After 7 months in Phnom Penh I decided to take a day off, to see a bit more of the country.
Checking out the places where I have not yet been the choise fell on Battambang.
I’d heard of the bamboo train and the bat caves and wanted to see what the hype was all about.
The town is quiet and charming, with some very nice buildings and an effort has been made to keep it clean. There are some very well kept park areas and a nice promenade along the river.
The trip from Battambang centre to the Phnom Sampeou, which sits on top of the mountain that holds the bat caves wasn’t very long and definitely worth it. We arrived at the mountain at about 4:30 PM, with just enough time to go up the 635 stair steps to the temple, and back down again before the bats started pouring out of the mountain. An amazing sight.
The next morning we went to the museum, we’d heard that it was a nice one. We were very disappointed. The museum was open, but the exhibits were all gone – it looked like the day after a very extensive looting. Half the room was filled with something that looked like scaffolding. It seems that the museum is being moved into a new building next door, I think they should have closed down when they too out all the exhibits. As it was it felt like a total rip-off.
After lunch we went out to see the new bamboo train, the same train and tracks as before, but moved out to the Banan temple area and reduced from a part of the infrastructure to a carnival ride, but it is still an interesting ride.
After that we went back to Phnom Penh.
Had we had more time I might have taken a cooking class, that seems to be the thing you do in Battambang, it was on offer all over the central town area.
All in all, Battambang was worth a visit, but it is nice to be back in the hustle and bustle of Riverside.