Photo: Oh so fine.

Koh Dach (Silk Island)

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Just a short bike, boat or moto ride away from the hurly-burley of Phnom Penh, Koh Dach (often referred to as Silk Island) offers a peaceful, pastoral respite, and the chance to pick up some choice silks and cottons.

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Sitting in the powering waters of the Mekong Delta, we’re actually talking about two islands here—the larger Koh Dach to the north and, just across a narrow (though bridged) body of water to the southeast, Koh Oknha Tei—when we refer to “Silk Island” we are referring to Koh Oknha Tei. While both islands are home to silk production and weaving, Koh Oknha Tei is where you are most likely to be taken on a tour or tuk tuk. Why? Because there is a one–stop–shop set up there which includes a good and informative tour. The northern tip of Koh Dach is also home to Koh Dach beach, a sala and beach relaxation spot not dissimilar to Kien Svay to the southeast of Phnom Penh.

No bridge so far. Photo taken in or around Koh Dach (Silk Island), Phnom Penh, Cambodia by Stuart McDonald.

No bridge so far. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Up until a few years ago both Koh Dach and Koh Oknha Tei were in Kandal Province, then Koh Dach was rezoned into Phnom Penh. We were told by locals on Koh Dach that this change was to facilitate Chinese construction investment on the larger island. There has been talk for some years of a bridge being built to the island from the Phnom Penh side of the Mekong, and while we saw no evidence of that, it seems the island may be losing some of its bucolic image sooner than later.

Silk Island (Koh Oknha Tei) is home to a silk weaving village and silk centre, where you can see how the whole silk production process works from beginning to end, from mulberry-chomping silk worms through to their golden cocoons through to the complex manual loom weaving process, which requires a dexterity and memory that would be the envy of many. The guide explains the entire life cycle of the silk worm, from the eggs through to its brief life as a moth and, if you have never seen this kind of thing before, it is ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,200 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Koh Dach (Silk Island)
Around 9 km north of Phnom Penh

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