I managed to get up at 5:30am, get picked up at 6am, and reach Battambang by boat. It took 7 hours. The first few hours were very scenic and pretty, as we crossed one of Asia’s biggest lakes, and motored through a bird sanctuary. I had some energy and it wasn’t too hot. After 4 hours, I was starting to tire.
We had a 15-minute lunch stop on a floating restaurant, and then it was back on the boat. At that point, a couple recognized me from Nepal. We had both stayed at the same guest house in Chomrung during our Annapurna Sanctuary treks.
Post-lunch sections of the waterway were narrow, requiring we lower curtains on both sides of the boat to prevent decapitation by branches. During these sections, it was darker and hotter within the boat. The dim orange lighting, combined with shadows and the sound of bushes scraping against the curtains likened the atmosphere to that of a slasher movie.
We passed through tons of floating villages. Almost all of the houses were floating, on stilts, or actually converted boats. Little kids would wave from homes, boats, rooftops, and the shore. A few even blew us kisses. I waved back a lot.
Despite the long day, the boat trip was a great way to gain exposure to rural Cambodian life.