04/04/2018 – 10/04/2018
A few words about Battambang
The city is the Capital of Battambang province, which is known in Cambodia to be the leading rice producer of the country. Tourism is still in development and the city is really small compared with the huge city of Siem Reap.
We went there in the dry season, with temperatures reaching 35°C during the day and 25°C at night. Locals told us that you eventually get used to it, but we still haven’t :p
Reaching Battambang from Siem Reap
In Siem Reap streets, you can find plenty of small shops selling bus tickets to Cambodia’s major cities. Buses run at 7:30AM, 9:30AM and 10:30AM every day. There are two prices: 5$/pp (4€) for a 3 hours bus and 4$/pp (3€) for a 7 hours bus.
As for us, we booked a bus departing at 9:30AM for 3 hours. A tuk-tuk was supposed to pick us up, but never arrived :p We got back to the shop to get information and the guy told us that he forgot to pick us up, just like that. Well, it happens right? Travelling in Asia never ceases to surprise us :p Eventually, we got two seats in the last bus of the day, to discover that we were gonna be in there for 7 straight hours… 😀
Prices tend to be a bi t lower than Siem Reap for a private room+bathroom:
- Hotel: 15-20$ (12-16€)
- Guesthouse: 4-10$ (3-8€)
We stayed the two first nights at the « Tomato backpackers Guesthouse », – 4$/night, then we left for the Por Chey Guesthouse, – 5$/night. The second one was less cheap, but we started to get tired of killing at least two cockroaches a day!
There are not a lot of restaurants in town and we unfortunately were not satisfied by but a few of them. We went several times to the same restaurants:
- « Mat Coffee – Dim Sum »: Small restaurant close to a fountain in the northern part of town. Cheap food (2$ / 1-2€) and nice people, but they only open in the evening.
- Food stalls in front of th « Angkor Comfort Hotel ». Food is quiet good, but you should definitely go there to try their milkshakes at 0,75-1$ (0,6-0,8€).
- « Mariyan Pizza House », close to the temple Wat Sangker and to the popular hostel « Here be Dragons ». We had lunch and dinner every day for 2-3$/pp for a dish (including 1 beverage a person). PS: Their « iced coffee » is gorgeous and without sugar.
Two days are really enough to see everything around:
- Crocodiles farm
- Barseat Temple
- Wat Phnom Ek Temple / Ruins
- Wat Sangker Temple
- Phnom Sampeau/Sampov Hill:
- Killing Caves
- Bat Caves
- Phnom Banan Hill:
- Wat Banan Temple / Ruins
- Bamboo train
PS1: In the list above, only the crocodiles farm and Wat Sangker Temple are in within the city. Everything elseis located 15km away from it.
PS2 : During Pol Pot time, Killing caves were natural caves used to dispose of ennemies of the regime. More than 3 million educated people were tortured and killed there (teachers, translators, scientists …)
PS3: « Bat caves » consist of tunnels inhabited by 6,5 millions of Wrinkle-lipped bats (Chaerephon plicatus), which only get out once every day from 5:45PM to sunset to hunt. They feed mostly on insects (crop destroyers), which saves up to 2000 tons of rice a year and eat 50 to 100% of their weight (15 grams, they are rather small) a day. As it is the number one province in rice farming, they are revered!
A few pics of Battambang city
A few pics of Phnom Sampov Hill
Killing Caves, temples and viewpoint
A few pics of Banan Hill and Temple
This is where our trip in Cambodia ends. We will head for Thailand next by bus that we booked at “Capitol tours” (maps.me) for 13$/pp (10,55€). The bus leaves at 7:45AM for a 8 to 9 hours trip.
Update: We talked about it in our next post (A) Bangkok (FR)) and definitely do not recommand this company because they did not drop us off in Khaosan road as they told us, but 7 km away from it in the center of Bangkok (I think that we were dropped off at the location referred as « Arrivals from Cambodia » on Maps.me). The guy got angry without reason and told us to get a taxi to Khaosan road (which costed us 300 THB – 8€ – that we divided among 6 people).
Our next posts will be related to the Southern part of Thailand and a summary of our expenses in Cambodia 😀