We arrived in Battambang around 1pm. Dave had a hard time finding our hotel. We went up and down side streets filled with water and huge pot holes. He finally stopped and asked someone and it was actually very close by. We were used to such a grand hotel in Seam Reap that we couldn’t help being a bit disappointed in the Bambu. Although, it was suppose to be a 4 and a half star hotel, it was more like a 2. We decided to go to the hotel dining room and get something to eat. The guide, Mr Tiens was coming around 2:30 to take us to see the town. There was no air conditioning so we sat under a ceiling fan and ordered our meal. I decided to have tea and ordered a ginger and green tea. It was funny because the waitress brought me the tea plus a dish of shredded ginger. That was great as I love ginger and it is good for you. I just put the whole dish in the teapot and had a delicious and healthy drink. The Cambodians drink a lot of tea and it was always offered on the menu. I can’t quite remember what we ate but I usually chose a fish dish and Shawn usually chose fried rice. We returned to our room which did have air conditioning and organized our things and got ready for the afternoon excursion. The hotel was an outdoor concept. Our room was on the ground level and across from Dave’s room. There was a huge pool and an outdoor bar and the enclosed dining room across from the bar. We walked out and saw Dave talking to the guide. Mr. Tiens was very pleasant and his English was extremely good. Our first stop was the governor’s house. It was in a nice area with very wide streets. You could really see the influence of the 20th century French colonial architecture. The quaint and charming provincial town sits beside the Sangker River. As Dave mentioned several times, it is not the usual tourist destination but does give you an opportunity to see rural Cambodia.
We ended up taking a look at one of the market places in central Battambang. Afterwards, Dave drove us out into the countryside toward Sampeu Mountain. At the summit, we saw a complex of Buddhist temples It was very quiet with few visitors. One of the interesting and eerie parts was a cave-like memorial to the people killed by the Khmer Rouge. The steep staircase leads into a cavern where a golden reclining Buddha lies peacefully next to a glass-walled memorial filled with bones and skulls. These are the remains of people killed and thrown through the skylight above the cavern.