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STOP 1: MEMORIAL SITE
This is the final stop on the half-day “Traditional Livelihoods” tour. Here, you’ll learn about the horrors of the Pol Pot regime, and how the aftermath affects modern Cambodian society. The memorial is full of the bones and skulls of the Khmer Rogue’s victims, placed as a lasting testament to the evils which should never happen again.
STOP 2: BAMBOO RICE CAKE
On our way towards the whole tour, we will stop at a bamboo rice cake outlet, and try this local delicacy together. Before we settle down to eat, your guide will take a moment to talk about the industrious trade of these cakes, and pass a few secrets of its traditional recipe for you to take home with you.
STOP 3: FIHS PASTE MAKING
After our break, we’ll hop on the bikes again and make our way towards the local fish paste market. The smell can be slightly overwhelming to western visitors, but we’re sure you’ll find the stop fascinating nonetheless. As you watch the processes around fish paste making, you’ll learn about the fishing culture of the local area, and the amazing proportion of the community that depend on the sea for sustenance.
STOP 4: KHMER NOODLE
Here, you’ll learn about another important staple in the countryside’s infrastructure. This stop is likely to be a particularly unique experience, as most western tourists have never seen a manual pounder before. If we arrive on schedule, you’ll have the chance to try pounding yourself. The noodle makers are always happy to let our customers have a try, as it not only gives them a break from work but provides a hilarious spectacle!
STOP 5: RICE PAPER MAKING
This point in our tour will bring us into Donteav village, which lies about 7km from the centre of Battambang. This settlement has become famous over the years for its quaint hand made products including rice paper. While most of us have tried one or two dishes made with rice paper, the people of Donteav rarely go a day without it, incorporating it into dozens of popular local meals, folding it into intricate and beautiful designs.
STOP 6: RICE WINE
Next we’ll cycle to the local rice wine distillery, which is sure to teach you a lot about Battambang’s cultural norms. Rice wine is seen as a traditional symbol of the countryside all over Cambodia, and is used not only for social recreation but as a holistic cure to many common illnesses. We’ll take some time to watch parts of the distilling process, and afterwards you’ll have the opportunity to try or buy some rice wine yourself.
STOP 7: DRIED BANANA
At this stop, we’ll learn about the local organic fruit’s place in rural Cambodian society. We’ll be able to talk to a woman who has lived in the area her entire life, and has been producing dried banana for over twenty years. She is always happy to teach us about the natural processes around making her product, and how her part in the local market has provided a livelihood for her and her family.
STOP 8: LOCAL LUNCH
After cycling between all the previous stops, we’ll settle in the shade of the Wat Kor ancient house, and enjoy a delicious local lunch with similarly local coconut water. We’ll take our time here, relaxing in the hammocks and chatting about all we’ve seen and done. Your guide will be happy to answer any further questions you may have.
STOP 9: WAT KOR ANCIENT HOUSE
This beautiful piece of ancient Cambodian architecture measures 28 metres in length and 11.5 metres in width, and was constructed in the intricate rural pet style, which includes verandahs at the front and sides. The roof is covered with unique Naga-scale shaped tiles, with no inner ceilings, and the upper portion of the roof is adorned with beautiful artistic decorations. Much of the house is made with Phcherk wood, a local and very dependable resource, aside from the floorboards which are made of Kakoh, and some of the walls which are made of woven bamboo and plaster. As you walk around this ancient structure, you’re sure to be amazed at how long the traditional building principles have lasted.
STOP 10: BAMBOO TRAIN
Battambang, like many other provinces in Cambodia, was a colony under the French empire between 1863 and 1953. There are still mixed views over how good this was for the country overall, but most agree with the new technologies western occupation brought in. When the French colonised the country, railroads were set up to connect rural area like Battambang with major cities and towns. After the Khmer Rouge regime fell, many areas of Cambodia were economically destitute, and Bamboo trains played an important part in the transportation of goods during the period reconstruction.
48.00 (per person)