CAMBODIA – Siem Reap – Discovery of Prek Toal’s Waterbirds and Floating Villages on Tonle Sap Lake

The Tonlé Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and one of the world’s most diverse and productive ecosystems. Tonlé Sap’s ever-changing water level and pace influence the lives of around one million Cambodians living here on floating or stilted villages, most of whom depend entirely on fishing.

Theme

Art & Culture, Classic, Gastronomy, Sustainable

Country - City

Cambodia

Market segment

Thematic Leisure

Price Level

$$$

Level of difficulties

LEVEL 0

Max pax

40

Seasonality

All year round excluding April to End of June. Best season for bird watching from Nov - Feb

Arrival city

Siem Reap

Departure city

Siem Reap

Description

Guests embark on a journey to discover the great Tonle Sap Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and visit the Prek Toal floating village and an incredible bird sanctuary during this priceless experience.

Dedicate your morning to a visit to the complex and biodiversity-rich Tonle Sap Lake. You will discover the secrets of Prek Toal Village and the natural and unique ecosystem of Southeast Asia’s largest waterbird breeding colony. The bird sanctuary is important for eight species of bird: the Spot-billed Pelican, Greater Adjutant, Lesser Adjutant, Milky Stork, Painted Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Oriental Darter, and Grey-headed Fish-Eagle. Thousands of commoner waterbirds also breed here, and over 150 species have been recorded.
During the visit, discover the unique livelihoods of those living on the lake, where everything floats, from the pagoda to the school to the pharmacy!

Experience locally cooked lunch in a floating restaurant managed by a local NGO and create a final memory: a water hyacinth handicraft workshop. A villager will teach you the traditional way of creating a colourful household item from the water hyacinth plant. Finally, you will wave goodbye to this water-world and head back to the mainland, Chong Kneas.

Can be combined with

Thematic Leisure

Selling points

  • Prek Toal is the most beautiful and authentic floating village.
  • Very preserved and peaceful atmosphere.
  • The discovery of the Bird Sanctuary is magnificent, even for non-bird-lovers.

Level Of The Excursion

High – This activity strongly supports local communities and/or helps preserve the culture and environment

The Impact Of This Excursion

Social/cultural Impact

Cultural Conservation

Environment Impact

Transportation

Economic Impact

Local individual benefits

Additional Information

We combine with different local suppliers for this tour such as boat transfer, bird sanctuary, local lunch, and water hyacinth workshop with Osmos NGO. All the profits go directly to those local suppliers in Prek Toal Community.

Time And Transportation

From To Km By Duration Road condition
Siem Reap Chong Kneas pier 15 Car, Bus 30 minutes Good Road
Chong Kneas pier Prek Toal Boat 1h30mins

Duration

  • 06:00 – 06:30: Leave from hotel in town to Chong Kneas Pier
  • 06:30 – 08:00: Boat trip to Prek Toal 
  • 08:00 – 10:00: Boat trip to visit birds sanctuary (a group will split into smaller boats of (1-4pax)
  • 10:00 – 12:00: Back to a floating village, visit the environmental education class and to the water hyacinth handicraft workshop of Osmose
  • 12:00 – 13:30: Lunch and relax in the Osmose community restaurant. 
  • 13:30 – 15:00: Return to the mainland/Chong Kneas Pier
  • 15:00 – 15:30: Return from Chong Kneas Pier to Siem Reap town

Min pax

1

Max pax

40

How to sell it

  • Leisure FIT, GIT/ SIC
  • For bird lovers with a good budget with extra bird expert lake
  • For non-bird lovers but nature lovers seeking authenticity (with also medium to good budget)
  • The expert tour guide is not compulsory, clients non particularly interested in birds can enjoy with a normal tour guide
  • Adaptable to the early wake-up with a departure at 06:00 from the hotel

Why this activity

  • Bring support to the floating village inhabitants and the surrounding wildlife
  • A rich ecosystem with some of the biggest birds colonies in Southeast Asia 
  • Discovery of OSMOSE NGO workshop for the Water Hyacinth weaving
  • Lunch at Osmose Restaurant.

Good to combine with

  • With any evening activity like Apsara Show, Phare Circus, Savor flavour.

