Death and Deliverance on Phnom Sampeau

Posted on March 22, 2012

Victims of the Khmer Rouge After our bamboo train adventure, our tuk-tuk shuttled us 18 kilometers southwest of Battambang to Phnom Sampeau (Phnom Sampou), a limestone hill shaped – as its name suggests in Khmer – like a ship, rising up from the flatlands of the countryside. The pastoral peacefulness of the place belies lingering secrets, both haunting and awe-inspiring. Phnom Sampeau is a boat-shaped hill in the Battambang countryside Even in the bucolic countryside, one cannot ignore the legacyRead More

Cambodia’s Bamboo Trains – Going! Going! Gone?

Posted on March 20, 2012

Bamboo trains are crude platforms running on abandoned tracks in rural Cambodia. Photo by Ryan Dayrit. “I wasn’t expecting this to be this fast!” I shouted – half in amazement, half in fear – over the loud, rhythmic clanking of metal wheels rolling on worn-out French-era railway tracks, as our shoddy platform accelerated through arid farmlands in the outskirts of Battambang. Amazement, because I didn’t expect a crude bamboo platform could go any faster than Manila’s railway trolleys, clocking speedsRead More

Battambang – Cambodia’s Colonial Gem

Posted on March 19, 2012

Colonial meets country charm at a corner French-era villa along the Sangker riverfront The road between Saigon and Siem Reap is an over-trodden route in the Banana Pancake Trail. So on our visit, we decided to look for a fresh destination along the way. Instead of heading straight to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh, we detoured to Battambang, west of the Tonlé Sap lake. Lonely Planet recommends it for its architectural heritage, and as a scenic jump-off point to AngkorRead More