Tonlé Sap River
Tonlé Sap River
3.5
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3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles69 reviews
Excellent
18
Very good
27
Average
14
Poor
3
Terrible
7

Keith W
Derby, UK1,752 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
One way to avoid the heat is a boat trip out from Sisowath Quay onto the Tonle Sap/Mekong River.
We hired a boat for a couple of hours and had a lovely peaceful time 'cruising' watching Phnom Penh from the river and watching general fishing and boat people going about their work.
You can book for as many hours as you want. We went on a boat called 'Paris' which was only small, but the the owner driver was a really nice guy and spoke excellent English and gave a running commentry throughout the trip. We negotiated a couple of beers for the trip into the price as well.
Recommend the trip as a peaceful escape from the bustle.
Written 2 December 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Findbhaskar
Delhi16 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
To get the Siem Riep, the Base for visiting The Angkor Wat and other sites around it, we chose the boat trip rather than taking the bus. And am gald we did.
While we were initially wary of the many touts and agents presenting different stories and photos of the Boat, we chose the speed boat with the deck on top.
Take the first shuttle out of Pnom Penh. Though it leaves really early, its worth it. Do go early and occupy a nice spot on the deck as they are priced positions. The Noise of Diesel engine can be annoying but with a good Mp3 player and a book to go with, you are all set for the journey. Ticket sellers will tell you it is 3 hours, but it actually takes 5 hours give or take 20 mins depending upon the current.
Another tip is to buy breakfast the previous day or visit the bustling market ( on the road parellel to the one along the river) to pick up breakfast early. You get chilled beer and soft drinks on the boat sold by vendors but not any food).

As the river leads into the tonle sap lake the site is breath taking. Do carry a good hat and sun glasses for the boat trip and Siem riep. There is a lot of walking once you get there.

Take the bus back as it is not worth two trips and one is likely to be tired. The bus is great if you want catch some eyeshut.
Written 4 February 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DesyDonk
Kabanjahe, Indonesia37 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2016 • Family
We went to the Tonle Sap river just to see the sunset. We went by Tuktuk round trip and pay $10. From Siem Reap Central, it took approximately 30 minutes with bumpy roads, dusty and smelly. We arrived at the destination, we were offered a boat ride around the river with $15 ticket. After asking here and there, it's just a dirty river and smelly and very expensive for the ticket. We ended up not buying the ticket, but just enjoy the sunset. The sunset was great.
Written 4 January 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vigswam
Singapore, Singapore1,029 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Couples
Our last night in Phnom Penh. So, a river cruise to watch the sunset was a must do while we were there. The best part was our hotel, Okay Boutique Hotel, had its own boat and for some room packages, the river cruise comes as a package with transportation to and fro.

For those who have not made any arrangements - no problem. Just walk along sisowath quay near to sunset around 4ish pm and there are !Any boats offering a sunset cruise. The closer it is to sail off time and less full the boat is, the better the deal to negotiate. Of course, if you wanted a full dining experience, there are some that are more professional and comes at a cost.

Overall, the sunset cruise is a nicest and most optimised in terms of cost and time spent as after the sunsets, there isn't really much to see in the night.
Written 16 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sucazi
Columbus, OH39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2011
We had half day off in Siem Reap and our driver recommended the boat tour to see the Floating Villages (one Vietnamese, the other Cambodian). After driving 15-20min we reached the place where we could hire the boat (looks pretty bad, old). there are hundreds of boats and we noticed that they hired one boat per group. We were 2 in a boat for 20pax. We were absolutely not impressed by the surrounds (poor, dry, not for tourists I guess). So, after much hesitation, we paid USD20 pax. It took 20-30min in the boat to reach the open lake. Then what a surprise, a huge lake, you can't see where it ends and the Floating Villages. JUST GREAT. People living in such condition! That is real life in Cambodia. There was no market to see, things to buy. Eventually we reached a bigger boat where we could see the crocodiles underneath the houses and buy a Coke. Loved it!
Written 23 March 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ejpl
Newtown, PA137 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Family
This review covers the boat trip from Siem Reap to Battambang. It was the highlight of my ten day trip to Cambodia. The trip lasted seven hours and was such an incredible adventure. $25pp, bring food, water, sun block, CAMERA! The trip is almost non-stop floating villages and is fascinating. When you enter the larger villages, the boat driver honks the horn, and smaller boats come to bring parcels and people to be delivered downriver. It was amazing. Don't think twice about it--DO IT!
Written 15 January 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Keith F
Scotland, UK687 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
To get to the lake we drove down a dirt road that didn’t exist in the rainy season. We boarded our boat and cruised the lake looking at the homes of those who lived there, floating houses open at the back and front. Women sitting out making fish paste and men up to their chests in the water fishing. The lake provides everything for those who live there but the lack of basic hygiene means the average life expectancy is only 54 years. This tour was outstanding and highly recommended.
Written 8 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mickey M
Johannesburg, South Africa4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Solo
I was charged 30$ to see the floating market, Tonle Sap. I had a "tour guide" whom appeared to be friendly until I asked him why the boat ride was so expensive, his whole demeanor changed - if looks could kill! He was very intimidating (wearing aqua blue/white checked shirt - please beware) and he kept pointing at boats from Malaysia that was shopping at the supermarket to donate to the school. Read between the lines. He kept telling me how how hungry he was, or the children, no food, no money, but he is still happy - yeah right!! He is a very angry person that tries to be charming. I had to cut our tour short because I just couldn't stand being on the boat with this guide any longer. I stopped talking to him and vice versa. At the end of the trip, he still had the decency to ask for a tip!!! Why?????? If that 30$ entrance goes all the the floating market, then why do I still have to donate?!!! After voicing my unhappiness with the owner of the guesthouse, he said that he has heard of many complaints and that one of the reason being they are Vietnamese. Lesson learnt. Perhaps go to the Cambodian floating market!!!!
Written 27 May 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul L
Hallam, Australia998 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2013 • Solo
This review is based on the Tonle Sap River section in Phnom Penh as opposed to the actual lake itself which most people access via Siem Reap:

When it comes to Phnom Penh you are going to see the river that runs through it at some point. It's practically unavoidable. If you are going t look at the Royal Palace/Silver Pagoda, you will see the river. If you are going to wander down to Wat Ounalom you will see the river. Heck if you go down to the seedy streets farther on you'll see the river....

So you don't have to out of your way to do so. However you should take the chance to stroll along the riverfront and take in the view of the river. It must be said that its colour is not beautiful. Nor is the extent of rubbish on the banks in places. However it is still an airy view given the side of the river opposite where most visitors are is not built up yet.

Getting out on the river is simplicity itself, most tour offices and/or hotels can organise such things. There is something calming about cruising about a river, even if it is one not overly blessed with exceptional aesthetics. Though you will again get a look at the unkempt nature of the riverbank from this vantage point.

I'd recommend a river cruise while in Phnom Penh. But it isn't a must do and you'll see the river anyway by-the-by.
Written 1 May 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

whc001
Singapore, Singapore230 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2012 • Friends
A mere 40 minutes bus ride away from the city centre, chartering a boat to tour Tonle Sap is a true fabulous experience that one shall not miss visiting Siem Reap.
Hundreds of floating houses along the river all the way till near the river mouth leading into the great lake formed the main attractions. Here we see family of vietnamese origin settleing along the river living in a complete worriless world. the floating houses are simply like houses building on boats or rafts. they shift along the river from season to season depending on the river and lake water level.
Written 20 March 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Tonlé Sap River - All You MUST Know Before You Go (2024)

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