Life On The Tonle Sap: Finding A Means Of Sustenance


In continuing with our series, the second part of Life On The Tonle Sap introduces you to people from the Peam Bang Commune who have chosen fishing (and other related activities) over customary livelihoods to sustain themselves.


SamnaNg, 15, food vendor 

Peam Bang commune

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15 year old Samnang is happy to help his mother sell food in their floating stall when he is not busy with his school work. He and his mother usually work a 12-hour shift beginning from 6:00AM till 6:00PM.

Their most popular selling item on the menu is Boklahung (a kind of salad with papaya and vegetables). Samnang's father also has a stall but he sells it from their boat house.

They earn around 70,000 to 80,000 riel per day, half of which goes into buying groceries and ingredients

Chhun Sao, 55, mechanic 

Peam Bang commune

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Chhun Sao is the only mechanic in Peam Bang and most of his time is spent fixing the fishing boats in the community.

He is assisted by his son and he hopes that others in the community would show interest in his profession too as it is profitable for them, financially and also practically.  

Although he is not short of customers, Chhun Sao has already made his decision to move permanently from Peam Bang to Stung district where he will carry on with his profession.

He is currently waiting for the government's approval on land that has been provided to him.


Recorded interviews with Samnang and Chhun Sao were translation from Khmer to English by Kong Phidor and Otdam Hor