The Tonle SAP (Tonle Sap) – “Big lake” in Asia
Toples lake (Tonle Sap Lake) — one of the most popular attractions near the city of Siem Reap in Cambodia, of course, besides the temples of Angkor. Despite the fact that many tourists call the place a “trap for tourists”, the place is quite interesting and exotic.
Second name Tonle SAP lake (Tonle Sap) — the “Big lake”, because it is the largest lake in Southeast Asia. When you look at this huge water surface, especially in the rainy season, it becomes clear admiration of the locals before the “Inland sea of Cambodia” area of 16 thousand square km (for comparison, the area of the Moscow region a total of 47 thousand square km). The maximum depth of the lake Tonle Sap – 9 meters. But these numbers are only true for the rainy season when the lake is filled with water and increases in size almost six times compared to the dry season and the depth of the lake at this time rarely exceeds 1 meter.
This volatile nature of the lake is under an obligation arising from the same river, which in the rainy season changes the flow direction and turns back, filling it with water. And because of these large-scale changes in size and periodically moving at many miles of shoreline around the lake and it formed an extraordinary life – the many floating villages. Indeed, thanks to the ever-changing water level in Tonle Sap people can grow rice in fertile after lowering the water level the soil in the dry season, to dig clams and catch fish all year round. And to keep up with periodically moving coastline, the locals decided not to move permanently from their homes, and simply build them on water. So here and formed a floating village, which attract tourists.
Houses of local residents
“Foundations” houses “lake residents” in the floating villages are a cluster of boats, rafts, related barrels and a variety of other vessels, just indescribable. They are not only dwellings, but also small plots of land, where the locals manage to grow vegetables and contain Pets. There is a restaurant for tourists, is also on the water, a small observation deck. Floating crocodile farm — obligatory point of the excursion program. But the lake of Tonle Sap crocodiles don’t swim, the local fauna is quite harmless.
Even without tourists, life here goes on as usual: children attend a floating school, police station, village hall. The way to school some children overcome… floating in large basins. The adult population of the village, as if not noticing the concerned looks of tourists, leisurely continuing their regular classes. Small, tanned men fish, which is especially rich lake Tonle Sap, extract of molluscs, weave networks. Moreover, women work equally with men. What is striking is the constant smile on their faces
But the local population does not live in the last century. The houses have electricity (from generators), wealthy owners have TVs and even Internet access. In these villages people live their entire life without moving to the shore, moving only by boat, many houses next to small vegetable gardens in which they grow vegetables. On the same rafts built shops, schools, temples. The inhabitants are mostly engaged in fishing. The water in Tonle Sap Lake nasty yellow color. It’s amazing how they manage to drink it. However, they have no choice.
Floating village on lake Tonle Sap
Among the villages, which are inhabited exclusively by illegals from other countries, mostly from Vietnam. The fact that they are not allowed to settle on earth, so they huddle in the water. It is estimated that lake residents from 100 thousand to 2 million.