Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary
Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary
4.5
About
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary and nearby attractions

The area
Reach out directly

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles47 reviews
Excellent
34
Very good
7
Average
3
Poor
2
Terrible
1

tony-travller
england47 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
It’s bit of. mission to get to the bird sanctuary. It takes about a couple of hours . From where you catch a boat which is over 20 mins fro Siem Reap it a good hour plus across the northern tip of Tonlie Sap lake . Then it’s a transfer into a small boat . But it’s so worth it . From that moment on its a paradise for bird watchers and non bird watchers ! Different types is storks , pelicans , fishing eagles , cormorants of all sorts and egrets are in great numbers . It’s incredible . Bring cameras , binoculars and loads of sunblock for a fabulous day out. Don’t forget lots of water too ....some of the best birdwatching I’ve seen from many parts of the world .
Written February 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheHumbleTravellers
Greater Noida, India702 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
It was our first visit to water bird sanctuary anywhere and we were very excited but things didnot went as per the plan. But before going into detail, want to update few things:-

a) This is a quite remote place to visit and there is no comfortable source of travelling available to reach here

b) You will start very early in the morning and reach one of the river docks, our route was all countryside and with almost zero roads, so it can be a bumpy ride in middle of no where

c) Post reaching dock, you will get into a boat which will take you to Prek Toral floating village. This boat is common motor boat and completely open so you might feel cold as its early in morning with wind coming at you at super speed, so do carry some jacket

d) Once you reach village, your guide will give you some knowledge of area.

Above all is for guidance for others and not issues.

Now issues I had:-

a) Language, she was just speaking with 50% things going above my head and i tried to check couple of times but accent is big problem. Still its not a big problem

b) We started journey to bird sanctuary in a kind of a local jet boat which create noise may be more louder than an airplane. This was the most terrifying part of our journey. How can we have such loud motor boats in natural reserves??

c) Boat driver and guide were just driving and driving and I had to shout among this loudiest boat to stop so that I can take few pics

Also there is a big man made bamboo/wood watch tower and you can climb it you want. It gives a good bird eye view of area but not necessarily view of birds

I was expecting a more calmer and trip with naturalist which will guide slowly and let us enjoy and capture nature.

Overall was able to take some good pics but nothing outstanding. It gave me more headache then pleasure.

Cambodia government in collaboration with locals need to treat this area with more care and love. Naturalists need to be more trained in accent so that foreigners can understand things better. Lot of things to be done here
Written May 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ian2005wine
Australia414 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2011 • Couples
Visiting the bird sanctuary is not just about bird spotting. To get there from Siem Reap involves a small boat trip across the North Eastern tip of the great Tonle Sap lake. This takes at least one hour, more if you temporarily get lost and stuck in the vast water hyacinth beds that clog the mouth of the Stang Sangker River, like we did.
The journey across the lake is very far from boring. You depart from and through the floating village of Chung Kneas. This is a Vietnamese community. Being within easy reach of Siem Reap it is clearly on the general tourist map. Our eventual destination was the Cambodian floating village of Prek Toal, not easily reached and almost untouched by mass tourism. The contrast in culture and style between the two villages is marked. Chung Kneas is more colourful, almost garish, commercial and busy. Prek Toal is much quieter and very much less commercial.
The floating villages are the result of the huge seasonal ebb and flow of the lake, Whole villages moving back and forth over large areas with the movement of the waters edge. It results in a unique lifestyle, with the obvious indicators being floating schools, churches, temples and shops. The boat trip takes you through traditional shrimp leases, the shrimps being caught in huge numbers of "bales" of twigs and rushes left floating in the water. If you successfully navigate your way through the water hyacinth beds, you might even be pursued up river, at a stately pace, by the Battambang "fast" ferry, which continues up river beyong Prek Toal.
The local Cambodian floating community has begun a co-operative, dedicated to raising money to educate disadvantaged children and preserving the local lifestyle and environment, including the wetlands that form the bird sanctuary. The Co-op women weave baskets and other items for sale from dried water hyacinth and, with advance notice, can provide a delicious and cheap lunch of local dishes - all far from the tourist press of Siem Reap. You can also visit a floating crocodile farm and get really close up and cuddly with a huge number (sadly the facilities are pretty small for the number of crocs involved) of Cambodian freshwater crocs, mid way in size between Australian freshwater and saltwater species. Interestingly, the crocodiles are exported whole to China for processing into leather products, as the Cambodians don't have the facilities to carry out the manufacture themselves.
We knowingly visited the bird sanctuary very early in the season in August.. It was still a relaxing, enjoyable and informative experience with the local guides happily talking about their life on the lake as well as searching out the various bird species. However there's no doubt that the wet lands are internationally important for many migratory bird species, and later in the season between October and December, will amply reward the serious bird watcher.
Written September 25, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

