Adventure to Battambang

1. Trekking to waterfall (Ou Chaom Waterfall)
Ou Choam Community-Based Ecotourism is the one of the most potential community in any others CBET sites in Cambodia. This community, located in Ou Choam village, Kompong Lpov commune, Samlaut district, Battambang province, is founded during 2014 under the community initiative and supported by other relevant stakeholders, NGOs. People there is living depend upon tourism sector and non-timber forest products to enhance their quality of lives. In addition, there are many potential and attractive products such as four floors waterfall, forest, very big trees, wildlife, and fresh air and so on. Also, there are many services we offer, namely hiring camping, tractors for village and farm tour, food and beverages, tour guides and so on.

For further information, please directly contact to MR. Pheak, a tour guide in community. 
017 881 744 or 015 718 092

2. Bamboo Train around Banan Mountain

A norry or nori (Khmer: ណូរី, from the French word for lorry) is an improvised rail vehicle from Cambodia. Lonely Planet describes it as “Cambodia’s bamboo train”. The trains run at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph) on the metre gauge tracks around Battambang and Poipet. A scheduled service run by the Government also operates, but is slower at 30 km/h around 18 mph. The rest of the network, originally built by the French colonial government, is largely abandoned, after the Khmer Rouge regime effectively shut it down. In 2006 the BBC reported that there was only one scheduled service a week and it ran at not much more than walking pace.

In October 2017 the bamboo train was no longer available in the original form due to the national effort to rebuild the rail line from the Thai-Cambodia border town Poipet to Phnom Penh. However, the bamboo train is being rebuilt near Wat Banan in order to cater to the local tourism industry. The relocated site is set to open in middle January 2018. Norries have low fares, and are frequent and relatively fast, so they are popular despite their rudimentary design, lack of brakes, the state of the rails (often broken or warped) and the lack of any formal operating system. Its simple construction and light weight means that a norry can be easily removed from the track – if two meet on the line, the one with the lighter load is removed from the rails and carried round the other. At the end of the line the vehicle is lifted and turned. In August 2016, Norry has been developed with braking system.There is some precedent for the Norry’s popularity. In the 1980s and 1990s, due to the civil war in Cambodia, trains were led by an armed and armoured carriage; the first carriages of the train were flatbeds used as mine sweepers, and travel on these was free for the first carriage and half-price for the second. These options were popular despite the obvious risks.Norry construction is a cottage industry conducted in trackside villages. It takes around four days to construct one of the vehicles, which have a steel frame overlaid with bamboo slats resting on wheels taken from abandoned tanks. Originally propelled by hand using punt poles, power is now provided by small motorcycle or tractor engines with belt drive direct to the rear axle, delivering top speeds of 40 km/h or more. Fuel is bought from villages along the route, supplied in glass jars and the flat-bedded vehicles will carry any load that will fit, including people, livestock, motorcycles and rice. In February 2008 a project was announced to rebuild the railway lines from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh to Poipet and on to Sisophon and the Thai border (a stretch completely destroyed by the Khmer Rouge regime). This was due to be completed at the end of 2009. As of May 2011 this project has only completed from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. As of May 2011 the bamboo train appears to be the only train operating around the Battambang area, which can be observed by the completely overgrown tracks passing through the city. On the outskirts a tourist service operates for $5 per person to a village that has a brick factory. This is overseen by the local Tourist Police. As of January 2014 there is still a bamboo train ride in Pursat, which goes southeast out of the city for about an hour for a fare of $5 per person.
3. Cave Tour
It’s something of a spectacle sitting at the foot of Battambang’s Phnom Sampeou, the sun sinking into the horizon as a stream of millions of bats pour from caves and zoom into the sky. Here’s all you need to know about Cambodia’s bat caves.
A crowd gathers at the base of historic Phnom Sampeou, which sits about 12km from Battambang [pronounced Battam-bong] city. Street sellers flog drinks to the crowd from their orange coolers, while the scent of barbecued chicken and pork floats from the food carts that dot the site.

A mounting sense of excitement sits in the air as the light is slowly teased from the sky. And then suddenly a gasp, followed by a chorus of gasps as out of one of the larger caves that scar the mountainside, a sudden stream of black snakes into the sky.

For the next 30 to 40 minutes, this spectacle continues as the bats rise from their slumber and burst from the network of caves to hit the surrounding countryside for a night of hunting.

The best spot to catch this is obviously at the entrance to the caves, which is where you’ll find the most people, with the spectacle kicking off from about 5.30pm.

Thankfully, Battambang isn’t yet teaming with tourists so the crowds remain relatively small and finding a viewing spot is still easy without having to arrive hours ahead of time. Plus, stallholders put out a handful of plastic chairs for punters to kick back on.

It’s also easy to avoid any crowds at all – if you can cope with a bit of a climb. Ask your tuk tuk to take the first left on the track leaving the bat caves. Soon you’ll hit a huddle of tuk tuks at the side of the road, marking where a small path leads up the mountains. A short climb up affords a great spot to enjoy the sunset to one side and the bats to the other.

To get another perspective, leave the caves a little early and head back to Battambang. Ask your tuk tuk driver to stop as soon as you hit the main road after the caves and watch the spiral of bats snaking into the distance from afar.

It’s well worth heading to Phnom Sampeou in the early afternoon and spending some time exploring the site before hitting the bat caves. From the base of the mountain, you can either climb 700 steep steps to the top, or pay one of the moto drivers waiting at the bottom to take you up for $1 – tuk tuks are not allowed.

At the peak sits a delicately-decorated pagoda that affords unparalleled views of the surrounding countryside. Dubbed Cambodia’s rice bowl, Battambang is home to shimmering paddies studded with palm trees that stretch to the horizon.

The mountain – more a large hill – is also sacred to locals as it features in the legend of Neang Rumsay Sok. According to Khmer folk lore, she was a jilted by her lover, going on to battle a vengeful crocodile. She managed to defeat the beast by letting her hair down into the water causing the water the reptile was swimming in to dry up.

The site also pays tribute to those who lost their lives in Cambodia’s more recent history. Under the Khmer Rouge regime of 1975 to 1979, some of the caves – dubbed the Killing Caves – were used by soldiers who pushed their victims to death from a hole in the roof. A small monument containing some of the skulls and bones of those who died sits inside the main caves.

The pagoda also served as a prison and torture centre during the Pol Pot-led era, and up until the mid-1990s, government troops camped out on the mountain, with Khmer Rouge soldiers occupying nearby Phnom Krapeu.

With an intriguing history, stunning views and the chance to watch nature work her magic, a visit to Phnom Sampeou and the bat caves is a must on all Battambang visitors’ itineraries.

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