Traditional Vietnamese and Cambodian Villages

As a guest aboard Jahan, you will indulge in the best of Vietnam and Cambodia adventure travel from all angles—in the cities, from the river, tours inside and around temples, and, perhaps most intriguingly, by visiting small villages where traditional handcrafts and ways of life flourish even as the modern world continues to exert a growing influence over the people you will meet.

Discover Angkor and Saigon on a Cambodia cruise and explore Angkor Ban, a small Cambodian farming community on the banks of the Mekong. An excellent introduction to life along the river, this peaceful, welcoming village has an open-air market. And are a number of old-style houses, built on tall stilts. Angkor Ban is one of the very few villages left undestroyed by the Khmer Rouge, and some of the existing stilt houses were built a century ago.

Terra cotta pottery production is the specialty in the Cambodian village of Andaung Russey, in that country’s Kampong Chhnang province. The women of the village craft pots and other items using a unique local clay that’s been harvested from nearby mountains. The pottery items are then distributed throughout the country. Incredibly, the earthenware vessels are made using an age-old process in which the artisans circle the pots and shape them with wooden paddles—no automated pottery wheels here. Andaung Russey is also known for its sugar palm trees, from which villagers harvest the raw sap, to be used in the production of palm sugar, rice beer, and rice whiskey.

In Vietnam, you’ll explore Bihn Thanh Island, where industrious local women harvest the invasive water hyacinth plant and other grasses, which are woven into baskets, mats, and other items for local use and sale. Fish farms also abound in this area, reflecting Vietnam’s thriving fish export industry. In nearby Cai Be, a legendary floating market offers a wondrous array of fruits and vegetables. And further on, in the hamlet of Phu An, villagers work as a collective, making such items as edible rice paper, coconut candy, and puffed rice.

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