Bret’s insistent campaign of visiting every Mexican restaurant in Siem Reap left me with some kind of bug, which caused us to delay our journey to Battambang by a day. Rather then spend my time sweating my ass of on a five our bus ride, hoping the infrequent pit-stops match up with my stomachs rejection of bad shredded pork, I spent the day sprawled out on the bed trying to keep whatever I could down.
Twenty-four hours later and I was feeling much better and we were both more than ready to move on after seven days in Siem Reap. Unfortunately Bret had started feeling sick the morning we were supposed to leave. Determined not to spend anymore time cooped up in our room, Bret decided to tough it out. Watching him sway back and forth in obvious pain was enough to make anyone feel pity for his situation.
Upon arrival in Battambang, we beelined it to the hotel and there we stayed for the next three days. Bret was experiencing all the symptoms of dengue fever and couldn’t do anything but rest. I ventured out from time to time to pick up food and supplies but otherwise I was holed up with Bret fighting cabin fever.
Seventy-two hours of watching bad T.V. and Bret was almost back to normal. We were both fed up with being inside and were looking forward to getting out and doing something, anything! Just as we were heading out of the room it started to rain. Hard. We spent the entire day inside unsuccessfully hoping for a break in the rain. For those of you keeping track at home, that put us stuck in a hotel room for five days straight. Minus a sweaty five-hour bus ride.
Battambang is the second largest city in Cambodia. There are not a lot of tourist attractions but it is known for its beautiful countryside. The highlight of our time there was a 15km bike ride out of town to Ek Phnom temple, built in AD 1027.
The main reason behind our Battambang adventure was to catch the Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS) circus. PPS is a cultural organization that offers young people a way out of poverty by training them to become professional artists and performers. They only do two shows a week so we had planned an immediate exit from Battambang after we were finally able to catch the show. The circus was about an hour-long and both Bret and I were thoroughly impressed by the level of talent the young performers showed. They currently have two former students attending the Cirque du Soleil arts school in Montreal. The circus proved to be worth the trip to Battambang alone.