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Why MEKONG ISLAND (KOH DACH) is special ?
Koh Dach is a charming 30 square-kilometre island located on the banks of Mekong River, upstream of Phnom Penh. It is a tiny, secluded and sleepy island in the province of Kandal in Cambodia which is just 12km northeast the capital city of Phnom Penh. Aside from a few cars, one would mostly see motorcycles, bicycles, and a few horse or ox-drawn work vehicles on an unpaved main road that runs parallel to the river. The island is approximately 10 kilometers end to end and is surrounded by the Mekong River, accessible via the National Road 6A by crossing the Japanese Friendship Bridge from Phnom Penh. Arriving at the Pek Leap/Koh Dach Ferry port, a short ferry ride across the Mekong River brings you to Mekong Island where the Koh Dach commune resides.
What to explore at MEKONG ISLAND (KOH DACH)?
Perhaps the key highlight of Mekong Island is its cohesive village communities that represent the rural ethnicity of this country. In other words, the island stands out for its unspoiled surroundings, where houses are erected on stilts and people lead a simple lifestyle while earning their livelihood primarily from agriculture, fishing and silk weaving.
One of the not-to-miss communes of the island is Koh Dach, sometimes dubbed as the country’s silk weaving centre, as there are thousands of silk weavers producing quality silk under their stilted houses’ dappled space. For a fun experience, be sure to try to weave silk on spinning wheels made using bicycle parts, in addition to buying silk fabric directly from producers.
Besides silk, Koh Dach is known for its fresh crops and fruit produce such as beans, corn, bananas and sesame. Koh Dach is also home to pagodas including Ampor Phal, Kra Pumpich and Sa Maki Kbal Koh. Another activity that you can enjoy here, especially during summer, is swimming at the beach at the northern part of the island. Lined with thatched picnic huts and food stalls, this beach also provides a perfect backdrop for a cool, memorable day out.
Likewise, if you are on the lookout for something refreshing during your trip to Mekong Island, then a bike ride through the beautiful orchards and quaint farmland is highly recommended. Above all, a tour to Mekong Island is incomplete without enjoying its sunset views. Specialized boat cruises are available to take in the sweeping vistas of the sunset at the convergence of three rivers – the Mekong, the Tonle Basac and the Tonle Sap.
How to get to MEKONG ISLAND (KOH DACH)?
One of the best ways to access Mekong Island is to take a cruise boat from Sisowath Quay in Phnom Penh. It usually takes 2.5 hours per round trip, and the cruise will include visiting the handicraft centre at Koh Dach, sunset views and Khmer snacks. Alternatively, you can hire a tuk-tuk from the city to the Japanese Bridge, from where you can continue your journey to the island by ferry.
- “Takes you back in time”
- “Half day getaway from the city”
- “Lovely island”
- “Silk Weaving Island - a wonderful experience”
- “Well worth a half-day trip”
Koh Dach island, Phnom Penh
Tips for you
From reading some of the reviews on Silk Island I have found that the most important thing is to get a good Tuk Tuk driver as a guide.We visited Silk Island and had a very good Tuk Tuk driver/guide.Silk Island is about 35 km outside Phnom Penh on the Mekong river. The road to the island can be quite bumpy and I would recommend the wearing of a mask as if it is dry there is a lot of dust and fumes.You have to take a ferry over the Mekong which cost $1 each for return trip...the ferry is different with all the locals piling on.We were taken to a tourist place where they showed us the full cycle of making the silk...from the worm to the finished product. There is also a shop there where you can buy some of the products and surprisingly at very reasonable prices. Cost of tour of the silk farm was only $1 each.Great to go and have a look. Can wander around the farm ad there are lots of ponds and animal statues...including kangaroos,.Was told that the works there basically work there for very little just to get some money and can stay on the farm. Described as a Liittle village in itself.
We hired a driver for this trip but on the day of the tour, the driver didn't show up. Instead the driver asked his friend to come along and chauffeur us to the Island and we were shocked the new driver did not speak English and did not know where we were going. Thankfully, that was before we left the resort and the resort staff helped us by telling him where we wanted to go.When we were about to cross the river to the Silk island, we were horrified to note that the ferry was meant to transport locals, tourists, vehicles and goods. There was even a lorry carrying many cages of chickens on the same ferry.We were disappointed when we reached the Island. There was nothing much to see on the Island. There were many households with dogs and the whole time we were there, we were surrounded by fierce barking dogs. Though the driver didn't know English and could hardly communicate with us, he knew we were afraid of dogs and so he kept shielding us from the dog. We were grateful.We took long walk before we saw some families weaving silk. Nothing spectacular.There was supposed to be an area where the homemade silk were to be sold but we could not locate it. Disappointed.My verdict on the Silk Island, if you really must go, get a guide to go with you.
This was a fun day out, the hotel negotiated the price with one of their tuk tuk drivers which we thought was fair, having read various comments in the TA forums.It involved a ferry trip across the huge Mekong River. There is a purpose built museum which tried to explain the process of silk making from moth to material. It would have been more interesting to know where the moths came from, fed etc as there were just a few moths on a flat basket on newspaper. There were lots of silk pupae, but then the next process of preparing the cocoons for unwinding and weaving was not evident.There is a small shop selling mostly scarves, I will say we saw a lot of silk scarves on sale throughout Cambodia, but ones we bought here were the softest and prettiest we saw. It was fascinating to watch the ladies weaving miles of silk material with intricate patterns and colours.It was a change to get out of the city.
From reading some of the reviews on Silk Island I have found that the most important thing is to get a good Tuk Tuk driver as a guide. We visited Silk Island and had a very good Tuk Tuk driver/guide. Silk Island is about 35 km outside Phnom Penh on the Mekong river. The road to the island can be quite bumpy and I would recommend the wearing of a mask as if it is dry there is a lot of dust and fumes. You have to take a ferry over the Mekong which cost $1 each for return trip...the ferry is different with all the locals piling on. We were taken to a tourist place where they showed us the full cycle of making the silk...from the worm to the finished product. There is also a shop there where you can buy some of the products and surprisingly at very reasonable prices. Cost of tour of the silk farm was only $1 each. Great to go and have a look. Can wander around the farm ad there are lots of ponds and animal statues...including kangaroos,.Was told that the works there basically work there for very little just to get some money and can stay on the farm. Described as a Liittle village in itself.