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Battambang - worth a two day trip with bus etc would you think?

  • SarahLennon

    Joined Travelfish
    25th October, 2010
    Posts: 5

    I am going up to Siem Reap tomor for about 4/5 days depending but have a couple of days to spare before my flights home and am considering whether to head up to Battambang or not.. Has anyone been there lately? Is it worth a 6 hour boat journey and 6 hour bus journey back to Phnom Penh for a two night stay honestly? If not we might just head back to PP for an extra couple of days as really like it here but would like some honest opinons!

    #1 Posted: 7/11/2010 - 17:30

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  • Tennouji

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd September, 2007
    Location Japan
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    Total reviews: 20

    I thought Battambang was OK, but was not that taken with it. I enjoyed a motorbike ride out into the countryside before spending a week in Siem Reap. I think I would have been disappointed had I done it the other way around. There was not a lot to see in the town itself, a walk along the river and some not very impressive shop fronts and that was it! The boat ride was very nice in some sections, but there was a lot of rubbish at the Battambang end and I found 6 hours to be quite long compared to other boat trips with more to look at.

    Have you been to down to Kep or Kampot? I found those more interesting for wandering around in.

    #2 Posted: 7/11/2010 - 18:48

  • Tennouji

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Japan
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    Total reviews: 20

    I thought Battambang was OK, but was not that taken with it. I enjoyed a motorbike ride out into the countryside before spending a week in Siem Reap. I think I would have been disappointed had I done it the other way around. There was not a lot to see in the town itself, a walk along the river and some not very impressive shop fronts and that was it! The boat ride was very nice in some sections, but there was a lot of rubbish at the Battambang end and I found 6 hours to be quite long compared to other boat trips with more to look at.

    Have you been to down to Kep or Kampot? I found those more interesting for wandering around in.

    #3 Posted: 7/11/2010 - 18:48

  • Tennouji

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd September, 2007
    Location Japan
    Posts: 110
    Total reviews: 20

    I thought Battambang was OK, but was not that taken with it. I enjoyed a motorbike ride out into the countryside before spending a week in Siem Reap. I think I would have been disappointed had I done it the other way around. There was not a lot to see in the town itself, a walk along the river and some not very impressive shop fronts and that was it! The boat ride was very nice in some sections, but there was a lot of rubbish at the Battambang end and I found 6 hours to be quite long compared to other boat trips with more to look at.

    Have you been to down to Kep or Kampot? I found those more interesting for wandering around in.

    #4 Posted: 7/11/2010 - 18:52

  • Rasheeed

    Click here to learn more about Rasheeed
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    Not worth it. But I don't feel strongly enough about the issue to repeat myself...

    'sheeed

    #5 Posted: 8/11/2010 - 09:09

  • Hatka

    Joined Travelfish
    7th November, 2010
    Posts: 1

    Few things are supporting the visit. Boatride from Siem Reap to Battambang is worth taking, and the road from B to PP is, for what I have heard, in good condition. So if you don't have a boatride to PP, or you've already taken it, maybe this is good altarnate route? As mentioned earlier, nothing very special in Battambang.

    #6 Posted: 8/11/2010 - 10:05

  • Wozzer

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd January, 2010
    Posts: 24

    Well, there's a thing. All people have an opinion I guess, but to miss out on Battambang and the surrounding areas would be a pity. Nothing very special?.... behave!

    Yes the boat ride from Siem Reap is long (currently around 6.5 hours), but if you've never experienced Cambodia lake life, then it can be a very nice trip. From Siem Reap to Prek Toal (the first 2 hours) is beautiful. The last hour or so up the river in Battambang is also very nice. The 3 hours in the middle is a good time to take a nap [img]smileys/wink.gif[/img]

    Arriving at the boat dock in BB around 2.30pm - if you're organized - get picked-up, go to your accommodation and freshen-up. Leave around 3.30 and head to Phnom Sampau (spelling?). Visit the Pagoda; the killing caves; the stunning views as the sun is going down and then the bat caves.

