It took us 3 hours to reach Battambang on this old dodgy bus. The worst thing was that we stopped for a break, the Cambodians were buying stuff to eat on the bus. The grub – cockroaches, smelly corn, and and an entire fried chicken. By the end of the ride, the whole bus smelled of a mix of earthy chicken. There was an old woman sitting next to us with a plastic bag and would constantly spit in it.
As soon as we arrived to Battambang, all the tuk tuk taxi drivers rushed to us banging on our window saying “Taxi for 50 cents”, “Choose me!”. We were pretty much the only 2 Westerners there. We were like honey attracting bees.
I took the first taxi driver and we got a ride for 50 cents. He drove us to our hotel but then I understood his strategy. The half dollar ride was only half the bait, he then became pushy and said he wanted to be our tour guide and the rate jacked up to $15 for the whole day. I mean its not so bad when you compare to USA or in Europe but c’mon, I’m not looking to spend more than $10 altogether in Cambodia. It was just ridiculous.
I myself don’t mind spending that amount but i bet he will take us to the super touristy places where his other pals work and make us spend money on their services as well. While he gives us the tour, he’s gonna pretend he wants to be our friend and tell his whole life story as a poor man so that we’d feel sorry and give good commission for him. I can play this game with a blindfold. And plus I didn’t wanna sit in the taxi all day, I wanted to walk a bit. I thanked the guy for his service and rented a moped for $7/day.
We drove to the bamboo train. Long story short: Two pairs of iron wheels + a bamboo mat + an engine = The great bamboo train.
I wouldn’t say I regretted it, but it was super cheesy. Imagine going forward at 35km/h with nothing to see but bushes and plus there’s only one trail to follow. It was a 20 min journey to and fro. At the end of the trail, there was a souvenir shop, of course, with kids trying to sell you rubbish.
After that we drove to “Phnom Sapov: The Bat Cave”. We wanted to get there before 18:00 before the bats fly out of the caves and go hunt for insects.
- There are about 6 million bats in Cambodia
- Useful to humans as they feed off of parasites that ruin the rice crops and save over 2000 tons of rice/year by eating insects every night
We ended up seeing the bats fly out of the caves and it was pretty impressive. After 30 min, we went back to our hotel at night and ended up with a flat tire. Tomorrow we’re going to a cave full of monkeys and bats.
I feel like I need to shower for 3 hours after tomorrow.