Tag Archives: battambang

Interview with owners of the Here Be Dragons Hostel in Cambodia

When I was backpacking in Cambodia, I had the best time in Battambang, the second-largest city in the country. This is largely contributed by my stay in the incredibly cozy Here Be Dragons hostel. I have always been interested in how hostels are started, especially when I spent all my backpacking stays in hostels. Who is behind the scenes? What are the challenges? I was able to interview Jen, one of the owners of Here Be Dragons hostel. About Here Be Dragons Official opening of bar: 20 October 2012 Number of employees: 11 4 double rooms, 1 twin room, 6 dorm beds Price range: $2 – $10 Amenities: Restaurant, Bar, Pool, Garden, Roof Terrace, Free Wi-Fi, Travel Advice and Tickets, 10 mins walk from town centre Who are you and what did you do previously before starting your own hostel? I was born in a small village in the English countryside, but moved.
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My Backpacking Guide for Cambodia

Having completed my backpacking trip in Cambodia, I felt that it’s only apt by giving back to the travelling community by creating a backpacking travel guide for backpackers looking to travel to Cambodia. To travellers from Europe or Americas, Cambodia is one of the exotic countries in Asia that’s just so different in terms of culture and landscape. To travellers from Asia, the country is seen as a cheap getaway to travel to. Way of life in Cambodia Coming from a busy metropolitan city like Singapore, I find my pace slowing down the moment I landed in Cambodia. Sure the slightly more developed cities like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have more people but you won’t get knocked by people on the street. In fact, the culture in Cambodia is that everyone owns a motorcycle or bicycle (and the wealthy people drive cars, of course) and there is hardly anyone.
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Visiting Phnom Sampeau and watching bats fly out of their cave in Battambang

After our adventure on the bamboo train, M and I returned to our tuk tuk and set out for Phnom Sampeau. There are two main attractions: Climbing up the hill to Phnom Sampeau to visit the killing caves where Khmer Rouge threw their victims to their death Catching an impressive stream of bats leaving the cave in the early evening in search for food (insects) We arrived in the afternoon to the foot of the hill where we paid 2 USD entrance fee to visit the killing caves and continued our climb to the top of the hill by foot. Along the way, we saw some tourists being ferried up the hill by locals on scooters. We learnt that it costs around 2 USD for the ride. When we reached the top of the hill, we saw the small pagoda that was said to be used to torture the prisoners after.
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Riding the bamboo train in Battambang

Train service in Cambodia has been known to be one of the worst networks in world. In 2006, the people from the north west of the country, near Cambodia’s second largest city, Battambang, have created their own rail service using pieces of bamboo. The locals call the vehicles “noris”, or “lorries”, but overseas visitors know them as “bamboo trains”. A tiny electric generator engine provides the power, and the passenger is ferried on a platform made of bamboo that rests on top of two sets of wheels. It is a challenging ride as there are no seats, safety belts or anything to hold on to, and the bamboo trains can reach about 40km/h (25mph), with the track just a couple of inches below the passengers. The warped and broken rails make a pretty scary journey. Today, the bamboo train is also used as a form of tourist attraction to pull.
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Here Be Dragons – the best guesthouse in Battambang

I am writing this post on a bus, leaving Battambang for Siem Reap with a sense of emptiness. Though I only stayed in Battambang for one day, it was as if I’ve been there much longer because I made so many new friends within that one day and had so much fun. Much of it is contributed by the best guesthouse in Battambang, Here Be Dragons. Imagine a guesthouse that charges only 2 USD per night for a bed, sends their tuk tuk driver to pick you up upon arrival, and gives you a free welcome beer. Sounds too good to be true? Well this is what Here Be Dragons is offering. I found this guesthouse when I was searching for a place to stay in Battambang. It’s very rare to find a guesthouse that is ranked top for lowest price and highest review score. So I gave it a.
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