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Life beyond Angkor

18th March 2010 Print

The temples of Angkor need little introduction, and no first time visit to Cambodia would be complete without a few days to explore the vast ruins in the jungles around the town of Siem Reap.

Most visitors to Angkor pass by neighbouring Tonle Sap Lake, one of the most productive bodies of water in the world, and the single most important breeding ground in Southeast Asia for a number of endangered bird species.

The Prek Toal Biosphere protects an area of mangrove forest and water covering 31,282 hectares on the northwest tip of Lake Tonle Sap. Thousands of birds converge in the area during the dry season between November and April, which coincides with the best time to visit Angkor. This is one of the best places in Southeast Asia to see rare birds such as Storks, Terns, Darters, Adjutants, Pelicans, Ibis, Cormorants and Pelicans from a network of viewing platforms within the reserve.

Lake Tonle Sap provides over half the fish consumed in Cambodia, which explains the number of floating villages, cosmic fish traps and intriguing lifestyles of the local fishing families who constantly adapt to dramatic seasonal changes in water levels. Everything is built to float on water in these living fishing communities including schools, shops, petrol stations, even karaoke bars!

For extended stays in the Angkor region Bamboo Travel have teamed up with the Sam Veasna Research Centre to offer a 2 day bird watching tour in the Biosphere, staying overnight in a traditional floating village. Bamboo Travel’s 15 day “Wonders of Cambodia” tour can include this 2 day bird watching tour at Prek Toal, and costs from £1,995 per person based on 2 people sharing.

For more information and bookings, visit: