Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Countryside of Battambang

While there isn't a whole lot to do in Battambang, there is plenty to see. It's not a tourist city, and so there aren't much in the way of museums or palaces. After our cooking class, which was about 3 hours and the bamboo train which was about 1 hour, we realized we had done nearly everything there is to do close to the city. From there it was time to get out into the countryside.

Me on our motorbike after getting caught in a sudden rainstorm.

After our cooking class finished, our teacher hooked us up with our own motorbike which we rented from his neighbor. We even got helmets which was a luxury I didn't get while I drove around in Bali. We rode the bike to the bamboo train, and from there we just got out of town and drove. We didn't really know where we were going... but just watching the goings on along the sides of the road was entertainment enough. A few times we even got off the main, paved road and went down some dirt roads to see what was down there. Mostly, lots of houses, animals and rice fields.

Me and one of the hundreds of cows we passed on our ride around the countryside on the bike.

Happily riding our bike, not realizing those clouds were about to open on us minutes later...

We liked the motorbike, but we thought we'd give our skin a break from the intense sun and take a tuk-tuk around the next day. Our tuk-tuk driver knew where he was going so we actually saw a few sights.

Lots and lots of fruit bats.

First stop was to see some fruit bats. I thought bats should be sleeping during the day, but something woke these guys up and they were flying all around outside a temple.

Another Angkor ruin.

Next was another Angkor ruin, up about 300 some-odd stairs in the heat. It wasn't too bad, but they convinced us for the next stop we should take a motortaxi to the top since it was a much longer, steeper hike.

A look down into the Killing cave.

A temple on top of the mountain where the killing cave is located.

From there we went to the Killing Caves where the Khmer Rouge used to throw the bodies of their victims. Here, there was another small monument full of bones, another with clothes and a third with skulls. You can enter the cave and see a small temple that they have assembled below, but, of course, all the remains have been removed from the cave.

Picking rice.

We saw a little more of the countryside as we made our way back to Battambang. It's so beautiful and peaceful here it's definitely worth making a stop in Battambang to check out the scenery.

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