Battambang started off pretty good and only got better as my time here continued.
When I arrived at the bus stop, the hotel sent over a Tuk Tuk to pick me up. The Tuk Tuk driver brought along Thean, a Cambodian, who speaks excellent English.
Thean is a really nice guy, very friendly and knowledgeable. He also operates his own tour business, where he takes tourist to the local hot spots. More on that later.
The hotel I checked into is called First Hotel, and immediately I get a good impression from the staff. My room is very nice as well. Comfy bed, hot water, and all this for $6 a night.
Anyways, my first day is spent just wandering around the streets, seeing what all is here. At first, I think it is the same as Pursat, just bigger. Not sure if this is where I want to stay very long.
However, my opinion very quickly changes.
The two hotel staff are so nice, and always say, Hello Rob, and want to chat. If they have food, they always offer me some. I very quickly feel like I have been here for weeks, and I have only been here 1 day.
The next morning I see Thean and he asks if I want to go for coffee together. Sure, why not.
This leads into him telling me about his business and all the things to see in Battambang, and one thing I must see. The Killing Caves! This will be a separate post, which will NOT be safe for kids to read!
We also talk about his business and I later help him with some technical stuff online.
He arranges for me to get a Tuk Tuk to see the bats that night. This is going to be cool!
If you are in Cambodia, check out Thean’s website.
After our coffee, I head back to the hotel but on my walk I see tones of crazy Cambodian things. They have no fear!
Around 3:30 pm a Tuk Tuk driver picks me up from the hotel and we drive out to the Killing Caves, where I can see 1 million bats fly out of a cave, at dusk.
When we arrive I spend 1 hour at the Killing Caves, and watching the monkeys act like assholes. Yes, they are assholes. Trust me, but still funny.
It is almost time for the bats, so I head down the 700 steps.
Again, 700 STEPS!
I finally make it to the bats, and now just have to wait for them to fly out.
Then all of a sudden I feel someone rubbing my shoulders and telling me I owe $1 for pictures. It is one of the hotel staff. He is all happy to see me here, and sits down beside me. He gives me a history lesson on the bats, and area. Such a nice guy!
20 minutes goes by, and then they start flying out. Wow! truly amazing! Unfortunately my camera doesn’t do it justice.
I watch it for about 15 minutes, and love all 15 minutes of it.
When we arrive back at the hotel, Thean is sitting there. He asks me if I want to come with him to a party.
We get to this grand opening of a restaurant, where we meet his friends. Again, they treat me like I am a king or something. One guy immediately gives up his seat for me. I say, no, but he doesn’t accept that.
Very quickly we are all chatting and they are offering me food, drinks, and more drinks. They tell me I am not allowed to pay, this is a grand opening.
You have no idea how amazing I feel being around these guys.
After dinner we all head over to another bar, where Flower, the girl in the one picture works.
Here the drinks are not free and I buy the first round. However, I was no longer allowed to buy any more drinks. They told me it is not allowed, they are paying.
Again, I can’t explain how much this type of hospitality means to me. It is truly amazing.
The night doesn’t stop here. After, Flower takes me to another party. This one is crazy fun, but I am getting to drunk.
She gives me some blue drink that is almost pure vodka, and after that drink, I am done. I walk home, which I do not remember, but I think it is 3 am.
Walking through Battambang at that time of morning was actually very safe. I felt fine and was not worried.
The next day I sleep in, and then eventually get my ass out of bed. I see Thean and ask him to take me on a tour around Battambang. He says sure, and we head out.
During the tour, he stops to say hi and pick up a friend of his named Cher. Cher is a pretty nice guy, and speaks OK English.
10 minutes into the tour, Cher asks me if I want to go with him tomorrow to his Mango Farm. I say, Yes. I don’t even know this guy, and he wants to take me to see his farm. Pretty cool.
I didn’t get any good pictures that night because, well, it was dark.
The next morning at 8:30 am Cher picks me up and we drive 1.5 hours out to his farm. On the way, he buys fruit for us, and he is another Cambodian who will not let me pay when I offer. He tells me, he is lucky to have met me, and this is his honour to treat me.
I really like Cher!
At this farm I get the full tour, and then they cooked me lunch. Rice, Coconut, and soup. I am telling you, they know how to cook!
Oh yes, the coconut was picks right in front of me!
After lunch we drive back to Battambang. On the way, Cher asks me to come back to Cambodia and stay longer next year. I think this would be amazing, and I really want to do this.
Shortly after we arrive back, Flower sends me a message and asks if I want to come out for a drink with her. Can you guess? I say Yes!
She picks me up on her scooter and I ride on the back. This is the second time I have ridden on the back with her driving and I like it. I can play on my phone, do my hair, and don’t have to worry about running into someone. She is a pretty good driver!
This night is the same as the last. I meet a few new people, but these are expats, and not locals. However, just as much fun. Actually too much, as the next day I feel it. haha.
Over the next day, I have coffee with Thean a few times, have many conversations with the hotel staff, and one conversation I won’t forget. Vany one of the guys I met with Thean gave me a history tour on Cambodia. He is a really cool guy, and I love our conversations.
If are in Cambodia, check out Vany’s website.
I am really glad I do not have those emotional feelings when leaving people, because this would be hard to leave my new friends tomorrow.
On to new adventures, and I hope I see them again someday!