The 10 am bus turned up at 9.45 am and was loaded and away by 10 am for the start of a 5 hour journey that actually took 7 hours. The bus was old and beaten up but seats were comfortable and air conditioning that worked and there were three comfort breaks (no toilets just separate fields for men and women) and although the roads towards the end of the trip were pot holed and by then you are Bum Sore at a cost of $5 US a bargain and the scenery again stunning.
A quick word of warning I saw some travel companies charging up to $15 US for same trip - don't know if buses better but this one was adequate.
At the end of the line my bus stopped just around the corner from ""The Star Hotel where I was staying and I was met by a guy from the hotel who carried my bag - The room was on the third floor with no lift but double bed all amenities other than A/C and at $7 US a night a bargain
Today. the second day, I hired a Tuk Tuk with driver called Thony who was brilliant and if you are going to Battanbang I urge you to take down the e-mail address and phone number (Thonybun@yahoo.com Tel 012213541) and if you don't have a good time I will refund the $15 US for the day.
From 9 am until 5 pm we visited all around the countryside and about 5 Km from the hotel is The Bamboo Train"look it up and a great fun ride for $5 US - I took Thony and the train drivers little daughter and at the end of the line is a little place for drinks and T Shirt sales that are family run and again great, fun haggle the price down from $7 US to $5 US and have fun.
After the train we visited "The Killing Cave" another reminder of the inhumanity suffered by Cambodia at the hands of the Khmer Rouge and this is also now a place of worship
Followed by a healthy walk to the top of the mountain although for the faint-hearted there is a bike to take you up for $2 US and yes I walked.
I had a young Guide who was looking for money to pay for his English lessons didn't quote a price so would have taken anything, Name of "Pee" great company and worth $5 US of any ones money.
I had a meal at a local place that Thony knew and good food and 2 beers each cost $5 US
After I visited a Winery (the wine was awful) but the ride there through Rice fields was spectacular.
Final stop off was "The Golden Gate Bridge"like the one in San Francisco only nothing like it but good place to take pictures of local river people and life also a place to get pictures of the hundreds of Fruit Bats in the Trees of the area.
Next stop Siem Reap and Angkor Wat.