Our hostel organized a tour leaving in the morning and coming back in time for dinner. The first stop was the bamboo train. All the ladies went on one car together. I was glad for that because earlier in the day, I heard our driver actually selling us. He told some prospective male tourists that there were "girls" in the car, so they should come with us and buy his tour. He was selling us as a part of his tour. Really cool guy, right? Bleh.
Anyway, the bamboo train was fun. It was a little car made from bamboo slats that the driver had to take apart and put back together if someone came from the other direction. The heaviest car had the right of way, so our car went really fast with four of us on it. It was like a little rollercoaster. Except with nothing remotely resembling safety equipment at all.
Before combustible engines, people would push themselves around with poles along the tracks, so it was interesting to experience. Our driver, Rith, said that they'll be closing it down soon to make a new railway.
Our next stop was an old temple, Phnom Banan. I met a Cambodian architect at the top, he told me all about the temple. He was building a new overpass on one of the highways so he was living in Battambang for a while.
We continued on to Banan winery, the only one in Cambodia, to try some awful wine and some really great ginger juice. Also, there was some brandy that was fine. The Italians hated it, but I guess I've gotten used to baijiu, so it was OK for me.
Next up, we had lunch at a little reservoir, where the water was warm and not very refreshing. They served me some instant noodles for $3 and we went on our way to a small suspension bridge and Phnom Sampeau, where there were some "killing caves" which I avoided, and beautiful views at the temple at the top.
The real draw though, was feeding time for the bats. They all came out of their cave in a long column, starting precisely at 6:17 p.m. I sipped on a fresh coconut as we watched the show. The smell of bat pee and poo was strong and unbearable after about 10 minutes, so we all went home.
Rith's van had bluetooth, so we listened to some Canadian songs from my iPod until we got back.
I went with my German friend Monika to the night market for dinner, but all I wanted was juice. I got myself some sugar cane juice and an avocado shake and I was happy.