Ko Paen Bamboo Bridge & Ko Paen
An island escape
What we say:
This bamboo bridge is a feat of engineering, built every dry season to connect the west bank of the Mekong to Ko Paen, a medium-sized island just to the south of Kompong Cham.
The island has sandy beaches, lots of fishermen and some tobacco plantations and makes for a pleasant half-day wandering or cycling around.
In wet season the bridge disappears under the water and the island is only reachable by boat. For the dry season, a beach resort of gazebos and portable bars is set up next to the bridge.
On the east bank of the island you can see fishermen using massive hand-held nets in the shape of enormous tennis rackets. With their glistening white nets, the lush green grass and the muddy Mekong waters, in the late afternoon light these fishermen can be particularly photogenic.
Across the island rise tall mud houses, where harvested tobacco is dried by fire, and edible crops of all types grow. Choose your guide well for a biology lesson in pomelos, chillis, sesame seeds, betel nuts and enormous jackfruit.
The bridge (when above water) is about a 15-minute walk to the south of central Kompong Cham. Make a day of it with a motorbike trip to Wat Maha Leap.
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Sights to see in Kompong Cham
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