Friday, 15 May 2020

Photo essay: Exploring Koh Dach, a sleepy escape from Phnom Penh

farm phnom pen silkwinds
A farmer takes his cattle out to the nearby grazing fields. Despite the island’s proximity to the bustling capital, days on Koh Dach remain simple and unhurried.
Koh Dach phnom penh silkwinds
Wat Ampor Pal is one of five ancient Buddhist temples spread out at 1km intervals along Koh Dach’s west coast. Oral history states that the island was deserted during the Khmer Rouge era, save for a lone Buddhist monk who remained to take care of these temples.
Koh Oknha Tei villager phnom pnom silkwinds
A local villager skirts a puddle on the way to the morning market on Koh Oknha Tei, a picturesque islet connected to Koh Dach via a narrow concrete bridge.
Athink Kam Sroun phnom penh silkwinds
Koh Dach’s silk weaving tradition lives on in craftsmen like Athink Kam Sroun, who belongs to a family that has been creating handwoven silk fabrics for over three generations. Although their products supply souvenir stores on the mainland, she has noticed more tourists visiting the shop on Koh Dach.
beancurd skin phnom penh silkwinds
Sheets of beancurd skin – a local Khmer-Chinese delicacy – are hung out to dry at a factory in Kbal Koh Village, on the island’s east side. Most of the local businesses are small, family-run operations.
kralan phnom penh silkwinds
A vendor sells kralan, or sticky rice cooked in a bamboo tube, to people taking the 10-minute boat ride from Phnom Penh to Koh Dach.
Koh Dach’s only market phnom penh silkwinds
Locals flock to Koh Dach’s only market, which has a wide selection of produce, cooked food items and other daily necessities.
Wat Sameakki Kbal Kaoh phnom penh silkwinds
A villager parks his bicycle at Wat Sameakki Kbal Kaoh, on the island’s busier east side. This area hosts more businesses and even a small expat community.
Pou Preah End Pagoda phnom penh silkwinds
Sunset over Koh Dach shows this atmospheric view of the Pou Preah End Pagoda. From Phnom Penh, the ferry to the island can be reached via a northward drive along National Road 6.

SilkAir flies daily between Singapore and Phnom Penh. To book a flight, visit singaporeair.com

SEE ALSO: Wildest dreams: Saving Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains

This article was originally published in the July 2019 issue of Silkwinds magazine

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