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Bada Bing Bada Boom, Bats & More in Battambang

Nobody knows exactly how many bats exit a cave in Phnom Sampeu, southwest of Battambang, Cambodia. Check out this short, albeit amateurish, video of the phenomenon.

The bats fly out each day at dusk to hunt insects most of the night. Some say millions of bats, other say tens of thousands. The mass exodus takes about 45 minutes to complete and attracts both tourists and locals.

Family outing

A tragic and more significant site, the Killing Caves, sit nearby. This area was a stronghold of the Khmer Rouge during the nightmarish civil war of the 1970s. Over 10,000 Cambodians were tortured and bludgeoned to death, and then thrown into the caves.

Horror 1

A horrific statue display of these acts, followed by the cave itself filled with the skulls and bones of the victims, serves as a somber reminder of Cambodia’s troubled past.

The killing cave

Let’s lighten things up with a visit to the circus. Phare Ponleu Selpak, an arts education program for poor children, puts on performances several times weekly.

The circus dancers

The student’s performance provides for a most enjoyable evening. Filled with music, dance and acrobatics, it’s like a mini Cirque du Soleil.

The circus 2

The following day, we sweat almost as much as the circus performers after climbing 358 stone steps in the stifling heat, to the temple of Prasat Banan.

Going up the 368 steps

Locals claim that this temple, built before Angkor Wat, provided Angkor’s plan.

Banon Hill Temple

Walking around the city of Battambang wraps up our three-week travels in Cambodia. The French colonial architecture and peaceful riverside setting make for a fitting finish, as we prepare for the long trip back home.


There is much to love about Cambodia, including easy, affordable, comfortable travel. But foremost is the genuine kindness of its people. The combination of magnificent, ancient spiritual sites and a barbaric recent history, touches us down deep. Thank you, Cambodia. Thank you, Abundant Universe.

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Skip Redpath #

    Welcome hoe, whenever that may be… I totally enjoy reading of your adventures!

    February 22, 2018
  2. Skip Redpath #


    February 22, 2018
  3. Wouter #

    Great to see and read Ron, just out of Kampot, back inPP and ready to follow some of your footsteps for sure towards SR and Battangbang. Nice pics too! Have a good trip back, wouter (and Aura)

    February 23, 2018
  4. Love that photo of all the monks walking down the street! Glad you guys had a good trip, we are off to Thailand next month with a group of old HS friends from Corbett. Should be an interesting time 🙂

    February 23, 2018
    • Wow, sounds like you guys have a marvelous rendezvous planned. Bringing a little Corbett to Thailand. Have fun.

      February 23, 2018
  5. I am so happy to read this–I have so much interest in Cambodia, and also Vietnam and Thailand. I would love to do them all in a trip together sometime in the near future. You were in Cambodia for three weeks?! I had no idea there was that much to see there–no I am hoping I will look back in your blog and find a few more posts! This will act as a great reference when we finally plan a trip. Thanks Ron!

    April 17, 2018
    • Thank you, Cat. Yes, I would say that three weeks is a good amount of time to roam around Cambodia. Travel time eats into it as well!

      April 18, 2018

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