    Next morning, get an early(ish) start, ride the Bamboo Train (see my other post and video), then travel north alongside the river to Wat Ek Phnom. There are excellent small villages and you can stop-off and meet families who have small 'cottage industries' - Making bamboo sticky rice; making rice paper; a smithy; fish market; a small rice mill and of course Wat Ek Phnom which is a fine temple which pre-dates Angkor Wat (I think). The countryside is quite lovely.

    Head back into town and either spend the rest of the day and evening in BB or catch the last (2.30pm) bus to Phnom Penh . It's a 6ish hour ride on National Road #5 - which is in excellent condition.

    Travelling is all about experiences - good and bad. The truth of it is that many people don't know how to travel - so they just end up dissing a place.
    I guess someones gonna write and say there's sod-all to do in Phnom Penh now?...

    Happy travels!

    Wozzer
    Ps. I live in Siem Reap, but have a good friendly tuk-tuk driver in BB who will do all the above for you - good English speaker, knows his stuff and doesn't attempt to rip people. PM me if you want details - or can I add them on here???

    #7 Posted: 8/11/2010 - 11:38

  • lana0309

    Joined Travelfish
    6th August, 2009
    Posts: 1

    Hey Wozzer,

    Your itinerary actually sounds really good. Would you mind giving the tuk-tuk driver's info. We'll be in BB in a week or so.

    #8 Posted: 8/11/2010 - 12:09

  • Rasheeed

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    Touche Mr. Wozzer.

    #9 Posted: 8/11/2010 - 12:40

  • Wozzer

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd January, 2010
    Posts: 24

    @Lana0309 The driver is Mr Thean (pronounced tea-ian) and his email is: thean.battambang@gmail.com


    @Rasheed. No dramas mate!

    #10 Posted: 8/11/2010 - 13:35

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  • elscapist

    Joined Travelfish
    4th June, 2010
    Posts: 4

    As I just mentioned in another thread... personally, I loved Battambang the most. Only visited Phnom Penh(2d), Battambang(2d) and Siem Reap (4d) but I did hear from others that Kep is worth a visit too. We stayed at Royal Hotel in Battambang and had a really great guide called Phi Lay. That being said, we didn't know where to go for good food in Battambang so you might hafta research on that.

    The bus to Phnom Penh's pretty fast. At least it was fast for us taking it down from PP to Battambang. Ironically, the bus to Siem Reap took longer than expected though.

    #11 Posted: 8/11/2010 - 22:41

  • Okidokie

    Joined Travelfish
    9th November, 2010
    Posts: 9

    I posted this for the other Battambang question - I'll copy it below. I liked Battambang - but I don't think it's a "must-see" if you would rather spend time doing something else besides riding a bus or boat. I think it depends on how much you "enjoy the ride." Personally, I would not spend 12 hours of my trip for 2 nights in Battambang, but again, there are some unique things to do there.

    Here's my other post:

    Battambang was nice. It's certainly more "authentic" Cambodia than Siem Reap because it's not as much of a tourist destination. This means that you will find less activities that cater to tourists, but still plenty to do for a day or two.

    The bamboo train is certainly something you must try while in Battambang. It will be gone soon so take advantage while you can. On the way, ask the tuk-tuk driver if he can take you to get some bamboo sticky rice. It's a local favorite and you can watch how it is prepared. It was one of the tastiest snacks I have had in a long while. I wish I could have taken some home with me.

    We also visited a place just outside town where they make rice paper for spring rolls from sun-up to sun-down. Then we went to the part of town where they ferment the fish for the fish paste that is common in so many Cambodian dishes. It was quite interesting.

    Finally, you can always take one of the cooking courses at "The Smoking Pot" restaurant. Just be careful of the happy chicken soup dish. It is much more potent than any of the happy pizza offerings. One bowl of the soup crept up on me throughout the day and knocked me on my arse by nightfall.

    Overall, Battambang was fun. I wouldn't put it on the same level as Siem Reap, but definitely worth a visit.

    #12 Posted: 9/11/2010 - 06:33

  • smkuchta

    Joined Travelfish
    10th August, 2007
    Posts: 72

    I fall into the "meh" category about Battambang , we came from PP to BB to Siem Reap and spent 3 nights I think in BB.

