The mother lake of Cambodia: Tonlé Sap

Weather forecast of Cambodia

07/18
THU
light rain
24.2℃
26℃
07/19
FRI
light rain
24℃
28.5℃
07/20
SAT
overcast clouds
24.5℃
27.1℃
07/21
SUN
light rain
24.2℃
30.2℃
07/22
MON
light rain
24.3℃
30.2℃

Share the article:

Cambodia
By GreaterGo Editor
31 Jan 2024

The mother lake of Cambodia: Tonlé Sap

Tonlé Sap, located in western Cambodia, is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. In Cambodians’ eyes, Tonlé Sap is considered the “mother lake”, which witnessed the growth of multiple coastal cities, including the old capital Siem Reap, the second largest city Battambang and Pursat. It is also connected by the Tonlé Sap River to Phnom Penh (Cambodia’s capital) and the important Mekong River. Tonlé Sap provides a great source of water and nutrients for the paddy fields as well as abundant aquatic products. It will not sound over-confident to say that Tonlé Sap is the source of the whole Cambodian civilisation.

 

In this seemingly boundless lake, you will see not only glinting waters, but also floating villages tied to bamboo rafts. There are also stilt houses along the shore, and even floating churches, schools and basketball courts. Water is like a friend of the villagers who travel around the lake by sampans.

 

In November every year, there is the Bon Om Touk (meaning water festival) celebrated by fishermen to mark the end of the rainy season and the reversing flow of the Tonlé Sap River. It is when the fishermen enjoy a great harvest of fish and shrimps. Contestants are selected by fishermen to participate in a dugout racing. Winners will bring to their villages good luck. In the three-day festival, people will participate in a wide range of activities. They include a ceremony devoted to the moon, having dishes made with glutinous rice, releasing floating lanterns and fireworks and a light boat parade. All these celebrations bring to the villages a wonderful festive mood three nights in a row.

Back to Top