sign in a cave in Laos

31 August 2011

Battambang caves 6 - Banan area pt 1

Another part of my series of Battambang caves. It is an important limestone area in Cambodia.

The Banan area is reached by turning left immediately out of Battambang when heading for Sampeu. The road follows the river. The Banan hills are southeast of Sampeu and are quite an extensive range running almost due east-west.

This is part 1 on the Banan area, see part 2.

First day we went to Kampong Seyma and then to an area with a wat that was being built. We met the local school teacher and had a photo taken with him and the pupils - the teacher is shorter than me

2 boys took us up to Laang Seisa.
The cave is basically one long chamber with a side passage and there is electric lighting. I saw a whip spider
We wanted to go to more caves, but the teacher was only free after he had eaten. So we went to Phnom Banan and turned in at the wat to the tourist caves. When we arrived at the first cave, Laang Batmia, I realised I had been here before in 2004. On that visit I had found a man lying on the floor, and wasn't sure if he was dead or alive. My guide hurried me away and told the police.

In 2008 a persistent small boy with a headlamp and large battery took over as our guide.
The cave has quite a high roof

This is the passage where I found the body in 2004
and this is the man

We walked back to Laang Bartoek. There is a lot of graffiti
Young boys and monks were interested and watched us surveying the cave

There are some nice formations in the cave

The reason I hadn't recognised the area is because the valley must have been de-mined since my last visit, as the area is now planted with papaya trees. Also I didn’t remember the graves dated 1979. The next day we returned to the same valley and did one small cave (above) with some snails.

After this cave, we drove to the other side of the hill to look for caves. We parked by a shop built under a tree
and had to wait for a herd of cows to pass

A lady guided us up the hill to a nice cave with a large 33m high open chamber with sunlight coming in.
there was a huge root right down to floor level.

On the way down we stopped by a large pile of calcite crystals and there was a small hole in the rock wall.

After lunch we had a very hot and sweaty climb up a hill but the locals couldn't find any cave.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

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