A New Bamboo Train in Battambang, Cambodia
What is Bamboo Train?
Battambang is not the most commonplace for travelers crossing Cambodia, but the notorious bamboo train is known to those who make it to the northwest region of the nation. The bamboo train or norry, located in the periphery of the city, is mainly a bamboo flatbed with wheels operated by a small motorcycle or tractor engine.
The rail line extends all the way down to Phnom Penh’s capital, but the tracks lie in full abandonment and disrepair, meaning that the bamboo ride runs only 7 kilometers long to a neighboring village and back.
Unfortunately, in October 2017, this aging track was closed to make way for the state railway to be renovated.
You will never find the bamboo train running on an old track it used to be again as if you have ever experienced.
The new Bamboo Train in Battambang (Banon Bamboo Train)
Fortunately, one of the most novel attractions in Cambodia, the Battambang Bamboo Train is back on track after several months off the road.
Rails and sleepers from the original route were used to lay on a 4 km track constructed by a Khmer businessman, running alongside the Banan Mountain through some amazing picturesque landscape.
For locals, Bamboo Train is known as Norry and for foreigners as Lorry. The part of the Norry consists of two heavy wheels, one axle set, and a flat of the bamboo slat and with the current modern Norry, there are cushions available on demand.
There’s more to appreciate than just a ride on the Banon Bamboo train. There is currently one stop at the other end, where you can get off and explore the perspective of the mountains, the flower garden, the resting place, and many unpredictable photographic backgrounds.
On one trip, it can take up to 6 persons, likely enough to accommodate your family and friends and let everyone enjoy the trip together.
What you should know about Banon Bamboo Train
The best time to ride is suggested from 8:00 am and 3:00 pm. All Norry riders are the local people who live in the community. Only this Bamboo train enables you to see the beauty of the Banon Mountain, and you can experience bat flying in their natural habitat above your head.
Ticket Fee and Operating Hours and relevant info:
- Operating hour from 8:00am to 5:00pm
- Children over 1.20cm must purchase 1 ticket
- Cancel request MUST be done 24 hours before the departure date
- Maximum for 1 Bamboo Train is 6 passengers
How to go to Battambang
Travel by Bus
Battambang does not yet have the Swish facilities that the Phnom Penh-Siem Reap route does, although you may now be able to travel with a VIP minibus that is likely to have WiFi.
The primary busses will be fairly fundamental, and in terms of cost or service, there is little to distinguish them.
Many buses leave from both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh and all points along the way throughout the day, as well as a more limited service to Pailin. Times differ with road and weather conditions, but usually from Phnom Penh for six to seven hours and from Siem Reap for three or four hours.
The price from Phnom Penh to Battambang will cost you from $6-$10 per person, and from Siem Reap to Battambang will be around $5-$7.
Travel by Boat
Daily boats travel through the Tonle Sap and up the Sangke River between Battambang and Siem Reap, leaving every morning at 07:00 from each port.
Arrival times may differ greatly depending on which boat is being used as well as the water levels. The journey may be canceled due to the low level of the water during the dry season of March and April.
The best time to travel by boat is in September and October when the water level is high.
You will have to be on the boat for seven hours during this season, in contrast, 10-12 hours during the dry season.
Be aware that the boat will normally stop at only Bak Preah Floating village, where you can buy snacks and drinks, and you must be well prepared for your meal.
The price of the boat ticket would stay around $20 per person.
Other transport methods to Battambang
As with bus services, shared taxis depart for Battambang from Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Pailin, and Poipet, you can either pay for a taxi for yourself or buy a seat (or two) in a shared vehicle.
From Phnom Penh, you are expected to pay around $60 for a private taxi or $10 for a shared taxi seat. From Siem Reap city, it’s around $40 and $7 respectively.
How to get to Banon Bamboo Train from Battambang
It simple, if you want to take Banon Bamboo Train, you will have to go to Phnom Banan (Banan Mount). It is located 22 kilometers to the south of Battambang, making it an easy day trip.
If you are an athlete and want to work out in Cambodia, you can hire a bicycle from the center of the town and enjoy riding by yourself by leaving Battambang on the southwest side of the river on route 155.
Along the road, you can adore the daily life activities of the local people.
However, if you do not want to spend much time traveling let’s hire a motorbike or get on Tuk-Tuk which is the most popular transport in Cambodia.
Things to do and see in Battambang, not just the Bamboo Train
Despite being Cambodia’s second-largest city, time seemingly stands still when visitors land in Battambang. From the intriguing temples of the Angkorian period to the famous rickety bamboo train, Battambang has a lot to keep the attention of a traveler for a couple of days.
