Bamboo Railroad in Battambang, Cambodia (Video)

A short tuk tuk drive away from Battambang, Cambodia is a unique experience for any age..The Bamboo Railroad!

Once a real railroad, but now too worn for a train cars.  The locals have used their ingenuity and found a way to use what most would call broken.  In order to move goods like bricks or lumber, (you can visit a brick factory and I recommend you do) they have created a train made up of 2 axles and a sheet of bamboo.  Strap on an engine and it's called a train.

Our train, pre boarding!
We knew as soon as we saw the trains that this was going to be a unique experience and it surely was! For tourists they throw on a straw mat and tell you to hold on.  Admittedly I was PETRIFIED!  I kept my cool though so the kids would not worry!  One minute in my 8-year-old turns to me and shouts, "this is so f@@*** cool!  The best day ever!"  I couldn't even reprimand him for the curse because he was right!

One of the many bridges

After 20 minutes, we arrived at the halfway point.  Here we were able to get out, explore the area, chat with the locals and tour a brick factory.  This doesn't sound that exciting but we had a blast at the brick factory.

Here in Cambodia there are few petty rules, no forms to fill out absolving the owners of responsibility should something go wrong.  We were free to walk around (our guide, Happy, was a great resource for explaining just what we were looking at), free to touch things, and free to watch as they worked the factory.  Did I mention it was also FREE?

The machine that makes the bricks
Firing oven, powered by burning rice husks
Bricks drying
Trying some of the equipment, it was like a giant pottery workshop

We spent at least a half hour watching men fix a machine, make the actual bricks out of clay and exploring the massive ovens (kilns) where they cook the bricks.  It was fascinating and an educational experience all at once.

After sitting down to a drink and chatting with some of the locals we decided it was time to head back.  As we walked back to the train we quickly realized there was a back up of lorries (what the Cambodians call the train) and we were going to have to wait a bit!  The railway is a one track system so if there are other trains in the way, the cars with the lightest load must move and give way.  How exactly do you "move" a train car out of the way you ask?

Watch the video below:

For the coolest, most death defying ride, check out the bamboo train when you are in Cambodia.  It will not disappoint!

A wonderful day!
Logistics: The ride cost $15 for all 5 of us plus our English speaking guide/tuk tuk driver.  The ride lasts 20 minutes one way, where you can hop off , get a drink, chat with the locals and tour a brick factory for free.  Then you will follow back along the same line for another 20 minutes.  They said the speed was very slow, but being that close to the ground it felt like we were flying down the tracks around 50 mph.

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  1. That looks awesome!! What fun! (looking forward to meeting you!)

  2. It really was fun! We loved our time in Battambang..Cambodia on a whole actually! 2 more weeks and we'll be enjoying Thailand excited! Only my oldest and I though!

  3. That looks awesome!! My kids would love that. Yet another thing to add to the list!