Do not combine with

  • With a full or half-day activity
  • A flight departure before 9 pm

Market suggestion

AUSTRALIA

CANADA

FRANCE

UNITED KINGDOM

ITALY

SPAIN

PORTUGAL

BENELUX

SCANDINAVIA

CEE

US

GERMANY

UK

Competitor comparison

  • We cooperate with Osmose Organization to arrange a lunch + Water hyacinth workshop which other DMCs also offer this product.

Pros

  • The most beautiful visit of Tonle sap Lake is available
  • Combination of local life and nature
  • Flexibility to arrange lunch & Water Hyacinth with Osmose, the rest we can arrange on our own like boat tour to birds sanctuary.
  • Possible to hire birds expert tour guide either French or English speaking from Osmose

Cons

  • Sharing restaurant with other travellers
  • More expensive than an excursion to other villages of Tonle Sap
  • Timing isn’t flexible in order to catch birds scenery in the early morning
  • We can choose neither the boat nor the boat driver in advance

Information

  • Lunch & water hyacinth organize by OSMOSE NGO.
  • The breakfast box was taken away from the hotel.
  • For birds lovers and want to know deeper about birds, an expert lake guide is possible to request from OSMOSE NGO with additional charge.
  • Vehicle capacity needs to consider if you include an Expert lake guide in your quotation.

Alerts

  • During the low water level, the boat can and will operate but will delay the transfer from 1h30- 2hrs especially from Feb – June.

Important information

The seasonality needs to be respected by excluding April to the end of June. Indeed, the water level is at its lowest and the boat transfers will be difficult to operate.

Price range

$$$

Quotation guideline

  • Follow ERP instruction => Choose Siem Reap region => Choose Activity=> Choose Discovery of Prek Toal’s waterbirds and floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake
  • Mandatory meal: supplement meal charge for international tour guide

Additional option: Birds expert guide from OSMOSE either English or French speaking 

  • Follow ERP instructions: Choose Siem Reap region=> Choose Guides=>Choose Local Guide (either English or French) => Choose Expert lake guide – Prek Toal by Osmose

Inclusion

  • Boat tour to Prek Toal
  • Boat tour at bird watching (a group will split into smaller boats of (1-4pax)
  • Lack entrance fee at Chong Kneas
  • Bird watching entrance fee at Prek Toal
  • Lunch + a soft drink at OSMOSE NGO’s restaurant
  • Water hyacinth handicraft workshop at OSMOSE NGO
  • Breakfast box

Exclusion

  • Bird expert tour guide from Osmose
  • International tour guide
  • Transportation from town
  • Tips or others

Possible Extra

  • Deluxe breakfast box from Blue Pumpkin Restaurant
  • High-end boat (Ex: Heritage Boat)

Remark

  • A standard breakfast box will be arranged/provided by the hotel where they stay.

Important notes

Collect advance payment to pay for the tour on spot including:

  • Chong Kneas entrance fee
  • Boat transfer from Chong Knease to Prek Toal
  • Boat for birds visit at Prek Toal bird’s century
  • Prek Toal bird’s century
  • Lunch fee for clients + tour guide (charge same as the client) at OSMOSE’s restaurant
  • Water hyacinth workshop fee at OSMOSE NGO

Book breakfast box with the hotel where clients stay.

  • Call the hotel to be sure if they can provide a breakfast box complimentary or not. If they offer for free, go ahead to book with the hotel.
  • In case, the hotel doesn’t provide it for free, we have a $6/pax budget to arrange a breakfast box with the hotel. Contact reservation team to book in case hotel charges.

Additional Option: 

  • If sales quote additional Expert lake guide, please always book with OSMOSE either English or French Speaking guide
  • Always, get contact detail of Expert lake guide and pass to Easia tour guide to contact exch other in advance for the meeting point.

