Photographer's Note

‘Phnom Sampeau - The daily bat show’

Previously I’ve shown some pictures that were taken in the vicinity of the town of Battambang.
These photos were taken during a half-daily tour by tuk tuk through the area.
I could choose the order of the places to visit, but the tuk tuk driver had said beforehand that this place here had to be visited as the very last one, just before sunset.

We would have to be there at exactly a certain time to see bats flying out of a cave.
I don't remember the exact time but it was around 5.30 pm or 6 pm.
Personally, this sight meant a lot less to me than, for example, the temples of Wat Banan or Phnom Sampeau.
The other places visited weren’t too busy but it soon turned out that just about everyone I met would be at the bat cave at the end of the day. So I concluded my day was going to end with something very touristy.

Once on site, that turned out to be the case.
All tourists were gathered on the flat roof of a building. You could also have a drink there and then you had to wait until that specific time. I started to wonder if I should not leave.
But something that I didn't expect happened exactly at the designated time. First one bat flew out of a narrow and high located cavern. A second and a third followed. In no count there were hundreds of bats flying out the cave. The hundreds became thousands.
The scene as you see it in my main photo and in the second one in the WS lasted at least half an hour.
I don't know how many bats lived in the cave. It was said millions. I can hardly estimate the number I saw flying.

After half an hour I left the roof to see the spectacle from another place.
Once there, the number of bats leaving the cave had decreased.
I was told that you can see this spectacle every day at the same time. The bats then wake up and leave the cave to look for food. They find that in the fields near the Tonlé Sap Lake.

At another time at the end of the night you would see the opposite. All bats then fly back into the cave.
The only difference: then there are no tourists.
So the last sight of the day became something very special.
I had been told about bats but not about that huge number.

The cave is located near the temples of Phnom Sampeau. But from these temples you have to take a detour to get to the viewpoint for the bats.
I did not find any other pictures of these bats under Battambang ... On TE it is of course possible that they were incorrectly placed elsewhere.

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Additional Photos by Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6084 W: 22 N: 14487] (57617)
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