    Battambang itself was nothing special, but we did rent a tuk-tuk one day and zipped around the countryside saw the usual sights Phnom Sampeau , Killing Caves etc, the Wats/temples around BB aren't that impressive if you're *templed* out and the Killing Caves weren't as moving as the Killing Fields/Tuol Sleng in PP but we both LOVED the drive around the countryside, whipping through little villages, down potholed roads, waving at the kids etc

    We skipped the Bamboo train as it seemed overpriced for what it was. I can't really say I'd recommend Battambang as the only highlight was running around the countryside from site to site and you don't have to go to BB for a tour of the countryside.

    If time is of the essence the bus from BB to SR took about 3 hrs, when we were there (May 2009) the boats were taking 8-10 hrs because the lake was so low.

    #13 Posted: 9/11/2010 - 07:47

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6267
    Total reviews: 10

    "Travelling is all about experiences - good and bad. The truth of it is that many people don't know how to travel - so they just end up dissing a place."

    Travelling is about getting from point A to point B. Tourism is about experiences, and most people don't want to spend their precious down time with bad experiences. Somewhere along the line, tourists who are interested in "culture" (A grossly overused term, but I'll let it ride) think that they are elevated above a normal tourist, and have taken to calling themselves "Travellers", as if they were more sophisticated than someone who wants to chill on a beach for a couple of weeks.

    Now Battambang may or may not be a fun place to hang out in. I've never been there. Chhom Nimol used to be a Karaoke singer there, and she's hot, which speaks well for the place. I enjoy good nightlife, dancing, riding my chopper. I've driven all over the place in Thailand, and enjoy the countryside sometimes. But, it ain't for everyone and not everyone is interested in "culture" either. Those going to Siem Reap are interested in old architecture, and it does not go to say that they are interested in anything else about the Khmer.

    #14 Posted: 11/11/2010 - 14:59

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    Madmac
    No, a traveller is someone travelling who wants to go somewhere nobody else, or very few, have visited and hang out with the locals and gets delight from experiencing the differences of that culture, which hopefully open his eyes to other ways of looking at the world. He's interested in people, maybe has a genuine interest in the history/architecture of the country as opposed to the'must go there because it's in the book' mentality.Though maybe he just likes seeing things that are curiously different from his culture.
    A tourist/backpacker is basically the same thing.Only difference is budget.They have a set itinery, usually dictated by a book, so whatever a place is like, it's a day here, two days there etc.Totally rigid.
    You, on the other hand are an American who likes the American way of life and finds it cheaper to live the American dream in Thailand.
    If you want to know what a traveller is/was go read some Richard Burton, the Victorian explorer.I believe he even visited America and found it more dangerous than Central Africa.
    To be on topic.I've visited Battambang.It's a fairly big place but seems like a small town.The's not much to do there but the countryside around about is beautiful.I recommend hiring a motbike and taking the road to Pailin.Ther's nothing in Pailin except mean looking ex KR but the scenery on the way is lovely.

    #15 Posted: 11/11/2010 - 15:56

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6267
    Total reviews: 10

    "No, a traveller is someone travelling who wants to go somewhere nobody else, or very few, have visited and hang out with the locals and gets delight from experiencing the differences of that culture, which hopefully open his eyes to other ways of looking at the world. He's interested in people, maybe has a genuine interest in the history/architecture of the country as opposed to the'must go there because it's in the book' mentality.Though maybe he just likes seeing things that are curiously different from his culture."

    I guess I would be a "Traveller" then, since I have travelled the world, speak four languages (two well, two poorly, but functionally), and lived for six months or more in even countries. However, almost nobody here fits that definition, because they aren't staying long enough to learn the language, so their subsequent interaction with the locals is superficial at best. Language is culture, so if you want to learn a new culture, you have to learn the language or you will always be on the outside looking in.
    I don't buy into the traveller concept. If you don't live somewhere, you're a tourist. If you do live some place, you're a resident. There ain't no in between. It's just a way for backpackers to make set themselves apart and make themselves feel like they're different (and better) than you're average guy.

