Cambodia is an interesting country, if you ask me. A word I often use to define this Indochina country is “ancient”: ancient villages, ancient pagodas, ancient roads, ancient pools and ancient means. Bamboo train is a part of many ancient things in Cambodia, but it is also very amazing. If you plan to travel to Cambodia or you are on a Cambodia tour packages, try it!
What is the bamboo train?
Your tour guide introduces and explain to you about this quite special vehicle when you are on Cambodia tour.
The bamboo train is one of the world’s all-time classic rail journeys. From O Dambong, on the east bank 3.7km south of Battambang’s Old Stone Bridge, the train runs southeast to O Sra Lav, via half an hour of clicks and clacks along warped, misaligned rails and vertiginous bridges left by the French.
Each bamboo train – known in Khmer as a norry (nori ) – consists of a 3m-long wood frame, covered lengthwise with slats made of ultra-light bamboo, that rests on two barbell-like bogies, the aft one connected by fan belts to a 6HP gasoline engine. Pile on 10 or 15 people or up to three tonnes of rice, crank it up and you can cruise along at about 15km/h.
Norry construction is a cottage industry conducted in trackside villages. It takes around four days to construct one of the vehicles, which have a steel frame overlaid with bamboo slats resting on wheels taken from abandoned tanks.
The genius of the system is that it offers a brilliant solution to the most ineluctable problem faced on any single-track line: what to do when two trains going opposite directions meet. In the case of bamboo trains, because of the simple construction and light weight that enable the norry to be simply removed from the track, the answer is simple: one car is quickly disassembled and set on the ground beside the tracks so the other can pass.
If you want to try when you are on a Cambodia tour packages, don’t be afraid of, because you’ll see it is deserved.
How is the bamboo train?
Traveling bay bamboo train is really brand-new experience. You would rather not expect much for some sorts of intriguing scenery when you are on the way. Both sides are covered with lush greenery but the setting is nothing compared to the experience waiting ahead.
Sitting on straw mats than has been laid over the bamboo platform, you should hold onto whatever you could because the contraption quickly begins to pick up speed. (This thing can go up to 40 kilometers an hour!) Maybe you peek down through the cracks at the rail tracks below, but it is all a blur of color and sound. Sometimes you have to yell to be heard, but even then the wind caries half of yours words away. That seems bad, right? However…
With the wind blowing in your hair, and the speed plastering a smile on your face, you chugged past fields, across rickety bridges, and through stretches of bush. Locals walk on the tracks and only hop off when the train is almost upon them.
You are going to agree with me that when you finish the first stretch of the journey and reach the village, you can’t wait to do it all again!
The bumpy and bone-shaking travel is something you might have not tried before.
If you look for a convenient trip, bamboo train cannot meet the demand. But if you yearn for an exciting experience which is little adventurous, simple, bizarre, exhilarating and cheap in Cambodia’s countryside when you are on Cambodia tour, this one is right for you.
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