Friday, January 7, 2011

Kampong Khleang and Floating Village

On the way to Kampong Khleang, a traditional fishing village in rural Camododia, we stopped by a small country market used by local villagers, to get a glimpse of the way they live and the produce they make. Unaccustomed to seeing tourists, we were quite a curiosity! 

As we drove towards Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Cambodia, we explored the fishing community of Kampong Khleang, where they make Cambodia's famous fermented fish paste, Prahoc. Nestled on the tributary leading to Tonle Sap, the entire village is dedicated to fishing and making this nasty smelling paste. Fortunately it tastes better than it smells, and is used to flavour broth, for use in soups and other Cambodian dishes. The community also smokes much of the fish they catch, selling it in local markets much like the one we saw before arriving in the fishing village. Further along the river, a floating community of over 10,000 villagers live on the water all year, and move during monsoon season, closer upstream towards the open water of Tonle Sap. 

These communities were an incredible sight, and made us all feel very grateful for the quality of life we enjoy back home.