    Note this video, hits the nail on the head. http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=regular+every+day+normal+guy&aq=1

    #16 Posted: 11/11/2010 - 17:20

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    Yes, I'd say you were a traveller.I'd accept that by my definition.Notice I say my definition because we are heading into a discussion based on semantics and I think my head would go into a spin if we started that.
    Richard Burton, whom I mentioned, lived in different cultures in the Arab world and India and shocked Victorian society by immersing himself in them, spoke 20+ languages.He visited Mekha as a christian disguised as an Arab and got away with it because he spoke the language fluently and knew the customs of the country.He wrote extensively of his experiences and even found time amongst all this to dicover the source of the Nile.Was he a tourist or a traveller? Sure, he was an explorer as well but I won't get into that.
    Now, you've settled down and you are an expat who prefers his own cuisine (did I just describe burgers as cuisine?) so you are no longer a traveller until perhaps you get an itch to wander through Laos stopping when something takes your fancy.
    To me a packpacker travels out of a book.A traveller perhaps writes the book.
    Me, I've got this perverse desire to go to places other people got no time for.A lot of the time it's a dead loss but ocasionally I find something special.I like to travel not backpack.That doesn't make me special just different.
    Oh yes I learnt Thai when I lived in Thailand and struggled with the Khmer language.I lived in Spain for a while so I speakSspanish,though I'm pretty rusty now.I lived in malaysia for 2 years but never learnt a word of Malay.The point is you learn a language because you like and are curious about the culture.I didn't much care for the Islamic culture.Ditto with Arabic even though I've got a lot of time for the Bedou the Islamic thing never really grabbed me.

    #17 Posted: 11/11/2010 - 19:54

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6267
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    Well hombre, I have no problem with the idea of moving from place to place and living there in whatever capacity. Obviously, since that's what I do. But I have noted a haughtiness in "travellers" in which they are basically tourists but because they are interested in "culture" they give themselves another name and think they're better than everyone else. Hence my objection to the term.

    I'm just a regular, everyday normal guy.

    #18 Posted: 11/11/2010 - 23:15

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 1557

    Haughtiness.mmm well if finding people who go somewhere just to tick the box ridiculous is haughty then I'm guilty as charged.I really think there is a big distinction between a traveller and a tourist.Have you never had a smile at all those Japanese getting off the bus taking a few shots of the Eiffel Tower then being in Berlin for dinner? They should just get a subscription to the discovery channel, much cheaper.By all means go to the Louvre if you're interested in art or Angkor if you're interested in ancient civilisations but if you just go there to say you went -you're a tourist.

    #19 Posted: 12/11/2010 - 01:24

  • smkuchta

    Joined Travelfish
    10th August, 2007
    Posts: 72

    I tend to agree with MadMac, when we were traveling around SE Asia last year, we met many backpackers/tourists/travelers who thought of themselves as real "travelers" because they had survived hardships that others hadn't whether it be a 12 hr bus ride to some dusty outpost that no one else had ever heard of or they had stayed in a flea bitten $3/night room in some distant town. They scoffed at those that stayed in AC hotels or took 1 hr flights instead of 14hr train rides but none of us are Richard Burton, Ibn Battuta or Ferdinand Magellan. Any hardships we endure in traveling pale in comparison to what the true explorers went through.

    My parents just visited Cambodia and Vietnam on a 2.5 week guided tour, good for them, they had a good time and would never have gone otherwise. They probably some things I didn't and vice-versa. The point is to travel it doesn't matter how one does it.

    I respect anyone that travels whether its on a shoe-string budget or a luxury guided trip. My preference is somewhere in the middle, a nice budget but independent travel. The important thing however is to travel and I am not going to begrudge someone over the form that travel takes for them.
    To get back on topic, as I stated in an earlier post, I didn't find Battambang that interesting though did enjoy the countryside around there.

    #20 Posted: 12/11/2010 - 02:50

  • Rasheeed

    Click here to learn more about Rasheeed
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    To go a little further, I would actually blur the lines between traveler, tourists and expats. We (expats), to some degree, are just slow travellers (do I count as living here? Current town, banlung, 3 weeks. current country 6 months. will stay 1-2 years more). Some of us learn the local language some don't. Some of us think we really know stuff, some of us realize that we don't. Same with "travelers".

