Sightseeing by Tuk tuk – the Province of Battambang

About the Province

Battambang is the second largest city in Cambodia and the  capital city of the province of Battambang in northwestern Cambodia.It has a population of around 250,000 and is  the leading rice-producing province of the country, known as the “rice-bowl” of Cambodia. A riverside town on the banks of Stung Sangkae river,the city has some of the best-preserved French colonial architecture in the country, a University, interesting temples and monasteries.
La Maison de Coco (NGO)
Next morning,  cloudy with rain. After our ride on the bamboo train, despite the rain, we then visited a furniture workshop. This particular piece  took my eye at one place,a beautiful cane chair, all made by hand, imagine how many hours of work has gone into this one chair. Then on to the “La Maison de Coco’, a non-government organisation (NGO) that runs projects to give skills and support to under-privileged people in the community, especially children and young girls who are victims of abuse,domestic violence and trafficking.
We looked at class rooms and facilities, watched how they cultured mushrooms; stood out in the rain  like drowned rats, waiting for a look in the dark of the mushroom shed. The mushrooms sold at  local markets. The organisation has a showroom with goods on display and for sale; all  work  of the young people who learn different skills at the center.

Tuk tuk maneuvers

The rain bucketed down, the outdoor eating area deluged and inaccessible for lunch. Eventually we had to be transported out by tuk tuk,the road a muddy  mess. Our guide had the tuk tuk drivers  lined up and ready to go. A bit of slipping and sliding as the drivers maneuvered their way through the  mud, until finally back on the bitumen and into the  city to continue our sightseeing  by tuk tuk.  A lot of water in the streets and pouring down gutters. The locals just taking it in their stride.
Sightseeing despite the rain
We enjoyed the sightseeing despite the rain and flooding.The tuk tuk drivers had a handle on where it was dry and we were able to see the temples as we drove past slowly, the drivers very obliging. The French architecture was interesting, although we have seen quite a bit of this in other places. I was more interested in the temple architecture which I  never get tired of looking at. This magnificent terracotta Chinese Lion outside a Monastery wall.
We admired the rich, russet red fence with a beautifully carved lintel above the gate, the fascinating seven headed Naga decorating the top of the monastery gates. Hanuman the monkey-god placed either side of the steps. Above – temples, shrines and stupas in the monastery grounds.
Another Buddhist temple has a golden Naga with a long gold  tail running along the fence the entire length of the  block. A third temple or monastery features a richly decorated golden gateway and has  white elephants  either side of the entrance. I would  like more time here, to walk through the grounds of one of the monasteries and learn more about them.  Public art – temple art, beautiful –  everywhere!!
We dined at a very nice restaurant for lunc, can’t remember the name which is bad, but took a copy of the menu as the food was really delicious and healthy. Add cold fresh coconut milk, crushed tropical fruit drinks or a cold Angkor beer, all so good! Must buy a Khmer cook book before we return home.

After lunch the weather fined up, another adventure awaits as we drove to Phnom Bannon hill. 

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