Battambang provides relief from Phnom Penh bustle

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Wat Sampeou lies approximately 12 kilometers from Battambang at the top of a high hill and well worth the long, hot and steep climb.  (The temple has various spellings.) 

Battambang is the second largest city in Cambodia, yet it feels much like a one-horse town.

As Wikipedia puts it (why write when others have done it for me?):

Founded in the 11th century by the Khmer Empire, Battambang is well known for being the leading rice-producing province of the country. For nearly 100 years, it was a major commercial hub and provincial capital of Siamese province of Inner Cambodia (1795-1907), though it was always populated by Khmer with a mix of ethnic Vietnamese, Lao, Thai and Chinese. Still today Battambang is the main hub of the Northwest connecting the entire region with Phnom Penh and Thailand, and as such it’s a vital link to Cambodia.

The city is situated by the Sangkae River, a tranquil, small body of water that winds its way through Battambang Province providing its nice picturesque setting. As with much of Cambodia, the French Colonial architecture is an attractive bonus of the city. It is home to some of the best preserved French colonial architecture in the country.

Walking along the street doesn’t Continue reading

Circus tradition evolves to aid kids while entertaining

The performers as portrayed on the organization's Web site.

The performers. (Source: Phare The Cambodian Circus)

Images that come to mind of a circus aside from Cirque du Soleil may involve daredevil animal acts, high-flying acrobatics and thrilling stunts as such someone being shot from a cannon.  I also think of roving food vendors, overpriced souvenirs, brass bands and the clamor of countless children.

The circus that I attended under a big tent had just two of those features: many children plus ambitious acrobatics performed by an astonishingly poised, graceful and accomplished collection of teenagers and pre-teens.

As the Web site promises: Continue reading