    In many ways I like tourists more than travelers. Tourists, often, know they don't know anything. Travellers think they understand the world because they spent 3 weeks meditating in india...

    'sheeed

    #21 Posted: 12/11/2010 - 06:20

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6267
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    OK, I admit the Japanese tourist thing is funny. I remember when I lived in Augsburg, Germany (a very scenic city) the tour buses would pull up, and Japanese tourists would pour out, cameras at the ready. They'd quickly fan out, getting happy snaps of them posing in front of all kinds of buildings and statues. One or two hours latter, back in the bus and off to the next destination. I had an image of a jump master in the bus screaming "go, go, go" as they would jump out of the bus, hit the ground ready to get that great photo. And while that kind of tourism definitely is not for me, if that's what makes them happy, more power to them.
    Again, Rasheed and smkutcha explained things as I see them. When those kind of tourists / travellers come rolling through the city where I've lived now three and half years and start trying to tell me about how the local culture works, when they've been in country for a couple of months, I just want to tell them to shut up. The pontificating is just flat out annoying. So is the "I toughed out that bus ride from Hue to Savankhet" like it was the Bataan death march or something. Give me a break.
    Like I said, if you live here, you're a resident. If you don't, you're a tourist. Maybe a tourist who likes to get off the beaten path, explore the unusual (all OK if that's what floats your boat)... but a tourist none the less. If you travel through Saimun, Yasothon and you don't live there, the "locals" (another annoying term) will consider you to be a tourist - because you are.

    #22 Posted: 12/11/2010 - 11:03

  • Rasheeed

    Click here to learn more about Rasheeed
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    Mac, can't see where you're at, but "there" how do you think you are considered? You're definitely not a "local."

    Just thinking out loud. It seems up here in Ratanakiri, cambodia, barangs are either "tourists" or "work for an organization," meaning NGO. What it means to work for an organization, how these foreigners as different from tourists in terms of a "local" perspective, I dunno.

    Folks up here can't make sense of me 'cause I don't fit in either category, though closer to "organization worker" as I am affiliated with a university.

    peace
    'sheeed

    #23 Posted: 12/11/2010 - 11:54

  • mattocmd

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location United States
    Posts: 365

    I'm not getting into the traveler vs. tourist thing but do want to comment about Battambang .

    Frankly speaking, I think it's a great destination. It has a charm to it, good food options and nice places where you can stay very cheaply. Rent a scooter and drive to Wat Banan, Ek Phnom and enjoy the beautiful countryside.

    I think it's a shame when people come to Cambodia and only visit Angkor Wat, Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh...I think Battambang gives you a different look at Cambodia and offers a lot to travelers (or tourists or whatever you want to call them).

    Just my opinion, maybe it isn't for everyone.

    #24 Posted: 12/11/2010 - 12:12

  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
    17th December, 2009
    Posts: 771

    It seems this topic keeps coming back every once in a while and I agree with Mac here.

    As for Sayadians point of being haughty about people "ticking off" destinations. Probably 80% of the questions here are related to ticking off the "must sees". It may not be from japanese package tourists but to me the only difference is time. A backpacker has more time and a package tourist far less but you see them both in the same places. And the travellers/expats visit those places as well.

    And why should a traveller (by some definitions) be any better than the rest and look down upon the rest? Tourists/backpackers are just on holiday, trying to get away from their own place for a while and experience some different things. Is that so bad? It is annoying when they start lecturing people based on their little experience. I agree on that.

    I'd like to compare it with wine (drinkers)
    There are a few real experts who know everything there is to know about wine. The majority (that likes wine) however doesn't know that much but enjoys a good glass.
    There is also a group that thinks they know more because they did spent a little time reading about it, still don't know that much about it but think hey can talk with authority on the subject.

    I think we can all put the names (traveller/expat, tourist, backpacker) for substitutes. The wine expert however knows that he only exists because the big mass is there. Without it he's just a drinker of an obscure beverage.
    Most wine experts I know are happy about other people drinking and sharing the same passion (at least partially) and never look down on the masses.

