Remember that one time I raved about my time in Cambodia and vowed it was my favorite country, a place that left a special mark on my heart, especially the people? I guess it's pretty obvious that I met great people and solidified friendships when I could go back and visit them a year later, being welcomed with open arms. Aside from Dara and his family in Siem Reap/Kampong Cham, and Sa Ry in Kampot I had one more stop to make, this time a revisit to Battambang and my friend Moth.
After my adventures in and around Siem Reap I only had a few more days left on my visa to explore Cambodia. I had been planning to enter Thailand via the Aranyprathet/Poipet border, so a stop in Battambang seemed natural. Aside from my original plan I encountered many travelers along the way who had nothing but good things to say about the city, so I made sure not to miss it. Upon my arrival, I found the city to be quaint but without the charm of Kampot. I made a last minute booking at Chhaya hotel, mostly just because they would pick me up from the bus station. My tuk-tuk driver started immediately with his sales as he whipped out his book of tours he operates, but I must say he did so with some tact, I was not in the least bit annoyed. I wasn't going to join any but when he mentioned he was taking a Swiss man to the bat cave that night I decided to join.
Only recently has this country shown up on the SE Asia tourist route. With a dark, harrowing past it's amazing to see the smiles spread across the locals faces. I've met travelers with mixed impressions, but if you're lucky enough to connect with a few locals I'm confident you'll fall in love.