The journey

Our journey to Battambang was only a 3.5 hour bus from Siem Reap through the stunning abundance of  scenery and nothingness. The guide informed us on the way of the horrifying past before heading off into the local village. During the Khmer Rouge, many people got killed so the population in Cambodia is the lowest its ever been with 70% being children and 40% of those, being under 14 years old.

*More information on the Khmer Rouge in upcoming blogs*

Yeah, Luke ate a rat..

Arriving at Battambang homestay

The family of the home we were staying in, couldn’t be more welcoming or friendly. We went upstairs to put our bags down and relax for 15 minutes before venturing back downstairs to walk to the local school.

Upon arriving, we stopped off at a local store to purchase some goods for the children including sweets, books, rubber bands, pens, play-dough, etc.

So, by the time we ventured back downstairs there were at least 30 (hella-excited!) young children all waiting to say hello! Despite the communication barrier, they were all eager to converse with us and enjoy the gifts we had for them.

Local school and football

Within a short walk down the muddy off-road pathway, we arrived at the school. The school’s in Cambodia aren’t as lucky as we are back home. They are relatively devoid of electricity – at least in the rural areas. So, learning is done via a blackboard and chalk. We were able to have the pleasure of being involved in on of the lessons. Seeing all the attentive students learning the Khmer language (harder than it looks!). It was truly magical to see children actually wanting to learn and try to be involved in every process, which is unlike back home where young adolescents cannot wait until home time.

After a long time of meeting and greeting the children, interacting somehow in half English and half Khmer, we decided to start a football match – bearing in mind that I’ve never kicked a football in my life but, theres a first for everything! Loser had to do 20 press ups so, everything was in my power not to loose! The kids on my team were so good that we won! I obviously, I did nothing but be a nuisance and be in the way ahah! So, unlucky to Luke he had to do the press ups!

Dinner

After an eventful evening and once, walked the kids home, it was time for dinner. Accompanied by a make-shift cooking class, we were able to make our our spring rolls with a side of fish amok beautifully wrapped within a banana leaf, rice, and a traditional Cambodian curry – it was so lovely!

Where Next?

After the amazing experience of a traditional Cambodian homestay, we are heading to Shinoukville – an 11 hour journey believe it or not! So, wish us luck!

Tips

  • We didn’t have time but visit the Bat Caves in Battambang!

About The Author

Wanderlust Lab is a collaboration between Abbie and Luke for the sharing of travelling knowledge to help backpackers and travellers all across the globe. Live Wanderlust.

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