Special Guide notes

  1. Always, alert him/her to get breakfast box from the hotel before departing to lake
  2. Always respect timing either the tour including an expert lake guide or not. Here is the following program:
  • 06:00 – 06:30: Leave from hotel in town to Chong Kneas Pier
  • 06:30 – 08:00: Boat trip to Prek Toal 
  • 08:00 – 10:00: Boat trip to visit birds sanctuary (a group will split into smaller boats of (1-4pax)
  • 10:00 – 12:00: Back to a floating village, visit the environmental education class and to the water hyacinth handicraft workshop of Osmose
  • 12:00 – 13:30: Lunch and relax in the Osmose community restaurant. 
  • 13:30 – 15:00: Return to the mainland/Chong Kneas Pier
  • 15:00 – 15:30: Return from Chong Kneas Pier to airport / your hotel in town

Contact

Booking contact detail: 

OSMOSE NGO: www.osmosetonlesap.net

Email: [email protected] (English) / [email protected] (French)

Tel: 012 832 812 (professional French Speaking) / 099 707 009 (professional English speaking)

English

Discovery of Prek Toal’s waterbirds and floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake

Dedicate your morning to a visit to the complex and biodiversity-rich Tonle Sap Lake. You will discover the secrets of Prek Toal Village and the natural and unique ecosystem of Southeast Asia’s largest waterbird breeding colony. The bird sanctuary is important for eight species of bird: the Spot-billed Pelican, Greater Adjutant, Lesser Adjutant, Milky Stork, Painted Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Oriental Darter and Grey-headed Fish-Eagle. Thousands of commoner waterbirds also breed here, and over 150 species have been recorded.
During the visit, discover the unique livelihoods of those living on the lake, where everything floats, from the pagoda to the school to the pharmacy!

Experience locally cooked lunch in a floating restaurant managed by a local NGO, and creation of a final memory: a water hyacinth handicraft workshop. A villager will teach you the traditional way of creating a colourful household item from the water hyacinth plant. Finally, you will wave goodbye to this water-world and head back to the mainland, Chong Kneas.

Best season for bird watching: November to February
Meals included:
Picnic breakfast box on the boat during bird watching (breakfast box take away from the hotel)
Cooked lunch with beverage (1 beer or 1 soft drink per person) at OSMOSE floating restaurant (non-private)

Distance: Siem Reap / Chong Kneas – 18 kilometres (30-minute drive), each way
Navigation time: 1 hour – 2 hours each way depends on the water level
Duration: From 06:00 to 16:00

French

Découverte des oiseaux aquatiques de Prek Toal et déjeuner local dans une maison flottante

Vous consacrerez votre matinée à la visite du Lac Tonlé Sap qui possède une biodiversité aussi riche que complexe. Vous découvrirez les secrets du village de Prek Toal ainsi que l’écosystème unique et naturel de la plus grande colonie d’oiseaux aquatiques d’Asie du sud-est. La réserve ornithologique est primordiale pour huit espèces d’oiseaux : le Pélican à bec tacheté, le Marabout argala, le Marabout chevelu, le Tantale blanc, le Tantale indien, l’Ibis à tête noire, l’Anhinga roux et le Pygargue à tête grise. Des milliers d’autres oiseaux aquatiques se reproduisent là et plus de 150 espèces ont été enregistrées.
Pendant la visite, vous découvrirez le mode de vie unique des habitants du lac, où tout flotte, de la pagode à l’école en passant par la pharmacie.
Votre aventure se poursuivra avec un authentique déjeuner préparé dans un restaurant flottant géré par une ONG locale. Après le repas vous participerez à un atelier artisanal autour de la jacinthe d’eau pendant lequel un villageois vous apprendra à créer un objet coloré de façon traditionnelle. Vous quitterez ensuite ce monde aquatique pour regagner Chong Kneas et la terre ferme.

Meilleure saison pour l’observation des oiseaux: novembre à février 

Repas inclus: 

  • Petit-déjeuner sous forme de pique-nique, sur le bateau pendant l’observation des oiseaux (boîte de petit-déjeuner à emporter à récupérer à l’hôtel)
  • Déjeuner avec boisson (1 bière ou 1 boisson sans alcool par personne) au restaurant de l’ONG Osmose

Distance: Siem Reap / Chong Kneas – 18 kilomètres (30 minutes de trajet en voiture, aller)

Temps de croisière : 1 à 2 heures l’aller, varie en fonction du niveau de l’eau

Durée : de 6 heures à 16 heures