Although the name is quite misleading, the bamboo train in Battambang is definitely worth a visit for thrill seekers and those who want to view the Cambodian countryside.
When you arrive at the ‘train station’, in O Dambong, you will be surprised to see that the train isn’t a train as such, but slates of bamboo on a square frame, with a gasoline engine at the back. There is a policeman standing there selling you tickets, with the standard price for foreigners being $5 per person, as opposed to $2.50 for Cambodians.
Once you climb onto the rickety train, try to squish towards the middle, as it can be very easy to fall off. Then, hold on as you are in for a bumpy ride!
For the next 7km you will travel down misaligned rails that click every time you pass over a connection. The train goes quite quickly, however if you meet someone along the way of this single track, you will need to stop. The rule is that the train with the least amount of passengers has to get off and dissemble their cart so the train with the most passengers can pass on by. However, your driver will also have to help get the other cart back onto the tracks, so whether or not you are the cart with the most amount of passengers, be prepared to stop.
Once you get to the end of the bamboo train, take a walk to see the old brick kiln, about 50 metres away. It offers an interesting insight into the effort required to make clay bricks. You can even take a walk around the village, though be very careful with inadvertently disrupting the villagers lives.
Once you are ready to head back, you can jump back on your cart and undertake the journey again! You may want to tip your driver, however that is entirely up to you.
There has been talk for years that the bamboo train is going to be shut down, so if you are heading to Battambang, definitely put it on your list!
|Opening Hours||Daily from 7am until late afternoon|
|Entry Fee||$5 for foreigners|
|Location||Any driver will known how to get there|