Biking in Battambang
Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
92Trip End Apr 22, 2011
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The bus picked us up at 6.45am to take us to Battambang a 5 hour journey south of Siem Reap. The bus picked a few other people up then drove to a bus stop to change to a larger bus. This bus then picked a few more people up before driving into a larger bus station where we changed to another bus, we drove down the road and parked up. We had left our guest house two hours earlier, I looked out the window, nudged Gary to pointed out that we were sitting outside our own Guest House..... I think I would rather have had the two hour sleep in.
Arriving at Battambang there was a Tuk Tuk frenzy, all fighting to take the passengers to their guest houses. It was quite funny watching them jostling for our attention. We had one of them to take us to a guest house where we checked in and went for a walk round town and down to the river. Not the busiest town and seriously lacks restaurants, but not mobile phone shops they have hundreds of those.
The weather is still at its hottest, April is known as the killer month, so what is the best way to cool you down on a hot day....how about a 50c beer. It seems this is norm for Cambodia and one Gary is very happy about, it covers his two main loves, cheapness and beer. We hadn't planned to drink on this trip except for special occasions, xmas, new year’s etc. It is usually expensive and the first way to bring you home early, but in some places, like here, the price of a drink is often cheaper than a bottle of coke or even water.
We found a nice restaurant (eventually) down the road from our guest house. The food was tasty and smoothies were delicious. There is a lot of poverty here and it was very apparent in the restaurant we visited. There was a number of young mothers with babies begging outside but you see that all over S E Asia, but it wasn’t until we were half way through our meal that I noticed a small boy come in and finish some left over’s. The restaurant didn’t chase him off and then we noticed another couple gather their remaining food and give it to another small boy. I looked over to Gary, should we give up our left over’s? Sadly, for the starving boys, Gary had finished his plate and mine too.... nothing left to share. We did give the mother and child some money, hopefully enough to get a meal.
We got bikes the next day and tried to find the Bamboo train, this is one of its kind, last ones in the world. Bamboo frame on train tracks with a motor cycle engine., run by 10 year old boys mainly. You can take a ride on this for a small fee, however we found some train tracks but we couldn’t locate the train....no matter how many roads we rode up and down and how many people we asked with Gary doing his train impression....’choo, choo, you know train?’. They eventually got it but only after they had picked themselves up off the floor from laughing. Still we had a good day out and rode round some lovely villages, lots of kids running out to say hi and wave at us, all very sweet.
We have booked our ticket for the next day, moving on to the capital Phnom Penh.