- Floating village Me Chhrey
- Bamboo train
- Phnom Banan
- Countryside tour in Battambang
Battambang is known as Cambodia’s Rice Bowl. Here is where most of Cambodia’s excellent quality rice is produced. The provincial capital is Cambodia’s second largest city but with less than 200.000 inhabitants, the city seems far from a metropole. Instead, it provides a warm and intimate feeling. The people are amazing and always busy at their homes with small crafts or farming activities, which at any given time you can observe. Battambang is beautiful, its surroundings are astonishing and the city’s attractions are fun. Explore the leftover colonial shop houses, its bustling local market, ride the infamous bamboo train and stand atop Phnom Banan for spectacular views. See and experience Battambang by mountain bike or tuktuk and meet the local people for authentic experiences.
DAY 1: SIEM REAP - BATTAMBANG (-/-/-)
Leave Siem Reap and drive towards Battambang. Located on the north-western tip of the Tonle Sap, Me Chhrey village allows for an authentic floating village experience. The small village is home to families who unlike other floating communities still live in wooden house boats. The village moves throughout the year, depending on the water levels of the lake. At the end of the dry season when the lake’s water levels are at its lowest, the villagers move closer to shore and live primarily from agricultural activities on land. By visiting a local home you get a better understanding of life on the lake and your guide would be more than happy to translate your questions to your hosts. Return to the port and visit the Silk Farm of Artisans d’Angkor, located a 15 minute drive away. Here people with underprivileged backgrounds are given an opportunity to improve their livelihoods by reviving the ancient crafts of making art and producing silk. A local representative accompanies you and walks you through the farm and explains all the steps necessary to produce quality silk. Continue to Battambang
Accommodation in Battambang
DAY 2: BATTAMBANG (B/L/-)
Start the day early and drive by tuktuk through villages in rural Battambang. Take a hike through the village and visit a local house. Meet with the family and get to understand the daily chores of the family. Your guide is happy to explain their way of life and translate your questions. Continue the tour and learn how the local people produce sticky rice, rice noodles, rice paper and fish paste. Observe how rice paper is made, taste some rice wine or try to make some rice noodles yourself. Continue afterwards to the Bamboo Train. This small engine powered train has a bamboo platform of 3 by 3 meters and can be considered the smallest passenger train in the world. The train can be completely dissembled to allow other transportation to pass on the single railway. A 45 minute ride will take you through Cambodia’s countryside and without a doubt will put you in touch with friendly local people transporting anything from fresh market produce to motorbikes and construction materials on the way. Return to town for lunch and visit in the middle of the afternoon Phnom Banan. The hillside temple is located 25km south of Battambang and is like a smaller version of Angkor Wat. Built in the 10th century, its location is stunning, providing a beautiful view over the plains below. Return to Battambang for a free evening afterwards.
DAY 3: BATTAMBANG - SIEM REAP (B/-/-)
Leave Battambang and return to Siem Reap. Visit Wat Ek Phnom on your way back. Wat Ek Phnom an atmospheric, partly collapsed, 11th-century temple situated 11km north of Battambang, measures 52m by 49m and is surrounded by the remains of a laterite wall and an ancient baray (reservoir). A lintel showing the Churning of the Ocean of Milk can be seen above the east entrance to the central temple, whose upper flanks hold some fine bas-reliefs.
Construction of the giant Buddha statue next door has been stopped by the government because, they say, it mars the site's timeless beauty. This is a very popular picnic and pilgrimage destination for Khmers at festival times.