Siem Reap, Cambodia: Tonle Sap Rip Off Boat Tour (Not recommended)

By Tin Gallemaso - 1:00:00 PM

This place ruined the whole Cambodia trip for us. It was interesting to see the Tonle Sap and learn about its importance for the Cambodian people and even the floating village was also a sight to see but we only felt taken advantage of when we went here. Price of the tour wasn't worth it, might as well go to the Mekong Delta since the color of the water is the same anyway. We "donated" sack of rice to the children's school since our guide told us that most of the kids living there are orphans. We thought that we did something nice only to find out later from other travelers that it might be a modus/scam to get more money from the tourists travelling to their area and that they return the sacks to the store once the tourists leave to sell again the next day.

-this was the review I wrote in Google maps and it has been getting upvotes from others since I posted it there.


Sabi nga ng friend ko na nag solo travel dito sa Cambodia, "kung garapal sila, dapat mas garapal ka." I even saw someone who posted that he spent 100 USD in just thirty minutes and the river cruise payment is still excluded. -_-


HOW NOT TO GET SCAMMED IN CAMBODIA link: here.


May mali din naman kami. Hindi namin masyado na-research 
'yung lugar kaya kahit anong recommendations back then ng locals, go kami. The truth it Cambodia tour was memorable and nice until we visited this place. Ito lang talaga 'yung nagpasira sa lahat eh to think na wala naman talagang special about this place lalo na kung laking Pilipinas ka. :))) 


May Pasig river din naman tayo, eh. 


So for 30 USD each na hindi fixed, probably depending sa dami niyo o kung mukha kayong mayaman o hindi... it's a different price for everyone and I'm not sure how they price it. Isipin na lang natin an mukha kaming mayaman kasi may mga nagbayad ng 15 USD lang per person haha! :)) You get to ride a boat and tour this part of Tonle Sap. You'd learn more about its history and its importance for the Cambodian people. Sounds nice, noh? Not bad since you're able to support their livelihood naman...

  



Until you get to this part of the tour then it feels like you've submitted yourself a syndicate that will leave you no choice but to hand them your USD. 


It's like a mafia/modus, whatever you call it to take money from tourists. Of course, when you don't research enough and it's the same thing that happened to us, you'd believe everything they said is true. The community really felt poor after all with their houses built on stilts but still not an excuse to milk money from tourists!!!! 


Okay, so you'd start the tour with the guides telling you how poor they were and how pitiful the children are in this area and you end it with the guides telling you that you can help the children by donating rice... DONATION WITH A FIXED PRICE AND TIP WITH A FIXED PRICE. Was it because they're using USD that's why they kinda adopted the tipping culture of the US?!


Anyway, so we donated rice just to get it over with 'cause we were starting to get annoyed and then we approached the kids to alleviate the feeling. 


So okay, that was a lot of money for less than an hour of touring around this place but the main thing that annoyed us is that this is just for show. Yep, the people are indeed poor but then, this whole thing is a sham. We didn't help the needy, we just gave money to a mafia. Kinda felt like that. So sad.

The only way you'd find out that you were tricked is when you search it on the internet after you go back to the hotel, counted all your expenses, and realized that they've gotten a lot of money from you.


This was our 60 USD boat with 20 USD tip for our driver and guide and above all there goes our 30 USD for a sack of rice. :(((



If still, you insist on going on this tour, just be firm!! Know what you want to see or if there's a more budget-friendly way of seeing Tonle Sap then by all means, choose that option.


Travelling has always been a fun and a learning experience. After this, I've been comfortable in saying no if I don't like something and I've learned to call people's attention if I feel like I've been taken advantage of. If that was the price I had to pay in becoming a stronger person then I now forgive the people of Tonle Sap but I'll never forget. I wish them well so they'd stop taking advantage of tourists who want nothing but good memories in their country.

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