The ride today was about 80km and very hot, but very scenic and mostly flat.
On the way, we stopped by an engagement party for a friend of our guide. It was only 8:30 am, but the party was already rolling.
Our destination, Battambang, is the 4th largest city in Cambodia. It was founded by the Khmer Empire in the 11th century! The region is known for its rice production currently. There is a lot of rice consumed over here – by locals and visitors.
The French built many buildings in the middle of last century and many still remain. They also built a railroad that is mostly not working now but stretches to the capital, Phenom Penn.
Some enterprising locals in the government have turned the abandoned railway into a bit of a tourist attraction. We are not ones usually attracted to pure tourist spots ,but this one was too hard to pass up. After the French left and the train service was cut to two trains a week, the locals build their own cars – simple platforms that were propelled by drivers using bamboo poles. Today, there are simple, two-stroke engines attached to an axel with a fan belt. There is enough horsepower to propel the platform 20-30 km/hr down the track through acres of rice fields.
No seats, no seat belts no lights, not much to hold on too or other pesky, safety features. Tracks mostly line up, but there are some good hits when they do not. It is pretty much hold on and hope it doesn’t down pour before you make it back (we made it by seconds)..