Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Market trek just part of life

Market trek just part of life

Market trek just part of life

A Tompuon woman makes the four-hour journey to the market in Banlung.

THIET Chin leaves for the market at four in the morning. Having packed her basket with limes, she sets off with three other women from the village of O’Tamor. Four hours later they arrive in Banlung.

It is a familiar journey. Ever since her husband died 16 years ago, Thiet Chin has travelled to Banlung every four or five days.

“I come here when I run out of something I need for cooking,” she says.

Today, she receives 23,000 riel (US$5.70) from a market trader for the 15 kilogrammes of limes she has carried on her back all the way from her village.

Once they have bought their essential goods, the four women will set off back to the village, stopping to take lunch along the way. They should make it back before nightfall.

Thiet Chin is a Tompuon, one of the poorest minority groups in Cambodia.

Every day Tompuon women make the long trek from their villages to the provincial capital along Highway 19. They have little alternative. “I don’t have the money to buy a bicycle,” says Thiet Chin.

Now that her only son has married, Thiet Chin lives on her own. She has a small plot of land around her wooden house where she grows rice and vegetables. This is all that she has to live on, since her chickens recently died.

Her hair showing signs of grey, Thiet Chin cannot remember how old she is, but still recalls her youth.

“When I was younger, I did not even know there was a market in Banlung,” she says. Now she walks to it every time she needs something from the shop. TRANSLATION BY RANN REUY


  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Actress’s NGO takes heat for promoting the ruling party

    An actress’s NGO which participated in an election campaign event contrary to the Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango) has been slammed. Chorn Chanleakena, a celebrity and the president of the Association of Artists Volunteering to Help Society, allegedly led its members in

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not