    I don't know if it makes sense to you all but it works for me.

    #25 Posted: 12/11/2010 - 12:28

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6267
    Total reviews: 10

    Rasheed
    "Locals" is the term used for indigenous persons, the term I prefer. So no, I will never be indigenous, just as I wasn't in Germany in spite of 16 years residence and fluency in the language. I have a friend here where I live, and she's been here 26 years, speaks fluent Thai, is a Thai citizen and a judge in the court here. But she's not indigenous. She has assimilated very, very well however.
    I am an expat. That's how I would define myself. Since I have lived here 3 1/2 years now, and have a basic language capability. I live in a place short on expats, so I have partially assimilated by demand. I will probably never be able to completely assimilate, given my race, cultural baggage and language shortfalls.

    On the subject of Battambang, I am sure it has it's own charms. Most places do, although those charms may appeal to some and not others, depending on an individuals preferences. I haven't been there, as I said, so I can't give my own assessment. My objection was to this line: "The truth of it is that many people don't know how to travel..." as if this were some sort of skill. It implies that travelling or travellers are something special. Which is a crock.

    #26 Posted: 12/11/2010 - 14:38

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 1557

    Alot of good points above and yes like someone said the topic is Battambang and I've said what I think about it.and yes it is the kind of town to see the real Cambodia as opposed to the quick tour of AW,Killing fields and Tuol Sleng.In fact is there a country in the whole of Asia that has so much but has been wittled down to so little on the itinerary sheet.In other posts I've mentioned Kirirom,Udong etc not many people take a look at these places and they are well worth it.
    The reference to Richard Burton as opposed to Magellen or Shackleton or a dozen other explorerers had nothing to do with his explorations, as I think i pointed out.Burton was a man who was the original traveller IMO.He actually stuck around cultures,learnt the languages,met the people in an era when Imperial Britian looked down on any other culture bar its own.
    I don't know about Madmac's experience but those know-alls only come into one category that is know-alls whether they be residents, travellers, tourists or what.
    From my experience travellers are people who have the time to hang around and absorb a bit more of what they see.Learn a bit of the language, experiment with the food etc.
    I've heard the phrase on here 'banana pancake trail' and those are the people who maybe he's referring too.They eat the same food from Delhi to Java, speak only to people of the same age, social class and background and swap ridiculous tales of surviving crappy bus journeys as if they have achieved somenting incredible.
    "The truth of it is that many people don't know how to travel..."
    TBH madmac you are saying just that.If they are pretentious and know-alls then the above would apply.
    :-)

    #27 Posted: 12/11/2010 - 16:27

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6267
    Total reviews: 10

    Sayadian
    I would argue that the term "traveller" was invented by the people who consider themselves to be such. And the reason they invented the term was to distinguish themselves from tourists. And the reason they wanted to do that was because they consider tourists to be crass and superficial. Now, I'm not saying this applies to you personally, but I think it's pretty obvious it does apply to many "travellers". The fact is most people don't have the time to spend years kicking around world - real life gets in the way. But I suspect you already see my point and my objection to the term. There is something elitist about it, and I reject elite attitudes even when coming from people who pretend to be tolerant.

    #28 Posted: 12/11/2010 - 17:39

  • SarahLennon

    Joined Travelfish
    25th October, 2010
    Posts: 5

    Thank you all for your replies seriously, we have decided to skip Battambang by choice purely because we are really enjoying Siam Reap and have chosen to spend an extra couple of days here horse riding and seeing the country side here but every reply is appreciated! :)

    As for the traveller/backpacker debate, I am not sticking my oar in. Too each their own. Whether you chose to learn a language in a foreign country to experience the culture a bit more or simply to fly through and see all the sights and beauty of it, isn't the main point that they are enjoying themselves, seeing the world and living their life? Backpacker traveller who cares?? We are all on this website to chat about South East Asia not about the definition of the above so lets continue on!

