Favorite thing: Monks are mostly present in Southeast Asian countries, Cambodia has a lot of them. You see monks from kids to elderly people, and they're always recognizable with their orange robe. You will see them in any temples, they are friendly and shy.
During the reign of the Khmer Rouge all monasteries were destroyed and murdered the monks. Pol Pot tried to wipe out Buddhism and monks felt totally useless. Since Buddhism was re-declared state religion in 1993, still act more young men joined the Sangha. That's why today, you see more young monks around
A local guide told us about monk, a monk before they joined to Sangha, they have to declare everything they own. They're supposedly have nothing left, like cell phone or camera, but I've seen so many monks walking around with cell phone, camera and so on, also one thing, they're not allowed to accept money
While we were in Phnom Penh sitting to a bar terrace, a mature monk passing through selling bracelets to tourist. I didn't want his bracelet I just give him two dollar, he was angry because it wasn't enough, I should have taken photo to see his face reaction
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: Arriving here in the morning, my eye was directly pointed to those drivers sitting on their bamboo cars waited for passengers/tourist to go along the rails for adventure. This people don't speak English (most of them) So, our tuk tuk driver talk to them.
Suddenly a lady came, she probably in charge here I don't know, she's the one collecting the money. For three us together is $15 so is five American Dollars each. As soon, we settled with payment, they prepared the car and we can sit on it
Our driver is an elderly man, I see two kids with him they came with us during the ride, I don't know if his children or grandchildren, in that case they're very lovely. He can't speak English. Anyway we don't talk much either, we're enjoying the ride that's it.
Cambodia is a poor country, people living mostly on tourism especially in this area of Battambang. So, they are expecting a tips from tourist. Besides, entree money, you still have to considered what the local people do to you to make you enjoyed. They do good their job to give their visitors satisfaction
Is not obligated to give a tip, but if you have a heart and see how the local lived their lives (it's up to you) small tip makes them happy. I have sympathy for this people, they're very happy every penny they got.
There were three of us in the train car, after our journey I give the man $3 dollar, and because I don't have candies for his kids I gave them each 1000 riel(0.25 cents) it doesn't much but at least they got something. I could see how happy they are when we left, even though it wasn't much, but for this people small things are big things. That's the way it is here
Favorite thing: In the center of Battambang is unexpectedly you find everything. One of us has problem with iphone, but we thought we're not gonna find it here. So we're going to wait when we get to a bigger city like Siem Reap where our next destination. Without looking for it, we found an Apple store. We went to see if they could help us with our iphone. Those guys working there is perfectly with English.
He opened the phone and remove the battery and thereafter he adjusted something I don't know what he did, Didier's iphone works again, for a small fee. While we walk further, we came to a fancy Samsung phone shop, this is something we didn't expect to see in this sleepy city. The famous store for cellular phones, I'm not surprised that each Cambodian I saw walking with those big fancy cellular phone. I suppose the local Cambodians are the only regular customers in this shops
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: Walking was the easiest way to do around and see how people live in town. I would say, life here is the same as other Southeast Asian countries. People do everything to survive. Business? I looked around how they do business in here.
We pass to some shops and I don't understand what they're selling, I see some items are upside down, dusty and dirty. I have empathy with the people here. While on the next shop, it looks like an iron shops. I see this guys weld an iron flower pot stand, and some framework. Hard to understand, I guess is part of culture isn't it. You will see the people working outside on the street infront of the business shops
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: Once you're out the city center, you drove mostly to unpaved dusty road. The countryside road as I called, but we've seen this kind of road somewhere in Cambodia but can't remember where. We're so happy if there's no oncoming car, but cars are not often to see in the countryside, but trucks, I see more this kind of transport than regular cars. Trucks are used to transport goods.
The road is not only unpaved is also in pretty bad condition, deep potholes that sometimes impossible to pass, our tuk tuk driver seems used to this road. On the photo is doesn't looked so bad, but in reality is awful. I can't understand how local people drove this weg everyday. He avoided pothole as I looked at him trying to maneuver on a side where no enough space for his wheel, it sometimes an adventure ride with tuk tuk and scary experience, but we survived!
Favorite thing: The Tourist Information Office is located in the south of the town, near the Governor's Residence and has the usual maps and info leaflets. The chaps who work here are very nice and I enquired about taking a trip on a norry (bamboo train) and one of them took me on the back of his bike to the railway line a few kilometres south of town and then came along with me for a ride!
Favorite thing: There are a few banks with ATM machines around the Psar Nut (market) right in the middle of town and these dispense US dollars, as this is what Cambodia uses for currency. I used one and was surprised to see that I could withdraw up to $2000 which I found absolutely amazing as the limit for a withdrawal from an ATM back home is around £300 ($500)!
