The Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and one of the richest fishing inland waters of the earth.
Due to the monsoon rains and the melt water from the Himalayas to the Mekong, Tonle Sap contains four times more water than in the months leading up to this time of year which have very little rain.
Cambodia is largely a very flat and level land, and the water of the Mekong urges into Tonle Sap in the rainy season and this will change the direction of flow.
These water masses are pushing back into the basin of the Tonle Sap and fill the lake.
The highlight of the flooding is achieved in September. Only in November of the river changes direction again and the water from the lake flows slowly out. This has given rise to the so-called hard water and starts the fishing season in Cambodia.
The lake and the rivers also serve as roads. There is a speedboat connection which links the cities of Siem Reap, the capital Phnom Penh and Battambang.
Cambodia’s floating villages: