Tonle’ Sap

Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia

Located on the lower Mekong basin, Tonle’ Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. Because of the seasonal changes, its size fluctuates. During the dry season, the lake shrinks as the water flows out of the lake into the rivers.  During the wet season, the lake expands as the water flows into the lake from the rivers, and the water level rises as much as 30 feet.  Thus, it acts as a natural reservoir.

The maximum dimensions of the lake are, length – 260 miles, width – 62 miles, and depth – 33 feet


The Tonle Sap is located 30 miles south of Siem Reap in Cambodia.

Floating Villages

Tonle’ Sap is home to many floating villages inhabited mostly by the Vietnamese and Cham people. They earn their livelihood by fishing and crocodile farming.

In addition to floating houses, these villages have floating schools, shops, and even churches. See the images below.

A Floating House in Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia
A Floating House

Crocodile Farming

The wild Siamese crocodiles are native to Southeast Asia and are on the United Nations endangered species list. However, they are allowed to be farmed in Tonle’ Sap.

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