Kampong Phluk – A Cambodian floating village

Siem Reap, Cambodia

After having seen the main temples of Angkor, we decided to find out what else Siem Reap has to offer besides temples.

Kampong Phloek, about 1 hr tuk-tuk ride away from Siem Reap, is often described as a floating village. And it sort of does float in metaphorical sense, but not in a way one would presumably think.

The houses of this kampong (kampong means ‘village’) are built on stilts as 2-story high. On rainy season when the water level is high, the stilts are covered in water giving the impression that the houses are floating.

On dry season, when we went, the stilts are exposed. Which, we think, makes it even look more impressive. The houses seemed to soar way high over our heads.

Kampong Phluk, Cambodia

I always feel a little awkward during these ‘voyeuristic’ type of excursions. But I can see the appeal as well: It’s fascinating seeing other people do the same things we’d do ourselves back home: doing laundry, dishes, etc but in a completely different setting – in this case, a watery setting.

Instead of a car, each house had a wooden boat parked in front. Instead of a garden, they’d have floating potted plants. Doing laundry and dishes, and taking a shower involved climbing down a rickety set of ladders (or done on a canoe!).

Cambodia Floating Village

And of course you get to see things you don’t normally see back home either, like pigs raised on a floating platform.

Floating pig pen, Kampong Phluk, Cambodia
Floating pig pen, Kampong Phluk, Cambodia

A woman in Kampong Phluk, Cambodia

For $20 a person, you can probably see a floating village for a lot cheaper somewhere else in Asia. But if you’re templed out in Angkor and looking for a breezy way to spend half a day – Kampong Phluk is worth the 1.5 hr spine-pumping trip.

Going to Kampong Phluk? Get there early!

I began to wonder why this attractive village didn’t seem to get any visitors. The only other boats we saw in the village were those carrying the villagers. But the answer came soon enough.

On the way back we passed boat after boat carrying tourists. Non stop. We left Siem Reap at 7 in the morning which made us one of the first boats to pass through and we were taking the lack of crowd for granted.

I’m so glad we got there early.


How to get to Kampung Phluk: Any guesthouse in Siem Reap can arrange a visit there for $20 a person (cheaper with a bigger group). It will be just your group. You can get there indepedently by renting a tuk-tuk yourself, and as long as the driver knows where Kampung Phluk is, he can help you with entrance tickets and getting a boat. The boat and the tuk-tuk alone will cost around $35 per visit – regardless of the # of people.

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15 Replies to “Kampong Phluk – A Cambodian floating village”

  1. Wow I'm so glad I stumbled across your blog! This town looks really cool. It looks like you were just able to pass through that town, but were you able to eat anything or talk to any locals? Really sweet experience! 🙂

  2. Loving the pics guys! Kompong Phluk is a nice floating village indeed, it is one of the first experience I've had when I visited Cambodia for the first time. Despite its increasing number of visitors, I have a feeling it'll never become a tourist trap like Chong Kneas. If I had one recommendation to make, I would however advise people to visit Kompong Khleang. It is much bigger and has almost no tourists. The only downside is that it's further away (about 60km from Siem Reap).
    I recently wrote a blog post comparing the three main floating villages around Siem Reap, which you can find here: http://tripleacambodia.com/siem-reap-floating-vil

  3. This is the Most beautiful floating village that i has been i doing tour guide and driver around 10 years i always recommend this place if they want to see the real floating village and real life style even if a little bit expensive but you can get every things that you never ever see in your life very attractive place 99% fantastic place .

  4. Really awesome. Love the pictures. The idea of a village floating on the water appeals, but I like the stilts too. It reminds me a bit of the Atoll in Waterworld though.

  5. Great photos! Those houses are really interesting looking. We never got to see them during our time in Cambodia, and I regret it. Actually, I always thought that they were floating, but I like this vantage point that you got with the stilts during the low water. Very cool!

  6. Great photos! I visited the "floating village" not too long ago, and ended up on a boat that had a crocodile farm. On our boat, there were no other tourists at all. Seems like it has grown in popularity, which, really, is probably a good thing for the locals.

  7. Great photos. Strange, but for some reason I envy them and their lifestyle. I would rather use a boat for my mode of transportation.

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