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  • Day34

    Krong Battambang

    July 17, 2018 in Cambodia ⋅ 🌧 26 °C

    Battambang is the second largest city in Cambodia and a quick 3 hour bus ride from Siem Reap. We got there around midday and had plenty of time to relax in the hotel pool (much needed after a filthy hostel in Siem Reap) and plan the next days.
    First thing in the morning we went to the Bamboo Train, a combined effort from French colonialists and the local people. The French build the tracks and used it with occasional trains... The rest of the times the locals build their own "trains" powered by hand with a long stick like the venetian gondoliers. Nowadays they use small motors mainly for tourist entertainment but also goods transportation. And there's still the trains which forced us to quickly hop off and disassemble the train 😁 A fun experience...
    Next stop on the tour with our private Tuktuk driver brought us to the "Killing Fields" next to a Buddhist monastery. This was our first contact with the terror that brought the Khmer Rouge over the country. Thousands of people were killed just in this place with overall millions disregarding age, gender, beliefs. Even many within the ranks fell victim to the regime. A sad chapter in the history of this beautiful country... In the afternoon we went to a scenic temple complex nearby with "Killing caves" and bat caves.
    It didn't get really clear how it got the name "Killing caves" but the Khmer Rouge definitely killed a lot of people here as well documented by many bones spread around the cave bottom. The temple itself was beautifully located and especially interesting because of a large monkey population that roam the premises... Just before dawn we sat down with a beer and waited for the millions of bats that come out every evening in search for food. They sometimes all come out at once within 15 minutes which creates an impressive black stream. We weren't so lucky as they took their time and it took more than half an hour before we left and they were still coming out.
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