On the shores of the Tonle Sap lake, 15km south of the Cambodian city of Siem Reap, there is a community of people whose lives ebb and flow with the >currents of the 4000km-long Mekong River – which feeds Tonle Sap.
The floating village of Chong Kneas has a population of roughly 5000 people living on the water and from the water. It’s no surprise that fishing is the main source of income for the people of Chong Kneas. And although the water is plentiful, Chong Kneas is not a thriving community; It is in fact a poor settlement. The floating homes are not equipped with proper sanitation and clean water is a rarity – the people here simply consume the water around them. The village doesn’t have a permanent address: as the water recedes during the dry season, bottoming out in April, the floating houses relocate further into the lake. When the wet season arrives, peaking in October, villagers move back inland.
The population of Chong Kneas includes Cambodian, Vietnamese and Cham (muslims), who co-exist peacefully. The Vietnamese settled here decades ago, having fled from the Khmer Rouge regime in the late 1970s.This series was photographed during Gary Knight's workshop in Siem Reap, July 2009