IS and I took a bus from Siem Reap to Battambang. It was a few hours and it was more a minivan than an actual bus. The spot we stopped in for a rest offered a lovely ice coffee for 2 USD.
As soon as we arrived, we were bombarded by tuk tuk drivers trying to get passengers and taking them to THEIR hostel and hotel. We already booked a place- THE PLACE- which was a few meters/feet from the bus stop so we walked.
We stayed in a 6 bed dorm with just fans, which was fine the first night, but it was super hot and lots of mosquitos the next night.
We stayed 2 nights, but 2 full days.
The first night we just explored the town and planned what we were going to do. The first full day we did a tour of the area.
We didn’t think we would finish all there was to do in a day and therefore decided to stay an extra day, but we did.
We thought to do a tour with the hostel, but it was pretty expensive. I think it was 15 USD a person, but we read online that it should be around 15-20 for the whole tuk tuk.
That morning I went out and found a driver. For sure, it was about 10 USD per person.
So, if you have read my Siem Reap post, you know we had a driver named Koy. Well, when I asked this driver’s name, I was a bit stunned. Poy. I definitely asked him to spell it and yup, was Poy. Alright!
Here were our stops in the order we did them, but the tuk tuks know the way:
We read online that this was a thing to do. So we did go by it, but now it’s a water treatment plant and not that exciting.
-Wat Ek Phnom
A ruined temple that we found some adorable cats. It is also near another killing fields of the Pol Plot regime (see Phnom Penh post). At the temple we came across a Spanish speaking couple and the man was very bossy with dictating how his photo should be taken. IS doesn’t know Spanish, but just from his tone and body language she also agreed with me.
A not so great temple on a hill- there were many stairs- make sure you are in good condition with plenty of water.
Another temples with fruit bats.
This used to be an actual bamboo platform used for moving agriculture items. But now, it is so popular and touristy that they have spiced things up and now it is 5 USD per person with actual seats. It was too much like Disneyland. You do get to see some farm land when you take the 7 minute ride (one way), but IS was not impressed.
There was a Spanish couple in front of us and they were fighting. It got to the point that it was becoming awkward for me to listen to them that I finally indicated I could speak Spanish by talking with them in Spanish. They stopped fighting after that. Most people don’t want to fight when others can understand them or in front of other people- it saved me from listening to them as well!
A temple on another hill. You can walk up, but we decided to take a motorscooter up for 2 USD. There is a slight mafia in this, your own tuk tuk can’t take you up, you have to use this motorscooter people.
This place also has killing caves as well as insect bats. The bats come out of their cave at dusk (around 6pm) and we wanted to be there for that. So we took the motorscooter to make our visit faster (it was around 5pm). The temple is at the very top, but we stopped halfway to see the killing caves.
There is not much to the killing caves in terms of signs or anything, it is just more that thousands of people were killed inside.
We had an appetizer and a coke to watch the bats and then headed back to town with Poy.
The second full day, we had nothing to do. We walked around the city and ate lunch at a fancy restaurant across the river. We were craving wine and this was just the place to do it.
One thing Battambang is known for besides the tour we did above, is the circus! This circus reaches out to underprivileged children and help them with school while teaching them how to perform. They start actually performing 14-18. They only perform on certain nights (all proceeds go to the school and the children). The first night (when we arrived) we missed it by 30 minutes. But because we were waiting for our night bus to PP, we had time.
It was amazing! The kids were amazing and funny. I died laughing several times. Definitely time your trip to include a show! It was 14 USD for the ticket and 6 USD for the whole tuk tuk.
Now, our night bus…..we saw it was a hotel bus with a full bed. We were thinking it was a chair that just folded out into a bed.
Well, we got there and it was a real bed with a pillow and blanket. The kicker, it is one bed per 2 people. It was fine because IS and I shared a bed, but the guy across the aisle from us was from England and ended up sharing with a random Cambodian guy, who, 10 minutes into the ride started snoring loudly.
IS and I had a ball the first 30 minutes. We were laughing at the situation and whispering about the English guy. I felt bad for him, but not as much as if he was a woman. Least he was a guy with this random Cambodian guy. If it was a woman with a random guy….I’m not sure how Cambodia deals with this. It is an Asian culture, so conservative and respectful in this regard- so not sure if the company coordinates women with women and men with men.
We didn’t sleep that great because it was slightly bigger than a twin bed, but still really just meant for one person comfortably- 2 people, it was tight. Luckily, both IS and I were not overweight at all (IS is very slender).
Anyways, it was an experience, especially because we had a 30 minute bus break down on the side of the road.
See you soon!
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