Friday, June 29, 2012

Riding the Bamboo Train in Battambang, Cambodia

I’m in Battambang, Cambodia riding the bamboo train! A makeshift train composed of a wooden frame with slats made of bamboo and powered by a six horsepower gasoline engine. The bamboo train runs on a single, narrow gauge track built by the French in the 1920s.

To accommodate two-way traffic on a single line, custom dictates that when two trains meet, the one with the lighter load leaves the track. Drivers and passengers pitch in to disassemble and reassemble the trains to allow passage. Due to the lightweight materials this is all done in a matter of seconds. Cambodian engineering at its finest!

Rumor has it that the Bamboo train is likely to see its end within a few years. The Cambodian rail company is upgrading the tracks and when the new trains and tracks are in place the bamboo train will be stopped for safety reasons. Even more reason to ride the bamboo train today. Book your ticket for Cambodia!

A picture of my train operator and a view of the Cambodian countryside. A classic rail journey!

Stay tuned for more of my adventures in Southeast Asia.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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