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CAMBODIA – Kampong Khleang

 

The Tonlé Sap Lake, located in the center-west of the country and a dozen or so kilometers from Siem Reap, is the largest freshwater lake of Southeast Asia. It is unique because of its hydraulic flow system, which empties and fills at the mercy of the rainy season. The Tonle Sap river, which has the same name as the lake, reverses its current twice a year. Its surface area increases from 3000 square kilometers during the dry season to 13000 square kilometers during the rainy season. This aquatic phenomenon is celebrated every year in the capital during the Bonn Om Tuk, the water festival, during which many boat races take place. Because of its large surface area, many Vietnamese people came to live from fishing on the lake. Indeed its waters are particularly full of fish and feed countless thousands of fishermen. Almost 170 floating and stilted villages are located on the Tonlé Sap Lake. The Tonlé Sap was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2001 to preserve and protect its amazing biodiversity of birds, snakes, turtles and other species