Cock and Fish fighting…..really!

So we all know about Cock fighting, it’s still a big sport here in Cambodia, although not strictly legal. Though I bet you haven’t heard of fish fighting !. Next stop was a local Rice wine producer, making the wine at his family home into which I was welcomed.

And his hobby, yes fish fighting, well hobby yes, opportunity to make some quite good money too with the right fish..oh yes!

The Betta splendens fish are grown in big vats within the home and the better specimens are then individually placed in jars to grow and develop. The aim is develop their colour and fins/tail as much as possible, and yes they have teeth too, its important to say we are only talking fairly small fish here. Once in together in the jars the fish will nibble each other, with the winner decided when the other fish legs it around the jars to get away!. Apparently it can be quite lucrative and is very popular with all walks of life in Cambodia. Next a sample of some Rice wine to blow away the cobwebs, mama mia!

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The Rice wine maker

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The Fighting fish jars

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The family home

Next stop! Cock Fighting training. As I say not strictly legal, here we saw a practice fight. The Cockerels are all kept under individual baskets, interestingly as soon as they are let out they become very aggressive towards each other without any encouragement. So, it makes for a good fight, and you can see why the Cambodians get into it, it’s just like Kick boxing!. The use of their strong legs is amazing, and can seriously injure or sometimes kill.

Once however they are with their owners they are completely placid as they get preened, bathed and generally cleaned up.They become quite pet like.

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There were about 8 Cockerels here

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The owner with his prize bird.

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