4 November 2011

One Interesting Monk [Battambang, Cambodia]

We arrived in Battambang early afternoon with no real idea where to go or what to do. Luckily we bumper into a really nice tuk-tuk driver who helped us out. He actually even took us to a hostel for free! Sure, he was after our business, but he seemed really genuine. I felt really bad when we didn't actually use him to go anywhere.

The 'sights' in Battambang are all located outside the city. There are a couple of temples (one that Angkor Wat was based on apparently), a nice mountain complete with Buddha statue, caves and thousands of bats, and a train made from bamboo. But we didn't see any of it! The main reason; we had organised to hire a scooter for half a day, but when we went to pick it up the guy was nowhere to be found. Apparently he was out with a customer and wouldn't be back for hours. Noone else could help us. And everyone in town wanted double the price.The tuk-tuks wanted too way too much money. And we kinda needed to save a bit after my expensive hospital visit. So we just didn't go.

But it was not a big deal, we just enjoyed our time in Battambang city, wandering along the river-side and exploring temples. The first night we were in the city there was an art expo on, with some traditional music and dancing going on, which was quite interesting.

The following day we found a couple of Wat's (temples). At one a monk approached us and asked if we had some free time. I was a little hesitant at first, thinking he was going to sit us down and try to 'convert' us, get us to buy some books, or donate etc... But he just wanted to practice his English. We had a nice conversation about all kinds of random things, he was a really interesting guy, studying philosophy in Thailand. And I got to all those questions you wonder about monks but never get the chance to ask.

That afternoon we jumped on a bus to Siem Reap, where we plan to spend a day or two exploring the temples of Angkor.

One quick note about the buses here: they all have TV's playing the weirdest TV shows, or cheesy karaoke. Both in Cambodian. They usually have the volume cranked up so there is no way to avoid it. But what they show is some of the strangest stuff I have ever seen. Most involve cross-dressing and violence. And the music is SO bad!

1 comment:

  1. The best solution for crazy Cambodian bus rides... Valium... cheap Valium.. And how cheap is the alcohol there?!! - looks like you're having a blast! Apart from the hospital visit of course!


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