Friday, March 30, 2007

A fishy tale in Kompong Khleang

This young girl was amongst a group of women of all ages who were gutting the day's catch of fish in the village of Kompong Khleang, during my visit there in January. In fact, under the stilts of every second or third house along the main street, were groups of women, happy in their work, and keen to engage me in banter and laughter. I was invited to lunch by two of the groups and even asked to return three days later for a big festival in the village. Everyone was ultra friendly. Kompong Khleang is the biggest of the floating villages on the Tonle Sap Lake, believed to house about 30,000 inhabitants but for my visit, we managed to drive our 4WD all the way to the village, whereas for much of the year, the houses are built on very large stilts for good reason. Aside from the upper half of the market, the main pagoda and the primary school, the rest of the village is under water for long periods. Like its neighboring floating village, Kompong Phluk, it makes for a very interesting and engaging half-day trip from Siem Reap. Its 51kms from door to door. Give it a go, you won't be disappointed.

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