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Apr 2, 2005 - Battambang

After Angkor and Siem Reap, we cruised down to Battambang on what was probably the bumpiest rock strewn road ever. Not to worry it only lasted about 6 hours. Needless to say our butts took a beating that day. While there we got to head out on a tour of the country on the back of some moto's, saw how they make rice noodles, tried some rice wine and then take a bamboo train back to town. It was a great little tour, but we were exhausted by the end of it. By they way, rice wine it is not, rice whisky is more like it, potent stuff, fermented...

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Mar 16, 2005 - The Cambodian Fast Track

As my train rattled down the bent and buckled rails of steel (I don't think Al Capone was as crooked as these tracks!), I looked down through the bamboo floor to see my world rushing by at an astonishing 50km/h. While our velocity would likely make a Japanese bullet train giggle politely, it put a broad smile on my face. Why? Only a few minutes earlier, my train lay scattered in four pieces along the trackside. Upon my arrival at the 'station', two men had casually rummaged through sets of old axels and wheels before tossing two of them on...

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Feb 12, 2005 - Hospitality in Battambang

From Siem Reap we took a bus to Battambang, the second largest city in Cambodia, located in the heart of the agricultural NW of the country. First, a word on busing in Cambodia -beware of the roads. While most of the roads we've traveled here have been decent sealed roads with a varying number of large bus swallowing potholes, the road out of Siem Reap and half way to Battambang gave us a whole new definition of terrible - best compared to an old country road, this highway was complete with mountainous washboards, mile-deep craters and a...

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Feb 1, 2005 - I hate Cambodia

For those of you that maybe feel that after my last blast on Thailand, surely there could be no more venom left for another south east asian country. Think again sportsfans. This country has the lowest level of poverty I have ever seen. We hopped on our bus at the hotel and were told we were going to the river to catch a boat up to Battambang. Here's me having lovely visions of a white painted cruiser, laying back on the sun deck reading a book. The first indication should have been the smell. I mean I was nearly throwing up from the...

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Jan 18, 2005 - Battambang

took the Express boat from Phnom Krom (11 km south of Siem Reap) at 8 am and arrived 9 hours later in Cambodia's 2nd city. The first part of this journey was on the lake Tonle Sap, one of the world's largest sources of freshwater fish, and then on the Sangker river, close to the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary - a very delightful smooth trip, passing floating villages and huge bamboo & net constructions for fishing. At noon we stopped for lunch and changed boats - as the Sangker river became pretty small with little water due to the dry season,...

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Jan 2, 2005 - Siem Reap - Angkor blimey Wat

After an epic bus journey from Bangkok, though the Cambodian border and on to Siem Reap, we finally arrived at 11pm after setting out at 6am. Was the company a bit dodgy a hear you ask .. oh yes! Very! But for a ridiculously cheap price you can only conclude that you get what you pay for. Mental note, next time ask more questions! But Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and the heaps of other monuments, structures and ruins were well worth the excruitiating journey. Some parts were being swallowed by the jungles, others pristine and easy to imagine the...

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Dec 12, 2004 - Riding a motorcycle through the countryside near Battambang

We left Siem Reap by boat. This was an interesting experience, because the boat on our ticket did not look a thing like the boat we ended up boarding! :) In fact, the Angkor Express was not express at all! It was supposed to take about 4-5 hours (and that is being very generous) but as we watched the boat we thought we were taking speed off, and as we felt our boat rock itself out of the mud and putt itself down the initial channel, we knew we were in for a ride! 8 hours later, we arrived in Battambang (to a tout who told several passengers...

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Oct 27, 2004 - Battambang

We took the bus from Pursat to Battambang, the second largest city in Cambodia with a definite collonial feel. For two days we squeezed in some sight-seeing. Our first "Authentic Cambodian Experience'' on the Bamboo Train or, as the foreigners say, the Funny Train! Our guide had explained that this was a traditional form of train and that it would be just us three, our three drivers and the motos. Our curiosity aroused we agreed to the trip and off we set. After several stops at orchards and a few glasses of rice wine we arrived at a train...

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