Koh Dach is the countryside face of the loud and busy Phnom Penh city. It’s also known as “silk island” because the livelihood of most of its residents is silk weaving. This is the best place for you to get a chance to have an interaction with the locals. You can learn about their culture while enjoying the serene and nature-rich environment of Mekong Island.
Koh Dach was the next one on our list after visiting Wat Phnom. We started by paying around $4.00 for the ferry so that our Tuk Tuk can board on it. We had to wait for 20 minutes before the ferry arrived. Apparently, our travel time to the island was 20 minutes as well. It looks like our ferry just departed Koh Dach when we arrived at the ferry station.
It was great to have a better feel of the Tonle Sap River during our trip. We’ve been seeing it from the Royal Palace Park so it was a pleasure to get the chance to have a boat ride on it. It feels like we’re there to escape the hot and noisy city so we can settle into a more peaceful and laidback town.
Upon reaching Koh Dach, my wife and I immediately talked about how it looks like we’re just at home. Living in a province here in the Philippines, seeing animal carts is very typical for us. The broad and relaxing greeneries, absence of road traffic and simple way of living are just some of the common elements that we’ve seen in this part of Phnom Penh.
Unlike in the province of Siem Reap, most of the houses here are made out of lower-cost materials like wood and galvanized iron sheets. The use of house posts for greater elevation is also common in the Philippines. You can get better ventilation in those types of houses because of the stronger wind flow above. The gaps on the bamboo floor allow the air to come in from below as well.
Our Tuk Tuk driver brought us to one of the houses where we met a friendly family that gave us a warm welcome. After our short introduction, they immediately brought us to one of their looms. One of the ladies showcased how they’re manually weaving the clothes. Although she made it look so easy, it’s definitely a grueling work. There’s also a certain pattern that they should strictly follow to have an even distribution of colors.
We also saw a classic wooden spinning wheel. It reminded me of a famous Disney character but I haven’t seen anything sharp or pointy in it. We were told that it’s used to make a yarn but I wish that we’ve seen it in action. Some colorful yarns can be found just beside it but they looked like something that was made by a modern machine.
My wife ended up checking out some of their finished products then she brought some of them. Our tour on this small island is short and sweet but enriching. It was nice to interact with the locals and seeing them happy in their modest lifestyle makes you appreciate the simple things in life.