Monday, September 15, 2014

CAMBODIA: BATTAMBANG/DISAPPEARING STICK-JANUARY 19, 2014


BATTAMBANG, January 19-21, 2014

January 19, 2014

     Very early check out from our hotel, ROYAL ANGKOR RESORT & SPA, Siem Reap as we are taking the boat from SR to Battambang.  The hotel has provided us with a large box of breakfast pastries!  We are sad to leave this great property with its wonderful staff but are looking forward to the next step in our SE Asian journey.

BATTAMBANG means "disappearing stick" from the legend of a powerful staff used by Ta Dambang to keep power in the area.  Battambang is located at the heart of the country's rice bowl.  It doesn't get a lot of tourists and has been able to retain its provincial atmosphere.  A bit outside of town you are able to see the unspoiled part of rural Cambodia  The countryside is very picturesque.  There is plenty to see and do here and I wish I had booked/planned for at least 3 nights here instead of 2.

     Our hotel has pre purchased our tickets $35 pp which includes transport from the town to the ferry dock, CHONG KHNEAS.   The van from the hotel takes us to the pick up point at 6:00 am.  It's very dark, not much traffic yet but when we arrive it's not open.  The hotel's driver waits with us.  I'm getting worried as our boat ticket states 7:00 departure and it's now 6:40 am.  Finally someone opens the small office, we breathe a sign of relief and the hotel driver departs.  A van arrives and we get in, load our luggage and off we go with some other travelers.
     In no time at all we are at the dock.   Along the way to the boat area vendors are selling coffee and  food but we don't want to miss our boat/ferry so we hurry by.  We are directed down a ramp to our boat but there's no one else there and it's almost 7:00 am.  Will we have the boat to ourselves?  No such luck as we sit and wait as other passengers make their way onto the boat.  By 7:30 am we leave with a full boat!
Waiting to leave.  Each seat had a life jacket and a bottle of water on it.
     We first will navigate the TONLE SAP LAKE  and eventually make our way to BB navigating the SANKER RIVER.  This journey should take around 7 hours.  Well, it takes 9+ hours as our boat "captain" spent 1 hour tying to find the correct entrance to get to the Sangker River!  We also make a brief rest stop where food and/or drinks are available for purchase and there is a "toilet."  The toilet is Chinese squat style and empties out into the river but if you gotta go, you gotta go!
Life on Tonle Sap Lake

Floating houses

Starting work for the day?

Wonder what the name of this large boat is?

This picture shows us trying to find the entrance point to the Sanker River.
     What is nice about the many hours we spend is that we see so much river life.  As we approach each small river village the boat blasts a loud horn to alert the village that the boat is coming.  At some points our boat takes on all sorts of packages for delivery to BB I"m assuming.  I'm really glad we decided to do this even though we could have traveled from SR to BB using faster means.
River life 
Loved to know the story this man's face could tell.

River life.

Saw lots of children waving.

I think this is some sort of fishing apparatus.

More buildings on the river.

This was our boat.  Here we are at the rest stop.

River life.

This house was on stilts.

More children.

Some of the animals we saw.

2 comments:

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  2. Thanks for this report. We are planning a trip to SE Asia right now. I'm going to look at the rest of your blog. We are also retired teachers (librarian/professors). I think the preceding comment may be spam -- you might want to take a look and delete.

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