My arse may not forgive me for this
Banteay Chhmar Travel Blog› entry 97 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Juliana (Russia)
Our original plan was to do the ruins of Banteay Chhmar as a day trip from Battambang, but thankfully we decided against this and moved our bags a hundred kilometres up the road to a town called Sisophon. We arrived a little after 10am, checked into a hotel and set about finding a moto rider to take us on the 120km round trip. This wasn't as easy as it sounds, due to the lack of any mutual language between ourselves and riders. When we told most where we wanted to go, they pointed and made gestures it was a long way. Yes, we know, but how much will it take for you to take us!? Eventually we found some people who spoke broken English, but they turned out even worse, demanding up to $100, when we knew it should be nearer to $10.
As we left Sisophon, our driver gestured that he needed to stop first and subsequently took us to his family home, so all the relatives could have a good gawk at us! Having become the local celebrities, we set off again and within 5km the road turned to a bumpy dirt track. We soon had to stop and buy some shades and a face mask to protect us against the dust. After a little over 2 hours we arrived at a huge walled site, much bigger than what i had expected.
The ruins themselves ranged from amazingly well preserved carvings, to piles of stone. We clambered our way around, followed by a Cambodian man and little girl, i'm still not sure why they followed us, for around an hour.
Next stop was 14km further at Banteay Top, an ancient fortress that even our moto driver had never seen! Therefore the 3 of us looked on, as large towers jutted into sight on the horizon. We walked around the collapsing ruins and were joined by some lovely children who giggled away as i showed them my photos of them. We spent half an hour before we had to make a move, as the day was getting old. We arrived back into Sisophon just as the sun was setting and jumped off the bike, to realise that we were walking in a distinctly cowboy fashion. After the recent gruelling trips, my bum was crying out for a soft pillow to place itself on!