I have been away for last three weeks travelling through South-East Asia, in Myanmar and Cambodia. As my journey is nearing its end, I am at a small Cambodian town north of Phnom Penh – Kampong Chhnang. Here is an image from a floating village community adjoining the town, on Tonle Sap River.
When travelling through Myanmar last year, I first got acquainted with the floating way of living in South East Asia. I was amused first, and amazedwhen I understood how much of their lives are lived over water.
Tonle Sap, where I was this morning, is the largest freshwater lake in the region and home to a large fishing community spread over many villages. Being on the water, however, doesn’t make then any isolated. They are connected with all worldly installations such as electricity, schools, religious services and are only a short hop away from land. For now though, they will have to live without roads and make do with boat transport. And occasionally this happens in style, when a young brat who can’t have his own boat yet uses an aluminium bowl to get out of the house and meet other young brats on aluminium bowls.
This village, south of the main lake, on the main channel of Tonle Sap River is extra special among those special habitations. Much of the lake dwellers live on stilted houses that are often called floating. But people here build houses on bamboo rafts, making them true house boats. Don’t be surprised if you come here on a dry-season, when the water recedes, and see the village missing! The entire village would have drifted away and have reinstated someplace else that has more water!