to go, I will introduce Mr Phanith to them.

Panith is a real gentlemen, he is the perfect tour guide for visiting the archeological site of Angkor Wat. He has a perfect knowledge of Cambogia history and culture and is very interesting to listen to. I really recommend him for a full immersion in Cambogia culture and lifestyle.

I was recently in Siem Reap and had the pleasure of Panith as my tour guide. I had a fabulous time. He is so well informed, patient and flexible. He provides a very professional service. I highly recommend him.

We had an amazing experience in Cambodia because of our tour guide Mr. Phanith! He speaks english well, smart and very friendly!we learned so much from him. He also assisted us with our pictures hes so nice! Great job mr Phanith! we wish you all the best.


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