Jun 30, 2010
Apr 07, 2011
Battambang was our last stop in Cambodia after Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. It is the second biggest city in the country after the capital Phnom Penh but it really did not feel like it. Although it was quite busy during the day, the city became a ghost town after 7pm with only a few lost tourists, stray dogs and rats roaming the poorly lit streets. Once again we rented bicycles to explore the area despite the burning sun and unbearable heat. Like in Siem Reap, there were numerous buddhist temples (one every 200 meters), which felt like small heavens as compared to the city. The monks lived right around their temple and life seemed pleasant and serene there as opposed to the messy city. One thing I forgot to mention about Cambodia was the French colonial heritage still present in most parts of the country. Cambodia was a protectorate of France from 1863 to 1953 and you can still see many traces of the French language everywhere. I even spoke a few words of French with some older locals who had learned it in school decades ago. Cambodia was very unique with beautiful and ugly sides and after 9 days there Qi and I were happy to head back to the gorgeous islands of Thailand...