26.07.16 – 28.07.16
Cambodia is only a small country, but it is extremely slow to travel between locations. We only had 11 days planned here and had enough time to visit one place outside of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh (both are a must if you’re in Cambodia). If you travel North from Phnom Penh you reach forest areas and Laos and South will take you to the beach and island regions around Sihanoukville. We chose to travel to Battambang, a 3-hour bus ride South-West of Siem Reap. There are a few companies, in Siem Reap, you can organise you bus through, we paid $11 each for a return ticket.
There are only a few hotels in town, so when the bus pulls into town, next to the market, each tuk-tuk driver is fighting to get your business. Each hotel is a 50c or $1 trip from the market, purely because you can walk to all of them from the bus stop!
Around the town there are plenty of ancient ruins and sights to see. The Bamboo Train (literally a bamboo mat on wheels) was wonderful experience. You pay $10 a train for up to 4 people and then you’re driven along the old rail tracks to the end of the line. There is nothing to see or do at the other end, but the ride is super unique. Because there is only one track and many trains, you regularly have to stop, dismantle the simple contraption to let other pass.
The town of Battambang itself is fairly drab. The only thing worth mentioning within the town, is at night there is a small collection of food vendors that sell the most delicious noodle curry with slow cooked meats! Almost worth a trip out there!
We spent the rest of our time in Battambang on our scooter, cruising through the town and surrounding villages. There is lots to see and smell! About 20 minutes out of town, by scooter, is the ancient ruins of Ek Phnom. A mass of rubble surrounded by another temple, statue and school, makes for an intriguing sight. We also, got drenched by rain on the way back to town in a mini storm! We hid in a shelter by the road until it past, but everything was already soaked.
– Hire a scooter for your time in town for $6 a day.
– Bamboo Train and Ek Phmon are both worth a visit.
– 2 night stay here is plenty.