The Tonle Sap Lake near Siem Reap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. It’s one of the richest inland fishing grounds in the world and home to over one million people. Up to 1000 families live directly on the water in houseboats which create pockets of floating villages throughout this 1,042 sq mile lake in Cambodia.
The river population is a mix of ethnic groups: Cambodian, Vietnamese and some Chinese families all crowd onto the self-built boats and rafts. Floating stores, schools, an ice factory, a Buddhist pagoda and even a Catholic church have been built. The inhabitants make a living from fishing or bartering.
Today, the existence of the villages is additionally threatened, because the government intend to close them down in the foreseeable future and relocate the inhabitants.
Steff Gruber's documentation of life on the Tonle Sap Lake, like the Smor San, Railway Community and Boeung Trabek, is a long-term project that started in 2017.
Camera (digital): Nikon Z6 with Nikkor-Z zoom-lens 24-70mm/2.8
Nikkor-Z zoom lens 14-30mm/4
To the website living-on-water.org