Au Cabaret Vert can organize your whole journey in Cambodia: firstname.lastname@example.org
We propose also visits of Battambang and its countryside with our selectioned tuk-tuk guide…
What to see :
* Phnom Sampeu
Perched on the top of a limestone hill, 18 km southwest of Battambang, Wat Phnom Sampeu offers a beautiful view over the rice fields of Battambang. This site was on the frontline between government forces and positions of the Khmer Rouge.
The mountain, full of caves, served as a mass grave for the victims of the Khmer Rouge genocide. The Khmer Rouge bludgeoned the victims before pushing them into the abyss. The site is also known as the The Killing Caves of Wat Phnom Sampeu.
* Phnom Banan
Wat Banan, located about 15 kms south of Battambang town, is a smaller version of the Illustrious Angkor Wat. Begun in 1057 under the reign of Udayadityavarman II (1050 – 1066) and completed a century later by Jayavarman VII (1181 – 1218), it is built atop a hill about 400 meters. When Henri Mouhot, the French explorer who also rediscovered Angkor Wat, visited the site in 1858, he found numerous sculptures of Buddha and other deities.
On top of the hill, reached by a staircase of 358 laterite steps, we can admire the view over the Sangker River meandering between palm trees, rice paddies and traditional villages. It is a very popular place for Khmer families who like to picnic there and admire the beautiful landscape.
*Wat Ek Phnom
8 kms north of Battambang stands Wat Aek Phnom. It is a Hindu temple which construction began in 1027 during the reign of Suryavarman I. It consists of several prasats connected by a platform. Today only a few sculptures are still in relative good conditions. A pagoda has recently been built near the ruins of the first temple. This wat is quite popular with residents of surrounding villages who like to organize there some festivities.
Discover Battambang from another angle and with another ear! This audio tour takes you in cyclo through the temples and narrow streets of the city to understand its development through the centuries and discover its hidden gems.
The buildings and their history, the influence of Buddha, the most beautiful pagodas and even a true replica of Angkor Wat await you!
We invite you to sit and explore the lush countryside of Battambang which, thanks to its fertile soil, is the first “rice granary” of the country. The Bamboo train, or Norry, is a little platform that rides the old railway thanks to a boat motor.
Caution: it is a rather uncomfortable ride on this local transportation, but you will go through some nice rural lanscapes.
*Kayak on Sangker River
Here’s an original way to discover Battambang. NGO Green Orange proposes kayaking on the Sangker River, starting from a small village upstream from Battambang to reach the city center.
This is perfect for exploring life around the river : the gardens at the edge of the water, fishermen, stilt houses or children acrobatically diving in the water. We advise you to do this activity early in the morning to avoid the midday heat. Without actually being sporty, this activity still requires to be in good shape (and of course know how to swim).
* Banan Winery
In the early 2000s, a young Khmer from Battambang’s countryside went to visit family in Bordeaux, France. On her way back home she slipped vines into her luggage.
Ten years later, the two acres of red and rosé wine she cultivates with her family are the first in Cambodia! Banan wines, grape juice and brandy can be tasted on the way to Phnom Banan..
* Wat Kor village
The village of Wat Kor has very old traditional Khmer houses, one of them was built in 1920. The French speaking owner will share with you the story of this house made of precious wood and which was not destroyed during the Khmer Rouge period.
In this village you will see a lot of fruit sellers and farmers who come daily to the market to sell their crops.
*Thousands Bats Flight
Every evening at sunset (between 6 and 7PM), an impressive sight as several thousand bats fly out of their cave at Wat Sampeu to spend the night in trees. Cambodians used to say that the bats carry the souls of the dead people to heaven.
Rice papers are used in many Khmer dishes such as fresh spring rolls or nems…
They are cooked on a buffalo skin stretched over boiling water. The water itself is heated by burning rice bran, the hard skin which protects the small grain of rice. After cooking, the rice paper is dried on a bamboo trey.
Would you try to cook one?
A Cambodian eats about 60kg of rice noodles per year or about 240,000 rations of noodles! Eat them in spring rolls or with curry broth is really delicious! The technique of craftsmanship is more than 300 years old. The Toeun family rises at 4 in the morning to start manufacturing. But no need to get up early to visit them, they work all day long!
