My friend and I had an incredible time in Battambang, Cambodia, about 167 km from Siem Reap City. We decided to take a weekend to motto there and back.
I’ve been to Battambang twice to ride the bamboo train on a group trip and saw some of the surrounding mountains. But I had no idea there was kayaking. Battambang is a really nice chill town with amazing food and not an excessive amount of tourists.
My friend told me about this social enterprise Green Orange Kayaks, which is run by an NGO that provides free English classes to children in the community. Visitors should know they also have guesthouses by the river and the money goes to the program as well.
For US $12, you could rent a kayak for one to three people and take as long as you’d like to go down the beautiful river for 8 km. When we called the organization, even through their office was closed, the employees met us on time on a Sunday morning and led us to the river.
Because we had to leave by lunchtime in the afternoon, they were nice to suggest that they could drive our motto into town so that we wouldn’t have to kayak the 8 km back, which saved us time. Giving your motto keys to someone you just met would be unimaginable in so many country but in Cambodia, I wasn’t worried at all.
Not only was the landscape beautiful, I was very surprised that the community was Muslim as many of the Cambodians along our route were wearing hijabs, a veil that covers the woman’s head and chest. Only about 1.6% of the population in Cambodia is Muslim, so that’s why it was interesting that they live along the river.
We unfortunately didn’t have time to stop by the villages along the way. Next time I visit Battambang, I’d like to take a full day on the kayaks and stop along the communities and eat lunch at the local restaurant. If you have a full day, definitely take the time to enjoy your ride and interact with the people in the area.
How to get there
Call +855 17 736166 to make an appointment. Most people hire a tuk tuk but if you also have a motto, it’s a beautiful ride there! It’s on the same road to Phnom Banan, which we also didn’t have time to see but definitely worth another trip.