After leaving the national road in Krakor, we head to Kampong Luong floating village. The distance to it is uncertain, from 2 to 7 km depending on the level of the water in Tonle Sap Lake. Some houses start to appear on both sides of the path and we can notice that they were once floating houses resting now on wooden pillars. The area is dusty and dirty and more houses arise from the nothing forming a slum.
We keep on moving forward because we have read that a homestay is there, even though it is hard to believe. At some point, a man appears offering accommodation with some papers written in perfect English showing happy western people in coloured painted floating houses. Everything is surprisingly organised: stipulated prices, people in charge of the different services, available invoices…etc. We leave the bicycles trusting the well supervised parking and jump on a small boat which takes us to the floating guesthouse.
On our way here, we can see that Kampong Luong is much bigger than the floating village in Kampong Chhnang; they have gas station, several phone shops, church, groceries, pig and chicken farms, multiservice shops, fish farms, garages, restaurants, pagoda… all you can find in a regular Cambodian village. We also see people washing their clothes, doing the dishes, cooking, taking water straight from the lake, sailing and fishing. A sweet local girl welcomes us in English and, after a nice dinner looking at the Tonle Sap Lake, we spend the night in a pladur room-cabinet smelling the burnt gas of the old engines of the boats that are fishing, the water from the lake and our neighbours’ food.
Contrast is the word of our arrival.