Cambodian Reflections Part 2 Siem Reap to Battambang by Boat
Once we decided to take the boat to Battambang, we were eager to be on our way. At 6 AM on Monday, we were ready to be picked up by van to be transported to the dock. At 6:40 AM the van arrived with just a few people. Why wouldn’t we think that we were headed straight to the dock. This van drove around Siem Reap until 7:50 AM,overloading it with passengers and luggage. It wasn’t funny. It was dangerous!!!
We arrived at the dock about 8:15AM. Our luggage was the last to come out of the van.I’m surveying the walk to the dock…….very uneven ground….and thinking “How will we do this?”
Miraculously, a gent appeared from out of nowhere and carried both our suitcases to a boat. The trick was to get on the boat that our luggage was on! Another miracle: we did! Whatever we tipped this guy was THE BEST couple of dollars we spent in all 63 days!!!!!
Amazingly, this large crowd of people were assigned to the boats that were there(on a rotating basis, I understand)and suddenly, we were taking off. Frankly, I can’t recall HOW MANY passengers were in our boat, but we did have some wonderful discussions with a Norwegian couple , a young German couple and an Italian couple. DH and I are always the geriatric duo.
We passed floating villages…..we made deliveries of rice…..we picked up passengers…..we dropped off passengers…..we picked up other products,etc. The narrow river channels were simply beautiful. We were SO pleased that we had made the decision to take the boat!!!!! It was $22/pp and it was a magical SIX hours.
Arriving at Battambang 6 hours later was a hoot! This was not a dock or a pier….but we had to walk up a muddy hill. There were touts everywhere. Thank goodness we had pre-booked with the Seng Hout Hotel and they were there to pick us up with their van.
The SENG HOUT hotel is in an excellent location and our $18/night room was just about the first accommodation in 41 days that actually had furniture for unpacking suitcases. Given that we were only going to be here 2 nights, we didn’t take advantage of the “perk”. I’ve done a review”You Can’t Beat the Value” 4/5. We walked over to the WHITE ROSE to eat and had an extremely satisfying meal in the upstairs dining room. I’ve done a review.4/5. We did walk around a bit, but by 6 PM businesses are closed and it’s even difficult to find a place to eat.
Our room did not come with breakfast,but we found a café next to the Royal Hotel. Unbeknownst to us, our Italian friends were staying at the Royal and we spent a lazy AM engrossed in conversation. Killing two birds with one stone, we purchased bus tickets at the Royal for tomorrow’s ride to Phnom Penh and also tickets for the evening performance to Battambang’s Big Top Circus! The tickets for the performance were $8/pp. From previous forum posts, I was under the impression that performances were only 3 days/week. The performance schedule in November had performances 5 days/week…..and the shows were on a rotating basis. We had tickets for ROUGE.
The button pusher for us in the afternoon was a stroll around the Seng Hout neighborhood,stopping at a nearby Wat and having a terrific conversation with a young monk whose English was excellent.
We had dinner at “SMOKIN’ POT” just down the street from the White Rose. I’ve done a review.3/5.
At 6:30 PM we were ready to boogey over to the Phare Ponleu Selpak (the Circus) performance. We met a terrific tuk-tuk driver in front of the Seng Hout and if we were staying longer there is no doubt we would have used his services again. He’s funny, speaks excellent English and is very professional. Mr. KIM: (855)12 65 44 27. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. He took us over to the Big Top and also drove us back to the hotel later. I’ve done a review: “More than Brilliant” 5/5. If we were in Battambang long enough, I would have gone to ALL the different performances. A 10+.
Back at the hotel, we paid our bill. Off to Phnom Penh tomorrow.