As the tuk tuk tour involved quite a lot, I’ve broken it down to two stories – hence the part 1 and part 2 parts.
There were also two lots of bats in the tour. The first part, was through some lovely countryside and over some more bumpy roads. I assume it was a part of Cambodia that didn’t get a lot of tourists passing through.
A lot of the houses that we passed by had excited children running towards the roads to shout hello and to wave at us in the tuk tuk.
We passed over the “golden gate bridge of Cambodia” which was nothing like the one in San Fransisco but that’s what the driver called it. It was a suspension bridge but only had enough room for 1 vehicle to pass over it. It was mainly a wooden bridge but it did cross over a river so I can see where the comparison comes from.
The bridge over looks a river and some vegetable fields and has some wild vegetables and herbs growing round about it. The driver picked up one which he didn’t know the name of in English but told us that if we’ve had soup in Camboida (which he have had – vast quantities of it), then we’ve ate this particular herb.
Further on, he stopped at the side of the road for what seemed like no obvious reason. There were lots of trees round about but one in particular had a lot of fruit bats on it. Fruit bats are the big ones. They were happily hanging upside down on their tree until the driver intervened.
He told us to wait and he went down the hill towards the river with a lighter. He lit some rubbish and the smoke from it seemed to disturb the bats. Within minutes, about 100 bats were flying above us.
It was only when they were flying that you could see them properly. They looked like large rodents with huge black wings. They were much bigger than most birds that you’d see back home and they also make a high pitched ‘squeeking’ sound like a lot of rodents seem to do. Maybe they are rodents, I never bothered to find out ?
For the rest of the day, we still had more to do. We had another temple to see and some more bats. There were also the killing caves that the Khmer Rouge used.
If someone disagreed with the Khmer Rouge, they were killed. About 25% of the population were killed by them. And they used various methods to kill them. Usually, methods that didn’t cost any money.
One was the killing caves which is a cave that has an opening about 100ft above it. Often, victims had their hands and feet tied together and were thrown onto the jagged rocks below. If the fall and the impact didn’t kill them, they would be left there until they did die.
Now, the cave has been set up as a memorial to the victims. It has a cabinet with victims bones and a Buddha statue along with a prayer area.
The walk to the killing caves passes by another temple and after the cave, there’s a final temple with some wild monkeys around the place.
You can buy fresh fruit to feed to the monkeys so we had to do that – well, I had to do that. Audrey was the photographer at the time.
The guys selling the fruit starting making a call and within a few minutes, some hungry monkeys arrived. If you hold the fruit, the monkeys will stand up and take it from your hands.
It’s similar to Lopburi in Thailand – where Karl Pilkington went to on ‘An Idiot Abroad’.
The last stop of the day was the bat cave. As the name suggests, it’s a cave with bats in it – estimates range from 500,000 up to 2,000,000 bats all living in this one cave.
As the sun begins to set each night, the bats all leave the cave to go and feed. This many bats leaving the cave at the same time is one of natures amazing sights.
All in, it takes about 40 minutes for all of the bats to exit the cave. Further along the road, you can see them flying in a formation that looks like a massive long dragon snaking it’s way through the sky.