Chong Khneas

Tourist trap

Photo of , , Siem Reap

What we say: 2 stars

If you arrive at Siem Reap by boat then you've seen Chong Khneas -- it's the mostly Vietnamese-inhabited, floating village that surrounds from the Siem Reap dock.

It's the closest village to Siem Reap, home to the Gecko Environmental Centre and is the launching pad for Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary -- that's all to say Chong Khneas sees more than its fair share of camera-toting tourists.

It's become a tourist trap, with a lot of pressure on people to buy things, from tourist knick-knacks to a can of Coke or postcards. When you're jostling among other boats carrying foreigners who are trying to pretend you're not there, the whole thing feels a bit contrived -- because it is.

It's not all bad though. If you do decide to visit Chong Khneas, be sure to visit the Gecko Environmental Centre, where you can learn a bit more about the lake and take a rest from refusing to buy some fake opium pipes.

If you don't have the time nor the money to visit the villages further afield, then you may as well take a look here, but be prepared for a touristy and at times frustrating experience.

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Tonle Sap lake
Last updated: 29th January, 2013

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