Where's James


Battambang is a big city in the north of Cambodia that manages to keep a small town vibe with low-rise buildings and street vendors that barely stay open past 7pm. The town is very walkable with some great examples of Chinese, colonial and art deco architecture. The small roads lined with shophouses are some of my favourites. Shophouses and the disused railway station. Other than enjoying the town there are two main attractions in Battambang.

Kep and Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island)

From Kampot I took a short half-hour bus ride to the sea-side town of Kep. Somehow I managed to sprain an ankle on the way to the bus station and spent the first two days in Kep just sat around. Thankfully the guesthouse had a great sea view, restaurant and an Xbox. Lots of locals were nice enough to stop me in the street to ask what had happened, though I should have made up a better story than falling off a curb.


After Kampong Cham I continued to another riverside town, Kampot. I did make a brief stop in the capital Phnom Penh on the way but I’ll skip writing about it in detail - I did nothing but throw up for four days. Kampot is famed for its salt and pepper production but it’s a statue to the town’s durians (the smelly fruit) that welcomes visitors. Busses from the capital drop passengers right by the durian roundabout.

Kampong Cham

About four hours from Kratie is another riverside town, Kampong Cham. It’s lacking the colonial charm and litter education of Kratie (which is very clean and tidy) but it’s pleasant enough. Entry to the town from the north is over the large Japanese-funded bridge which spans the Mekong. The town has a few points of interest but I also hired a scooter to see a few places further out. The back roads of Kratie province were poor practice for National Highway 7 which leads off the bridge and through the town.


Kratie (pronounced kra-chey) was my first stop in Cambodia. After taking the boat from Don Khon to Ban Nakasang it was only 20 minutes to the border. On the other side of the border it was obvious there were far too many of us for the bus. Nearly three hours later, a second bus arrived for the five hour ride to Kratie. The town is small with most sights within walking distance.