Cambodia
Kampong Chhnang Province

Here you’ll find travel reports about Kampong Chhnang Province. Discover travel destinations in Cambodia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

8 travelers at this place:

  • Day49

    Cruising the Mekong

    April 5 in Cambodia

    After having read too many books about river adventures, not to mention having agreed to 6-1/2 weeks of constantly moving and traveling, Arie wanted a room and bed that he could call his own for a solid week. His solution was a river cruise on the Mekong. To say that I was skeptical would be putting it mildly. I like big adventure — new cities, tracking down interesting restaurants, walking down alleyways, etc. But, he was not only adamant, but had been a good sport about coming to Southeast Asia, which was my choice of locales, so I agreed.

    We choose a 7 day cruise from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City, that traveled down the Tonle Sap Lake and the Mekong River. It is a relatively small ship — just 18 cabins. Since we are in the dry season, Tonle Sap is too low to allow cruising, so we had to fly to Phenom Pehn and then cruise back up into the lake. We met the rest of the guests at a hotel in Siem Reap, and quickly learned that the other 26 guests (so 28 in total) had toured Siem Reap as a group, so we were the last to come to the party! We boarded a bus to the airport. Even the bus was an experience, with the windows decorated with richly embroidered curtains that has tassels, and the seats decorated with matching embroidered covers.

    After flying to Phenom Phen, we took another bus to the dock and boarded the Avalon Siem Reap. The vessel, which was first used in 2015, is in mint condition. The rooms are just lovely, and are larger than some hotel rooms that I’ve stayed in. The food is quite tasty, and there is plenty to drink.

    As we met the passengers, we learned that we are the only Americans. Apparently, this is pretty unusual, as the cruise line (Avalon), primarily sells cruises to customers in the US. The majority of our fellow travelers are from Canada, although there are 2 couples from the UK, 2 from New Zealand and 2 from Australia. I also discovered that we are not actually the youngest couple on board, although the youngest couple were only a few years younger than us. There are 4 couples in their 50s, and the rest are in their mid-60s to early 70s. Our cruise director told me that this is an extremely young group, as most cruises are filled with people in their 70s and 80s, and our oldest guest is about to turn 79.

    There are 28 members of the crew, about 60% of whom are from Vietnam and the remaining 40% are from Cambodia. Everyone on the ship speaks some English, and the crew with whom we interact all speak English and are eager to improve their language skills. The company is a joint venture between a Swiss family and a Vietnamese family, as all foreign companies operating in Vietnam have to be operated as a joint venture with the majority ownership (51%) held by the Vietnamese investor.

    Our cruise director is a Vietnamese man named Phiem. He is a super interesting guy. He was born and raised in Ho Chi Minh city, and is the second youngest of 9 children. His family all survived the “American War,” but both of his parents died young, leaving him an orphan at 21. He attended University and earned a law degree. He had great difficulty finding a job when he graduated in 2000, as there were only 3 law firms in Ho Chi Minh. He says that he left the practice of law because his English language skills were not up to the task. Frankly, I find this hard to believe, as his English is fantastic, and I suspect that the reasons for his leaving were far more complicated. After leaving the law, he moved into tourism, and he has been working for Avalon for 4 years. Phiem is both gracious in answering all of our questions about life in Vietnam, and, more generally, about Southeast Asia. He is also extremely curious about life in the countries of the passengers. And, he has been extremely open about the challenges faced by Vietnam, including the incursion of Chinese money, the two child policy which is necessitated by economic difficulties, and changing social mores.

    We also have local guides, who provides information about the sites that we see during land ventures.

    For the first half of the cruise we are in Cambodia, and our guide is Sophea. He is in his late 30s, married, with a 7 month old daughter that he refers to as the “little princess.” Like Phiem, he is happy to share information about his life, family and views on life in Cambodia. He told me that his father’s family made it through the Khmer Rouge “genocide” due to actions of his paternal grandfather who worked for the government before the war. His grandfather astutely realized that the government was failing and that the Khmer Rouge were going to repress anyone who was an intellectual or aligned with the government. So, his grandfather took the family and move hundreds of kilometers away, so that they could hide their identities. Along the way, his grandfather went to the monastery in which his father was studying, and insisted that he leave and join the family in the countryside. There is no doubt that these actions saved the entire family.

