Social Whisper

Battambang

Posted on: March 18, 2009

Monday we took the local bus north to Battembang which is Cambodia’s second largest city – arriving there however you would never have guessed, although it has a nicer feel to it than Phnom Penh.

After a bit of lunch the local moped drivers took us round Battambang on the back of their bikes. My driver Bruce was hilarious as he’d learnt English from some one from East London and so wanted me to call him guvenor and ever thing was a cambodian version of cockney.

Moped Ride round Batambang

We visited some local people who made rice paper, noodles and also where they made fish paste and dried the fish – luckily it had been presevered in salt but the smell was still pretty strong.

Fish Paste making

The best bit about the trip however was that we got to go on the Bamboo train which everyone was told before we came that we were now not allowed to do.

Bamboo TrainThere is literally only one railway line in Cambodia which runs from Phnom Penh to Battambang but is only used for Cargo trains and relatively infrequently so the locals use the line with their homemade bamboo trains.

The bamboo train is literally a sheet of bamboo on four wheels powered by a motercycle engine. If you meet one coming the other way the rules are the heaviest train wins and so the other has to dismantle and let it pass, which also watching out for the real train!

Bamboo Train

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