With the lovely Khmer New Year holiday now in session, I decided to use the “long weekend” to take a trip up to Battambang, which I had never visited. I went with ODC coworker Emanuel, and new friend Stephanie (she met us a bit later, actually). It was a great experience. We didn’t cover all the day trip spots, but for 2.5 days being there, we did see quite a bit. Here’s a look at the trip to Battambang, which follows National Highway 5 all the way up. It’s a long road, but not as long as the road to Siem Reap. And it’s fast. And it’s bumpy. And the great exodus out of the city for the holidays didn’t help, but we made it there in 5 hours, which was completely tolerable.
First, let me introduce you to Emanuel. Emanuel is a cool dude from Washington, DC, who is working at ODC. He’s doing a variety of complex project management tasks and is generally interested in mapping and getting information to work correctly within the organization. He also likes photography, adventures, reddit, and he is a strict pescatarian.
Let me introduce you to me. My name is Greg and I am the author of this blog. I wear stupid tshirts, get hairstyles that are different even if they don’t look good, forget to clean my glasses regularly, and eat too much sugar.
I also don’t like spending a lot of time editing the photos I take, even if the lighting in them sucks. A lot.
We took the Mekong Express bus (mini-van/mini-bus) from Phnom Penh and the clouds were beautiful. Here we are somewhere deep in Kampong Chhnang province.
The only thing I could tell that was noteworthy about Kampong Chhnang near Highway 5 was the presence of large garment factories.
Lots and lots of people enjoy their time hanging out near the garment factories, either due to a break, or the end of a shift, or maybe because it’s a popular socializing spot in an otherwise desolate stretch of road.
There was a lot of stormy stuff going on all weekend and this was our first taste of it, though it didn’t really rain on the way up to Battambang.
Clouds in the dry season are pretty boring, so when you start to see this stuff in the sky, your eyes light up. And your camera finger gets itchy.
Soon enough we got to Pursat Province, which is also fairly unremarkable (in the areas we visited on our trip). I wish we had gotten to take a closer look at the statues (below):
Our one and only pit stop (aside from a few toilet breaks), as this Cambodia-Japan friend center:
To be honest, this was the cleanest “side station” (or “meal break stop”) I’d been to in Cambodia. It was pristine. And it also had a strangely large quantity of snacks made in Thailand.
I’m kind of sad I didn’t cough up the $2.5 for the following, which I’ve never seen before:
Pretty good track record for this bus company:
All the buses in Cambodia have lovely psychedelic interior lighting when the night time comes: