Best time to visit Cambodia

Birdwatching at Prek Toal in Cambodia

The sanctuary offers a great birdwatching experience and much more

Best time: January–May

Birdwatching at Prek Toal
Birdwatching at Prek Toal
Birdwatching at Prek Toal
Birdwatching at Prek Toal
Birdwatching at Prek Toal

Considered as on of the most important breeding grounds in Southeast Asia, Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary covers 31,282 hectares and is home to more than 150 bird species. It is a Ramsar site, part of the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve at the cognominal lake. Wonderful natural landscapes and high botanical diversity makes this place worth visiting for everyone.

There is a great opportunity to arrange an overnight stay in a floating village nearby, which can be an unforgettable experience. The best time of year for viewing is the dry season when migratory birds congregate at Prek Toal. Large flocks of storks and pelicans are almost guaranteed from January to May, along with herons, egrets, Asian openbills, greater and lesser adjutants and other species. As the dry season progresses and the water goes away, the number of birds increases.

Practical info

What can you do in addition to birdwatching in Prek Toal?

In addition to birdwatching, you can visit the nearby floating village to learn about a local community and explore natural landscapes. Another option is to take a boat ride, and you can also enjoy the botanical diversity of the place. Furthermore, the Prek Toal Visitor Center provides educational context about the biodiversity of Tonle Sap and its significance to the nearby locals. Show more

Can Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary be visited in the rainy season?

Visiting Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary in the rainy season is possible but challenging. The transportation by boat can be limited, and traveling to the sanctuary can be rough due to heavy rainfall. The bird population and visibility may differ since water levels and bird migration cycles vary during this time. Therefore, the best time to visit the sanctuary is during the dry season when the lake water level is low. Show more

What is the ideal time to go birdwatching in Prek Toal?

The best time to go birdwatching in Prek Toal is early in the morning at sunrise. During this time, the birds are active, and the light is suitable for better bird identification and viewing. Late afternoon is also an excellent time for birdwatching as the birds return to their roosts for the night. The light is also conducive for viewing during this period. Show more

What is the estimated travel time from Siem Reap to Prek Toal?

It takes around two hours to travel from Siem Reap to Prek Toal by car or minivan. These vehicles are rentable from the Siem Reap City Center. Alternatively, visitors can choose either a ticketed boat service or a local long-tail boat ride that will take roughly 90 minutes or three hours, respectively. The local boat, however, travels more slowly than ticketed boats. Show more

Where can visitors reside near Prek Toal?

Visitors have two options for lodging near Prek Toal. One option is to stay in the floating village and experience living on the lake while learning about local culture. Alternatively, guests may choose to stay in Siem Reap, which provides a range of accommodations suitable for all budgets, including budget hostels and luxury resorts, and access to other nearby temples and attractions. Show more

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