koh trong

A man makes the bamboo pieces for a fishing trap on Koh Trong Island, Cambodia

A short ferry ride from the small city of Kratie lies one of Cambodia’s best kept secrets. What looks like the far shore is actually a narrow island in the middle of the Mekong River dotted with rice fields, a few houses, and some of the friendliest people I’ve met in all of southeast Asia.

Everyone I stopped to talk to was willing to chat with me even though we shared no common language. They still smiled and temporarily stopped what they were doing to share the nature of their craft with me. Some were fishermen back from their catch, others were constructing fishing traps or plowing their fields with oxen. I’ve never meet such hardworking people that were simultaneously so laid-back.

The island is called Koh Trong and it was my favorite place in all of Cambodia. All I did was ride my bicycle around the island and chat with locals. And that was enough. That’s the magic of communities along the Mekong.

 

farms on Ko Treung

hay and wagon

Rice and corn

A beach on Ko Treung

The day's catch

Untangling fish from the net

Preparing the fish catch

Rice paddies on Ko Treung

Making a bamboo fish trap on Ko Treung

Making a bamboo fish trap on Ko Treung

Northernmost point of Ko Treung