We arrived at the riverside town of Battambang at about 6:30pm and I was picked up by a remorke from the hostel that I’d booked, the curiously named ‘Here Be Dragons’. Battambang is located in the NW of Cambodia and lies along the Sangkae River. It was colonized by the French in 1907 and there are plenty of examples of French Colonial architecture dotted around the town. It’s an easy town to navigate as it’s based on a grid system with the larger parallel streets numbered 1, 2, 3 and so on and the smaller lanes running in between happily numbered 1.5, 2.5, 3.5.
I spent a fair bit of my time in Battambang doing some travel and life admin; researching places to go, booking hostels and buses, laundry, responding to email and trying to catch up on my blog – which seems to be a reoccurring challenge! I spent a great day with Soksabike on a ‘Cambodian Lifestyles Tour’ where we visited local family businesses throughout the surrounding countryside. See post: Cambodia Livelihoods Tour with Soksabike
I also caught up with Stephen my dorm mate from Siem Reap and one evening we went to the Phare circus. Battambang is the home of Phare and their associated NGO school the Phare Ponleu Selpak where all Phare circus performers learn their skills. For more on Phare visit prior post ‘Phare – the Unique Cambodian Circus’.
It was a very relaxing and productive few days. I spent a good few hours walking around the town, taking photos, stopping for various snacks and just sitting by the river watching the world go by.
I met some really interesting people too and one evening enjoyed a great fish amok curry with new friends. Our night ended with a most excellent, but rather strong G&T at a new bar and shop run by a couple of Aussie ex-pats called Bric-a-Brac.
The next morning Stephen and I took a mini-van down to Phnom Penh, where I was stopping for a night before heading down to Kep. Stephen was continuing his journey through to Vietnam so we wished each other happy travels with drinks at the historic Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC).
Written from the YWCA in Colombo, Sri Lanka.