A great thing to do if you are in Battambang for a short while is to rent a Tuk Tuk for a half day (around $15) & discover the surrounding countryside.
We chose the foodie trail, but you can visit temples as well. You can start your day around 10am, no stress, your tuk tuk driver will pick you up at your hotel, they usually speak a good English but you might double check with your hotel/guesthouse reception when booking.
Below is the list of the places where we chose to stop along the day and trust us it was worth it!
Sticky Rice with Sesame Seeds!
This family makes the great Cambodian sticky rice with coconut! Delish!
The bamboo sticky rice
It’s a sticky rice cooked inside a bamboo stick! Another nice treat you can find sometimes in town (near the station). Some black beans can be added inside, great taste guaranteed !
The Fish Market
It’s beyond everything we know, because it is far from our standard: #nofilter ! But it is worth going. Hold your breath if you are sensitive, or bring one of these menthol inhalers that are sold everywhere here…
Catfish from Tonle Sap
Prahok (Fermented fish paste) in preparation in the blue bucket. This will be used later in a lot of dishes as a seasoning or condiment
The rice paper "factory"
The rice batter is spread over a cloth that is hanging over steam. With a big lid, they cover the cloth for less than a minute. The result is a soft rice crepe-like sheet.
Then the rice crepe is left on a metal stand to be sun-dried within 20 minutes, giving the solide rice sheet we know.
Our treat after all this new information !
Rice wine with Mao
Mao uses his own special yeast, see below the yeast being dried out.
The rice cooker (to extract starch) in front and the still at the back
He had 3 types of rice wine: a plain one, one that was infused with banana & jackfruit and last but not least: the snake-infused wine! We tried them all and left with a botlle of plain for 2$ !
We were not the only tourists doing that this day, but it wasn’t crowded at all. It was nice meeting with local communities, discovering their crafts & skills and helping them by buying some of it.