Battambang is always known as the biggest rice producing area in Cambodia. Tourists usually overlook this province as they think that the city of Battambang has nothing to offer. However, the town of Battambang is home to Cambodia’s well preserved French colonial architecture and other ancient temples. Moreover, just move a bit from Battambang town, there are a lot of high hills, rice paddles, that make up a collection of beautiful rural sceneries. Battambang is the second largest province in Cambodia, but the city of Battambang is not too bustling, too overwhelmed, which makes it easy for you to travel around and get to know more about the province. People often ask “Is Battambang worth visiting?” Take a look at our recommendations below to find it out by yourself.
Battambang Cambodia | What You Need to Know Before Visiting
Battambang is a province in northwestern Cambodia. Battambang province is the second largest province and also the third most populous province in Cambodia. The province borders to the west with Thailand, which makes it a region connected between Phnom Penh and Battambang. Moreover, Battambang province is the biggest rice-growing area in Cambodia and it is also one of the biggest rice producing areas in Southeast Asia as well. The provincial town of Battambang province is known as Battambang town.
Environment/Vibe – Battambang
Battambang province is the second largest province with the third most populous in Cambodia, however, it is not a very bustling city like Phnom Penh. Battambang still remains its local and provincial atmosphere. The countryside of Battambang is mainly covered by rice fields and mountains, meanwhile, there are many french colonial buildings inside the city of Battambang.
Cambodia is a tropical country, so it is warm and humid all year round. The weather in Cambodia is divided into two seasons, which are dry season (November to April) and rainy season (May to October). The coolest months are December and January, and during these two months there is no rain, so these two months are ideal for traveling. But if you want to visit Battambang in a bustling period, April is the best time to visit because it is the time of Khmer New Year.
Locals of Battambang
Cambodian people are so famous for their friendliness and helpfulness. You will often find locals sharing whatever snacks they are having when they are sitting next to you on the bus. They smile a lot even to strangers. Cambodian people might be shy when they first see a foreigner but believe me, they want to make friends.
Bambu Battambang Hotel
Bambu Hotel is a boutique hotel, offers luxurious accommodation in Battambang. This Hotel combines Khmer traditional architecture and French colonial architecture, which are arranged into 4 buildings. An Outdoor swimming pool, a garden, a restaurant, and a bar are all available in Bambu Hotel.
- Location: KO Street, Phum Romchek 5, Sangkat Rottanak, Battambang Province, Cambodia
- Price: start from 50USD
- Mobile : +855 (0)53 953 900
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.bambuhotel.com
Seng Hout Hotel
Bambu Hotel is a family friendly hotel, located in the heart of Battambang town. It is close to Phsar Nat Market. Seng Hout hotel has a rooftop terrace and a swimming pool, so you can relax and enjoy the view of the city.
- Location : #1008B, Road 02, North of Pshar Nat, Prekmohatep, Svaypor, Battambang Province, Cambodia
- Price: start from 13USD
- Mobile : +855 (0)12 530 327
- Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.senghouthotel.com
Where to eat at Battambang
Bar Ang Restaurant & Bar
Bar Ang Restaurant is one of the most recommended restaurants in Battambang. It offers delicious Khmer cuisine, and you should give their Amok a try. Moreover, the owners and the staff are helpful and kind.
- Price range: 2USD- 6 USD
- Location: 119 Street corner Preah Vihear Street, Battambang Province, Cambodia
After sightseeing, it is time to rejuvenate yourself with massage and spa. There are a lot of spas and massage around Phsar Nat, which open until 10:00 pm, so you can get in one of the spas and massages after finishing your long day trip.
If you feel like the night is still young, you should pay a visit to the night market. There are two night markets in Battambang town. It is a night market at the northeast corner of Phsar Nat, and another one at the riverfront. There are many local products, souvenirs, clothes and many more in the night markets.
Tourist Attractions – Battambang
Phnom Sampeou / Ship Mountain
Phnom Sampeou is a natural tourist attraction site in Battambang, located about 12 kilometers from the town. Phnom Sampeou means “ship mountain” because its peculiar shape reminds of a ship, there is also a Khmer legend about this mountain as well, and there are three main natural caves in this mountain. You can climb 700 steps to the top or a motor driver to take you up for 1 USD.
There is a pagoda on top of the mountain, where you can see Battambang province from above. The pagoda also served as a prison and torture center during the Pol Pot regime. There are killing caves on the mid-way up the mountain. During the Pol Pot Regime, a number of people were killed and thrown into the cave. Nowadays, you can see there are a lot of skulls and bones inside the caves. Phnom Sampeou is also the best spot to watch bats. Around 5:30 pm, there will be groups of tourists gathering at the foot of Phnom Sampeou to watch bats flying out of the caves. For the next 30 minutes, you will see a stream of bats flying out of caves into the sky for a night of hunting.
Bamboo train or known as Norry in Khmer is a big tourist attraction in Battambang. The railway system was abandoned in the 1970s because of the civil war. Small bamboo trains then were used to transport goods in Battambong. Norry or bamboo trains have wooden platforms with poles like gondolas pushing the little train down the line. Later, locals use norries to take tourists on a sightseeing trip through Battambang’s rice field and countryside view. When two norries come across on a single track, the norry with fewer people and lighter need to disassemble and get out of the railway in order to let the norry with more people and heavier pass. Then people reassemble the norry and continue the journey.
The bamboo train station was relocated not long ago because the railway system started to operate again. Now, the new track has been opened to the public, and tourists can enjoy a similar bamboo train ride as before but with better bamboo trains and track. The cost for a bamboo train ride is 5USD and the track continues for about 4 kilometers.
Prasat Banan is located around 23 kilometers south of Battambang town. Prasat Bana was built in the 11th century, in the reign of King Udayadityavarman II, son of King Suryavarman I. It is a five-tower temple, dedicated to Hinduism. Prasat Bana is known as a mini Angkor Wat, and it sits atop a small mountain. You need to climb 358 steps to get to the top of the mountain. Moreover, not only the temple is worth visiting, the views of the surrounding countryside, small villages among endless rice paddies are also worth your climbing. At the base of the mountain, there are three natural caves, which are home to plenty of bats.
Just a few kilometers from the Battambang town, you will see rice fields that stretch to the horizon. The rural countryside outside of Battambang is National Geographic picturesque. Rice fields stretch out as far as the eye can see. According to seasons, you might see the rice field in different colors, either in green or yellow. Cambodian people describe rice fields as a gigantic green carpet or gold carpet. The rice fields are very traditional, and the roads are rough and dusty. It might not be an easy journey but it will be an interesting experience for you to visit rice fields in the biggest rice-producing province in Cambodia.
Many people overlook Battambang province and assume that it has nothing to offer. Visiting there gives you insights into rural Cambodian life and into the past of Cambodia. You can spend a few day in Battambang to visit ancient temples, climbing mountains to see the view of the countryside, biking around the town of Battambang to see well preserved french colonial buildings, experiencing Cambodian bamboo trains, watching hundreds of thousands of bats, and studying more about Cambodia’s tragic past by visiting the killing caves. Moreover, you can easily find accommodations and restaurants in Battambang, which offer quality stay and delicious food. Last but not least, you can enjoy your nightlife by visiting night markets and grabbing drinks in the town of Battambang as well.
You might want to see another attraction in Cambodia: Phnom Kulen, Siem Reap!!