Kompong Luong (កំពង់ហ្លួង) has all the amenities you might expect to find in an oversized fishing village – except that here everything floats on water. The result is a charming if slightly ramshackle Venice without the dry land. The cafes, shops, chicken coops, fish ponds, ice-making factory, petrol station and karaoke bars are kept from sinking by boat hulls, barrels or bunches of bamboo – as are the pagodas, the blue-roofed church and the colourful houses. In the dry season, when water levels drop and Tonlé Sap lake shrinks, the entire aquapolis is towed, boat by boat, a few kilometres north.
The population of this fascinating and picturesque village is partly Vietnamese, so – reflecting their ambiguous status in Cambodian society – you may find the welcome here slightly more subdued than in most rural Cambodian towns, at least from the adults. Children delight in waving hello.