*Rice Bamboo cakes
Some say that bamboo cakes from Battambang are the best in the whole of Cambodia! Cooked on the floor with embers of coconut shells, this rice sweet is prepared early in the morning in sections of bamboo clogged with banana leaves.
Sold at different prices depending on the size of bamboo, these cakes will satisfy all cravings!
*Kam Pinh Pouy Dam
The site of Kam Pinh Puoy hosts one of the most massive infrastructure project of the Khmer Rouge regime; a massive earth dam built by hand between the hills of Phnom Kul and Phnom Kam Pinh Puoy. Thousands of workers died of malnutrition, disease, overwork and abuses during the construction of this dam.
Today the artificial lake created is 1.9 kms wide and 30 kms long, holding some 110 million cubic meters of water. Cambodians like to spend the weekend here and you can enjoy a small boat ride surrounded by water lilies.
In Cambodia, many families live on crocodile-farming. Resale of eggs and young crocodiles bring a very decent income. Discover these aquatic reptiles yawning a few meters from you!
Discover the largest “Psar prahoc” or fish market in the region. It produces fermented fish paste. The fish paste is a bit of cheese in Cambodia. Depending on their sizes and colors, fish is drying in the sun for hours or macerated for months in large wooden jars… It then becomes that popular Khmer preparation to eat with rice and fresh vegetables. People just love it here. What about you?
Those artisans manufacture more than 2,500 sticks of incense each day. Thanks to fruit powders, they turn yellow their bamboo sticks and then resell them on the market. Each stick will burn at the feet of a Buddha.
You can even try to make your own stick!
For several centuries in Cambodia, old people use to chew betel, which sometimes gives them such a beautiful smile…You will discover how easily Ms. Hign rises at 6 in the morning to dry her tobacco before making the most cigarettes sold in the neighbourhood of Tul Ta Ek, next to Au Cabaret Vert.
For over 30 years now, Ms. Hign is rolling tobacco at a rate of 1,500 cigarettes a day!
* Buddha Sculptors
The family you will meet carves statutes of Buddha on a human scale. Their specialty is to reproduce in wood the history of the Khmer people and to picture stories and legends. Do you want a Buddha who seems to have lived 300 years? Don’t worry, these artists can perform that and you won’t see a thing!
This Museum is located downtown. It is relatively small but very interesting indeed. Lintels, Buddha statues, figurines, pottery paintings, carved pieces of temple ruins and other pre-historical artefacts are exposed.
Every day at 10.30 in the morning, Buddhist monks communally eat the food offered by the people during the collection in the morning. The meal of the monks and novices is served on silver trays. This is the meal of the transmission of the merits. The monks will begin by offering a blessing.
*Kitschy pics Khmer style
To formalize a union, to declare their love or just for fun, Cambodians love to go to the photo studio and take pics with traditional outfits… or in a more “trendy” style! A beautiful makeup, a “photoshop” background and the moment is immortalized! A bit original and such a good time. It takes at least two hours, but the final picture is worth it!
*Phare Ponleu Selpak: every child has the right to build his future
Started in a refugee camp under the Khmer Rouge, Phare Ponleu Selpak aims to promote children’s access to education. PPS supports a public school within the compound (1250 children attending school) and is developing a library with accessible study materials (100 children a day attending). It allows them to learn and practice circus arts, music, dance, theatre, painting and design. Some children become professionals in their discipline
The site of this NGO is based in the village of Anh Chanh, 7 minutes far away from Au Cabaret Vert with a tuk-tuk. It offers a peaceful living space for all those young people and the teachers and administrators will be proud to welcome you and to explain you their projects. We also have a package which includes the circus performance and the evening dinner. Tickets sales are available at the bar.
*Future is in the books
Mr Choeun began by building his small library intended for orphans in his neighbourhood. He now hosts them, offers them three meals a day and teaches them to carve wooden figures and furniture they sell to finance the project.
Each morning, the children study languages and mathematics with volunteer teachers before they doing manual work and handicraft. They are always happy to welcome you and let you discover their home with generous smiles!
Since 1998, Komar Rikreay hosts children from the street, victims of human trafficking, violence, abandoned or orphans and children from very poor families. Every year more than 250 children are helped through their school and hospital. Their aim is to reintegrate as many children as possible into the Khmer society.