Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lake proves draw for Cambodians

Lake proves draw for Cambodians

Lake proves draw for Cambodians

110318_hbn1
A young boy heads out to Yeak Lom lake on a Sunday afternoon in a traditional outfit. Included in his kit is a bow and arrows. The lake is a major attraction for Khmer tourists.

IN the frenzy to attract international tourists, domestic ones can become overlooked. However, on a late Sunday afternoon by Yeak Lom lake, a few kilometres outside Banlung, they are very much in evidence.

This is Kim Oun’s first visit to the lake said to have been formed 700,000 years ago when a meteorite landed here. The Takeo rice farmer, 52, has decided to come here for a week’s holiday with her two daughters.

“Someone said that Yeak Lom is very pleasant and I wanted to see  Ratanakkiri,” she says.

She is not disappointed. “I feel really happy. It is beautiful.”

Vireak Vuth, 35, is having a picnic with his family, who have come up from Phnom Penh for a long weekend.

The civil servant has already visited 20 provinces in the country, but still he is impressed by Yeak Lom. “It is a lake full of history,” he says. “It is really different.”

This is not his first trip to the northeastern province. On a previous trip he visited ethnic minority cultural villages.

“I think that  Ratanakkiri is good for eco-tourism,” he says. “We should preserve it and have a clear master plan on how to protect the culture of the ethnic groups for the next generation.”

Noy Sammang has been to  Ratanakkiri about 20 times. Each time the comedienne and television celebrity comes to the province, she visits the lake.

“This place is Khmer soil, so when I come here I never miss Yeak Lom,” she says. “It gives me a good feeling inside.”

This visit, she has been performing in the province for 12 days, but still comes each day to the lake just before sunset, bringing her whole crew in two cars.

“Every day I come to the lake,” she says. “Everyone likes this place.”

However, Noy Sammang is a relative Yeak Lom novice compared with Um Sary. The 22-year-old from Prey Veng province sells souvenirs near the lake with her sister, Sin Srey Neang.

“When things are busy my sister calls me to help her,” she says. “In the two months I have been here, sales have been good.”

Each day Noy Sammang sells between 300,000 to 400,000 riel (US$74-US$99)) worth of souvenirs, mainly to Khmer tourists but some foreigners as well.

“Saturdays and Sundays are good days, as well as holidays,” she says. “I hope that sales here remain good so I can stay here. I really like  Ratanakkiri.”
TRANSLATION BY RANN REUY

MOST VIEWED

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not

  • IPU slams government claim

    The president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Gabriela Cuevas Barron, has refuted a claim by the National Assembly that she “highly appreciated the achievements of Cambodia” in its July national elections with a tweet saying “Of course not!” before adding “No congratulations”. A delegation from

  • Conflict lingers on Paris Accords

    As the Kingdom prepares to commemorate on October 23 the 27th anniversary of the signing of the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, which ushered in an end to nearly two decades of civil war, there is political conflict on whether the tenets of the agreement are still being

  • EU agrees VN trade deal despite rights concerns

    The EU on Wednesday agreed to a free-trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam, a country described as having a “major rights-abusing government”. This comes amid the 28-nation bloc preparing the procedure for a possible withdrawal of Cambodia’s Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade agreement on