A Travellerspoint blog

Birthday in Battambang

But no Battenberg!

sunny 30 °C

Today we celebrated Joe's tenth birthday. A leisurely breakfast was followed by a trip to the abandoned Pepsi factory just outside the town. Unfortunately we were met by a stern-faced security guard who wouldn't let us in or even take a picture of the outside of the factory. This is despite it being mentioned in every guidebook and article on Battambang. Up until recently you could walk into the factory which was abandoned in 1975 when the Khmer Rouge rolled into town. It's still stacked full of crates of empty Pepsi bottles and other local brand soft drinks that were maufactured there. Just as we were being turned away some bloke arrived in a large jeep, saw our plight, overruled the security guard and told us to go in but not into the factory itself. Top buzzer.

We had a quick look around the old colonial quarter of the city before we took the kids swimming in a place called the Victory Club. Someone obviously had a brainwave of developing an exclusive club and gym but its gone to pot over the years. Inside the building its really shoddy but the two outdoor pools have retained their glory. We spent a couple of hours in the pool even though the heavens opened for about half an hour of it. It wasn't dissimilar to the conditions the kids are used to in West Cork except it was about fifteen degrees warmer.

Joe picked a restaurant for his birthday party and the theme was western food. Pasta and burgers all around and despite my misgivings about eating such food when in Asia it was actually really good grub. It's called the Gecko cafe and it employs local disadvantaged young adults. Caroline managed to procure a sparkler style candle from a cake shop next door to add to the sense of occasion. A happy birthday was had.

To top things off we took a trip this evening to see the Phare Ponleu Selpak circus. It was originally set up around 20 years ago in a Thai border camp for Cambodian refugees. Its now headquartered in Battambang and works with a variety of socially disadvantaged youth. They were previewing a show that they're bringing to Germany and Denmark next month. It was fantastic.

We head to Kompong Chhang tomorrow. I'm not sure what's there but I'll be sure to let you know if there's anything of note.

Posted by goldenmaverick 08:06 Archived in Cambodia

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Belated birthday greetings Joe, looking forward to seeing you soon. Good to hear your having a great time. We're off on our hols a measly two wks!
love Sam, Jack, Andrew, Carol-Ann and Richard

by Carol-Ann

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