Monday 24 March 2014

Battambang, Cambodia: Cooking mama and Bamboo Train

First impression of Battambang was that it was a lot quieter and smaller than Phnom Penh. In fact, there wasn't much to do in the town at all. It was a place that you can relax and that was nice, a nice break from rushing around trying to see everything. We had a walk around after dinner at the local market. I went from being pensive about eating street food to being not fussy at all. It's really lucky that I didn't get food poisoning though because I think my stomach is pretty weak.

The next morning, we went for a cooking class! We were brought around the local market and he showed us some interesting local vegetables but since we were from South East Asia, it wasn't that different. But I think the experience would be really enriching for someone from another part of the world. The leaves you see above are tom yam leaves (if I remember right), they smell exactly like tom yam! I was fascinated. So we got a bit of stuff and went back to the kitchen. We were taught how to make fish amok, beef lolak and spring rolls. I really liked the fish amok, it tasted like really soft otah. Cooking classes are cheaper in Cambodia than in Thailand or so I've heard, so go for one if you're there!

A trip to Battambang is incomplete if you don't go for a ride on the bamboo train! It used to be used for the transport for goods, now a section of it is kept as a tourist attraction. There's only one track and the trains go back and forth. So you must be wondering, won't they collide..? Well, when two trains approach each other, they stop and whichever train has more goods (or now, people) gets dismantled to let the other train pass. And after the train pass, the train gets fixed back and off it goes again. The train was actually pretty fast and a little bumpy, almost like a ride in the amusement park. Really fun and worth a go. You need a tuktuk to get there though.

After the bamboo train, we went to this mountain to see about millions of bats flying out of a cave to a forest nearby to feed at night. It was really an endless stream of bats flying across the sky, pretty amazing sight.

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