River People

Tonle Sap Floating Village © Jojie Alcantara

Tonle Sap Floating Village © Jojie Alcantara

The great river-courses which have shaped the lives of men have hardly changed; and those other streams, the life-currents that ebb and flow in human hearts, pulsate to the same great needs, the same great loves and terrors. As our thought follows close in the slow wake of the dawn, we are impressed with the broad sameness of the human lot, which never alters in the main headings of its history–hunger and labour, seed-time and harvest, love and death. ~George Eliot, Romola

Tonle Sap Floating Village (during dry season), Siem Reap, Cambodia
© Jojie Alcantara, April 2012

A combined lake and river system, Tonle Sap river becomes the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia during the monsoon. In 1997 it was designated as a UNESCO biosphere. The river changes its flow direction twice a year and the lake itself expands and shrinks dramatically between the dry and wet season.

During the wet season, Tonle Sap Lake has a surface of 12,000 square kilometers, shrinking to 2500 square kilometers in the dry season.  Tonle Sap is one of the most productive inland fisheries in the world, the fish caught here supporting over three million people.

One of the most endangered species in the world is found here, the Mekong’s giant catfish, which is the world’s largest freshwater fish.

Tourists come to this area during dry season for a very fascinating boat tour.

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Will share my article about this adventure soon.  More photos to come.

Tonle Sap Floating Village © Jojie Alcantara

Tonle Sap Floating Village © Jojie Alcantara

 

Tonle Sap Floating Village © Jojie Alcantara

Tonle Sap Floating Village © Jojie Alcantara

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