After Siem Reap I decided to head to Battambang by boat. Everyone, including all the travel guides, will tell you it takes 4 hours and in the dry season you go in small boats, they obviously have not made the trip as it takes 8 hours in the dry season - be prepared to get out of the boat to get it off the mud bank the skipper has grounded it on. Saying that it is a very chilled and scenic trip. The boat leaves at 7 am and I would advise taking some warm clothing as it is bloody cold on the lake until the sun warms everything up. You pass through the Khmer floating village first and on the other side of the lake you pass through the Vietnamese floating village. I stayed at the Chaya hotel for $4 a night for a single with fan. The Royal also has nice rooms for $6 a night. As for things to do in Battambang there is not a lot to do but it is a nice chilled place to stay for a few days. I went to Wat Baton which is a miniature version of Angkor Wat perched on a hillside but has seen better days but they are restoring it to what it was before the Khmer Rouge used it as target practice. The only other place of worth to see is Phnom Sampeau cave where the Khmer Rouge bludgeoned to death 1978 people and tossed them through the skylight into the cave below. As for things to do at night I found the Cold Night restaurant and bar to be the best food and atmosphere in Battambang. They will even cook off the menu and cook a good Thai red curry. I also went to the Paradise nightclub and this is a must for the laughter value. It's mainly a male Cambodian domain where you get swamped on entering with beer reps until the next customer arrives and you can request a dance or the company of one of the singers who don't speak a world of English. All in all I liked Battambang and it was a nice slow pace compared to Siem Reap.
Wat Baton about 25 Km from Battambang and is a miniature version of Angkor Wat and built around the same time. Situated on a hillside it has seen better days as the Khmer Rouge used it for target practice.
Phnom Sampeau cave where the Khmer Rouge used to smash people in the head with whatever they had handy and throw them through the skylight into the cave. There is also a reclining Buddha in the cave and another large Buddha and five monks on the hill.
These were outside most peoples homes and are there to ward off bad luck and evil spirits.
Steve's Big Trip. Ayutthava. Start. • Chaing Mai • Koh Lanta • Koh Samui • Koh Yao Noi • Angkor Temples • Battambang • Phnom Penh • Siem Reap • Sihanoukville • Champassak • Luang Prabang • Pak Beng • Pakse • Savannakhet • Vang Vieng • Vientiane • Xepon • Disaster. End.