Bamboo Train Banan

Battambang isn’t the most popular destination for travellers passing through Cambodia, but those who do make it to the northwestern part of the country know about the notorious bamboo train.

Located in the outskirts of town, the bamboo train, or nori, is essentially a bamboo flatbed on wheels, which is powered by a small motorcycle or tractor engine.

The rail line stretches all the way down to the capital of Phnom Penh, but the tracks lie in complete abandon and disrepair, meaning the bamboo ride only runs 7 kilometers in length to a nearby village and back. 

One of Cambodia’s most novel attractions – the bamboo train in Battambang – is back on track after being taken off the road for several months. Here, we look at the story behind this intriguing mode of transport.

A sadness was felt throughout Cambodia when late last year Battambang’s famous bamboo train was halted to make way for the tracks to be put in place for real rail operations. While the government pledged to reinstate the service, doubts were high.

However, in early January, the bamboo train – or norry in Khmer – rose from the ashes, with six carriages once again trundling along a different set of tracks about 20 kilometres from the city. 

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