Favorite thing: If you want to see the countryside around Battambang (which I highly recommend if you want to see the real Cambodia.....excuse the cliche) then I advise you not to use any of the drivers who hang around the hotels. Instead I met a really great guy called Saveth who set up an NGO in his area just outside the city where he now teaches english; he knows the area really well and can show you all around on his moto (moped). With me we went to the sacred mountain which was used by the khmer rouge, several khmer temples, and the bamboo railway. (see pictures)
But best of all you can offer to help out at his school (the NGO) by giving an english class. And if your lucky like me he will invite you to eat dinner at his home, meet his family, experience some proper Cambodian food, and simply hang around and eat interesting tasty fruit from his garden! Dont just do the normal tourist things; being a guest in his home was the most interesting, and most rewarding part of my whole 2 months in SE Asia; and I am still in contact with him to this day.
if you want to email him his address is firstname.lastname@example.org
his mobile number is 855-(0)92 79 05 97
the standard rate for one days travel with a guide was $10 per day when I was there in spring 2008. Thats good value when you consider the price of petrol. This money goes to support him and his family. He has a good command of english, a good knowlege of the area and history, he won't try to cheat you, and he is a good safe driver.
- Study Abroad
Favorite thing: Battambang is very much a living town. Although second to Phnom Penh in population, it's still a very small town.
This is not a place to come and party. This isn't a backpacker's paradise. Don't expect to find quaint little cafes, craft and souvenir shops....Battambang isn't set up for tourism. It's a traditional small Cambodian town with dusty streets and slow living.
Battambang has occupied a very sad and tragic space in Cambodia's recent history with the Khmer Rouge. It's an area in recovery. There are many interesting things to explore outside of town.
But this is basic living in a rural area of jungle and farmland.
Go only if you want to appreciate and respect these conditions.
Favorite thing: Right in the center of the town there is a nice market where you can buy whatever, raincoats, fruit, scarves etc. etc. You can spend a lot of time triyng to bargain with them, they seem to like it a lot.
Favorite thing: Visiting a place or country I always like it to meet the people. Making our moto trip in the countryside of Battambang the people we met were very friendly. But not many were speaking english.
The kids I met were mostly a bit shy, but curious at the same time. Many kids, as young as they are had allready their duties, not meaning (only) school.
Favorite thing: Battambang is a laid-back and quiet riverside town, though it is the second largest town of Cambodia with a population of about 80.000 inhabitants. The town was founded on the bank of the River (Stung) Sangker in the 11th century. The river is a important landmark of the town.
In the area are some interesting historical wats built in the 11th century like the Wat Ek Phnom and the Wat Banan, a smaller version of the famus Angkor Wat. In the towncentre itself are besides the Battambang museum the Wat Phiphetaram and the Wat Kampheong. And strolling around in town or along the riverside you can find the best-preserved colonial architecture of Cambodia.
Fondest memory: I liked it very much arriving in Battambang by boat and looking at the houses, boats and daily life along the river.
Favorite thing: Battambang is the name of the province in the northwest of the Cambodia, but also the name of its capital. Battambang is meaning 'loss of stick' referring to a legend of Preah Bat Dambang Kranhoung (Kranhoung Stick King).
Battambang is the second-largest city of Cambodia with good-preserved colonial architecture along the riverside. Battambang has a few hotels and is a good base for visiting the nearby hilltop temples, killing caves, rural area and villages.
In the town itself is not much to see, but the town has a relaxed and laid/back atmosphere to stroll around visiting the wats, the small museum with artefacts of the angkorian-era artefacts and the market.
Favorite thing: The countryside around Battambang is very scenic and can easily be visited by moto witrh driver like we did. We made a lovely ride along the narrowand unpaved tracks between the green rice paddies.
We were warned not to leave the tracks because of possible landmines from the time of the civil war. There are many victims of landmines in Cambodia.
At many places we saw the local people working in the ricefields with their feet and legs in the water. We passed also many small villages and dwellings with wood houses built at stilts and surrounded by shady coconut palms and from far we could recognize the several hills topped with stupas.
Fondest memory: The trip at the backseat of a moto in the tropical breeze in this rural area was very interesting and relaxing despite the red dust on your face, clothes and body.
Favorite thing: Antes de ir a Battambang , tuvimos la suerte,junto con los Aguilar de conocer a Enrique Figaredo en Torrelavega , acompanado de ms de 50 jovenes camboyanos durante una gira por Espa?a para darnos a conocer su arte y cultura
Before going to Battambang , we had the oportunity to meet Enrique Figaredo in Torrelavega, acompanied with more than 50 young Cambodians , duiring a tour in Spain , to show us their art and culture
- Arts and Culture
- Religious Travel