Just like many other places in East Asia, Cambodia existed for some time under French colonial rule, which changed many facets of the country’s infrastructure. People still debate over whether the continuing effects of this period were overly beneficial, but the boom in national railways has undoubtedly made a huge improvement to Khmer quality of life. After the terrible damage done to rural settlements during the Khmer Rouge regime, improvised bamboo trains, colloquially known as “norries”, were essential in the period of reconstruction. This city tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off, as well as a ride on a norry.
The historical building known as the Salaket has been used for many government functions, and is a popular spot for photographers visiting the Battambang region. The Salaket stands out as a particularly beautiful work of architecture, having been designed by the nationally famous Van Bolivian. As you stop to take pictures or simply marvel, your tour guide will tell you about the building’s rich history.
The “Old Stone Bridge” earned it name during the French colonial period, being the first stone river-crossing in Battambang. Since then, it has become part of a network of many different trade routes, and a commonly used meeting point for many of the local residents. This is seen by many as one of the more positive souvenirs left behind by French expansion, as it helped along the quality of Khmer medicine and trade.
On a roundabout just to the east of Battambang town, you’ll see a towering, black-skinned figure adorned with gold, kneeling on the grass and staring ahead with wide, fearsome eyes. This is the statue of Dambong Kronoung, a figure in a famous Cambodian folk tale, from which the name of Battambang is derived. As you pass by this imposing sculpture, your guide will tell you the story off by heart, and explain how it has featured in other Khmer art and customs.
Our next stop will bring us to the bamboo train, which we will board as a group. This will make for a truly unique experience, and will take you through a gallery of striking natural beauty, and many further points of historical or cultural interest, which your tour guide will point out. As you travel, your tour guide will teach you about the intriguing history of the railway, and the many different groups and professions which depend on it in their day to day lives.
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Guest Name: Mr. Mac
N.of Person: 2 pax
Booked: Best Cambodia and Vietnam Highlight Trip
Tour Style: Classic Highlight Tours
Duration: 10 Days