While going through some boxes the other day, I came across some digitized photos (originals taken with 100 ASA Kodak film) that I thought I had lost (Yes, I realize that I need to be more systematic in my filing of photographs, so don't get started on that). It was a wonderful trip down memory lane to a trip taken a few years ago to Cambodia, and fun to sort through and pick out some shots for sharing. I decided to concentrate on one aspect of the trip--most people have hundreds of photos of the classic Khmer ruins of Angkor Wat and its marvelous ancient neighbors, as do I--however, the fishing village of Mui Ne not far from Siem Riap was an interesting side trip that offered a glimpse of a way of life that has remained largely unchanged for centuries.
On the huge Tonle Sap lake, which is a widening of the Mekong River not far from Siem Riap, a village of Vietnamese fishermen sits not on the shore near the lake, but actually on the lake. Mui Ne village is one where everyone packs up and moves as the tide rises during the monsoon season so as not to be stranded far offshore, and then back again during the dry season. The Vietnamese are Cambodia's largest minority, and the tradition of floating fishing villages can be traced to the 1700's. Tourists can take a boat tour of the village and an offshore restaurant, which seems to be way out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by lapping waves as far as one can see. If you are interested in learning more about the fishing village, tourism, or the Tonle Sap, an Internet search will turn up dozens of sites.
Photos by the author (2008), all rights reserved. Do not use without permission.
|Children all over the world play on whatever type of equipment they can find. In a fishing village it is not surprising that they play in abandoned boats.|
|Bathing is pretty simple: it's just a splash outside the door.|
|Returning from the market.|
|It isn't ipads or TV that piques the curiosity of these boys.|
|Deliveries and transportation is by boat, deftly moved through the backwater by skilled oarsmen and women.|
|Even farming is done on the water. Here a villager tends to pigs that are kept in a pen made of tree limbs.|
|A typical floating home and its brilliant abstract reflection at Mui Ne in the late afternoon sun.|
|Relaxing while gently rocking on the waves|