Written by Max – aged 8
History of the Bamboo Train
Originally the French had built a train network throughout Cambodia, but during the Kmer reign it was shut down and abandoned. After the Khmer Rouge reign ended, a UN peacekeeping operation began in the early 1990s to help the country. The bamboo train or in Khmer the norry was introduced to enable the country to transport goods along the northern rail line.
The bamboo train is essentially a bamboo platform covered with a rug which sits upon two sets of wheels and operates via a motor at the rear. The train can reach speeds of up to 50 km an hour and runs between Battambang and Poipet.
We went to Battambang and bought tickets for the bamboo train. We all sat on the mat, there are no seats or seatbelts and the train started to move slowly, it wasn’t long before it sped up and the ride became very bumpy.
We had to stop when another train was coming towards us, as it is only a single track. Whoever has the least people or things on the train has to disassemble theirs, until the train has passed and then reassemble it. Assembly means removing the wooden top and lifting off the sets of wheels.
After our visit the bamboo train was shut down in 2017 so the government could rebuild the rail line. However the bamboo train has re-opened now with the function of offering tourists a chance to experience the train. It has also been moved to Wat Banan and re-opened in January 2018
Price: $5 USD
Opening Hours: 12 am – Midnight
Tourist Information updated May 2015