Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary

Daily Tour Full day to overnight


Prek Toal bird sanctuary - boat trip across tonle sap lake to waterbird breeding colony
Tour to Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, the Breeding Colonies of Large Waterbirds on Tonle Sap

Prek Toal bird sanctuary is the largest waterbird colony in South-East Asia. Located at the edge of Tonle Sap Great Lake, this stunning Ramsar site is part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It is covered mostly by freshwater swamp forest and is home to the rare waterbirds, in the dry season. Birding Tour to Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary and Floating Village: one of the best places for birdwatching from Siem Reap.

  • Experience the boat trip across the Tonle Sap Great Lake and through the shrub of flooded forest, inside the protected area.
  • Get to see how Cambodian locals live at a real floating village – Prek Toal.
  • Enjoy a delicious Cambodian lunch, prepared at the community’s floating restaurant – Saray.
  • Learn more about the birds, conservation projects, and local culture.

bird species found at Prek Toal tonle sap lakePrek Toal Birds

Prek Toal birding tour takes you on boat trip across the Tonle Sap lake to see the various key birds especially the Spot-billed PelicanMilky Stork, Painted Stork, Lesser AdjutantGreater AdjutantBlack-headed IbisOriental DarterGrey-headed Fish Eagle, as well as three kinds of Cormorant. Over 150 bird species have been recorded in this protected reserve. See the full bird checklist of Prek Toal here

Prek Toal Tour program Prek Toal Tour

Day trip from Siem Reap to Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, Tonle Sap Great Lake, Floating Village

  • 5.30am pick up from your hotel by CBGA English-speaking bird guide, with our A/C vehicle, transfer Mechrey Pier for the boat trip to Prek Toal village.
  • 7 am half-way on the tonle sap lake, enjoy packed breakfast on the boat.
  • 7.30am arrive at the Prek Toal floating village,
  • 7.45am transfer into smaller local community boats and explore the biosophere reserve.
  • 8 am enjoy birding along the way one hour through the core reserve.
  • 9 arrive at the observation platform, climb the tree top to enjoy the wider views of the bird colonies.
  • 10 am return back to Prek Toal village for lunch at Saray Community Restaurant.
  • 1 pm after lunch, visit the Water Hyacinth Handicraft Workshop located next to the restaurant.
  • 1.30pm we will take you on paddled boats around the floating village, observing how locals adapt their floating environment, visiting the crocodile farms, fish farms, floating school, floating gardens, etc.
  • 2.15pm travel back to Siem Reap
  • 4 pm arrive back at your Siem Reap hotel.

Notes for best time to visit Prek ToalBest Time to Visit

  • The best time to explore Prek Toal bird colonies is from November when most bird species are coming. Yet some species like Milky Stork and Greater Adjutant will get there later in December, and until the end of May when the rain comes and birds are leaving.
  • Access to the bird colonies inside the core reserve also plays an important factor for visitors. By late February the water level is getting low which not allow us to get through to the observation platform. Fortunately, without being at the platform where it is very muddy and our boat could not access, we are still able to enjoy the area with the finding of many bird species in flocks gathering along the waterways where they come to feed.
  • For April to June is possible with birding too but the water level is quite low which make the access difficult to get to the best place for birding.
  • For July to September, most birds are gone.
  • From October, some birds are having their way back to Prek Toal for their breeding season.

What to Expect at Prek Toal bird sanctuary:

  • Our expert guide with our aircon minivan driver will pick you up from your hotel lobby at 5.30am, as early as we can so we get the most of the morning time which is best for the birds and nature. We will arrive back in Siem Reap at 4 pm but sometimes as early as 2.30pm or as late as 5 pm depends on your interest in the tour.  We can either take you back to your hotel or to another destination of your choice in town.
  • Transfer from hotel to Mechrey pier will take about 40 minutes each way on a 26km road (some parts passing rural villages on a dirt road).
  • Breakfast is provided by CBGA with a croissant, two slides of cereal bread with butter and jam, some fresh fruit, and coffee or tea. Please do if you may wanna pack breakfast also from your hotel.
  • It is kind of wintertime for Cambodia from November to February, so when traveling on the boat it is sometimes windy and cold. You might wanna bring your jacket along or at least a long sleeve shirt during the trip which also helps.
  • Other things to bring: hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
  • CBGA will provide drinking water in a big container to refill, so we request you to bring your own water bottle from home or from your hotel. It is our campaign to reduce plastic waste.

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