vaaards
Hanoi, Vietnam3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This is a description of four very amateur birdwatchers visiting Preak Toal.  It may seem I'm criticizing a lot here, but I write this so you know what to expect, actually we thought it would be much worse, didn't know if we would find somewhere to sleep at all... So since the tours from Siem Reap are so expensive and we passed by Prek Toal on our way from Battambang to Siem Reap anyway, our group decided to stay overnight in Prek Toal. We couldn't find any information about accomodation online, only Lonley Planet saying that there was basic accomodation availible. At first, the man who sold us tickets for the boat to Siem Reap, said it wasn't possible to stop in Preak Toal, but then it turned out that if we paid USD 5 extra they would leave us in Preak Toal and pick us up the next day. When we arrived, the locals were quite surprised, nobody spoke English, but using signs we established that sleeping and eating was possible. The accomodation is in the big concrete building of the Preak Toal Core Management Centre. There are at least 6 rooms with two double beds each. They give you somewhat clean sheets and blankets that look like towels (no sheet to put between your body and the blanket), also you get a towel. The rooms are a little bit dirty, there are mosquito nets on the windows, but they are broken in places (maybe it's a good idea to bring tape to fix them). We did find a few spiders (because we were really looking for them), they didnt seem dangerous, but if you have a phobia, it could be an issue. There are two shared bathrooms with hot water (provided there is electricity when you want to use them). The rooms cost us USD 20 per room (two people staying in each. We tried to bargain, but they refused to lower the price and we didn't really have another option but to take what they were offering. Also we manged to order dinner which was USD 5 per person and breakfast for USD 3. The dinner was very good - we got very tasty fish soup, then a lot of very good, fresh fried vegetables, fried egg, rice and small water. They didn't have any beer but they went to get it for us, we paid USD 1 per can.
As for birdwatching - you can climb up the center's roof to see some birds, but you would enjoy more with binoculars (which we didn't have). It was very hard to understand about the birdwatching tours, a guy who spoke no English showed us a paper which said it was USD 110 for four persons (so 27,5 per person), I think it started with 50 for one, 70 for two and 90 for three persons, but I might be wrong. The annoying part was that we didn't understand how long would it be, what is included and at what time we leave. Somehow with drawings we understood that we would leave at 6:00 next morning.
So we spent the afternoon just relaxing, playing cards, watching birds and crocodiles - you can see a crocodile farm from the balcony.
After the dinner we went to sleep. I woke up at 23, there was a loud wedding somewhere in the village and it was very hot because there was no electricity and the ventilator wasn't running anymore (they use solar panels, so I guess there wasn't enough power for the entire night). At 6 we had the breakfast which was fried rice with egg and coffee. Then we had the sunrise tour and it was amazing! Our boatman, of course, didn't explain anything, just gave us a poster with photos of the most common species, but it didn't matter, we saw a lot of birds and actually this was one the best birdwatching tours we have done. Great Adjutant was one of the most impressive species we saw, of course there were lots of egrets, oriental darters, bee-eaters, herons and storks. It only lasted two hours and after 8 we were back. Then at  about 13:30 the boat from Battambang picked us up to bring to Siem Reap. Overall, it was a great experience and I'm very happy we decided to do it. If you decide to stay there and don't want to pay for food, bring some with you (along with water) as you can't really go anywhere without a boat to buy it.
Written March 13, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

brianwest4
London, UK97 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2015 • Couples
We had an almost identical experience to that of Ian J on 2nd March. The birdlife was fantastic, amongst the best we've ever seen and the floating village was fascinating. The children were lovely and frantically waved at us as we passed by. We found the journey however somewhat gruelling with the bumpy road and the noisy boat which did not have an on-board toilet. We got back to our hotel around 2:30pm, having set off at 5:30am and both of us felt worn out with our stomachs badly shaken up by the bumpy road. We soon recovered and were glad to have seen the wonderful birdlife.
Written March 21, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

