Monday, August 9, 2010

Bamboo Train: Battambang, Cambodia

Many years ago, a railway was built in Cambodia. As time passed and problem after problem arose in Cambodia the railway fell into disuse by the trains that once ran on them. I've heard that there's still a train that runs once a week on these well worn tracks, moving at a snail's pace to go from Phenom Penh to Battambang in about 14 hours (when the bus takes 5).

But, leave it to the ingenuity of the Khmer people to make use of these nearly abandoned tracks. The locals have constructed the norry, or "Bamboo Train" as the tourists call it. Quick to be assembled and disassembled, these motorized bamboo carts run up and down the tracks carrying locals getting from point A to point B and tourists out for a joy ride.

As you can see here, there's only one track, which you'd think might cause some problems. But, no, as you see in the next picture, it can be quite easily lifted off the tracks and the axles and wheels are tossed off to the side in a moment's time.

Who has the right of way? Well, of course, the car with the most passengers!

I wouldn't call this speedy transportation by any definition. The constant stopping, dismantling and reassembling makes for rather slow going. But, for Khmer people its a cheap and convenient way to get from one place to another. If you happen to stop by Battambang while you visit Cambodia, be sure to check out the bamboo train!

1 comment:

  1. No other plant material can rival the utility of bamboo. Bamboo is useful in various applications including making basket, use as food, for construction and of course as a flooring material.