Boats in queue waiting to be summoned to take passengers into Tonle Sap Lake.
This canal was dredged from just outside Siem Reap to Tonle Sap Lake so that fishing boats and tourist boats have access to Siem Reap in the dry season. This area, during the rainy season, is covered with about eight meters of water and the lake becomes one of the largest fresh water lake in Southeast Asia. All of the fishermen living in shanties along the canal must move every month to higher ground during the rainy season as the water rises. The water level will eventually rise above the tree levels in the photos. Some of the trees have adapted to this phenomenon, remain alive under water, and still produce fruit during the dry season. The canal is not polluted but there was silt on the bottom that made it look very dirty. We saw children swimming in the canal and fishermen seining for fish so it probably is not as bad as it looks.
The floating city was amazing. About 800 families live in this village. There is a big school with a basketball court, a Catholic church, a grocery store, several restaurants and of course many houses…all on boats. Electricity is supplied by automobile batteries that must be recharged twice a week. If you look closely at the photos, you will spot satellite dishes or TV antennae. There are people selling beer, bottled water, frits and almost anything else from their boats that attempt to come aside your sightseeing boat. And there are people begging from their boats.
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