Get away from Phnom Penh and explore
A bit tired of the chaos and city pace of Phnom Penh? A short ride from it there’s a peaceful and relaxing island on the Mekong where you can experience a countryside lifestyle and genuine people. Rent a bicycle and come explore Koh Dach, also known as Silk Island due to its silk farms and weaving tradition.
Welcome to Koh Dach.
2. Getting to Koh Dach
It’s just twelve kilometers long but there’s a lot to cycle on this island for a perfect day getaway from Phnom Penh. The route is full of farms and little paths to go along the river. Enjoy the fresh breeze on your face and smiley children saying hello on the way. To get there keep going north of Phnom Penh to cross the Japanese Friendship bridge to the other side of Tonle Sap river. On reaching a roundabout continue going straight, following the signs of the national road number 6 to regions in the north such as Siem Reap.
3. Taking the Ferry
After around three kilometers turn in one of the small lanes to your right, where you can start asking to locals about the ferry. As soon as you find the pier, pay the ticket (700 riels for a person and bicycle) and get on board. The ferry fills up quickly and the journey itself it’s just a couple of minutes.
4. Exploring the island
When you reach the island keep in mind that it’s actually composed of two different but very close islands. Now you are in the southern tip of the bigger island in front of a steel bridge which connects to the second island. Some of the places to visit are –
- Small beach nearby
- Silk farms
- Local houses with ladies weaving beautiful textiles like Krama or Cambodian scarf which can be a perfect memoir. While going around tourist can chat with local women and also buy some products to support the tradition and local economy.
Work in progress.
5. Silk farm
Travellers can witness the whole process of producing silk from the worms. If interested Community Silk Island offers a step by step guide explaining the production process for a fee of 1$.
6. Accommodation options
In case you are thinking to stay for the night, there are different accommodation options for diverse budgets. Le Kroma Villa or Villa Koh Dach Guesthouse are on the expensive side and more comfortable. Le Kroma Villa also has a pool where you can pay a couple of bucks and relax. If you’re looking for something inexpensive, try the home stays with local families. These can be as low as $5 per night.
While cycling around the island try to spot some of these kind of artistic sculptures with traditional materials.
If you are staying some days in Phnom Penh and want to experience an authentic and quiet place but still near the busy capital, then Koh Dach is perfect for you. With the advantage of learning more about the Khmer tradition of silk weaving, or wasn’t this cute place known in english as the Silk Island!