Why Tonle Bati?
The bucket list of the early 2000 have been heavily ticked, thinned out and in many cases exploited within n inch of their being. Agra is a bit hohum. Nepal has been t-shirted. Thailand has been overcooked and served with too much chili.
The holiday islands have been worked to death and its hard to find a place for a plane to land in Maldives or Seychelles. As for Angkor Wat, the whole of Asia passes through the gates every 20 minutes and completes a one-hour horror story of selfies, silly V-fingers and appalling hats.
The boxes have been ticked so often that the locals everywhere are looking bored with tourists and the tourists are sinking in legion to bar stools for a cold beer.
So what’s new? What’s interesting? What are the places that haven’t been over run with the howling horde?
As we watch Ayers rock sink beneath the feet of 2 million simultaneously delivered tourists, our minds desperately reach out for real treasures.
Here’s one that will be new to many of you. An hour from Phnom Penh and if you don’t know what country Phnom Penh is, stop reading now…is a scenic lake beside the Angkorian ruin of Ta Phrom, a miniature of the huge one in Siem Reap.
This lake is Tonle Bati, a serene body of water with tiny huts around it. In these tiny huts, you can find respite from the city, have lunch or munch on your favourite snacks the locals sell as they paddle their old boats from hut to hut.
What to Enjoy in Tonle Bati
There's swimming, restful boat cruises with life jackets provided and also paddle boats for those who want to do their legs some favour. Price are not outrageous. For $25, we had lunch for 4 people served in our hut.
Here's a vendor selling some of the locals favourite snacks: deep fried tiny crabs, flavoured shells and barbecued meat.
How to Go to Tonle Bati
Public transportation is available in the Sorya Bus Depot in Phnom Penh. But, I would recommend, you rent a car or a taxi to bring you to the Lake and the ruins of Ta Prohm.
It is only about an hour from Phnom Penh so for those who are adventurous, you can ask a motor bike or a tuktuk to bring you. You take National Highway 2 and turn left when you reach the turn off to Tonle Bati.
Where is Tonle Bati?