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The Floating Life on Tonle Sap

The largest freshwater lake in southeast Asia, Cambodia’s Tonle Sap – the “Great Lake” – doubles in size with the monsoon rains each year. As the lake floods, huge schools of fish thrive, providing food for millions of Cambodians. To maximize the fishing opportunities, some families live in floating villages composed of rustic, often handmade houseboats — miles from the vast lake’s shores.

We spent two days visiting Conservation International’s research station, located next to a floating village of 20 or so families. By longboat, we photographed fishermen, toured communities and tagged along with local researchers as they collected data on the behaviors of endangered river otters.

At night, I fell asleep listening to the sounds of village life echoing across the water, including the unexpected loud snorts of pigs and clucking chatter of chickens. (Transported to the village by boat, live animals are kept on houseboat decks until they become food.)

At dawn, we watched the sun rise over Tonle Sap, a quietly beautiful experience.

4 thoughts on “The Floating Life on Tonle Sap

  1. Kristin- what amazing photos! They are so beautiful. Very much telling a story. I love the updates from you and Jeremy. From the looks of it, your photo project is going great! Living vicariously through your adventure. And, we miss you :)

    Lauren 

  2. Hi guys, we have been religiously following your blog. Our (small) escape from Texas. LOVE the second picture here..absolutely gorgeous! See you in Europe this summer.

    Talia and Madhu

    • Hi Guys, and thanks for the comment! Glad you liked the pics… it was really beautiful that day on the lake. The floating houses were amazing to see.

      Looking forward to seeing you in Italia… have a great Spring!

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