Bamboo Train

Bamboo Train a Battamgag – Cambodia

Battambang is a town 3 and a half hours by bus from Siem Reap (or 6 hours by boat, a trip I recommend taking) and is an excellent point of access to reach the capital of Cambodia Phnom Penh but also the seaside resorts including the Sihanoukville note.

Here the situation is much smaller than the tourist Siem Reap where there are tourists in all the streets, beautiful hotels and restaurants.
We return to the villages where there are few roads, where we eat on the street and most of the surrounding villages are made up of fishermen and aquatic communities.

One of the main attractions of Battambang and which apparently will not be for long is the Bamboo train an ancient means of transport and connection between villages which seems to be banned from next year. No bamboo train, not even for tourists, since 2012-2013.

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In Cambodia, a time before the arrival of the trains that we imagine, bamboo trains were used, although even today there are those who use them especially in the morning to go to the market, that is, bamboo platforms with engines and wheels that run on rails.
The peculiarity of this little trip is not so much the vehicle on which you sit, which in any case is anomalous and different, but rather the fact that the track is one so when you meet another vehicle coming towards us, the one with fewer people lets it pass. the one with the most people.
But if both are on the same tracks, how do you actually get the other one to pass? At this point things get complicated at this point.
The one with fewer people lets the passengers off and quickly, together with the driver of the other train, literally dismantles the vehicle.
The vehicle with more people passes without inconveniencing the passengers and helps the other driver to reassemble the platform on 4 wheels.

Bamboo Train

The bamboo train ride will take approximately 1 hour, various stops and the cost is $5 per person but if you ask the driver to go to the next station he will ask you for $5 to share with your travel companion if there are 2 of you otherwise we, who were 4, paid $7 but for the simple fact that we met at the bar and so we had 2 different drivers and one would have to wait for another 40 minutes so we gave something extra so they could split. It’s worth taking the trip to the second station. You will pass next to wheat fields and uncontaminated nature that instills tranquility and silence. There are no people and the only noise you hear is that of the train rolling along the tracks.

It is a different and particular experience if you only think that this little train that we would easily imagine in a children’s amusement park has helped the local people live for centuries.
A bit like riding a carriage for the first time or riding a camel.
I think the train goes at around 60-70 kilometers per hour and if you are lucky (like we were) instead of colliding with other tourists you will do it “Cambodian style” colliding with trains loaded with wood, bags of rice and above all with locals, furthermore I recommend going in the afternoon (3.30) so that you can be on the train during the sunset and admire it from this enormous and peaceful expanse of wheat.

To get to the Bamboo Train Station from your hotel you can take a tuk-tuk. The cost required by all is $5 but we bargained for $4. Obviously the fare is indicated for the round trip which I think takes 40 minutes in total and must be shared with someone.

Read also: How to get from Siam Reap to Battambang by sea

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