The Bamboo Bridge of Kampong Cham In Photos
Kampong Cham is as charming as its’ name and this was the first province that we visited out of Phnom Penh. Most of the provinces here are accessible by bus and private cars despite the on-going development of its’ roads. We took two days to explore Kampong Cham and one of the highlights was this specially designed bamboo bridge which was built with the locals bare hands.
When our tuk tuk driver took us here, we had a short rest at one of the local stalls selling coconut and soft drinks. This was available at the riverbank stretch facing the bamboo bridge. We bought him a drink too as he told us more details about the bridge which has been constructed and repaired every year by the people here. The bridge is made of solid bamboo structure (100%!) for locals to cross the Mekong River to Koh Paen Island.
We didn’t cross to the island but we were told that there are many Cham and Khmer villages on stilts to avoid the flood going into their homes during rainy season. For your info, Cham refers to the Muslim community in Cambodia and Kampong Cham is popularly known for this community. Koh Paen is a good place to see the locals lives but if you’re like us and have problems with heights and gushing water underneath then maybe it’s best to stay on the mainland instead.
We walked down after having our coconut drinks, and saw motorcycles stepping on their brakes as they descend from the main road to the bridge. The riders screamed happily when their motorbikes touch the bamboo bridge, *click clacking* loudly when they zip across. Plenty of people cross this bridge everyday by walking, motorbikes, lorries, vans and even bullock carts (yes we saw 2 of them). So if you plan to walk across the only thing you need to worry about is not falling into the river. If you take a transportation across you’ll need to pay 500 -1,000 riel ($0.25) toll fee when you reach the island.
Another interesting fact is that this bridge will wash away when the river rises during the wet rainy season and the only way you can cross to Koh Paen is by boat. But once the dry season appears, it is rebuilt again from scratch to allow people to cross it. We hope that the people of Kampong Cham continue to pass on the skills of building bridge to the next generation so that it continues on until the future.
Address: South of Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia | Price to cross: 500 – 1,00 riel ($0.25)
About Yafieda Jamil
A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.