Crazy Bamboo Train
Trip Start Aug 27, 2011
99Trip End Jun 01, 2012
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The city has classic French architecture, from long boulevards to balcony terraces. Down a small side street, we found a small local cafe offering delicious cheap noodles with vegetables.
Our afternoon with Tony was very interesting. We wanted to ride the bamboo train. On the way we crossed the river and Tony stopped outside the Pitt-Jolie foundation. Tony told us about the work Brad and Angelina have done in the area since she filmed Tomb Raider and the love the Cambodians have for them. He also talked about the respect and love the area has and still has for the work Princess Diana did in relation to land mines. It was great to hear these positive stories.
Before the bamboo train, Tony stopped by a local street stand selling desserts. A banana leaf with sweet rice covering coconut, it was delicious! The other interesting aspect about running a Tuk Tuk is the way you fill up on gasoline. One stops at a diet coke stall, to find all the colourful liquids in the botltes are actually gas! So don't get confused!!
The bamboo train was a little unusual. A 4km line where one sits on a sheet of bamboo that is resting on two Axels and a motor on the back. The station guard took a picture and we were off! Ducking low lying branches and spitting flies out of our mouths, I also forgot my shades so had to squint a little with the debris flying into my eyes!! We passed endless fields of horticulture and farming. Locals were working the fields, the sun was out and the day was free. At the end of the track we were persuaded to have a can of Fanta and there was very little to observe in the village. Our driver simply turned the contraption round with the help of another and we set off to the start. Seeing as there is only one track, we encountered a bamboo engine moving towards us at speed. It soon slowed down, was picked up in pieces and removed from the track so we could pass. Just bizarre.
Tony tried to squeeze more cash out of us but we didn't budge. We agreed to go to the caves and he took a scenic route to get there. Before we arrived at the caves, he stopped at a water cockroach street stand. Demonstrating the art of eating these insects turned my stomach a little, even now, I'm still happy I declined the offer to chomp on a water cockroach!!
The caves involved a steep climb up some steps. Only a fifteen minute climb but enough to aggravate Dave's back. On top of the mountain was various wats, temples and a great view of the flat countryside surrounding Battambang, minus the odd hill!
We called it a day and headed back! Surprise, surprise, in the evening, we ate at the cafe opposite the guesthouse and we both had curry! I think now Dave is slowly turning into a curry, but nothing wrong with trying a curry in every city of every country!!
Next morning we enjoyed a light breakfast and soon boarded a bus to our next destination.
Next stop, Phnom Penh