"Though Battambang may appear as a sleepy town to visitors, it is actually Cambodia’s second largest city with over 250,000 residents. The
travellers that do make the 5 hour journey from Siem Reap to visit come for the well preserved
French architecture, the laid back vibe, and the city’s claim to fame, riding the so-called bamboo train. We too, were drawn by this so called norry train, and decided to make a two night stop in Battambang between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh."
Battambang was founded during the height of the Khmer empire in the 11th century (long before the Thai were a political
power). It is Cambodia's second-largest city and the capital of Battambang Province. It is the urbanized part of the Battambang District.
After the invasion of Thai forces, it was the main commercial hub of Siam's Eastern Provinces, though it was always
populated by ethnic Cambodians. The Thai finally returned the provinces in 1909 because of pressure from the French, who
administered Cambodia as a 'Protectorate', though the Thai attempted to regain the territory as part of a deal they made with the Japanese during
World War II. After the defeat of their Japanese ally, Thailand returned the area to the French, from whom it was formally given
to Cambodia in 1953. It is the former capital of Monton Kmer.The city lies in the heart of the Northwest and until the war years was the leading
rice-producing province of the country.
Battambang is the main hub of the Northwest connecting the entire region with Phnom Penh and Thailand, and as such it’s a vital link for Cambodia. The
main parts of the city are situated closed to the Sangker River, a tranquil, small body of water that winds its way through Battambang Province. It is a
nice, picturesque setting.
As with much of Cambodia, the French architecture is an attractive bonus of the city. The French has left most of its influence on the Cambodian land.
Phsar Nath in the center of town is the main phsar (traditional market) and is geared to the locals, sporting the usual variety of fruits,
vegetables, meat, clothes, sundries, food stalls, etc. Gem dealers, a couple of banks, photo shops and moneychangers line the streets that ring the phsar.
Phsar Leu, just south of town,
seems to be the place to buy the local specialties: oranges and pomelos from Pursat province. The oranges are said to be the best oranges in the country.
Cambodian sapphires and rubies mined in Pailin near the Thai border are brought to Battambang to be graded, cut and polished. There are some good
deals on stones in Battambang but be very careful when buying. Fake and low quality jewel scams are common so you need to know gemology or know your gem dealer
very well. Gem and gold dealers are located in the center of Psah Nath, in little shops surrounding the psah, and in a few shops on Road #1.
the railway station
was built during the reign of King, Soriyak Varman I (1002-1050) and located on a hill at Ba Set village, Ta Pun commune in 15-kilometre
(9 mi) distance from the provincial town. Ba Set temple adapts the architecture of 11th century and built in 1036 and 1042. Next to the temple, there is a pond having 20-metre
(66 ft) length 12-metre (39 ft) width and 10-metre (33 ft) depth. The pond is never dried, though in the dry season. In rainy season, the water level is higher than usual.
Wat Ek Temple
adapts the architecture of 11th century and built in 1027 during the reign of King, Sorayak Varman I (1002-1050). It is located at Piem Ek commune in 14-kilometre (9 mi) from the provincial town.
Ba Nan Temple
adapts the architecture of mid 11th century and the end of 12th century the temple was first built by King, Ut Tak Yea Tit Tya Varman II (1050-1066) and was built finally built by the king, Jayavarman VII (1181-1220). The temple is located on the top of approximate 400-metre (1,310 ft) heighten mountain at Koh Tey 2 commune, Ba Nan District in 15-kilometre (9 mi) distance from the provincial town by the provincial Road No 155 parallel to Sang Ke River. At the mountain’s valley, there are Ku Teuk and two main natural well, namely: Bit Meas and Chhung or Chhung Achey.
characterizes as three separated stupas made of brick, located on a hill having 30-metre (98 ft) length and 20-metre (66 ft) width, in Snung pagoda’s area, Snung commune, Ba Nan District in 22-kilometre (14 mi) distance from the provincial town. According to the style at the gate, the temple is similar to other temples in 12th century. Behind the temple, there is another new constructing temple.
Phnom Sam Pov Resort
is the natural resort located along the National Road No 57 (the former National Road No10) at Sam Puoy commune (the high land having more than 100-metre (330 ft) height) in 12-kilometre (7 mi) distance from the provincial town of Battambang. On the top of Sam Puoy mountain, there are temple and three natural wells, namely Pkar Slar, Lo Khuon and Ak So Pheak. Next to Sam Puoy mountain, there are some main mountains, the natural site like Phnom Trung Moan, Phnom Trung Tea and Phnom Neang Rum Say Sork. These mountains related to the Cambodia folk legend of Reach Kol Neang Rum Say Sork.
Boeng Kam Pinh Puoy Resort
locates between two mountains, named Phnom Kul or Phnom Ta Nget and Phnom Kam Pinh Puoy, at Ta Nget village, Ta Kriem Commune in 35-kilometre (22 mi) distance from the provincial town. Boeng kam Pinh Puoy has 1,900-metre (6,230 ft) width, 19-kilometre (12 mi) length and can load 110,000,000 cubic metres (3.8846×109 cu ft).
Sek Sak Resort
is the natural resort, which has been popular since before the civil war time. Sek Sak stretches along the river bank full of plant, trees and bamboo-green nature in 500-metre (1,640 ft) length. As long as visiting Sek Sak, tourists can also visit other attractive sites like Po Pus Pich Chen Da Dong Tong and Sa Ang speak, the pre-history site in five kilometer (3.1 mi) to six kilometer (3.75 mi) distance from each other. Sek Sak located Treng commune, Rotanak Mondul District in 50-kilometre (31 mi) distance from the provincial town of Battambang along the National Road No 57, the former National Road No 10.