Other than Angkor Wat, I went to Cambodia to find my mother childhood hometown. She told me they live on a house that’s more like a boat, a floating village. She told me the name of the nearest town, Gek Jea. I look it up on the map, nothing even sounded close. she couldn’t really show me on a map neither since she couldn’t read or write. I just assume it’s some small town that’s not even on a map. So I made sure that I visit the floating villages on Tonle Sap in Siem Reap. It’s very much like the way she describe it, except much bigger and more houses, and many tourists. When I pass through Kratie on route to Laos, I asked the driver what they call this town in Cambodian. When he told me Krahtcheh, the way he pronounced it, sounded exactly the way my mother said it. I ask if there is a floating village near by. He said yes, just on the other side of the Island on the Mekong River, pointing toward the island on the river. I went there and stayed for the whole afternoon. There were only about 30 houses or so on the floating village. I wish I had been there when my mother was still alive, so I could show her the many photos I took there. The tour book does not mention much about the island. If you ever pass by Kratie, other then going to see the river dolphins, you can also visit the island. Not in the rainy season though, most of island will be underwater. Other than the floating village, there’s a small community that live on the island farming and planting vegetable in the dry season. It’s worth spending half a day walking around or you can rent a bike from Kratie before going over on the ferry. There is not street just dirt road and not car, just bicycle and cart pull by cow or water buffalo.
Critiques | Translate
woozbman (366) 2008-01-19 19:55
An interesting picture complemented by an excellent note. I like how everything seems to be moving or pointing towards the right. The water looks very clean. It must have been a bittersweet moment for you when you heard the name of the town. I would love to give you two points, but I won't leave a smiley out of respect for your mother.
indraajeet (1910) 2008-01-20 1:23
excellent composition. very touching note. but i am smiling because that is life
trekks (14348) 2008-01-20 16:15
Very touching Note. And a good reason for your trip to find this place. While halfway reading it, I was thinking how great your photos would be to show it to her when you returned. But as I read further, it was with a sadness to know that she has gone.
You will do well, Wayne with a good photograph record of this area, however small or simple it looks, it is a heritage for you. And if you have time, revisit this place, document it for sunrise, sunset and during day.
I am sure that would be what she would like to do with you 'together', although now you have to do it alone.
Frame and hang one of the best shots you do, and be proud of it, and most of all, share it with us.
This one is great shot of the boat and houses on water, Wayne. I am only puzzled - the river flow is slow? So floating houses not worried about sweeping away?
Good pov in this composition with a branch to frame and give depth, and a girl walking by. Nice clear water looks very clean.
Many go to Cambodia for Angkor Wat, not many go here or Mekong delta, at least not many photos to see.
Great work, Wayne and thanks for sharing it.
Benedict (7076) 2008-01-26 18:17
i got throat 'lumps' reading your story. i salute you for the courage to go find your beginnings in a far flung place like Krahtcheh.
the foto shows a detailed simple life by the mighty Mekong. the fringe inclsuion (which i am sure are bamboo leaves) give the life and richness to the compo.
PaulVDV (22747) 2008-06-15 11:07
I'm sorry that your mother has gone already. Still it must be very good that finally you have found the village where she once has lived.
To be honest I had never heard before of floating villages. I do know villages on stilts of course but that's another way of building.
I like this picuture very much. First of all it shows us another way of living and one of the purposes of TE is learning about our planet.
I like the composition of this picture (including the bit of tropical vegetation on the top) and the nice soft colours.
Kind regards, Paul
plimrn (21344) 2009-03-19 21:34
Yet you are the validation of your mother's life; she came from a place of such beauty and now you share your appreciation for beauty with us. I think one of the things I most appreciate about the photos of this village is the people; it give the feeling such a feeling of life.
I was just at the home of my 93 year old parents; and my Dad said, "Raising you is one of the best things we did." I'm quite sure your Mom felt that way about you; finding her village shows your huge respect for her.
nikkitta (14858) 2013-09-14 14:21
I am discovering your world with your notes, quite interesting and touching, more knowing your mom was not anymore with you at this moment
Hope that now you are recovered of a so sad experience
I believe that finally you arrived at her village , must be hard to live on the water in such an isolated place, but it tells how you care for her and wanted,in a way, to know more about her
What better way that with a good photo of her village, presented with a good composition and good frame, hanging branch included
abmdsudi (43720) 2013-12-20 6:07
Not sure if I could live on the water like this, an interesting narrative helps me to appreciate this place even more. A unique place and I enjoy this vantage point that you have taken with wide coverage and abound of detail throughout while we can clearly see some activity going on there. I love the blue colour and background river bank boosting the depth and fanfare of this floating village. A strong eye puller shot, It's nice and sunny, bright and clear and well coloured. An excellent job, worth the effort and tfs