Called “norry” by the locals, the bamboo train is somewhat unique to Battambang. All it is is a small motorcycle engine-powered bamboo platform, which rides on the otherwise abandoned railway tracks picking up passengers, cargo, animals and motorcycles along the way. When it meets another bamboo train coming the other way the least laden train can be disassembled and taken off the rails in a minute, allowing the other to pass. It is then reassembled and the journey can continue.
The rail tracks are in a pretty poor shape, but the ride is reasonably smooth. A mat will be put down and on you get – it is an unforgettable experience and best done in the early evening when the sun isn’t so high. Catch it while you can as plans are afoot to upgrade the line and introduce a more conventional train service!
Sitting on the platform, you will travel the five miles from the ‘Bamboo Train Station”” to the next station along the tracks, through beautiful landscape and rice paddies (depending on the season of your visit).
(Note: As mentioned, the train tracks from Battambang to Phnom Penh are currently being rebuilt and, consequently, the long-term future of the bamboo train ride cannot be guaranteed. Should the service stop we will arrange alternative sightseeing.)