Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cambodia - Kompong Khleang, Siem Reap

During my temple hopping in Siem Reap, my friend and tuk-tuk driver, Moori, invited me to attend his friend's wedding at Kompong Khleang. We fetched his brother first before we started our journey to Kompong Kleang.

It was an arduous 45 minutes travel by tuk-tuk especially when we traversed the main and rough road going to Kompong Khleang. It was a dusty and unforgiving road, not to mention the crude shock absorber of the tuk-tuk. I think there wasn't any.

Upon reaching Kompong Khleang, initially, I found it thrilling to see the swamp on the right side of the road.

Shortly thereafter, I started to notice the stilts houses along both sides of the road and some of them were having stilts as high as 10 meters. I asked Moori why the houses were built that way; his brother was the one driving the tuk-tuk. I was stunned with his reply. According to him, during rainy season, this place is under water and you won't see any road; sometimes the lake water even reaches those stilt houses. Having learned about this thing, my curiosity was flamed even more.

While waiting for the wedding ceremony to finish, Moori and his friends invited me to play pool. We went to a place, near the public market, where many people were watching a film on a large and bulky old TV while having some snacks. Beside this makeshift movie house was the pool area. See my related post: Playing Pool at Kompong Kleang

There were 4 pool tables side by side and betting was allowed. Seeing those chairs and tables plus the pool tables I presumed that Moori was kidding me when he told me that this whole place would be under water during rainy season. To satisfy my curiosity I asked him what would happen to this place during rainy season. Everything would be tied up in a higher place including the pool tables, he replied. He added that people here were celebrating during dry season because that was the only time they have opportunity to socialize and enjoy their daily lives. By the way, that place charges entrance fee for "movie-goers" while an old man is manning the pool area. You can even order food and drinks from the small shop while enjoying the movie. In my case, my generous friends provided me a complimentary iced coffee.

Though all the houses at KK, except those floating, are built on stilts you can easily distinguish the well to do from the "not-so-well-to-do" family. Moreover, the houses are normally built side-by-side and again a piece of knowledge from Moori, they are built that way in order to have additional structural strength in case of a strong wind. I was impressed.

Before the wedding reception begins my new friends invited me to stay at the bride's house; it was interesting to note that neither table nor chairs can be found inside. Hence; we sat and dined on the floor. Furthermore, some rope hammocks are tied on the wooden posts that serve as improvised bed. See my post about the wedding: A wedding on dry season - Kompong Khleang

Later on, we hiked to a nearby pier where you can rent a boat going to Floating Village in Tonle Sap. I would make another post pertaining to this great lake and how the locals are able to cope up even when the lake swells.


  1. Cambodia have a quite similarities with the Philippines. Great post!

  2. I agree with you. Thanks for dropping by.