Khum Peam Lvek


The village of Lauweck in Cambodia was situated along the Mekong River near Phnom Penh and Oudong or Udong, the old capital. As early as 1609 the VOC was already undertaking occasional expeditions from Pattani to Cambodia to buy goods such as deer hides and ray skins, which were in great demand in Japan. The company set up a trading post at Lauweck in 1620, but the trade there proved disappointing, and just two years later the company shut the post down. The Lauweck trading post was reopened on three further occasions, but in 1667 the VOC left Cambodia for good.Besides deer hides and ray skins, Cambodia functioned mainly as a source of provisions for Batavia such as rice, butter, salted pork, and lard. The Company also bought benzoic resin, gum lacquer, ivory and gold, in exchange for which it mostly supplied cotton fabrics.Lauweck was not a busy trading port; the majority of the population made their living from agriculture. Because there was little money in circulation, trading usually took the form of barter.The Company's officials in Cambodia frequently fell victim to attacks, raids and epidemics. As such the VOC was in almost constant negotiation with the king of Cambodia about reparations. In 1644 a VOC delegation sailed up the river to Phnom Penh. Meanwhile a fortified dam with 50 guns was built behind them. The Company suffered heavy losses in the ensuing battle but nevertheless resumed relations with Cambodia some ten years later.