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“One word- SCAM: stay away..”

Chong Kneas Floating Village
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Half-Day Tour of Chong Khneas - Tonle Sap Lake
Ranked #167 of 180 things to do in Siem Reap
Attraction details
Level Contributor
113 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“One word- SCAM: stay away..”
Reviewed November 5, 2013

Dear fellow TA members: please read the following link from TA prior to deciding whether or not this attraction is for you. Essentially, it is a scam.


Unfortunately, for us we missed this attraction review and unknowingly were scammed like many have already mentioned in the link above.

If you want to see a floating village, Kompong Khleang, though farther away is more worth while and genuine.

In summary- our tuk tuk driver on day 1 recommended this place and I even asked him if it was worth seeing and he said yes.

They charge $20usd pp for a ticket on the boat which is way expensive for Cambodia standards. Next my spouse and I were put on this boat alone and taken along with a boat driver and boy around 18 years old which at the time I presumed was an assistant who anchored and docked the boat, etc.

20 minutes into the boat ride he says that he's from one of the floating villages and that he's a volunteer. Next asked us what we did for a living and said that we can ask him any question we liked. As we passed along the houses where people lived on the lake he was explaining the area and the geography, at the time I even thought of giving him a tip upon our return to the dock.

Later he started going into how he was a student and one can guess the rest(I felt something was fishy at this time). They stopped at a floating market next, and the boy leaves us to look around at some junky souvenirs and later shows us cat fish that he claims are from the lake. He also showed us crocodiles held under a bridge not even from the lake. If I wanted to see crocs we would have went to a zoo!.. Tourist traps.

What's next is he tells us he will then take us to a floating school on the lake where he went to school and we can donate to the orphans if we like. He also tells us we can buy rice at the market and the rice will be used to feed the children.

I cut him off at this point and said nicely that we donate directly to our own charities and wanted to go back, using the excuse that it was hot. Mind you that only my spouse and I were on this boat alone with the shadey boy and boat driver so we were very vulnerable, in the middle of a huge lake and had no means to contact anyone for help. So calmly and mentally I coerced them to take us back.

Once I told him I didn't want to see the school or buy any rice, his face turned 360 degrees and then he pulled out a cigarette and started to smoke in our faces. At the corner of my eyes I also noticed him text messaging someone on his phone. As we pulled back to the dock, they pulled into a very empty area without any other boats or people behind and the boy started to prompt me to tip him and also the boat driver so that he can go to school. Not to judge a book by a cover but he by no means did he look like a student, the guy looked like d a thug once he started smoking and took of his sunglasses.

During the boat ride I even tested him and said your English is so good why don't you go back to your school and help to teach the kids..he totally ignored what I said at that time which confirmed the scam and his purpose on the boat.

Long story short, we were unfamiliar with the area and were put in a very vulnerable position and so I sacrificed' to him $5usd as a tip once we got back, but it was more to buy our safety since I was alone with my spouse in a very empty side of the dock when we pulled in. The boy also had the audacity to ask for more money despite the $5 that I already gave.

I told my driver this and he said he will report the place, but I know nothing will be done as laws here are laws of the jungle, regardless of complaint. Underneath the tourist side there are many political and corruption occurring like this one that continues to make the people suffer.

I wanted to to post this as an ALERT for all those even considering coming here so you can ready the link above and also learn from my experiences. I would rather give the $40 total we paid to a driver or someone working hard for their money, not thugs exploiting tourists from the operation selling the tickets to the boy and boat driver.

Visited November 2013
9 Thank vg247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Total waste of time and money”
Reviewed November 4, 2013 via mobile

Do not go here its a total scam. No different to the houses you see built on stilts in water on the side of the road when you're traveling on a tuc tuc or on a bus. There are hidden costs involved too. You don't get told one single thing about the place. Guy driving our boat hassled us for a tip...... a tip for what exactly? That was the only word he said to us for the whole journey. Raging I wasted a day on this.

Thank annamcdermott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
65 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“What else can be said ? A truly scam. ”
Reviewed October 31, 2013 via mobile

Nothing new to add. A full scam. The rice bag of usd65$ for the poor kids, all. Only tip: I did not know the name of the place when I went -all I said was to take me to the "floating market"- . So verify before going where you're heading. And yes , this is a tourist trap, a true scam. Horrible

Thank Olabitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A visit during the Dry Season”
Reviewed October 24, 2013

I was in Cambodia in early May for a friend's wedding in Phnom Penh. As a member of the bridal party, I only had a few days to see the sites and get fitted and prepped for the wedding, which is why I was so happy to take a side trip with a few wedding guests to Siem Reap without disrupting any pre-planned engagements.

I have to be honest. I really wanted to visit Kampong Khleang's floating village and see the homes in the dry area that were feet above ground. I read a number of bad reviews about Chong Kneas and just didn't want anything tainting my view of Cambodia. But as fate would have it, our tour guide advised against it saying that the low water levels would make for a smelly experience. So, the next best thing was Chong Kneas. I have to say, it's best to go with a guide and a few other people you know. I can see how opting to do it yourself could be troublesome. There are children who will beg you for $1 repeatedly, if you take their picture a dollar is your fee. Even if you don't take their picture they will beg you for money. The children with snakes around their necks will row to your boat. A blind man with his grandson managed to stop us, his hat extended for a gift. If you say no enough times, they may leave you to visit another boat, but then again, they may just keep asking. I didn't mind it too much because I was with other people, but I would have been uncomfortable if I was alone.

Seeing the floating village itself and being able to take pictures was a worthwhile experience for me. If I ever do visit Cambodia again, I will have to visit Kampang Khleang to compare it with Chong Kneas.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank Tameka S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Airlie Beach, Australia
Level Contributor
866 reviews
419 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 371 helpful votes
“Near lake Tonlesap”
Reviewed October 21, 2013

We passed through Chong Neas on a so-called Lake cruise and were not impressed. Beggars, inferior merchandise, inflated prices were all there if you bothered to get off your boat. Of more interest to us was the lifestyle of the boat people.

Visited October 2013
Thank croftonMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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