local village life along the Stung Sangker
Most travelers are heading to Battambang not so much for the town itself but for its surroundings. There is ample simple village life on a day trip by motorcycle but also lots to see by boat. Perhaps the most scenic boat trip in Cambodia is the one between Battambang and Siem Reap. Not only will you see great examples of village life, but also a fair amount of birdlife too. Details on how to do this are explained under transportation but by all means, do it.
- Sailing and Boating
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Wat Kampheng seemed a bit over the top for me. It was just a tad overdone with its elaborate horse drawn carriage fountain scene. That said, it was an interesting walk over there that passed the Governor’s Residence and a school where I watched some local kids playing soccer. Head to the southern end of Phaluv 3 and you won't miss its glare in the midday sun.
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- Religious Travel
As Battambang sort of lacks interesting sights (excepts the wats), it may be a good idea to explore the vicinity of the town. A motobike can be rented in some of the hotels - be sure to fix a price before leaving. It should not cost more than $7 or 8. You can leave the town when you drive along the river passing the port and after some kilometers turn to the right. It's a very scenic route - passing through little villages, banana forests, fields. At the roadside, Cambodians will stare at you because they rarely ever see a Westerner driving through this area. Children will wave at you and run after you. A good idea is to stop at some of the wats - they are all very new as Cambodia's Khmer Rouge destroyed nearly all wats in the country. Most of the monks were killed, so nowadays you'll hardly find older monks. The friendly and open young monks can tell you about life in the wats - most of them speak at least a little English. An interesting detail are the donation signs at the walls. They tell about the donators, most of whom Cambodians living in exile.
Two things to be careful about: 1. Never leave the trodden paths! Northwestern Cambodia is full of landmines, a horrible legacy of the years of war. 2. The roads are in a horrible condition. Dirt roads and gravel roads belong to the better sorts... It's not uncommon to find massive sharp stones lying in the middle of the road. Be careful not to get a puncture! In case you have one, try to explain your problem to passers-by. There are ways to repair a puncture that one would never think of. I just say "banana leaf"... Some people make a living just by repairing punctures with banana leaves. Try to find them!
- Budget Travel
The wonderful world of Tonle Sap
The Tonle Sap lake is the largest lake of Sout East Asia. Depending of the season the lake can swell from 2500 square KM to more than 13.000 square KM. This unique ecosystem is one of the richest sources of fresh water fish in the world.
The best way to travel between Siem Reap and Battambang is to take the boat and cross this area. You can take the speedboat service of about 3 or 4 hours, but I didn't regret at all to have taken the slower boat, so we had an incredible boattrip of 8 hours !
Tonle Sap is home to many Cambodians who live in floating villages, in houses built on bamboo poles or in houseboats. Everything in this area is floating like the stores, the fuel station, the school. 90% of the people in this area are fishermen. It's impressive to see their huge nets.
Smoke on the water
You can view along the river bank and I noticed that people there making a living through netting a fish and even a children were already use to fishing.
House on the water. That's absolutely cool and really caught my attention when I saw really nice boat which half furnish with a kid waving at us perhaps she or he welcoming us to drop by but seems like everything just a short while. yes thats for a shortwhile when I followed my eye towards them until the end of sight.
La frontera de Pailin
Para ir a Ko Chang en Tailandia normalmente la gente va por Poipet , pero se puede pasar por la frontera de Pailin , que aparte de estar mas cerca ( 2 horas y 35 $ en Taxi ) , de que la carretera no es mala , tiene la ventaja de que es una frontera muy tranquila en la que hay poca gente y se hacen los tramites rapidamente en los dos lados
To go to Ko Chan in Thailand normally the people go by Poipet , but you may pass by the Pailin border , that besides of being nearer ( 2hours and 35 $ by taxi ) , that the road is not bad , it has the advantage that is a very quiet border where there are few people and you can do the border procedures very quickly on both sides
Banco de Arroz - Rice Bank
En la mision Catolica de Battambang existe un banco de arroz
El arroz , basico en la alimentacion Camboyana , tiene unos precios que varian con las estaciones del ano y da lugar a especulaciones , por ello tienen un banco de arroz en el que la gente procura tener los precios estables durante todo el ano y asi defenderse de las especulaciones
In Battambang Catholic Mision there is a Rice Bank
The rice , basic in the Cambodian food , it has prices that are changing with the year seasons and originate especulations , for this reason they have a rice bank where the people try to keep the prices stables during all the year and so to defend of the prices especulation
Cena en el Colegio Mayor- Dinner in the Residence
La Mision de Battambang tiene un Colegio Mayor que dirige el Padre Pedro (S.J.)
que es colombiano
Aparte de impresionarnos su orden y limpieza , la recordaremos por la cena tan entranable que tuvimos con los estudiantes y los coperantes que pusieron todos sus esfuerzos por hacernos una noche inolvidable
The Battambang Mision has a Students Residence that is managed by the Colombian Father Pedro (S.J.)
Besides the great impression we had due to the tidy and cleaning of the Residence , we will remember it by the friendly dinner we had with the students and the cooperants that made as much as possible to give us an unforgettable night
La Mision - The Mision
La mision esta presidida por el busto del Padre Arrupe y en ella Kike Figaredo ( S.J.) Obispo de Battambang y su equipo estan volcados en ayudar a la gente y conseguir que con gran esfuerzo mejoren las instalaciones y medios y asi las condiciones de vida de los cientos de personas que participan en sus proyecto
Dentro del recinto de la Mision pudimos ver la Iglesia nueva , los centros de dia , donde est?n los ninos , entre estos muchos invalidos por las minas personales , el ambulatorio , las escuelas de formacion , con telares y maquinas de coser , las residencias para sacerdotes y estudiantes , centro de acogida para los enfermos que se desplazan al medico , el nuevo deposito de agua con su campana y su capilla , el Banco de arroz ,...Todo un mundo que esta en plena agitacion y en el que constantemente les estan surgiendo nuevas necesidades y emergencias de la gente que acude a ellos solicitando ayuda
Siempre estan trabajando y sonando con nuevos proyectos , si quieres contactar con ellos lo puedes hacer en : www.sauceong.com
The Mision is presided by the Padre Arrupe bust and on it Kike Figaredo and his team are dedicated to help the people and to get with great effort to improve the installations and facillities and with it the standard of living of the hundreds of people that participate on his projects.
In the Mision area we could see the New Church , the Day Centers where are the children , many of them invalid due to the land mines , the Health Center , the Training Schools , with textile mills , sewing machines ,the Residences for Priests and Students , the Reception center for the ill people that are going to town to go to the doctor, the new Water Deposit with its Bell and Chapel ,the Rice Bank, ...a world that is in full movement and where
constant ly are appearing new needs and emergencies of the people that go to them searchig for help
They are always working and dreaming on new projects , if you want to contact with them you can do in : www.sauceong.com
You ARE allready off the beaten path, while there
Cambodia consists for the bigest part of the tourists just of Angkor Wat, perhaps Phnom Penh as a second stop. Everything else is allready out of the "normal" way.
Walk through the streets of Batdambang and see the daily life.
These city is not something special, but there´s a temple where, as I took my camera out to make a picture, a bunch of kids arrived wanting to be on my picture.
Road in Battambang
Walking around in this town is amazing, views that you never could dream about.
It is dirty, beggars,disabled people, and your feelings goes.......
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