Explore bamboo train in Cambodia

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Explore bamboo train in Cambodia

According to Lonely Planet, bamboo train in Cambodia is considered “one of the world’s all-time unique rail journeys”. In Khmer, this improvised rail vehicle is called a nori or norry. The bamboo train is used in Battambang, Cambodia, for both locals and foreign visitors who need or wish to go the little village along the way. The train is operated daily without a real destination; people ride it for the experience. Let’s go explore this particular mode of travel! Tours on Indochina

Cambodia bamboo train in brief

This notorious bamboo train is constructed from a large bamboo bed, a set of bogies, and a small motor engine at the back. The train driver uses a bamboo stick as an accelerator, as well as a brake. It works because the train itself is very light. There is a mat and/or a cushion for passengers to sit on to avoid the hard bed surface. The whole journey is 14 km to and back in total. Each way takes about 20 minutes.

Bamboo train in Cambodia and a driver

Bamboo train in Cambodia and a driver- source: internet

The bamboo train is made for easy disassemble. There is a very unique rule in bamboo train transportation: since there is only one rail, sometimes two trains meet; the one with fewer passengers (less hassle to disassemble) must be removed from the rail so that the other can pass. This rule makes sense, and it also explains why the train is light in nature.

The drivers disassembling a bamboo train

The drivers disassembling a bamboo train- source: internet

Cambodia bamboo train with no real destinations

As mentioned at the beginning, there is no real, or proper, destination for this bamboo train. You experience nature and rural life as the train goes. The end of the route stood a small market, where there are several shops selling popular ‘tourist items’ like postcards, shirts, drinks, and scarves. Indochina tours Cambodia

The end station of the bamboo train

The end station of the bamboo train -source: internet

Each train can accommodate up to 15 people (we recommend less than that though). There is no schedule, people just buy the tickets and go; and if you have to wait, it is not that long. Sometimes you might just see locals who ride along your trip. Riding a norry is very affordable and many locals use it for transportation. For tourists, it costs a mere 5 dollars per person.

Riding the Cambodian bamboo train

Riding the Cambodian bamboo train -source: internet

There are some notes on safety that we have to remind you. Because the railway system here is quite old itself, the ride is going to be bumpy at some points. You will see some uneven track; keep a tight hold on whatever you can hold on to, and expect the sudden jolts ahead. According to many tourists who have had the pleasure to ride this iconic bamboo train, it goes faster than they expected. Maximum speed can reach as high as 40 km per hour.

At the moment, the railway system in Cambodia is being upgraded and there has been talk about ending the operation of this iconic bamboo train. Rumor has it that the train might be relocated. There is no definite date of when this is going to happen, but at the moment, we recommend that you soon take a tour to Battambang and experience this unique mode of travel!

See more:

The fascinating beauty of Angkor Wat

Where to stay for first time comers to Phnom Penh

What you should know about types of Cambodia visas

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