Today Kamping Puoy Lake is a large recreational lake located between two hills, and is popular with locals at weekends enjoying the pleasant views, picnic spots, swimming, and renting boats to explore the lake. However, the current tranquility belies the fact that Kamping Puoy was one of the Khmer Rouge’s grander schemes – a massive hand built dam stretching for about 8km between the two hillsides. It is said that as many as 10,000 Cambodians perished during its construction, worked to death under the shadow of executions, malnutrition and disease. There is no monument to these victims however the defunct irrigation system from the reservoir has recently been restored and the much needed water now feeding the surrounding rice fields makes a fitting memorial. If you are a keen bird watcher there is the possibility to see various birds, such as herons, egrets, pygmy cotton geese, whistling ducks, and lily trotters amongst others. Kamping Puoy is 36km south west of Battambang down a rough road that starts just beyond Phnom Sampeau.
How to get to Kamping Puoy Lake
Kamping Puoy is a reservoir located around 30km from the town of Battambang accessible by a new road. The trip out here is part of the attraction as it passes through some stunning countryside. Once at the reservoir there are a number of food and drink stalls to rest at and it is possible to charter a boat to take you out on the lake and maybe visit some of the people who live in stilt houses.
The reservoir was built by the Khmer Rouge in one of their grander schemes and thousands of people died during its construction. It is popular with locals at the weekend who come out here with picnics.