Our regular readers will no doubt be aware we’ve become very lazy. Battambang is quite a small town so we’ve rationed it’s more famous activities to one per day - this does mean every morning is a lie in followed by breakfast, games, ice creams and then lunch...
The afternoons however have been quite varied. We got a decent deal from a sweet old tuktuk driver with a right sided facial swelling. Smiling with a few missing teeth he jumped on his motorbike and we shot off to some pre-Angkor Wat temples in a puff of smoke. The drives here were by far the highlight of the day - rural Cambodia is stunning. Endless ricefields, wooden roadside houses where cattle shared the drive with dirty, playing children and men slept in their hammocks. Simply beautiful. The temple itself was just a short 300 steps up a mountain and was a classic falling down Hindu/Cambodian pile of big rocks. We followed this up with feeding some ugly catfish before whizzing up a mountain to a modern Buddhist temple on the back of a couple of motorbikes. The temple was very pretty but sadly stood next to a cave which the Khymer Rouge used to push their political opponents down (for good measure) after torturing then subsequently whacking them on the head with a stick... Sadly it is difficult to escape all the scars.
Then for sunset we settled down with scores of sweaty old German tourists for a beer to watch a hole in the mountain. Whether it was the beer or not the hole in the mountain started to squeak and smell really bad as a million bleary eyed bats flew off in search of breakfast. Truly an amazing and surprising(ly stinky) show of nature.
The following afternoon was spent doing a cooking class! Having not washed up a plate for 2 months and despite journeying through some of the finest culinary nations on earth - we had not even tried to learn any recipes. So we set off with the owner of one of the stalls in town to his village where we learnt how to cook an Amok (dry curry) and a Khymer (wet curry). Vinnak was lovely and took us to the market before returning us to his mother who swept up around us as we prepared, cooked then ate our meals.
All in all a nice way to end our Battambang stay.