As the detailed map on the first page shows, there is a large lake at the center of Cambodia, the northern tip of which abuts Siem Reap. The northern part is also the home to tens of thousands of people living in floating settlements. Although Cambodia is the third most ethnically homogeneous country in Asia (after Korea and Japan), the floating village community was very diverse. Catholics, Buddhists, and Muslims, along both Khmers and Vietnamese live together in mobile homes, complete with floating churches and mosques, schools, and a hospital. We took a trip through the village on a boat with two gbrothers,h aged eight and eleven..
The entire village floats, and the community moves with the seasons
Here you can see the younger boy sitting at the front of the boat.
The are two forms of transportation in the lake. We rode in crude motorboats that putter along at about 5mph. These boats are propelled by car engines, attached to the back and guided by a makeshift rudder. The other, more common mode of transportation is by paddle boat, as you can see here:
There are several ways to get from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh -- you can take a boat through the lake and the Mekong River for $22, which takes about four hours, or a bus for $5, which takes about seven hours. Misers that we are, we chose the bus.