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!|
|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|
|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:
|A wonderful day!|
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