Today we are doing a second tour around Battambang. Vany brought us first to see Bamboo rice cooking. That reminds me the way Indonesian people do except they wrap the rice in a banana leaf before and add a banana inside as well. The main technique is similar though. Then we discovered the traditional way of making rice paper and rice liquor, we visited also some temples and pagoda.
Once the rice is cooked, the woman on the right hand side partly peals the “skin” of the bamboo. The left pieces are used for fire. It’s an infinite loop :-)
They added some red beans and some coconut milk. It’s warm, a bit sweet, very sticky and tasty :-)
We walked about one hundred meters further and visited this pagoda. During the Khmer revolution, this place was used as a prison. They tortured people as well. Every piece of this place has been restored and funded by different rich families. On the walls outside, each section shows the name of the person or family and the amount they donated.
In the same area, there is an old pagoda that has not been restored.
They just reinforced some part but apparently they won’t go further than this.
There is a mini Angkor Wat at the top of this door. Can you see it?
I don’t remember the meaning of this statue…
Just architecture and decoration.
Where is everyone? Maybe on the other side…
Some other statue around the temple.
The complex roof decoration.
We got back on the tuck-tuck and Vany brought us to the next place where they make rice paper the traditional way. This young woman is now preparing the mixture. Front of her, there is the stoves: a pot with a tissue attached on the top (the second one is covered by a lid). On the left hand side of the picture, the big container is filled with rice hulls. When there is not enough heat, she pours more rice huffs in the hole to feed the fire. More details coming :-)
In the meantime, her mum (I guess) prepared the bamboo screens where the rice paper will lie on. She applies a kind of natural oil (coconut?) to avoid the rice paper to stick too much to the screen.
That’s how they look! The next step is let them dry under sunshine. This is where come from the pattern on them when you buy some. I’ve never really thought about this before :-)
The size of the bucket tells you how much they can produce :-)
On the other side of the street another family follows the same tradition. Every screen contains about 70 pieces (when it’s full).
This time we can see the entire process. First she spread some batter onto the tissue then covers it for few seconds, just the time two make another one on her left side. She keeps going on: left, right, left, right…
Once the rice paper is ready, she takes it delicately using a wooden spatula and puts it on a turnstile holding four short bamboo sections.
The video will explain the process bette than me :-)
How to make rice paper :-)
Few kilometres later we visited a place where they make rice liquor using home made distillery. The first big bowl shows the left over once the mixture has been entirely “cooked”. They feed the pigs with it.
The one on the left side is now active.
The rice hulls are also used to feed the fire here.
The steam goes up through the pipe and condensed inside the vertical pipe which is plunged inside cool water (the concrete container).
Finally, they collect the liquor down the bottom :-)
Last visit of the day: an old temple.
Yes that’s the old one.
We can go and visit inside but that’s not for me today. It’s fine from here.
We are now going back towards the city.
Vany could be your guide too if you come here one day :-) Go on www.smilenettour.blogspot.com
A short walk in Battambang city.
Where is nature? There is concrete and dust everywhere but trees? plants? I could not live here I think.
First we thought we would stay two nights in Battambang and leave early morning but when we realised their was night buses (called “bus hotel”) going to Sihanoukville we took the opportunity. We will have to change bus once in Phnom penh tomorrow early morning. The ticket for the two buses was 15$US per person. We left Battambang at 10:30pm, arrived at Phnom Penh around 5:30am. There, we waited about an hour in the bus station and caught the second bus around 6:30am for another 4 hours until Sihanoukville. My first impression was “cool! beds in a bus. I’m going to sleep so well :-)” That’s would have been true if the road was smooth haha. I think at some point, the road was so bad that I was levitated :-) Even if I did not sleep a lot I enjoyed it but I was pretty tired the next day. The beds are quite narrow too, far enough for one person, maybe still okay for two asian people but two europeans feel like sardines in can. See you later :-)