This Amansara Tonle Sap Boat Cruise post covers our Tonle Sap cruise organized by Amansara in Siem Reap, Cambodia. A future post will cover other Amansara private tours of Angkor temples.
The posts are part of a trip report including Asiana First Class, Thai First Class, and luxury resorts and dining in northern Thailand. For the previous articles, please see:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Continental breakfast daily, for up to two in room guests (included as part of mandatory half board and touring charge)
- One 45 mins foot massage per person once during stay
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
In addition to Amansara's wonderful guided temple tours which are available early morning and mid to late afternoon and included as part of the mandatory half board and touring fee, Amansara offers several non-temple excursions and cultural experiences at additional cost, as part of its “After Angkor” offerings. One of these is a cruise on Tonle Sap lake, which at least during the rainy season is Southeast Asia's largest, and home to the floating village Chong Kneas and stilted village Kompong Phluk.
Here's what we enjoyed about our trip, which included a delicious Khmer picnic lunch:
1. Seeing Stilted Village Kampong Phluk
The first village we got to see was built on stilts, high above the water. This is still a fishing village, and you can see a number of fish traps all around. Car motors seem to power much of the electricity.
2. Peacefully Taking in the Water and Blue Sky Cruising on Tonle Sap Lake
One of our favorite parts of the trip was during and after lunch, peacefully taking in the blue sky while we cruised across Tonle Sap lake. As befits a resort names for peace, Aman has peaceful relaxation down to an art.
3. Amansara's Beautiful Boat and Delicious Picnic Lunch
Our Khmer picnic lunch was perfect: fresh and delicious shrimp noodle salad with spicy dressing, more of those yummy minced chicken and fresh herb rice paper rolls, and the most addictive barbecued chicken we've had in a long time. The only part I didn't finish was the rice dumpling dessert, although it was prettily presented.
4. Seeing the Floating Village Chong Kneas
Many folks revile floating village Chong Kneas as a scam because of less than reputable tour operators, but as you cruise by in Aman's vessel, you don't actually stop anywhere so this is not a concern. It was fascinating to see everything floating (apparently they do have to be rebuilt periodically due to the water damage), from a school to houses to a church:
5. Paddling Through the Mangrove Forest
While this wasn't as interesting, to me at least, as seeing the stilted and floating villages, I did enjoy the quiet paddling by boat through the mangrove forest. I was just glad that, unlike, say, Florida, there was no danger of crocodiles anywhere.
If you've cruised Tonle Sap on Amansara's boat, what was your experience?
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