497ianj
Bakewell, England, United Kingdom93 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2015 • Couples
If you are remotely interested in seeing some of South Est Asia's water birds, this is the trip for you.It involves a pre-dawn start from your hotel, and in dry season a rather bumpy drive along a dried out canal bank to get to enough water to float a boat , passing a modern Wat en route . The interest starts here , however, as there is a lively rudimentary fish market under -way at dawn. The small but comfortably seated boat (with very basic loo at rear) then makes its way out to the Tonle Sap lake, past a very genuine floating fishing village with modern floating school. Quaint to see the kids in school uniform taking themselves to school by canoe. Crossing the lake takes about an hour and there is not much to see, a few herons and terns etc and lots of fishing nets.
Once at the reserve you transfer into smaller boats, which unfortunately are also powered by noisey two stroke engines.We were given the option to visit the tower, but refused, given the previous reviews, and instead just cruised slowly along a gradually narrowing canal through the reserve. This was an incredible birding experience as there were literally thousands of waterbirds taking off right in front of us for the hour or so it took to glide slowly along. The birds were mostly Chinese Pond Heron, Night Heron, Intermediate Egrets,Spot-billed Pelican, Black headed Ibis, Oriental Darter, Open-billed Storks , Painted Storks, and cormorants and terns, but we also saw Grey-headed Fish Eagle and Greater and Lesser Adjutants, plus some smaller herons, and Langur monkeys, and when moored at the side several smaller passerines.
It is not necessary to have binoculars because the birds are quite close, but clearly it is better to have them, and our guide Kunthea would have provided them if necessary. We took a packed lunch and it was a 10 hour trip door to door back to the hotel. Kunthea , the guide, was an excellent bird spotter and identifier, and helped to make this a truely memorable trip, worth taking whether you have just an amateur interest in birds/ wildlife or are experienced international birders.The one thing that would have made it even better would have been to have silent electric boats. Nevertheless this is a worldclass birding experience not to be missed.
Given the scrambling about getting into small boats this is not suitable for people with very limited mobility.
Written March 2, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marjorie P
Alameda, CA57 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017 • Couples
We spent a day birding at the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary and Reserve in December, which is the start of the dry season, after making arrangements by email with the Sam Veasna Center for Wildlife Conservation. I've included the Center's web address. Our guide, who spoke good English, and driver picked us up before dawn at our hotel and before sunrise we transferred into a boat with about 8 seats maneuvered by the owner's son. We watched the small fishing boats arrive to negotiate with the wholesalers as we headed along a river into the marsh area at the northern end of the Tonle Sap Lake, ending at a floating fishing village. There we climbed to the rooftop viewing platform to look for birds while we ate our to-go breakfast. Our guide, while looking for and pointing out birds perched below us or flying in the distance, explained that the Sanctuary hired local bird hunters and trained them to serve as rangers; they now patrol the Sanctuary to protect the birds from hunters.

Then in a smaller wooden canoe we went into the sanctuary, moving through pathways between reeds and marsh bushes; sometimes we seemed to be creating a new path, but we saw birds along the way, many of them new to a birder from north America. We arrived at the destination, a viewing platform high in a tree, reached by climbing a ladder of branches roped together. With the scope our guide brought, we could see hundreds of birds circling, roosting in the treetops, and sitting on nests. The Painted Storks, Asian Openbills and Spot-billed Pelicans seemed to be everywhere, although they were actually clustered separately on their tree tops.

Another group of visitors arrived, so we reluctantly gave up our spaces on the tree-top platform for the return trip through the marsh, again seeing storks, openbills, herons, darters and bee-eaters. At the floating village we explored a workshop where local women weave floor mats, baskets and numerous other containers from dried and dyed stalks of the ubiquitous water hyacinth. Stalks were drying on the walkway outside the workshop. Lunch was served next door, in another floating building. Then we climbed back into our first, larger, boat for the trip back to our waiting driver and the ride back to the hotel. Our pictures do not do justice to the memories of a glorious day on the water looking at birds.
Written December 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MamboMumbai
Mumbai, India115 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2010 • Friends
Loved this tour. Paid a non profit to take me on it. They even provided me breakfast. The guide was extremely professional, knew all his birds and came armed with professional quality telescope and binocs. Saw sarus cranes and many other birds including waders as we went to mangroves.
Written October 31, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hendrik_NL
Vlaardingen, The Netherlands7,852 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2016 • Couples
It is not easy to reach Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary. It was "low water" season, so first a tuk-tuk ride over incredibly bad dirt roads to the boat landing. Then via the Meychrey Floating Village, over Tonle Sap Lake to the Prek Toal Floating Village, where the office of the management of the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary is situated. Here we had to switch boats to an official Sanctuary boat. Only official boats with a Sanctuary boat man may go there with tourists. Here I would like to place a critical remark about the Sanctuary management. Their boats have a noisy outboard motor, disturbing the birds in the Sanctuary. That the management don't use electrical propelled boats is a missed chance. However, the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary is such a glorious place for birds that we observed many species. Common birds like the egret or the pelican, but also the interesting Indian cormorant and the very rare greater adjutant. The number of greater adjutant in the world is now reduced to a couple of hundred; part of this population live in Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary. We were very happy to spot this bird. Despite the less than comfortable trip, the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary is worth the journey.
Written February 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ColoradoVirginia
colorado316 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2014 • Solo
The tour of Prek Toal is mostly on the water and is fantastic. I saw so many birds, especially painted storks, spoonbills, eagles, egrets, etc. A special sight is a large pond of painted storks on a pond of lotuses
Written April 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 38
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Siem Reap HotelsSiem Reap Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Siem Reap
All things to do in Siem Reap
Day Trips in Siem Reap
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars