Exploring Cambodia’s Silk Island

Photo by hodag/flickr.com

At Cambodia’s capital, who would have thought that among the skyscrapers and concrete panorama of Phnom Penh, there lies an island that shows off a wildly different side of the capital city. This island is referred to by the locals as Koh Dach, but affectionately called the Silk Island, Phnom Penh. What lies on this seemingly mythical Silk Island and what is the history behind its name?

Getting to Silk Island or Koh Dach

To find out its secrets, you will need to cross the Mekong river as it is the only way to access the island not far away from the city center. There are many ways you can do this. If you subscribed to a tour service, they may organize a comfortable cruise for you to travel to and around the island perimeter with ease.

If you are young at heart and prefer to travel like the locals, a tuk-tuk can take you to a ferry terminal to board the life-sustaining connection of the island people. If you brought along your scooter, you may ride the ferry with it and have the freedom to roam on the island on two wheels.

The welcoming scenery

Arriving at the ferry landing, you will encounter the typical scene of a port village where goods are being exported and imported across the river. You will also encounter a thematic sighting of merchants in their shops or on the streets, marketing the very soul of Koh Dach — linens and clothing made of silk, with hundreds of enchanting colors.

It is so easy to get lost in the beauty of the port village neighborhood, as you will find numerous shops and restaurants that cater to the visitors of the island. In the shade, tuk-tuk taxis are parked waiting for the people who would like to see more of the island. We highly recommend that you take them and go on a Cambodia culture trip, as the island’s charms are yet to come into full view.

The weaving center

The art of silk weaving dates back to pre-Angkorian times, when silk was the object of royalty, and when this wealthy silk-producing region was the envy of powerful empires to the west of the Indian Ocean. On the island, silk weaving communities attempt to keep the traditional method alive. Weavers operate wooden tools, loyal to the original designs of their predecessors with little mechanization. These artists truly trust their hands to fine tune and control the delicate silk.

Meanwhile traveling across the countryside reveals how much simple life could be as a Cambodian farmer living in these areas. Cattles graze freely while ducks march across the paddy fields to hunt down insects that would otherwise have destroyed the crops. The serene and peaceful atmosphere can make you forget that you are technically only 4 km from the city center.

Enjoy a peaceful sleep near Phnom Penh

The Balé Phnom Penh is a resort near the Mekong river, perfectly located across the Silk Island Phnom Penh and shares the same refreshing environment that is wildly different from the city center. Our complete resort services such as private fine dining and event organization complements the incredible experience of staying in our luxurious rooms. Visit our homepage to learn more.