The Tonle Sap Lake (otherwise known as the Great Lake) is a combined lake and river system in Cambodia, the largest fresh water lake in Southeast Asia and the richest fishing lake in the World. When the monsoon rains begin in June, the Tonle Sap grows from approximately of 2,700 km2 to 16,000 km2 which provides a perfect breeding ground for fish and birds, and is one of the many reasons why the Tonle Sap Lake has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere.
More than 100 varieties of water birds including several threatened and endangered species, over 200 species of fish, as well as crocodiles, turtles, macaques, otter and other wildlife inhabit the mangrove forests. The lake also provides more of half the fish consumed in Cambodia and is a regular food source for the local inhabitants that live in the distinctive floating villages and towering stilted houses.
The bird sanctuary at the Prek Toal core area of the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve has been called “the single most important breeding ground in Southeast Asia for globally threatened large water birds.” This sanctuary spans over 31,000 hectares and is home to a variety of species including the Greater and Lesser Adjuncts, Black-headed Ibis, Painted Stork, Milky Stork, Spot-billed Pelican, Grey-Headed Fish Eagle and many others.
Accommodation here is varied ranging from bed and breakfast to luxury hotels in Siem Reap, all offering both local and international cuisine. Land and boat treks and tours are easily arranged allowing you to experience this natural wonder both safely and to the full.
To find out the best time to visit Cambodia and to speak to someone that knows the area please call Jeanette our Far East luxury multi centre holiday specialist: 01923 289 100