Battambang - busy doing nothing
Trip Start Mar 18, 2009
134Trip End Jan 12, 2010
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We wanted to head back to Phnom Penh around the other side of lake Tonle Sap, so we took a 3 hour bus down to Battambang. We had planned to take a boat for this part of the journey, but we heard from other travelers that the journey took them 10 hours packed onto a boat with no toilet. We also thought about going to the Prek Toal bird sanctuary, but it would have cost $160 and that's a bit much for us.
We arrived at Battambang at midday and the Bus Stop Hostel had sent 2 motorbikes to pick us up. My dad will be proud to know that I got on the back of one bike, with my 20kg rucksack between the drivers knees - oh I've changed ;) I even managed small talk about the weather with the driver. The scar on my elbow from my bike accident back in Vietnam is still very pink !
We dropped off our stuff and headed out to the Fresh Eats Cafe for lunch - 2 meals and a drink for less than $5 - they support children whose families have been affected by AIDS/HIV and we made it a regular lunch spot.
We had a little wander around Battambang, but there isn't much to see, just a town with riverfront colonial buildings. Most of the time we spent sunning ourselves on the balcony (me) and on the internet (Paul).
On the 10th July we decided it could possibly be our 2 year anniversary, we can't remember the exact date we got together, but we watched a beautiful sunset at the Riverside Balcony Bar and decided the 10th sounds like a good date for an anniversary.
One day we hired some bikes from the Bus Stop and took a cycle ride through the villages to the north of town. Paul's bike was hilarious - it's handlebars were on backwards and it was too small for him. I am not exaggerating when I say that on the 2 hour ride we said 'hello' to over 100 people. Everyone smiled, waved and some of the kids even managed to shout 'hellowhatsyourname' (all one word). We cycled along the river, passed ice making factories, fish drying in the sun, monks, schools full of waving kids. It is going to be very sad to be back in England and not have anyone say hello, or even smile at me - I imagine myself on the tube grinning at people like an idiot.
On the last 2 days we learnt more about refuse collection in Cambodia, the smell of bins had been increasing and the pile of rubbish outside the Bus Stop had been decomposing in the sun for 3 days. On the morning of our check-out a dustbin lorry came and took it away, but not before we'd gagged our way through breakfast. I'm not sure I could ever get used to that smell.
We weren't very impressed with the Bus Stop, the internet was fast, and we did hire 2 movies from Brett ('The Goonies' and 'Uncle Buck'), but the rooms weren't very clean, the food was all western heart-attack food and the downstairs loo - next to the kitchen, was disgusting. We don't often slag off hotels, so this is saying something.
After 3 days of not very much we hopped on an air conditioned bus and traveled 4 hours back to Phnom Penh. Back to the Indochine 2 hotel - feels like home.
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Where I stayed
Bus Stop Guesthouse