Dry season - dried out river
Most people come to Battambang to travel further to Siem Reap and Angkor by boat. The Lonely Planet advertises the river cruise to be one of the most scenic in Cambodia. It's scenic, indeed, but it's not too exciting in the dry season. Stung Sangker, the river flowing through Battambang, is almost dried out then. You can actually cross it by foot. This means, that leaving Battambang by boat is not possible. The scenic river cruise however, still exists. People are driven to a place in the middle of nowhere, some 50km outside of the town. This trip may be scenic, too, if you didn't have to do it on the loading space of a pick-up. It's a two-and-a-half hours horror: the motor heats from beneath you, the sun from above, dust is literally everywhere, and the thorny trees whip your back while driving by. Furthermore, when I was doing it, the axle broke off... It was funny, though!
Unique Suggestions: Make the best out of it: Take an already dirty T-shirt, a scarf to protect your mouth from the dust, a hat to preserve your original hair colour, and lots of sunscreen to avoid sunburn. Enjoy being whipped from time to time and make bets in which pothole the car breaks down.
Fun Alternatives: The best alternative is not doing it during the dry season. In case you want to experience it anyway, you may try to reach a place somewhere in the middle of nowhere, where Stung Sangker and another river meet - there, you'll have to change boats anyway. Unfortunately, I don't know the name of this place, but you can try to ask somebody. It might be possible to reach it via route 6, although you're almost in Siem Reap by then anyway. Then it should be possible to do it without the dirt and dust experience.
- Sailing and Boating
I was just happened to take a shower on this share bath room at this hotel. I am not scared but I was just suddendly shock and feel trembling a little when I saw there was a man were snooping around while I was taking a shower. The weird thing is our room and the bathroom itself is in the 5th floor, right at the attic, ermm... how does he could climb up the event wall just for snooping.
Guess, what I have done to him, I splashing a water to him over the hole and then I quickly get my shower done. And the funny thing about me is I never get a shower on the next morning.....
So be aware of those friendly man!
Fun Alternatives: If you tend to take a shower, sure you can but do not naked if you dont want them taking advantage. Just simple as that.
Don´t go to the gecko cafe.
I was at the Gecko cafe once and i see no reason to return.
It´s located on a corner and looked ok at first and i could see the place was rather popular with foreigners.
Once i got in and sat down i noticed that the crowd there was mainly a rather sad combination of sex tourists and first time backpackers sitting on skype telling their family "i´m in Cambodia and this is aaawsome".
I got seated at a table the waitress showed me and it had several hundred dead mosquitoes on it, some dead some alive.
When i asked if they could wipe the table and mabye put up some incent stick to keep the mosquitoes away they looked all baffled and started running up and down the restaurant.
The good thing about that was that it gave me time to study the menu.
I could see that every single dish on the menu was at least twice the price of some of the nice eateries in the same neighbourhood and they seem to pride themselves with american burgers for 4-5 dollars a piece.
So i went up and æeft the place before ordering anything so i will not be able to tell you if their 4-5 dollar burger is good, but i can tell you that the restaurants next door serve really good Khmer food for less than 3 dollard for a main course.
Fun Alternatives: There are restaurants next door with excellent food for half the price of the gecko.
Cold Night Restaurant
Restaurants that are visited by busloads of tourists are usually not the place you wanna end up. Either the food is crappy or the prices are way to high. For Cold Night Restaurant it was a combination of both. Food was slightly below average and prices higher than average compared to other places.
Fun Alternatives: Cold Night Restaurant is quite far from downtown. So why even bother going there? Choose a nicer place in downtown. It's cheaper and better.
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