Located on the Tonlé Sap lake in Siem Reap, Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary is a must-visit destination for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers. This stunning sanctuary is one of three biospheres on the lake and is known for its rare bird species. The best time to visit is during the peak season from December to early February when the concentration of birds is high. To maximize your bird viewing experience, it is recommended to visit in the early morning or late afternoon.
To reach the sanctuary, you will need to arrange transportation to the floating village of Chong Kneas and then take a boat ride to the environment office. Several ecotourism companies in Siem Reap offer trips to Prek Toal, which usually include transport, guides, and meals. It is important to come prepared with sunscreen and head protection for the long day spent in boats.
One of the unique aspects of visiting Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary is the opportunity to explore the floating village of Prek Toal. This magnificent floating village serves as a gateway to the bird sanctuary and can only be accessed by boat from Siem Reap. The village itself is a fascinating sight, offering a closer look at the local lifestyle and culture.
While visiting Prek Toal, you can also contribute to the local community. The Cambodian floating community has established a cooperative dedicated to raising funds for educating disadvantaged children and preserving their way of life. By supporting local initiatives and participating in responsible tourism practices, you can make a positive impact on the lives of the people living in and around Prek Toal.
In terms of accommodation, there is basic lodging available at the Preak Toal Core Management Centre. Visitors have reported that the rooms may be a bit dirty and have broken mosquito nets, but they do offer hot water. The cost for a room is USD 20, and meals can be ordered for an additional fee. It is advisable to bring your own food and water as there are no nearby places to purchase them without a boat.
Despite some minor inconveniences, visitors have had great experiences at Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary. They have enjoyed birdwatching from the center’s roof, although binoculars are recommended. Some visitors have found it challenging to understand the details of the birdwatching tours, so it is advisable to clarify any questions or concerns beforehand.
Overall, a visit to Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary promises an unforgettable experience for nature lovers. From rare bird species to a unique floating village, this sanctuary offers a glimpse into Cambodia’s rich biodiversity and cultural heritage. So don’t miss out on this opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and support local communities in Siem Reap.