Silk Island Vlog
Fancy a trip to Silk Island? Well if the heat congestion and chaos of Phnom Penh is getting to you then you’ll be happy to know that there are a few short rest bites from the city just across the other side of the river.
In this post we’ll be heading off to Koh Dach (Silk Island). We decided to drive our own motos over there. Now you can of course arrange a tuk tuk or even one of the river cruises to take you over there but we opted to do it ourselves just because that’s the way we like it.
So fairly early in the morning we set off, go pros mounted and cameras ready to capture the day. We rode north up riverside and then took the Japanese bridge over to Chroy Chang Va. Once on the Chroy Chang Va roundabout take the third exit and follow highway 6 until you reach the Crystal Hotel. There will be a turning on your right where you pass under a Chinese Style archway, follow the road and turn left and you’ll be driving parallel with the river until you reach the ferry terminal.
The ferries themselves are fairly regular all day and cost just 1500 riel per moto to cross the river.
Once you depart the ferry make sure you take the left hand turn and not the right hand turn. The right hand turn leads to the so called “Community Silk Island” which is a pretty poor attempt at a tourist attraction.
Here we found what’s supposed to be a mock traditional Cambodian Silk weaving village as well as some monkeys, exotic birds and even porcupines in cages sat baking in the sun and looking sorry for themselves. I doubt this is the experience you’re looking for.
The real village is just a kilometer or so down the road from ferry terminal and the traditional Khmer homes with looms underneath are a dead giveaway. If you see the School called “Coco Nut School”, stop there and you are bound to find somebody that can give you a tour of the village. We met Nary who is a resident of the village and kindly offered to show us where her family home was and how they produce silk garments themselves.
Now we know what you’re thinking, “she could have scammed you into going to her home”……. But look, we wanted an adventure in the real Cambodia so that’s what we went for.
Nary’s home was just a few meters down the road and had two large looms inside, she showed us how they process the silk into sarongs and Kroma’s. She told us “A Kroma takes 5 days to make; a sarong takes 3 days to make”. According to Nary her family had been making their living this way for generations. Nary had been taught by her mother when she was just 12 years old and nearly every household on the island has some kind of attachment to silk production.
We were shown table runners, Kroma’s and sarongs but we won’t get into the pricing debate, haggling and what price you might pay compared to shops in the city. The way we see it is we’d rather buy from a genuine Cambodian community and pay a bit more given the experience and adventure that comes with it.
Once we’d bought a few souvenirs we continued down the road to Koh Dach beach. Now before you get any ideas about golden sands and palm trees think again. It cost us $1 per motorbike to get in and really it’s just some huts and gazebos that line the river, but it’s a nice break from the heat, and they do serve food. A whole chicken, some rice, bottles of water to refuel us after all that driving around in the sun was well needed.
All in all a great day out, so get out there and give it a go!! Go live it love it and share it with us!!