A Lonely Woman on Tonle Sap

Photostory By: Tiep Seiha
Publication Year: 2018
Authorized By: Wonders of the Mekong Project
Photostory Workshop By: Suthep Kritsanavarin / USAID Wonders of the Mekong Project

Khlod Yan, 58, has nine children. She lives alone due to her husband went to sell labor in Thailand and falling in love with a man. Seven of her children got married and two children are selling labor on fishing, leaving her to stay along most of the time on the river. With her husband, she could catch more fish in the river. But now, she could not do more alone. She lives on the river and she need to buy fish for cooking. She told that the number of fish is decreasing due to increasing number of populations in the community, increasing modern catching fish tools and illegal fishing from outside people. Struggling to live on the river, Yan need to sell labor to her neighboring on repairing the fishing net and fish harvesting to earn 10,000 KHM (2.5$) per time. Besides selling labor on fishing, she makes a living from rolling boat for tourists in Kampong Pluk Echo Tourism. With a lucky day, Yan could make 32,000 KHM (7$) per day including tips (shift time every three days).The money she earns is just enough for her three meals and buying medicine for her blood pressure and water born disease. Yan always miss her husband and wish to see her children at home when she backs. Only look at the picture of her children’s weeding that could let her to forget her loneliness for awhile.

1. Yan is on the fishing boat in her Kampong Pluk community. 

2. Yan is selling labor to her neighboring. 

3. Small fish from Tonle Sap river.

4. Yan is repairing the fishing net.

5. Yan is counting money she earns after her rolling boat to tourists in the evening

6. Yan is buying fish.

7. Yan shows the fish she bought for cooking.

8. Yan is watching slide by slide of her daughter’s photo weeding at home. 

9. Yan is parking her boat in Prey Kub waiting for her next service to ride the tourist around the floated forest.

10. Yan is preparing the mat for serving rolling boat service to the tourists.

11. Yan is waiting for her turn to roll the boat for tourists.

12. Yan is rolling her boat in the floated forest (Prey Kup) around 30-60 minutes.