A beautiful smiling day
Battambang Travel Blog› entry 96 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Juliana (Russia)
We arrived into a rainy Battambang on the back of a hellish 10 hour bus ride. We had landed the tickets on the back seat of the bus and rather than sharing with 3 other people, we discovered the 5 seats would be split between 7. It soon became apparent that the little leg room going would be occupied by 3 small children in the aisles! The situation worsened as the journey progressed, with the mother to my front right, with the 3 mentioned kids all of whom were on the bus under 1 seat, starting to have problems with the smallest child. The first incidence was the little girl doing a number 2 over Mummy and the second was a number 1 all over Mummy and the seat.
After a good nights sleep, we were once again ready to take on the World and hired a motorbike and driver to take us around the interesting sites, hidden away around Battambang. Our first stop was Wat Ek Phnom and the 13km ride north of the city was a real stunner. We passed along dirt roads and through palm canopied villages, as the local kids came out to wave and shout 'Hello'. It felt for the first time that we were really discovering what Cambodian life was all about.
Back on the bike, we headed southwest to Phnom Sampeau. The challenge here was to climb a pretty steep hill, in midday temperatures hovering in the high 30's. We were again the only tourists, but by no means the only people here. Infact the hill had hundreds of Cambodians climbing their religiously significant mountain, many of whom wafted themselves and smiled in acknowledgement, that it wasn't only the weterners suffering! At the summit, their were beautiful panoramic views to reward us, along with a small wat and golden stupa.
Last stop for the day was Wat Banan, with the torment of another mountain to climb to receive the reward! This time there were 359 ancient Khmer stone steps, leading to the summit and temple. Once again the site was blissfully quiet and devoid of tourists as we took in the views and ancient stone work.
Back in Battambang we went to the cafe we had eaten in the previous night and ordered a huge Banana Split, what better way to cool down after a tiring day! We took a brief walk along the river and took in some of the old French colonial buildings before we retired to our room, exhausted but indulged.