After breakfast this morning, you’ll embark on a tour around Battambang that combines exercise with exploration. Your tour will begin at 7:30 a.m. at Battambang Bike, where you’ll be measured and fitted for a mountain bike or a sturdy basket bicycle.
First, however, you’ll have the chance to watch a short film that reveals what Battambang and the surrounding area was like in its heyday. Under the occupation of the Khmer Rouge, Battambang was isolated from the outside world until fairly recently. As a result, the city retains some of the best-preserved early 20th-century colonial architecture in Cambodia today.
Before hopping on your bicycle, a walking tour of Battambang’s main market, Psar Nath, will provide a chance to sip some delicious local coffee. Next, you’ll cross the Sangke River on a local boat to reach Wat Povil. Here, you’ll have the rare opportunity to join monks in prayer, and perhaps even accompany the monks back across the river as they begin their daily morning alms ritual.
Once you’re back across the river, you’ll begin the cycling portion of your Battambang tour. You’ll visit the historic 2.5 Street, a Thai Buddhist temple, and a small local market. After a quick stop for coffee or sugar cane juice, you’ll continue to nearby Wat Kor Village, which is renowned for its numerous traditional Khmer houses that are roughly 100 years old. You’ll have the chance to go inside one of these fascinating homes.
To make your way back, cycle along the river and cross a charming suspension bridge. Another pit stop for coffee or juice will fortify you for the ride back into town, completing your journey around 12:45.
ABOUT BATTAMBANG BIKE
Battambang Bike is an initiative set up by a Canadian national, known locally as Jam, who is a great lover of cycling and architecture. The social enterprise provides locals with tailored tours on a pay-what-you-can scheme to get Cambodians interested in cycling and their city’s fascinating history and architecture. Alternative tours can be tailored to match specific interests, such as nature or amateur photography. If you’d prefer an alternative tour from the one above, please discuss it with our locally based Travel Specialist.
Enjoy lunch at Fresh Eats Café, a non-profit restaurant founded by an NGO that helps orphans, street children, and victims of trafficking reintegrate into society.
After lunch, a private car will take you to visit some of the villages on the outskirts of Battambang. Mingling with locals, you’ll observe the techniques used to make rice paper, prahoc (fish paste, a Cambodian staple), grolan (sticky rice stuffed in bamboo) and other regional products.
Afterward, you can take a ride on the famous Bamboo Train—one of the most unique forms of rail travel in the world! The “train” is a small platform mounted on an axle that follows the old French railroad. (Please note: The tracks, which lead all the way to Phnom Penh, are currently being rebuilt. If this affects the availability of the Bamboo Train, your guide will offer an alternative activity.)
Later tonight, a special experience awaits you at Phare Ponleu Selpak, a school of music, visual and performing arts. The non-profit school uses the arts as a mode of education and training to provide job opportunities and creative expression to local underprivileged youth. Graduates of the school make up the cast of the circus performance you’ll see tonight—an unforgettable show that will leave you with lasting memories. (Please note: Circus performances run every Monday and Thursday. Private performances are available on other days for an additional fee).
Overnight in Battambang
Meals included on this day: Breakfast and lunch