Koh Chen - The Craft Village near the Waterway
by Top Mekong Cruises Apr 03, 2017
Each of destinations in Kingdom of Wonder has it own attraction and Koh Chen is such a location. Friendly people, idyllic landscape and the items decorated with meticulous engraving leave a deep impression on visitors when they have an excursion to Koh Chen.
KOH CHEN - A PEACEFUL LAND
Koh Chen is an island located in the Tonle Sap Lake. It is easy to reach from Oudong and Phnom Penh. When approaching this island by boat, the first notable image you’ll get is the big sitting Buddha statue put peacefully near the river bank and beyond it is the roof covered with yellow tiles of a temple built in Khmer style. The lush green trees make the view of the island more beautiful and fresher.
Near the temple, there is a small school where you can capture some priceless moments of smiley faces of poor children as well as their rusticly simple studying conditions.
The Class of Poor Children in Koh Chen
THE CRAFT TRADITION IN KOH CHEN VILLAGE
It can be said that the soul of Koh Chen Village is clay and silver craft items. In 1970s, when Cambodia was under the rule of Khmer Rouge, the intricate crafts were nearly lost. However, this part of country’s culture is still preserved thanks to the huge effort of local artisans.
No one can remember the source of this handicraft since it was passed from generation to generation. The villagers do not go to any art schools, they learn from people around them, for example, from family members. They all have the thought that men and women have the different responsibilities in working process. Men will forge and women will engrave. The main materials used to make these items are clay, copper or bronze and silver.
When you pay a visit to this village, you will be welcomed by the locals to their houses which are also their small workshops. You’ll see the process of straightening and shaping the bronze or silver done by men and the process of engraving done by women. The men will shape this material into bowls, boxes or trays. Then women will engrave the picture of flowers, trees, animals or even the pictures of Angkor Wat or Ramayana. They also follow the demand of clients and engrave on the demanded items.
A Local Artisan in Koh Chen Working to Earn Her Living
WHAT TO BUY IN KOH CHEN
When setting foot in Koh Chen, It is a must to buy some beautiful crafts for you and your family members. There are over 40 family-run shops in Koh Chen which offers a wide range of silver and clay souvenirs. You can buy some silver bowls, dishes, plates, vases or unique silver boxes in the shapes of animals. The price is based on the content of the silver. Pure silver stuffs can be overpriced nowadays. However, most of the pieces here are forged in bronze and plated in silver so the prices are affordable.
Impressive Silver Souvenirs in Koh Chen
HOW TO GET TO KOH CHEN
You can book the flight straight to Phnom Penh airport from where you at. Then, you will have a wide range of transportation means to get to Koh Chen: Taxi, tuktuk, motorbike, etc. It will take you less than an hour to get to Koh Chen as this village is located just 35km from Central city of Phnom Penh.
Mekong River Cruises
If you want to explore Koh Chen Island on a boat trip on Mekong River, then there are many itineraries and routes of Vietnam to Cambodia River Cruises that make a stopover in this peaceful island. You will have a lot of time to buy Koh Chen Silver as souvenirs for your friends and family and admire the stunning scenery of Mekong River.
I hope after reading this post, you will have more information for your expedition to Koh Chen Cambodia. This idyllic land is just one of many charming places you will see in Cambodia. Feel free to check out our Cambodia River Cruises for more experiences, activities and hot promotions for your future trips