We visited in March 2007 and after having travelled through a channel of murky water into the open waters of Tonle Sap, we saw a cluster of floating houses, with floating pig-styes and all, boats and flaoting restaurants. Literally, it was a floating village. That was the dry season.
We visited again this August as part of a longer trip to Kompong Phhluk. Since it was the rainy season and the Tonle Sap was literally 'nearer' to Siem Reap town and to the point of embarkation onto our boat now was at least 20 minutes faster. The water was also much clearer and was definitely more pleasent. The banks of the riverine was however still muddy and all. Exactly where you stopped to embark depends on what, which and whose boat you are travelling on.
In August, there were more boat along the riverine leading out to the open waters. When the boat approached the open waters of the lake I looked out in anticipation for Chong Kneas village but where was it? Not a house or boat in sight!
Then I was told that the houses and boats scattered along the sides in the riverine on the way out were the units making the Chong Kneas village. Apparently, they cluster out on the open waters during the dry season (which was a prettier sight) but during the rainy season when the lake 'grows', they all come nearer inland, spread along the banks - thus making it less of a 'village' as such.
There are some floating restaurants and souveniers shops and inevitably, the boats will dock on one of these - all very commercial, why not, it is after all still somewhat different. What is sad is that one of the boat restaurants You can have your cold drinks here although you are not obligated to buy anything. They even have viewing platforms on top for visitors to hang around to catch the sunset (which is better during the dry months when the village is out in the open lake).
What to do/observe: there is this one or two little boys paddling around the floating restaurants in a round tub trying to attract your attention. Try the fresh shrimps (taken out holding nets beside the boat as and when there is an order), either deep fried or just boiled and eaten with some sauce - fantastically sweet. However, a word of caution - where it comes - from the water around the boat and 'everything' goes into the water, if you know what I mean. Tried it on both occasions and still ok. Of course, they also sell dried/smoked snakes as well.
Commercial or not, it is still worth a visit if not for getting out of the temple circuit for a break.