Unfortunately after reassessing funds while in Seim Reap I realised doing the south of Cambodia wasn’t affordable. I’m pretty gutted as I wanted to see the coast but the weather at the moment is really bad aswell so wouldn’t be worth stretching the budget to capacity and the transport alone would have cost a fortune.
I still wanted to see some more of Cambodia so I decided to go to Battambang, which is a town nearer the border and only a 4 hour bus journey away. We took the cheaper option of the local bus which was the usual sweaty, longer option but we made it in one piece.
The hostel ‘Here be Dragons’ were waiting with a free tuk tuk to the hostel so that was a nice bonus. I loved the hostel the minute we arrived. Friendly staff and really nice atmosphere. We went on a walk to explore and get lunch. The heat was immediately difficult to deal with, Cambodia is definitely the most humid place I’ve been in a long time. We found the market and decided to eat some noodle soup there, my usual.
We walked for a short while after lunch. Everyone in the town is so friendly.The river isn’t great but the bridges and riverside is kept really nice. We relaxed in the hostel aircon for a while before venturing out for some street food across the river. I gave the beef lok lak a go. Still not that exciting but think it’s the places I’m getting it. We went to a bar that was set in an old building and had a quiet drink but we’re fairly exhausted at that stage so we had an early night.
Feeling more fresh the next morning we decided to rent bicycles so we could explore more. After a Bloody Mary breakfast we rented our bikes from a friendly local who we also booked our bus to Bangkok with. We went to taste the ‘best coffee in Cambodia’ and then cycled on the tourist trail around town. Locals waving at us all the way and saying hello. I love the people here.
We saw lots of huge, colourful monuments and a large temple. We got back just in time for a tuk tuk tour to the Killing Cave, the viewpoint and the Bat Cave. The driver dropped us at the bottom and gave us directions but it was still very confusing but we eventually made it to the cave which was quite eerie and to the viewpoint which was nice. The bats were by far my favourite seeing thousands and thousands of insect bats flying out in formation from a cave. It was amazing. Unfortunately we couldn’t see the sun set because of the cloud but the trip was still worth while.
As it was our last night in Cambodia we went to a cheap local restaurant ‘Nary Kitchen’ recommended by our hostel. We cycled there and the owner immediately was out to help us with our bikes. I finally got to try Fish Amok which is the famous dish of Cambodia. It was amazing!! Fish in a coconut milk sauce in a banana leaf. So good. I heard Cambodian food wasn’t great before I came here but my experience has been fairly good in general.
We cycled back to the hostel and had a nightcap as it was cocktail night. I couldn’t turn down an orange twist GnT could I?! 😉 Not excited about the 6am bus in the morning!