Battambang


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Asia » Cambodia » North » Battambang
September 26th 2010
Published: May 29th 2012
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26th Sept: Yet another early morning, can't wait to have a lie-in sometime in the future. Packed up, had brekky and headed to the bus station. Got chatting to a German guy I had met yesterday at Bokor Hill Station and he was heading to Phnom Penh too. The bus journey was fine, about 4 and a half hours. They put the film the Killing Fields on and I tried to watch it but the volume was too low, so I couldn't really follow it. Also mamaged to piss of the miserable French bloke that was sitting next to me, by playing with the baby sitting in front of me. Had her shrieking and laughing. Miserable sod moved to the back of the bus, lol!

Arrived back in Phnom Penh and headed back to Nomads to stay. Sat out in the sun and had a coffee before heading down to the waterfront, where I treat myself to a nice salad in a posh cafe for lunch. Couldn't really be bothered to do anything today so just read my book at the hostel and had a nap. Went for dinner with the two lads I was sharing the dorm with and well dinner led to drinks. Ended up drinking lots of 60 cents beers and didn't stumble home until half two.

27th Sept: Up at 6, ouch! Think I was still drunk, well actually I was. Tried to force some toast and coffee down my neck to sober up, didn't work. Bus journey lasted about 6 hours, some how they are not as boring when I'm feeling rough. Proper old school, bus no air con, very hot and sweaty. Stopped twice, ate something random for lunch. Highlight of the journey had to be the old Khmer man, who was sitting next to me, leaning across and vomming out of the window. Nice! Arrived in Battambang and found a tuk-tuk driver who was giving free rides to the hotel I wanted to stay at. Now that was a stroke of luck. Eventhough I really wanted to curl up in bed and sleep, I made arrangements with the tuk-tuk driver to pick me up in an hour and go and see some sights. Had ashower and an ice coffee to sort myself out.

My first stop that afternoon was the bamboo train. Everybody keeps saying it's going to shut down in a few months but I think this story is false as it's been said for years. However the bamboo train is great fun and well worth going on. I was hurtled along through the forest for about thirty minutes. It's a load of fun, although you can't see too much as the bushes are mainly grown up around the track. The guy working my train gave me some random leaves to eat, nothing illict but not great. Also on the bamboo train if people are going in the opposite direction to you, the least heaviest train or trains have to be dismantled and everybody on them gets off, to let the other train(s) pass. The train stopped for about twenty minutes at a cafe by the tracks. Got chatting to three other girls who are staying at the same hotel as me. Then it was back on the bamboo train, to hurtle through the forest to the starting point.

Soon, my tuk-tuk driver, took me to Phnom Sampeu next, a temple up a moutain. The walk up wasn't too long but pretty steep, so I was sweating buckets by the time I got to the top. The temple area was quite busy. Side note, i had to use the loo, it was a squatter in a shack, not bad, apart from there was no light, so I hope I hit the spot. We stopped at the Killing Cave, which was used by the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge used the temple as an interrogation centre and prison. When they had finished with people they pushed them through the hole in the roof of the cave to their death. It was sad to stnad there and think about all the people who had died there. Wandered to the top of the mountain, couldn't believe it when we got there as I felt like it should of took a lot longer as the mountain seems really high when you are at the bottom of it. On the way back down it started to pour with rain. Not good, as it made me try and rush back down, and the ground was very slippery. Soon was great and helped me down the mountin safely. Also saw all the bats coming out of a cave as the sun was setting. Back at the hostel I had dinner in the rooftop cafe and got chatting to the lasses I had met earlier in the day.

28th Sept: Up fairly early this morning, had breakfast at the cafe next door to the hotel, as the food in the hotel isn't the greatest. Met up with Soon, as he was taking me to a traditional Cambodian village, so I could see what life was like there. Our first stop was to see sticky rice being made. They put the rice into a piece of a bamboo tree and cook it over a fire. Then they take off all the blackened parts and sell it. Each family has their own unique secret recipe. Also went on a very sall bamboo bridge, which goes across the river. I would definately not like to use that bridge in the dark or when drunk, as I would end up in the stream below.

Our next stop was at the fish market. The market was quite big, more like a warehouse than a market. It was very dark and gloomy, so it was hard to see inside. It was very smelly, but it's saving grace was that it was cool. After we drove through the rice fields, really pretty and you could see people working in the fields. Bet it's tough work. We stopped at a proper Khmer pub. It was nothing like a pub at home. It was just a shack really. Outside the pub there was a huge stone pot with a lid on it. Inside the pot was a load of snakes, that they sold as food in the pub. The children, whose family had the pub, kept going into the big pot and picking out the snakes and playing with them. One of the little girls was making the snake into a braclet and a necklace by wrapping it around her body. She was also tying it in knots. It was amazing to see these kids playing with the snakes, like it was perfectly normal and had no fear of them.

We went to see a rice noodle making place. That was interesting as it was a family run business and you could see the whole family getting involved and helping to produce the noodles. I also visited a rice mill and went visit a place where they made rice paper. However we arrived too late at the rice paper place and they had already finished for the day and the rice paper was all out drying in the sun. Then it was a quick visit to Ek Phnom Temple, which was really nice and then it was time for lunch. Some lad asked for my leftover food but I said no because he looked like a crack addict. And I didn't like how him and his friends loitered around However he still emptied my plate into a plastic bag and then him and his mates followed me back to my hotel. Creeps!

Had a rest at the hotel and then headed back out around half two. Went to Banan temple. Had to climb about a million steps to get to the top. The temple was really nice and there was an old couple up here who looked after it. Had a look around and then headed back down. The area surrounding the temple is covered with landmines. Sat in the shade at the bottom of the temple with Soon and had a drink. My last stop of the day was the Golden Gate bridge. The bridge was only built recently and now connects two villages on different sides of the river. Before if people wanted to cross the river they would of have to have used a boat. The views were gorgeous and there was loads of kids playing in the river.


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