Drive to Battambang, City tour, Wat Ek Phnom Temple, NGO for children, Khmer cooking class, Wat Banon, Wat Sampeu, Homestay in an agricultural village, Ox-cart trip, Bamboo Train, Boat trip onto the Tonle Sap to Siem Reap
Day 1 – Siem Reap / Phnom Penh to Battambang by public bus
We will bring you from your hotel to the public bus station of Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. The bus to Battamang leaves at 7am and takes 4-5 hours to reach its final destination. At arrival in Battambang and after check in at the hotel, we will go for lunch at the White Rose. This local restaurant has a huge selection of delicious fruit-shakes. Battambang is the provincial capital of Battambang province and is the second biggest town of Cambodia. However it still has a very local, untouristed, provincial atmosphere. In the afternoon, we will stroll around the city to see the old colonial buildings, such as the Governor’s residence, the small museum which hosts some interesting pieces such as some carved lintels coming from the surrounding temples and some stone or wooden Buddha statues and Wat Kampheng, a colourful temple in a peaceful garden. Then, we will drive 11 km along the Sang Ker River to reach Wat Ek Phnom temple (built by Suryavarman I in the 11th century). On the way back we will stop at the NGOPhare Ponleu Selpak where many different activities are offered with children from poor and disabled families before having dinner with them.
Day 2 – Khmer food and Old temples
After breakfast, we will join Vannak at his restaurant the Smokin’Pot for a Khmer cooking class. After having chosen our meals, we will follow Vannak at the local market to buy the ingredients needed before coming back to the restaurant and learn how to prepare Khmer food. For lunch, we will eat our own meals.
In the afternoon, we will drive 18 km to Phnom Sampeu. This mountain is the site of two caves formerly used by the Khmer Rouge to torture and kill some of their victims. A memorial holding some of the victims' remnants has been created. At the top are two Wat, one which was used as a prison during the Khmer Rouge era, and a small, colourful modern one from where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the countryside. Afterwards, we will go to Phnom Bannon hill and climb the 337 steps to reach the top (10 minutes walk up). There, we will visit the 12th century's Prasat Bannon temple and enjoy another outstanding view over the surrounding plains. We will continue to the natural cave located down the hill. After a 15 minutes walk through banana plantations and forest, we will get the cave of the holy water. The "Kouhea Preah Toeuk" still hosts some Buddha statues brought by locals in this immense natural room.
Then, we will drive along the Sang Ker River, south of Battambang to reach our homestay in an agricultural village. Will will have dinner with our hosts and spend the night in their traditional Khmer house. Relax Battambong Homestay
Day 3 – Ox-cart trip
This morning, after breakfast, we will visit the cultural and agricultural villages of Wat Kor commune. These villages are known for their ancient wooden houses and you will have the chance to visit some of these houses, inside and around, guiding by their owners who will share with us their life stories. We will continue this insight into the Cambodian way of life by enjoying an ox-cart trip and travel the traditional way from village to village, learning about traditional agricultural practices such as rice planting in Kompong Seyma and fruit growing in Ksach Puoy. For lunch, you will help our host-family to cook a traditional Khmer meal and for dessert, you will enjoy the variety of unusual fruits available. enjoy ox-cart half day tour.
After lunch, we will say goodbye to our hosts for another real life experience on the bamboo train which will bring us back to the city. The bamboo train is a unique and creative form of transportation in Cambodia. It’s a simple bamboo platform on wheels powered by a small motorcycle engine. The train follows the railway track for approximatly 40 km and when it meets on-coming train or bamboo train, it can be disassembled and taken off the rails in few minutes, allowing the most loaded to pass. The « normal » train, which takes about 14 hours to links the 274 km between Battambang and Phnom Penh passes only once a week in every direction. The very rustic bamboo train can miraculously carries up to three tones, and villagers of all ages share the limited space with cargo, animals or motorcycle. This is a really unique experience to enjoy the Cambodian way of life and the beautiful countryside.
On arrival, you will have some time to relax and explore the city on your own before our farewell dinner at local Restaurant which offers an extensive menu of khmer, thai and western food.
Overnight in Battambang. Full day tour in Battambong
Day 4 – Battambang to Siem Reap by boat
Early in the morning we will take a regular speedboat departing from Battambang. The boat will first navigate along the Sang Ker river before enter into the Tonle Sap lake, the biggest lake of Southeast Asia, supporting which is perhaps the world’s largest and richest inland fisheries. It swells to ten times its normal size during the wet season. This is a very scenic and picturesque journey, you will enjoy the wonderful landscape, passing through the flooded forest and the floating villages and learn about the daily life on the lake and along the river. This marvellous journey lasts about 4 hours during the wet season but can be considerably longer in the dry season due to low water. So it is better to ask about the current conditions as you can arrive in Siem Reap at about Noon as well as in the end of the afternoon.
On arrival, our tour leader will bring you to the hotel of your choice in Siem Reap before saying you good bye and good luck ! End Battambong Excursion
Price of Tour Includes:
Public bus from Siem Reap to Battambang
Entrance fees and sightseeing tours by tuktuk
An experienced English-speaking local guide
Accommodation in hotel or guesthouse
Boat from Battambang to Siem Reap
NOT Included in Tour Price:
Personal travel insurance (compulsory!)
Expenditure of a personal nature
Drinks & tips