After 31 years I am still in awe of the creatures of God and the fruits they produce for us. The silk trade route is one of the things we learn about in school at most only get the chance to buy it without understanding its full value.
We woke up and went to watch the sun rise over the low river, and went to grab a local favorite of mango pancakes. Then back to the hotel for the tuk tuk. The driver took us across one of the river bridges and over to the ferry stop to catch it across. As the boat landed ashore the Silk Island, we were eager to see this local, but ancient trade of silk making. We winded around the island a bit till we pulled up beside what looked like a normal Cambodian home. As we got out, there sat a lady using what looked like a museum piece to make a silk table cover.
We each took a turn at learning to weave silk into a tangible good, and walked away with the appreciation for the hours it takes to hand make sheets of silk. She was eager afterwards to show us the labors of her and her family. Looking around for the perfect one to match a potential outfit, one would feel guilty paying so little for what took 4 days to make. With a smile on her face and after playing with the kids we loaded back up toward the next stop.
As we arrived there we were greeted by a gentlemen whom had only been speaking English for 1 month. He struggled a bit but we asked him to just take his time as we had nowhere to be. I mean we were in their country and couldn't speak their language, but he was really happy to practice is English. We were off on the tour and interested to see the sites of the mini village. We first stopped to see the silk worm as he explained the process of how they eat and eventually spin their cocoon where the silk is harvested. They take the empty cocoon to harvest the work of the worm. They drop the cocoon into hot water. When it is finished they pull it out of the water grab the top and pull the silk into a string. They do this on a spinning wheel most of the time, but did it by hand to show us.
We moved on to what would become a line of ladies weaving the silk into anything from a scarf to a possible dress. Stopping along the way to admire their work, you could see the joy on their faces as it seemed somebody appreciated what they were making. They may never get the chance to see it on a gown worn to an expensive ball, or a simple ladies night on the town, but they could only imagine where their handy work would end up.
We walked further down the path to the store where they sold their goods, we browsed around a bit to only leave appreciating their kind nature of letting us see a past time in action as the future will replace them with machines soon. Ending up at the river we go to see some huts that the locals lived in and the areas that seemed to be used for large community weddings. Heading back to the entrance we thanked the tour guide for his time and let loaded up on the tuck tuck toward town.
The silk island left us with its own thread in history and the wonder of the yonder days when the Silk Road dominated Asia and if these folks had been part of that iconic piece.