Kampong Cham Bamboo Bridge Bike Ride

On the morning of Saturday, February 20th, we made the 6 hour journey to Kampong Cham via bus. There were 2 stops along the way and I mostly slept and read.

Kampong Cham, Cambodia

We arrived and went to our local guide’s house for lunch in the afternoon. The food was fantastic and we gobbled it down since were all very hungry by then. For us vegetarians there was vegetable curry, vegetable fried noodles (they were pink noodles… yummy, though weird looking), fried mushrooms, and a really good sauteed vegetable dish. For desert we had those mini bananas, the only kind I will eat. It was all $5.

In the afternoon our group walked to the market so a few people could buy¬†traditional¬†scarves, like the one on this lady’s head:

Old woman - Kampong Cham, Cambodia

The rest of the afternoon was spent on our bike ride over the bamboo bridge to a 20km long, 4km wide island with 100,000 inhabitants in the Mekong River. Every year in the dry season they build a bridge out of bamboo strong and big enough to hold a single car.

Bamboo bridge - Mekong River, Kampong Cham, Cambodia

Bamboo bridge - Mekong River, Kampong Cham, Cambodia

The people on the island grow tobacco, sesame, and peanuts, among other things. They take their goods over the bridge via horsecart to sell in markets.

Horsecart - Mekong River, Kampong Cham, Cambodia

Once again there were lots of adorable little kids running out and waving at us, yelling “hello!!!” and high fiving us as we rode by.

Our first stop was at a tobacco plantation. We looked around, talked to some cute kids, then went across the street to check out a temple. The kids followed us around and a lady in our group taught one of the little girls to shake hands and say “How do you do?”

Kids - Mekong River, Kampong Cham, Cambodia

Girl - Mekong River, Kampong Cham, Cambodia

Kids - Mekong River, Kampong Cham, Cambodia

We rode on to a house where they gave us some of the local fruit and baked sweet potatoes to eat. I played volley ball and jump rope with the little kids living there. I’m way out of practice with my jump rope, though…. One kid had a new toy: a battery-operated shiny gold buffalo that walked, moo’d, and had red evil eyes. They loved it.

Kids - Mekong River, Kampong Cham, Cambodia

After the bike ride we had dinner at a charity restaurant and turned in early. We were only in Kampong Cham for 1 day so I can’t say much about the town, other than I liked it alright. Tomorrow is a loooong travel day to Kampot via Phnom Penh.

Bookmark and Share
  1. Backpacking Southeast Asia says:

    I managed to get to Kampong cham just before the brigde was taken down for the rainy season in 2010. Was a very unique aexperience and the kids on the island were so friendly, giving you ‘high-fives’ as you cycle past! When we got the bus back to Phnom Penh from Ban Lung a few eeks later, the bridge was gone!

  2. Guy says:

    HI there Ariel, I have stumble across your blog because I was looking for a picture of an old Khmer women for a T-Shirt I am making for a friends Bachelor party and also for some friends after multiple requests. I found this one you took and loved it and I was wondering if you would allow me to use this this picture and turn it into a Stencil and produce some T-Shirts.

    I live and Work in Phnom Penh and although there is no copyright law here i thought it was best to write to you and ask for permission first.

    please let me know if this is possible.

    Many thanks, Guy

  1. There are no trackbacks for this post yet.

Leave a Reply