    Sophea, who has 5 sisters and 1 brother, was raised quite traditionally. He told me that his mother essentially ran the family. I gather that matriarchal families are the norm in Cambodia, in large part because girls remain with their families after marriage, and inheritance is passed through the girls. Sophea went to university to study electrical engineering. Early in his university career, his mother arranged a marriage for him with a woman from the neighborhood. Sophea refused to enter into the arrange marriage, causing his mother to deem him a bad son and stop speaking to him for quite some time. Sophea told her that he wanted to complete his education, and that he would make sure that his sisters received an education. Years later, after Sophea made sure that all of his sisters could go to school, his mother finally forgave him for refusing the wife that she had chosen for him!
    Read more

  • Day50

    Countryside Around Tonle Sap

    April 6 in Cambodia

    Our first excursion off the boat was to the village of Kampong Tralach, which is on the banks of the Tonle Sap lake. Some of the houses actually float on the lake, while others are on stilts, which shelter them from flooding. Beyond the banks of the lake are small villages. According to Sophea, approximately 70% of the population of Cambodia lives in small, rural villages like this one, where farming is the sole source of income. These villages are incredibly poor. Most of these villages do not have running water, and electricity was only installed in most of these villages in the last 2-3 years. Refrigeration is non-existent. Air-conditioning is literally unheard of. Yet, many of the young people seem to have some type of mobile phone, and presumably there is some access to cellular data.

    We were met at the river bank by a local residents with ox-carts that we were to ride to another village. Although the notion of riding an ox-cart seemed ridiculously touristy, Sophea suggested that the rides provided a source of income for carts that otherwise were underutilized. Hard to know whether this is true, but anything that brings money into these communities — including money spent by tour companies for these rides — is probably a good thing. So, we hoped in, and enjoyed a bumpy ride through the countryside.

    Our next stop was the village of Kampong Luong, in which the primary trade is silversmithing. While silversmithing must be a more lucrative profession than farming, the village did not seem any more prosperous than the first village. Again, everyone lives in small huts, with huge amphorae outside the houses to collect rainwater that is used for cooking, and bathing.

    And, as is true throughout Cambodia, as there is no garbage collection services, litter is everywhere. (We actually saw one woman burning garbage, and learned that she does this twice each week. I noticed that her property was considerably cleaner than the neighboring lots.). Sophea told us that two developments have really contributed to problems of trash throughout the country — plastic bags and plastic water bottles. Until about 10 years ago, when people bought foods at the market, they were unwrapped, or were wrapped in large leaves (typically banana leaves). But, it is incredibly cheap to buy plastic bags from China, and it is less work than going outside and cutting down leaves. Moreover, most shopkeepers refuse to put multiple items into a single bag, so if you buy mangos, pineapples and guava, you are given three bags. Once people get home, they don’t reuse them, and the bags pile up everywhere. Single use water bottles are also everywhere.

    Sophea told us that before he began as tour guide, he worked for an NGO that was working on environmental issues. His organization advertised an event to talk about recycling. They invited almost 200 people, and expected that between 50 and 100 people would attend the event. But, only a handful of people came. The next time, they sent invitations with $5 bills, and many people came, but no one was the least bit interested in learning about recycling. The problem is expected to become acute over the next ten years, but the government has no interest in addressing the problem and there is no awareness of environmental issues. It is sad, as the countryside is quite beautiful, but the trash mares the vistas.
    Read more

  • Day53

    LES LOCAUX

    December 28, 2015 in Cambodia

    C'est quand même fou comme on peut être regardé comme des bêtes curieuses, parfois c'est toute la famille qui se lève au bord du chemin pour venir nous regarder...mais ça reste toujours drôle et gentil of course!

  • Day53

    ROULER SUR UNE PISTE D'AEROPORT

    December 28, 2015 in Cambodia

    C'est plutôt original, rouler en scooter sur une piste d'aéroport. Je vous rassure, l'aéroport n'est plus en service, c'était un aéroport qui appartenait au Khmers Rouges à l'époque de leur contrôle sur le pays.

