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Battambang Bamboo Train

Nes­tled in the heart of Cam­bo­di­a’s pic­turesque coun­try­side, the bam­boo train of Bat­tam­bang offers trav­el­ers a one-of-a-kind expe­ri­ence that com­bines adven­ture, his­to­ry, and cul­tur­al immer­sion. Known local­ly as the “nor­ry”; this inge­nious mode of trans­porta­tion pro­vides an exhil­a­rat­ing ride along rick­ety tracks through lush land­scapes and vibrant rur­al com­mu­ni­ties, offer­ing glimpses into the dai­ly lives of locals and the region’s rich her­itage.  

1. History of the Bamboo Train:

The bam­boo train traces its ori­gins back to the days of French colo­nial rule when it served as a sim­ple and effi­cient means of trans­porta­tion for vil­lagers and mer­chants trans­port­ing goods to and from mar­ket­places. Orig­i­nal­ly con­struct­ed using bam­boo plat­forms mount­ed on wheels sal­vaged from old tanks, the nor­ry has since become a beloved cul­tur­al icon and a must-see attrac­tion for vis­i­tors to Bat­tam­bang.

2. Riding the Bamboo Train:

Embark on a thrilling adven­ture aboard the bam­boo train as it glides along the nar­row gauge rail­way tracks that criss­cross the Cam­bo­di­an coun­try­side. Sit atop the wood­en plat­form cov­ered with a bam­boo mat, hold on tight as the makeshift engine pro­pels the nor­ry for­ward with sur­pris­ing speed, and feel the wind in your hair as you jour­ney through scenic land­scapes dot­ted with rice pad­dies, palm trees, and rur­al vil­lages.  

3. Scenic Views and Photo Opportunities:

As the bam­boo train chugs along its route, pas­sen­gers are treat­ed to breath­tak­ing views of the coun­try­side, includ­ing ver­dant rice fields, quaint wood­en stilt hous­es, and glimpses of local life unfold­ing along the tracks. Cap­ture mem­o­rable moments with your cam­era as you pass by pic­turesque scenery and encounter friend­ly locals going about their dai­ly rou­tines.  

4. Interaction with Local Communities:

One of the high­lights of the bam­boo train expe­ri­ence is the oppor­tu­ni­ty to inter­act with the friend­ly vil­lagers who call the coun­try­side home. As the nor­ry makes occa­sion­al stops at makeshift sta­tions, pas­sen­gers can dis­em­bark to stretch their legs, chat with locals, and learn about tra­di­tion­al Khmer cus­toms and way of life.  

5. Pit Stops and Refreshments:

Dur­ing the jour­ney, the bam­boo train may make stops at small road­side stalls and ven­dors sell­ing refresh­ments such as coconut water, trop­i­cal fruits, and local snacks. Take the oppor­tu­ni­ty to sam­ple these culi­nary delights and sup­port the liveli­hoods of the vil­lagers who rely on pass­ing trav­el­ers for income.  

6. Preservation Efforts and Modernization:

In recent years, efforts have been made to pre­serve and mod­ern­ize the bam­boo train, ensur­ing its con­tin­ued oper­a­tion while improv­ing safe­ty and com­fort for pas­sen­gers. New­er mod­els of the nor­ry fea­ture stur­dier plat­forms, upgrad­ed engines, and more com­fort­able seat­ing, while still retain­ing the charm and authen­tic­i­ty of the orig­i­nal.  

7. Supporting Local Communities:

By par­tic­i­pat­ing in a bam­boo train ride, trav­el­ers not only enjoy a unique and mem­o­rable expe­ri­ence but also con­tribute to the liveli­hoods of local com­mu­ni­ties. Rev­enue gen­er­at­ed from tick­et sales and pur­chas­es at road­side stalls helps sup­port fam­i­lies liv­ing along the rail­way tracks, fos­ter­ing sus­tain­able tourism and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment in the region.  

8. Environmental Impact and Sustainability:

While the bam­boo train pro­vides an eco-friend­ly mode of trans­porta­tion that relies on human inge­nu­ity and renew­able resources, efforts are under­way to min­i­mize its envi­ron­men­tal impact and pro­mote sus­tain­abil­i­ty. Ini­tia­tives such as waste man­age­ment, refor­esta­tion, and eco-friend­ly prac­tices aim to pre­serve the nat­ur­al beau­ty of the coun­try­side for future gen­er­a­tions to enjoy.


The bam­boo train of Bat­tam­bang offers trav­el­ers a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to jour­ney through Cam­bo­di­a’s coun­try­side in a way that is both thrilling and cul­tur­al­ly immer­sive. As you glide along the tracks, sur­round­ed by stun­ning scenery and the warm hos­pi­tal­i­ty of local com­mu­ni­ties, you’ll gain a deep­er appre­ci­a­tion for the rich her­itage and nat­ur­al beau­ty of this enchant­i­ng region.

Best Expe­ri­ences and Cost of Rid­ing the bam­boo train

The best part about the bam­boo train is when two trains face off on one track and the one with the less heavy load is forced to dis­man­tle and let the oth­er one pass. The price should be for an entire nori which can car­ry four peo­ple, but they will try and charge more (and give kick­backs to your tuk tuk dri­ver). Don’t pay more than $10 per per­son. While this is con­sid­ered a “must-do” by some, per­son­al­ly we can take it or leave it.