Tonlé Sap also being translated as Great Lake, is one of the unique geographical wonders of the world. It offers visitors insights into the centuries-old traditions of riparian life and the natural splendor of the country. On the banks of the mighty Great Lake and the Tonlé Sap and Mekong Rivers, Khmers have celebrated for over two hundred years the changing of the river's flow. During the rainy season the Tonlé Sap River reversed direction, flooding the lake, increasing its size almost tenfold, making it the largest freshwater body in Southeast Asia.
In the flood season, water engulfs surrounding forests, regulating agricultural production by ensuring that the countryside is covered with fresh, fertile silt for rice cultivation.
The rivers and lakes of Cambodia are truly the lifeline for the largely agrarian and fishing society. The ancient Temples of Angkor depict in exquisite bas relief detail how the life along the lake affected all walks of Khmer life.