A TASTE OF GREATER BAT­TAM­BANG

Discover Cambodia - - CULTURE -

Away from the art scene, Cam­bo­dia's sec­ond-largest city and its sur­rounds are home to some unique sight­see­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties

THE WORLD’S WEIRDEST TRAIN?

Bat­tam­bang's most fa­mous attraction, the bam­boo train, has been ru­moured to be on the verge of ex­tinc­tion for years, but is still hold­ing on. A health and safety inspector's worst night­mare, the ‘train' con­sists of a large board of bam­boo placed atop some wheels that zooms along de­crepit train tracks at a rather star­tling pace. Tourists are wel­comed aboard for a scenic and unique glimpse of the coun­try­side in just 20 min­utes.

TO THE BAT CAVE

A short hop out of town lies Ph­nom Sam­peau, a strik­ing moun­tain that rises out of the plain and truly comes to life as the sun be­gins to de­scend. An es­ti­mated two mil­lion bats take flight from a cave at the moun­tain's base in an awe-in­spir­ing show of na­ture. As dusk set­tles in, the bats swirl en masse through the evening sky in a tight spi­ral for­ma­tion and over the neigh­bour­ing rice fields in search of their daily feed.

HE’S A BIG LAD

The city's pen­chant for stat­ues and mon­u­ments is ob­vi­ous within min­utes of ar­rival, but there is one ef­figy that stands above all oth­ers. Of­ten flanked by selfie-snap­ping lo­cals and tourists, the gi­ant Statue of Preah Bat Dam­bang Kran­houng de­picts the Kran­houng stick king and ref­er­ences a lo­cal leg­end that gave the prov­ince its name – Bat­tam­bang can be loosely trans­lated as ‘loss of stick'.

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