Kandal Province – Cambodia
Kandal means ‘central’, but the province is not located in the central of Cambodia. Instead the capital city of Phnom Penh is staying in the center of Kandal province. Traveling out from Phnom Penh to any provinces, all must pass through Kandal province. In other word, after the Phnom Penh outskirts is Kandal province. Ta Khmao town is the provincial of Kandal province, located in the Southen reaches of Phnom Penh, about 30 minutes drive from Phnom Penh center. It’s an old town which there are many Chinese-Cambodian families living here since long time ago.
Kandal province with the total area of 3,568 square kilometers, is a rural province covered by rice field and other agricultural plantations. Kandal has several tourist sites, but mostly are for local visitors.
Kean Svay- at 19km away from Phnom Penh, is a good place for weekend getaway. Enjoying many kinds of Khmer foods and snacks on the floating house. There you can travel on the boat, swim, and also fishing.
Koh Dach island – an island at the middle of the Mekong river. Here is a handicraft center, many handicraft objects are produced here, especially Cambodia silk products. So Koh Dach is also well known as Silk island. It’s a popular tourist destination for those who interested in boat touring, taking natural views on the Mekong river. Visitors might find out about the life style of villages, who are living on the Mekong river bank. And also to solve your curiosity of how each piece of silk products have been made.
Below are some pictures of Ta Khmao town taken in April 2011.
Products from Kandal Province
Khmer Scarf (ក្រមាខ្មែរ)
Scarf is a Khmer traditional product used in daily life since ancient time. Scarf is always hanging on Khmer people’s neck (lady) or on their forehead or tie at their waist (man), so that they can use it anytime. While they are working in the field, they use scarf to cover their head from sunlight, and also use it to wipe out the sweat on their face. It can be used as container for packing fruits that they picked from the field. When they need to take rest, scarf become the ‘pillow’ on their head. If they need to carry things on their head like firewood or vegetables, then scarf is used as cushion to prevent their head from hurting. It’s also use to dry up the body after bath, and sometimes being clothes for man (mostly in countryside).
In many provinces of Cambodia, spinning and weaving scarf is another career, after agriculture. Kandal is the biggest scarf production which the locals earn a living by weaving and spinning thread of Khmer scarf. The skill is transferred within families from generation to generation.
Kandal province located in the area of having more natural water resource. So farmers in Kandal province can grow paddy rice twice a year, while other province grow only one time a year. The cultivated area is more than 100,000 hectares with about 370,000 tons harvested per year.
After Kampong Speu province, Kandal is the second biggest province producing palm sugar from about 110,000 sugar palm trees growing in Ang Snuol district. The province produced about 1,600 tons palm sugar per year.
Khmer Silver Handicraft
Special souvenirs from Cambodia are handicraft products made from silver, copper, and other metals. Foreign visitors always bring back with them as a memory of Cambodia. The handicrafts are hand-made and unique with specific design carrying the Khmer characteristics. Villagers with crafting skills in Kandal province are supported by Cambodian Craft Corporation and other organizations in developing the design and enlarging the scope of market. So that they can keep the traditional skill as well as earn a living. The product is selling in the local market and also export.
Along the islands of Mekong river, included Koh Dach, are places of Khmer silk production. There are about 6,000 weavers specialized in weaving Khmer traditional skirt called ‘Hol’ or ‘Phar muong’ which are valuable traditional dressing of Cambodian. However, Khmer silk is also attractive with the modern designs.