Bamboo Train in Battambang | An Unforgettable Experience in Cambodia

Bamboo Train in Battambang - Cambodia tour packages

The bamboo train in Battambang, a city located in the northwest region of Cambodia, is a one-of-a-kind mode of transportation that has captured the attention of both locals and tourists. Also known as the “norry” or “lorry,” this wooden platform constructed of bamboo slats is equipped with a small engine and travels along abandoned railway tracks. Not only is the bamboo train a crucial means of transportation for the people of Battambang, but it also serves as a fascinating tourist attraction, drawing in visitors from all over the world. In this post, we will delve into the rich history and cultural significance of the bamboo train in Battambang.

History of the Bamboo Train in Battambang

The bamboo train is thought to have originated in Cambodia during the French colonial era in the early 20th century. At that time, the French built a railway network in Cambodia to transport goods and people between cities. However, the railway network was not well-maintained after the French left, and many parts of it fell into disuse. Local villagers saw an opportunity to use the abandoned tracks to transport goods, and they began using bamboo platforms to ride along the tracks. Over time, the bamboo platform evolved into the bamboo train that we know today.

Bamboo Train in Battambang - Cambodia vacation packages

The bamboo train in Battambang became an important means of transportation for local communities, particularly for farmers who used it to transport crops and livestock to nearby markets. The train was also used to transport people, particularly those who needed to travel long distances but could not afford more expensive forms of transportation. As the bamboo train became more popular, entrepreneurs began offering rides to tourists, and the train became a popular tourist attraction in Battambang.

Riding the Bamboo Train in Battambang

The bamboo train is a unique and exciting way to experience the countryside of Battambang. The train is made up of a bamboo platform that sits on top of two axles with wheels. The engine is a small gasoline motor that is attached to the back of the platform. To ride the bamboo train, passengers sit on the platform and hold onto ropes or rails to steady themselves. The train moves quickly along the tracks, and passengers can feel the wind in their hair and take in the scenic views of the surrounding countryside.

Bamboo train in Battambang Cambodia

Tips for travelers who want to ride the bamboo train in Battambang:

  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, as the ride can be bumpy.
  • Bring sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Hold on tight! The ride can be fast and bumpy, so be sure to hold onto the ropes or rails to steady yourself.

Controversies and Challenges

The bamboo train has faced several controversies and challenges in recent years. One of the biggest concerns is safety. The bamboo train is not a regulated form of transportation, and accidents have occurred in the past due to faulty tracks or excessive speeds. To address these safety concerns, there have been efforts to regulate the bamboo train and improve safety standards. However, there is a risk that regulations could limit the bamboo train’s ability to operate as a unique cultural practice and tourist attraction.

Bamboo train on a Cambodia vacation packages
Another challenge facing the bamboo train is the state of the railway network in Cambodia. The tracks that the bamboo train runs on are often in poor condition and require frequent maintenance. The Cambodian government has been investing in infrastructure improvements in recent years, but it remains to be seen whether the railway network will be sufficiently upgraded to support the bamboo train in the long term. Despite these challenges, the bamboo train remains an important cultural icon and tourist attraction in Battambang. It is a unique and exciting way to experience the countryside and connect with the local community. As efforts continue to improve safety and upgrade the railway network, it is hoped that the bamboo train will continue to thrive and delight visitors for many years to come. Efforts to enhance safety and upgrade the railway infrastructure in Battambang are expected to preserve the bamboo train as a significant cultural iconic and tourist attraction of Cambodia tours for years to come.