15 March 2018 – Battambang, Cambodia – Day 2 – Bamboo Train

Got up this morning and had plans to visit the Bamboo Train and Banyon Hill Temple, but first we had to find some breakfast. This hotel did not include breakfast although you could purchase breakfast. We got dressed and headed down the stairs…..all 67 of them.

We checked out the hotels breakfast menu and decided to look elsewhere. We were lucky to find a bakery on the next corner and then a Cafe Amazon a block away from the bakery. Enjoyed a nutritious breakfast.

Headed back to the hotel as we wanted to contact the Tuk-Tuk driver that we had yesterday hoping he would be available for the day. He had given us his card so the hotel phoned him. He would be there shortly. To our surprise someone else showed up saying his friend was busy and had sent him. Wasn’t too sure about it, but the hotel confirmed his story. Turned out that there are three Tuk-Tuk drivers who operate a little company called Battambang Handicraft Tours. Odd name, but if you’re ever in Battambang, Cambodia, contact them as they are terrific as we found out. Our driver’s name was Peter and he would drive us for the day. It would cost us $20US. Sounded great to us. As we left, Peter asked if we minded if we stopped by his apartment as he had forgotten his sunglasses. No problem. Turned out he only lived a few streets away. Then he asked if we would like to see more of the country side on our way to the Bamboo Train instead of just going on the highway. That sounded great to us. He drove through a village to a bridge that they refer to as The Golden Gate Bridge. From the side it was a similar shape, but definitely not similar materials.

While standing on the bridge, Peter explained to us some of the ways they catch fish there. They have some very ingenious methods.

Then it was time for us to move aside as a motor scooter wanted to cross and the bridge was pretty narrow.

We continued on the country roads until we came to a small farm where we stopped again.

Peter guided us through the farm, about an acre and a half and explained to us their methods and what this particular farmer was growing. I can’t remember what this first vegetable was, but the grassy stuff was lemongrass. He told us how when he was younger he would have to get up early and help out on their farm before going to school.

We continued along the back country roads along a river until we had to stop. The road was closed off. Turned out this little village was having a wedding today and had closed the road down for their reception area. We had to go back and get on the highway after all.

It was still a great ride along the highway and we saw a portion that was lined on both sides with these beautiful yellow flowering’s trees. Just looked gorgeous.

A little further along the school children were heading home for their 2-hour lunch break. Some had motor scooters, some bicycles. and many had to walk. They go to school in the mornings from 7:00 to 11:00. Then many go to a different school in the afternoons such as Chinese school.

Can’t say I have ever seen a traffic sign with a Tuk-Tuk on it before.

We soon came to the Bamboo Train. Apparently they have moved it since our son rode it in 2017. They said that it had become unsafe and therefore relocated it. It is still a work in progress. We rode through the countryside for about 20 minutes then got off while they turned our cart around. While it only took seconds to turn the cart, they had us hang around about 15 minutes. I’m guessing in hope that we would purchase something from the stalls. There was an Australian couple and a British woman on the cart in front of us and we stood around and chatted for the break.

From here we headed to Banon Hill Temple. Going there we weren’t sure we would be able to climb the steps, but wanted to see. We have been surprised a few times and have been able to. This temple had 358 steps.

We got there and thought it might not be too bad and started up.

After about 20 steps we realized there was no way we would be able to do it. They were all different heights and depths. Makes it that much harder so took a selfie instead. There was also a photo shoot going on. Not sure if it was a wedding or not.

It was so hot here and there was a stand that had smoothies. That sounded so good that we decided to get some. We offered to buy our driver, Peter, one, but he opted for a large bottle of water. Smart move on his part as all your water has to be bought here.

We headed back to our hotel to rest up before our night, as we were going to the Circus. Peter would be back for us at 6:00 pm.

The circus is put on by underprivileged kids. Paden had told us about it and just raved about it, so we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss it. They told a story with their circus acts. Let me say…..it was AMAZING! These kids have so much talent. Hope they make it far in life.

As we were sitting waiting for the show to start we see the Australian couple and British woman from this afternoon arrive and sit in the next section beside us. They still had their guide with them. They all saw us and we all waved.

Peter, our driver was back at 8:30 pm to pick us up. Since we hadn’t eaten dinner we had Peter drop us off at the same restaurant we had eaten at yesterday, the White Rose. As we’re walking in to sit down, who do we see, but the Aussies and the Brit again with their guide. So just who’s following who now?

We had told Peter we would walk back to our hotel so he could go home and relax. After dinner we actually decided to take a Tuk-Tuk, so just grabbed one on the street. Not sure which was scarier, the walk the night before or tonight’s Tuk-Tuk ride. First off he had no headlight and then he got lost and didn’t know how to get to our hotel. This made me nervous. Our hotel, was actually only two turns from the restaurant. Thankfully, he found someone and asked them where our hotel was. We got back safe and sound. Time for bed for us as we have another busy day with Peter tomorrow.

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