Battambang - a nice surprise

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We weren't really expecting much from Battambong but thought we should get away from the major towns / cities of Cambodia. It turned out to be a really cool place. Our appointed tuc tuc driver for the day Mr. Soon took us around some hill top temples. Both of us aren’t too interested in temples after seeing so many during our journey but the views because of the stretching Cambodian horizon are stunning. You can see for miles and miles. We also ride a bamboo train. It’s literally made of a bamboo base, two axles and an engine. It runs on a single gauge line so when you meet another train going the other way one train, usually ours had to be taken off the line to let the other train pass. Again we find the Cambodian people charming and friendly. I play footy with a Cambodian kid while we wait for Mr. Soon to finish a card game at a small road side eaterie we stop at. Haven’t played footy for ages so it was nice, even if it was just with a plastic bottle for a makeshift football. The day ends with Mr. Soon throwing sticks and stones at some trees to entice some huge fruit bats out for us to see. The fruit bats seem used to the routine and slumber away, we do see some of these magnificent creatures though.

We take a slow boat to Siem Reap. We pass floating villages, people fishing and cleaning clothes. We pass a lot of kids playing in or near to the river, every single one smiling and waving profusely. The people are poor here. A family accompanying us have a young baby, but don’t have nappies. The baby wees every now and then, the mum and dad just let him wee on their laps. He also poos on his sleeping brother’s head, which is quite amusing. To clean him the parents hang the baby over the side of the boat, letting the spray from the boat clean his bottom. They seem healthy and happy enough though. We get into Siem Reap just before a thunder storm erupts.
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