  • Day53

    KAMPONG CHHNANG

    December 28, 2015 in Cambodia

    On quitte Battambang et on prend le bus direction une petite ville qui s'appelle Kampong Chhnang. Pas très touristique, on se demande un peu ce qu'on fait là et ce qu'il y a de réellement intéressant à voir....nous avons reloué un scooter et sommes partis dans les environs. La campagne semble plus aride et sèche qu'à Battambang, cette région paraît bien plus pauvre que ce qu'on a pu voir auparavant au Cambodge. Cela n'enlève rien à la beauté des paysages et à la curiosité encore plus prononcée des habitants...Read more

  • Day53

    LE VILLAGE FLOTTANT DE KAMPONG CHHNANG

    December 28, 2015 in Cambodia

    Vers la fin de l'après - midi, nous décidons de terminer notre journée avec le village flottant de Kampong Chhnang...c'est un village très pauvre, où les habitants vivent essentiellement de la pêche. Ce sont pour la plupart des vietnamiens qui ont fui leur pays, et comme ils n'avaient pas l'autorisation de s'installer sur le sol cambodgien, ils se sont mis sur l'eau...

  • Day12

    Kampong Tralach

    January 16, 2017 in Cambodia

    Am Nachmittag machen wir das scheinbar bei jeder asiatischen Flusskreuzfahrt obligatorische Programm "wir-besuchen-eine-Schule". Der einzige Grund, warum wir trotzdem mitmachen, ist die Ochsenkarrenfahrt zurück zum Schiff quer durch eine wunderbare Landschaft aus Seerosenteichen und Reisfeldern. Die Fahrt auf dem Ochsenkarren ist tatsächlich bequemer, als sie aussieht (wobei über diese Aussage unterschiedliche Meinungen bestehen).Read more

  • Day12

    Kampong Chhneng

    January 16, 2017 in Cambodia

    Heute morgen erreicht unser Boot Kampong Chhneng, ein Hafenstädtchen am Tonle Sap. Von hier aus gibt es einen kurzen Ausflug mit dem Boot in die schwimmenden Dörfer, und im Anschluss den Besuch einer Töpferei und einer Palmzuckerverarbeitung.

  • Day12

    Kampong Chhnang

    November 15, 2016 in Cambodia

    At first Kampong Chhnang doesn’t seem like much. It’s dusty and quiet. We walk past a prison on our way to our guesthouse. Hmm. But the guesthouse is lovely with friendly staff. Our room set in a garden with a bench out the front and cold aircon inside.

    Right on dusk we head out to explore the town and find some food. The hour out of the heat has given us a second wind (the bus had aircon but it was old and ineffective).

    We eat diner at a Chinese restaurant where two meals and drinks cost us $US5.50 (everything is cheaper once you leave Phnom Penh and Siem Riep). We are charged in Cambodian Riel for the first time in this trip and the staff don’t look happy to be handed dollars (the unofficial official currency of Cambodia). We haven’t needed Riel until now so have given our small money as donations at temples along the way. It’s okay though because we will collect a few dollars worth here in town.

    We sit in a big park eating coconut cake for desert watching people. There’s teenagers kicking a small soccer ball around. A group of men play hackey sack. Some children let off fire crackers. Groups of young people hang out on the grass talking or playing guitar. Children run around. Families eat picnic dinners on colourful straw mats. And we are asked whether we can be in peoples’ photos (or they just snap a shot if they think we’re not looking).

    What we don’t know yet is that we’ve arrived in the middle of a big festival. On our way home we come across it and stop off.  We will later learn it’s a Cambodia-Thailand friendship festival. It lasts a full week. We wander the stalls.  play a side show game (and lose). We try a sausage that ends up being randomly filled with some sort of mince and rice noodle mix that tastes awesome.And we watch the concert. People walk past us gawking as though we are aliens. Street urchins beg for money (no we do not cave in even when they stand batting their eyes at us for half an hour).
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Chhnang Province, Propinsi Kampong Chhnang, Кампонг Чнанг, Provincia de Kompung Chinang, Province de Kampong Chhnang, Provinsi Kampong Chhnang, Provincia di Kampong Chhnang, コンポンチュナン州, ខេត្តកំពង់ឆ្នាំង, 캄퐁치낭 주, Kampong Chhnang Lalawigan, صوبہ کمپونگ چھنانگ, Кампонгчнанг, จังหวัดกำปงชนัง, 磅清扬省

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

Sign up now