A new addition to our Cambodia itinerary, this half day tour to discover some of the local ‘cottage industries’ in one of the villages outside of Battambang has proved very popular. Also very practical since it can just as easily be done by bicycle or by tuk-tuk for the less energetic and the 3 or 4 hour round tour then leaves a half day to explore the streets, architecture and cafes of Battambang Town at your own leisure as well.
The town itself with decent road connections to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Thailand, as well as being the terminus for the picturesque boat trip up the Sangkar River, is slowly seeing an increase in the more adventurous tourists though the surrounding village and countryside remain very traditional.
Our morning tour then takes in a local market before showing you some of the time-honoured cottage industries to be found in the region including; manufacturing rice paper wraps, (i.e. for spring rolls), sun-dried bananas, rice whisky distilling, noodle making and last but not least the fish market, Psa Prahok.
The market deals in dried and fermented fish and so can be to say the least somewhat ‘fragrant’, (or “you can smell it a mile off”), but it’ fascinating to see, even if you do have to hold your nose, and as a slightly unusual tourist destination a visit is always guaranteed to get the locals giggling and chattering!
The tour’s as much about meeting the local families and artisans and learning about their daily life as it is about discovering their products and lead as it is by some of the town’s enthusiastic English students there are certainly plenty of opportunities for interaction with the residents as well as the chance to spend a few tourist dollars in more out of the way areas that don’t see too many visitors.
Conveniently Ek Phnom Village is also home to a rather splendid 11th century temple, the eponymously named Prasart Ek Phnom constructed during the reign of King Suryavarman, which makes for a picturesque and photogenic ending point to this half day tour.
Great day out and again demonstrates that there’s much more to Cambodia than Angkor Wat and the Killing Fields!
Check out our full Cambodia Overland itinerary.