Tonle Sap Lake
Tonle Sap Lake also known as the fresh water lake or 'Great Lake' of Cambodia, it shapes like musical instrument 'Violin' and its bottom like pan. Tonle Sap Lake located in the center the countries and surrounded by 5 provinces, Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat and Battambang Province. Tonle Sap River, 100 kilometer long, link Tonle Sap Lake to Phnom Penh city and Mekong River, which runs through China's Yunnan province, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Tonle Sap Lake is the largest lake found in the south East Asian countries. The Mekong fills this lake with water during rainy season. It supplies foods 60% and irrigation to the Khmer society from past to present.
The water from this lake fills a space of around 150 kilometers long by 75 kilometers wide. Dry season it is about 3 thousand square kilometers, 0.8 meters to 2 meters depth, and it swell 4 times during rainy season 12 thousand square kilometers, it is about 10 to 15 meters depth. There are 215 kinds of fish which 15 kinds of fish are originated from sea fish. The people live in floating villages along the coast of the lake. Since there is a constant increase and decrease in the level of water the villagers have adapted to live adapting to the changing situations, as in floating houseboats. Therefore it is easy for them to move their houses for safety and security. They are also known as the floating villages. Very few people live in permanent houses but it is built in lands much above the water level for safety. Some live in thatched houses which can be removed and relocated wherever they want to move.
Tourists are much attracted to view the beauty of floating houses. Most of the settlements are in these floating boathouses and also many houses are built ten meters above the river with the help of stilts. These villages also have market places situated in the lake with floating vendors. Schools and health centers are available in the lands, which are utilized by the villagers. The children are very energetic and talented.
Tonle Sap Lake is a rich source of fish and many other benefits of water. The fish farm provides different varieties of fishes and the chief occupation of the people who live here is fisheries. Crocodile farms and the bird sanctuaries also attract many tourists.