Being the second biggest town in Cambodia, Battambang is far from the hectic business of Phnom Penh, the capital.
There are only a few tourists in comparison with the tourist hubs of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, and the municipality – more like a tiny town – has maintained their Cambodian charm.
Less traffic, farms, and hills situated a short distance from the town center, there are a host of worth visiting attractions, not just the bamboo train. Here are the highlights in Battambang to see and do.
Wat Ek Phnom
A big Buddhist temple was constructed in front of an ancient Angkorian temple that contrasts greatly between old and new.
The ruined temple was built during the Bayon era in the 11th century. The temple measure 52 meters by 49 meters and are partially overgrown with moss, grass, and trees.
Wat Ek Phnom is falling apart and hasn’t been restored so crawling throughout the temple provides the feeling that you are the one to discover this remarkable location.
Phnom Sampeu, better known as the killing caves, is an enormous hill used by the Khmer Rouge to commit the crimes that took place in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979. It’s a haunting yet gorgeous spot that is must explore when you are Battambang.
It is emotionally scarce to walk through the caves that were the scene of such tragic and needless acts. It’s hard to see, but it’s a must to really comprehend what occurred during the period of civil war in Cambodia.
In addition to the caves, there is a stunning viewpoint where you can see a temple to explore right across the Battambang region. At dusk thousands and thousands of bats move to create a dramatic sight from the mouths of the caves as they paint patterns across the sky.
Kamping Puoy Bassin
Kamping Pouy Bassin is situated in Ta Nget Village, Ta Kream Srok commune, about 35 kilometers west of the provincial town, between two mountains, Phnom Ku or Phnom Ta Ngen and Phnom Kamping Pouy.
The forced labor camps employed by the Khmer Rouge developed this enormous reservoir. The basin is gigantic and really delightful. It is used nowadays by farmers and fishermen who take advantage of the fertile lands.
It is located just past Phnom Sampeu, and it is normally a good place for Cambodian visitors who come for a picnic along the shores. You are able to buy drinks and food from the restaurants and little stalls here.
Some of the local boat tours around the lake can be an enjoyable tour. Purchase a new coconut while you’re walking around the edge of the water.
Go to the circus in Battambang, Cambodia
It is exactly right that Phare Ponleu Selpak should be based in Battambang as the creative capital of Cambodia. The organization provides a variety of talents for underprivileged young free arts.
They perform with a variety of jaw drop acrobatics which is considered the most well-known. Before stopping to watch a circus show at the hall, visitors can take a campus tour as well. Campus tours are offered every weekday, and the circus will be performed two to four nights a week, depending on the season.
Guided tours of the campus of Phare Ponleu Selpak allow you to experience first-hand Phare’s vibrant energy. Take a walk on campus with one of the guides to see circus students learning new tricks, music students practicing under shady trees, and watch an animated film produced by the learners there.
Availability of the tour guide
You admire the place with a tour guide from the center daily except on weekends. And of course, you will have to contribute $5/person as a fee.
They will offer you their service at the following time schedule:
- 9:00 am
- 10:00 am
- 14:30 pm
- 15:30 pm
What time can I go to a circus in Battambang?
The doors open at 6 pm, and the shows start at 7 pm.
Tickets can be bought at the door or purchased ahead of time at many retailers in Battambang town.
The ticket price is $14 for adults and $7 for children.
Shop at the Battambang night market
Shoppers have two alternative choices: the initial night market, which is located at the Psar Nath market’s southwest corner, or the riverfront’s new night market.
You will discover street sellers serving local bites, souvenirs and a variety of clothes in both places. But don’t forget to negotiate to bag a bargain for the price.
Visit an art gallery
No excursion to the artistic hub of Cambodia is complete without visiting some of the galleries and studios in the Battambang city. Literally, Battambang has a historical reputation for introducing performers, musicians, and intellectuals.
Romcheik5 has been serving as the studios of four young Cambodian artists since 2012. It is located just across the river from the city center. It has extended since then and now includes rotating exhibitions by local modern artists and provides a continuous exhibition of the work of the inhabitants.
Another place that hosts changing exhibits from local artists is Sangker Art Space and Gallery. Visitors can also find out more about their job with those who are working in their studios.
Make Maek is another attractive place to have a visit. Make Maek has championed the local art scene since September 2011. Founded by Khmer American artist Kat Eng and Cambodian artists Mao Soviet and Phin Sophorn, the tiny gallery seeks to create a room for the city’s art scene to flourish, as well as experiment with new talents and methods.