The Bamboo Train

Photos by Anna Teeter

APT-1A cart full of World Next Door team members slows to a halt as it approaches a brick-making village at the end of the tracks. They must have already picked the bugs off their face.

APT-6Two local girls in the brick-making village. Many children here try to earn tips as tour guides for the brick factory. They’re cute, but it’s pretty clear they have their scripts memorized. “These are the rice husks they burn to make the bricks.” “These are the rice husks they use to make the bricks.” And so on.

APT-8An array of beautiful scarves for sale in the village.

APT-9A family that lives in the village looking to sell soft drinks and coconuts to weary travelers. They’re very friendly. Even friendlier if you buy something!

APT-11Fresh coconut. Harry Nilsson would approve. Now if only we could find some limes.

APT-12When two “trains” meet each other going opposite directions, it’s not a problem. The drivers simply dismantle one of them and reassemble it on the other side!

APT-13A bird’s-eye view of the bamboo slats passengers sit on as they speed down the rickety tracks. Sure, they’re not very stable, or comfortable, but at least they’re weather-worn and cracking! Wait…

APT-14A Khmer man walks along the train tracks at sunset. Apparently completely undisturbed by the rickety deathtrap hurtling towards him.

APT-15An engine strapped to bamboo slats, two axles and removable wheels. What could possibly go wrong?