Emanuel and I were still waiting for Stephanie to arrive from Phnom Penh (turned out that the trip was taking really long because of the bus company and because of the holiday, a negative double whammy). We didn’t want to take any major trips via tuk tuk because we wanted to make sure Stephanie could join, so basically we just road our bikes around randomly, and then get a bite to eat. First we visited a statue that, on Google maps, is labeled “Preah Nor-Reay“:
We then found a sweet bakery that actually had really shitty product but had a sweet cut-out:
There were some spaces that reminded me of Philadelphia:
And a sweet t-shirt that was not available in my size (go-figure):
After getting our quick bite we got a call from Stephanie and she had made it to town and was finding a moto to get to the hotel. We decided to go to the hotel. On the way back, we investigated some loud music that was playing in the distance. What was it, you ask? A skate park of all things. But no skateboards–just roller blades. A lot of the skaters were actually quite good, performing moves we never would have expected.
We met up with Steph and decided our first stop of the afternoon would be the famous crocodile farm, which turned out to be several farms (apparently there are 800 farms in Battambang, according to the owner, which is hard to believe, but could very well be true!):
First was the adult farm:
Steph is deathly afraid of lizards. Let’s just say she was not in her comfort zone at the crocodile farm:
The owner mentioned having an absurd number at this place, something like 600 adults and 400 children, or 1,000 children, or something. It never seemed like there were that many. She also mentioned that most of them were sold to either Vietnam (for food) or Thailand (for the leather).
These boxes, by the way, are where the females lay their eggs. Afterwards, the mothers must be pushed back outside otherwise they’ll eat the hatched crocs. The eggs have to moved after they’ve been laid a separate incubator area.
Yep, we could have easily stumbled and fell in. But we didn’t We survived.
And now the little guys. This separate farm was for keeping crocs up to (I think) 4 years.
After the woman who was running the place handed the croc to me, there was little I could do but pass it off to Stephanie, who had some serious fear-conquering to take care of. And she did it!
Emanuel was more of a natural when it came to handling crocodiles:
Though all in all the pictures paint a somewhat grim picture (like being at a zoo), I’m glad we went and got to see what is obviously a large industry in the area. It’s part of the culture that does not get reported on (and is not that visible) in Cambodia. It was also a nice, relaxing side trip before our adventure to the bamboo train.