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Published on Aug 28, 2012
After the Khmer Rouge were overthrown in 1979, Cambodians needed a way to move people and goods around the country. Trains no longer ran but the track were still in place, so with typical Cambodian ingenuity, they salvaged old train car wheels and built iron frames, upon which they laid a platform of bamboo. Initially, the platforms were moved along the tracks using wooden paddles but eventually small motors were installed. When the country reopened, tourists flocked in and discovered this curious means of transport, which they named the Bamboo Train. Today, visitors can ride the Bamboo Train on a small portion of the line near Battambang, Cambodia, but its days may be numbered. With the help of China, a new railway is being built across the country. Once the new railroad is complete, the Bamboo Train may still operate in between actual trains, but with wider tracks and a cleared right-of-way, it ill never again be the same. To read more about my round-the-world travels, visit my blog, http://holeinthedonut.com.