    #29 Posted: 12/11/2010 - 21:59

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    Madmac says
    'The fact is most people don't have the time to spend years kicking around world - real life gets in the way.'
    That's right and a lot of the travellers I've met are travellers because they've got themselves local employment so they can hang out there.
    TBH there's never going to be a definitive difference between 'traveller, tourist,backpacker etc

    Madmac,
    My experiences have been similar to yours. I've met a few know-alls who see being a traveller as some sort of badge of honour and know everything about everything.The kind who yells out he's found Nirvana.
    The ones I label travellers are usually just interesting characters who hang out in Bangkok, Phnom Penh etc and scrape a living whilst soaking up the atmosphere. When they get bored move on to Saigon or somewhere.
    I think as an American you might refer to them as drifters?
    Now I've brought another term into the debate...oh,oh.

    #30 Posted: 12/11/2010 - 22:34

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6267
    Total reviews: 10

    A drifter is a step above bum... works occassionally, but not much...

    #31 Posted: 12/11/2010 - 23:29

  • mattocmd

    Joined Travelfish
    13th June, 2007
    Location United States
    Posts: 365

    Ok ill try to settle this (nothing on TV) hahahaa....

    Tourist - someone who takes a short trip to visit major attractions.
    Traveller - travels often and/or for extended periods of time, spends some time away from major attractions and tries to get a better understanding of the local culture.
    Backpacker - a traveller on a budget.

    There can be assh*les/"know it alls" in either of the above categories,
    None of the above categories are superior as different people have different needs and abilities (not enough money or time off from work to travel more, some people are uncomfortable traveling independently).

    #32 Posted: 12/11/2010 - 23:37

  • mattocmd

    Joined Travelfish
    13th June, 2007
    Location United States
    Posts: 365

    Let me throw one more term into this debate

    Voluntourism
    A Voluntourist pays a huge sum of money to "volunteer" in a poorer country. Gets ripped off and allows companies/travel agencies to profit by exploiting others.

    Unlike tourists, travellers, and backpackers...voluntourists are lame ;-)

    #33 Posted: 12/11/2010 - 23:55

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    So a drifter is close to a bum.
    Definition of a UK traveller:
    Someone that lives in an old bus/ambulance/truck with a wood burner and a flue sticking out the roof.Goes to festivals, picks fruit in summer,rarely washes or changes his clothes,smokes copious amounts of dope and leaves the bus and heads off to India for the winter.

    Back to Battambang.I'd say Koh Kong was a better bet for experiencing that lazy Khmer way of life.Beautiful area, nice beaches,plenty of forest to explore (though go with a guide as there is one hell of a lot of unexploded ordnance lying around in that border area.)

    #34 Posted: 13/11/2010 - 01:00

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6267
    Total reviews: 10

    Sayadian
    Never get out of the boat, never get out of the boat, never get out of the boat.

    I would avoid "trekking" through jungles in this neck of the wood unless it's pretty dry out. The crap in the jungles that wants to bite you and sting you sucks. Some very poisonous, some just really painful. And that's not to mention the uneploded ordnance. I was out in the sticks at the end of the wet season with a guide and we had to turn back. Snakes (which tried but failed to bite us), wasps and annoying plants made the trail impassable.

    #35 Posted: 13/11/2010 - 12:22

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    I had my fair share of forest walking mostly in Malaysia in Kedah,Perak and Pahang. I was lucky I suppose as I only saw a couple of snakes, one of them was a cobra mind but he took off pretty quickly.I found the biggest dangers were thorns and falling onto spikey plants ( don't ask me I'm not into flora) managed to get lost after dark fell too soon
    :-)
    It gets dark there like somebody turned the lights out.

    Up near Betong salient the biggest danger was of the human variety.They were known as CT then. That area is back in the news for being dangerous again but now its the turn of the Muslims not the Chinese.

    I wouldn't put anybody off walking the forest but a guide is essential as navigation is a headache. It is so beautiful out there.

    #36 Posted: 13/11/2010 - 16:28

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6267
    Total reviews: 10

    Nature and it's charms holds no appeal for me - I'm a city boy. God knows I've spent enough time exposed to it for it to lose it's attraction. It's too hot or too call, too much rain or too little. Give me civilization any day of the week. Some people enjoy it, I'm just not one of them.

    #37 Posted: 13/11/2010 - 17:21

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