The Huge kampong Phluk, Cambodia

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Kompong Pluk


The village of Kompong Pluk is a friendly, otherworldly place where houses are built on soaring stilts about 6m high. Nearby is a flooded forest, inundated every year when the lake rises to take the Mekong’s overflow. As the lake drops, the petrified trees are revealed like something out of Grimm's Tales. Exploring this area by wooden dugout in the wet season is very atmospheric.

Best visited from July to December when there is high water in the lake, it is a very different scene in the dry season months of January to June, although it is very rewarding to explore the dry flooded forest on foot as it looks like something out of a fairy tale.

Prices to visit have been fixed rather high, and when you add up all the separate costs, it may work out cheaper to sign up to a budget tour out of Siem Reap. If you are unlucky enough to come alone, you may be charged US$30, but have the option to link up with other independent travellers. There are a couple of basic homestays in Kompong Pluk and lots of good floating restaurants for lunch or a snack. There is also the incredible Kompong Pluk Riverside Restaurant built on stilts over the flooded forest with an extensive wooden walkway passing through the treetops, but it is looking somewhat dilapidated these days.

The most popular way to get here is via the small town of Roluos by a combination of road (about US$10/15/30 by moto/remork/taxi) and then boat. All said, the road-and-boat route will take up to two hours, but it depends on the season – sometimes it’s more by road, sometimes more by boat. The new road brings the dry season access time to around one hour. Tara Boat also offers day trips here from US$38 per person. The other option is to come via the floating village of Chong Kneas, where a boat (1¼ hours, from US$55 return) can be arranged.

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