Battambang is sometimes referred to be the laid-back and lovely riverside destination in Cambodia. But not many people know that this town is also historical and cultural with the indispensable significance for the whole country. Want to rest in a hassle-free and idyllic place in Cambodia? Your choice should be Battambang.
About Battambang in Cambodia
Battambang is Cambodia’s second largest city, and also the capital of the Battambang province, established in the 11th century. It was the former capital of Monton Khmer and situated in the heart of the Northwestern Cambodia. About the name of Battambang, it means “loss of stick” which was connected to the legend of Preah Bat Dambang Kranhoung (or Kranhoung Stick King). Today, people look at Battambang as the lovely riverside town whose land is filled with lots of best-preserved French colonial buildings as well as the long-lasting temples, and the traditional villages. Traveling to Battambang within a Cambodia custom tour, the tourists should not expect to see the luxurious skyscrapers or resort complexes. Rather, the land here is pictured with the simple and idyllic elements. There are some charming old French houses grouped along the riverbank and many Khmer temple ruins scattered throughout the town. Honestly speaking, Battambang town is peaceful and spectacular in nature while the French architecture and the Khmer ruins are the impressive bonuses of the city.
The Greatest Tourist Attractions in Battambang
Banteay Sat Temple
Banteay Sat is erected in Koh Village, Aek Phnom District. It is one of the most antique temples in Battambang. It takes around 2 hours driving from the provincial town to the temple. People usually gather at Banteay Sat to pray for success and health as the Cambodians place stress on the antiquity of this temple. Its history remains unexplained.
Barsaet Temple is situated in Barsaet Village, Sangke District. The temple was erected during the reign of King Soriyak Varman I (1002-1050). History said that this religious site had the 11th-century architecture and built between 1036 and 1042. As time passes, the temple was extremely damaged. At present, we see the impressive door frame of the temple, nearby is the 20m-long and 12m-wide, and 10m-deep pond which is never dried even though in the dry season.
Dang Tung is the touristy natural wonder that Battambang is blessed with. This natural site is located around 54km from the provincial town. In these days, Dang Tung has been attracting numerous nature lovers who come to see the pristine wildlife and the scenic landscape. Nature of Dang Tung delights and then impressive the thrill-seekers that love exploring the jungles on their own. Besides, the stop at Dang Tung Village calms down every soul.
Gold Buddha Hill
The majority of Cambodians are Buddhists, and they all know about the Golden Buddha Hill, which is around 60km from the provincial city. If you share their respect and belief, it is meaningful to go and see this holy hill where lots of Buddha statues are well-kept and worshiped. That said, this is one of the most popular worshipping venues for people Sisophan District, Battambang Province. So, stop by this sacred place to do worshipping and praying for the wellness before you move to any other site. Even if you ask the local people in Battambang about the place not to miss in Battambang, their answer might point to the holy Gold Buddha Hill.
Kamping Pouy Bassin
Kamping Pouy Bassin is the historical reservoir situated between Phnom Ku and Phnom Kamping Pouy Mountains, in Ta Nget Village, around 35km to the west of the provincial town. The reservoir was the massive civil-engineering centerpiece of the Khmer Rouge’s ambition to irrigate the countryside of Battambang. Tragically, this gigantic construction did drive tens of thousands of people to death because of malnutrition, disease, exhaustion, and abuse. Originally, The Bassin is 6km long and 1,900m wide. It can contain 110 million cubic meters of water for agriculture during the rainy months. Besides, this site has the fresh air and scenic view, making it the ideal picnic site.
Phnom Banan Temple was first erected by King Udayadityavarman II (1050-1066) and then finished by King Jayavarman VII (1181-1219). Therefore, it was at the architecture of mid-11th century and the 12th century. With the spectacular position on the top of the 400m-high mountain, this intact Angkorian temple is, for sure, looks impressive from afar. From Phnom Banan, it is fascinating to view the winding Sangker River in the middle of the sugar palm trees, the rice paddies, and little villages. In overall, this temple It looks pretty from the ground to the top.
Phnom Kdoung is the home to many wild animals as well as tropical birds. The mountain is around 14km from the provincial town. People know about this mountain as the nonviolent inhabitation and the great source of foods for wildlife as well as the fresh atmosphere throughout the year. So, relaxation here is delightful. There is also the Nature Wildlife and Preserves in Kdong Village. Come to relax and breathe the fresh air!
When it comes to Pich Chenda – the ecotourism site, all praises for the pristine and picturesque natural landscapes here. The destination is blessed with the captivating waterfalls, rocks, and lakes. All seems to combine to draw up the perfect pictures of nature. The flattering corners in Pich Chenda are unlimited, which encourages every sightseer and photographer to feast the eyes.
Phnom Sampeau means ‘Ship Mountain’ due to the interesting shape of the mountain looks similar to a ship. It is 12km to the southwest of the Battambang City. The mountain is 100m high, and in the top include a pagoda and three intact caves: Pkasla, Lakhaon, and Aksopheak. Among these, Pkasla Cave is where the local people come to celebrate after their marriages. The mountain complex also looks mesmerizing with the neighboring mountainous clusters and caves. Some caves included skeletons proving that they were used by Khmer Rouge as the killing grounds while the other caves house many bats. Therefore, the visit to Phnom Sampeau requires the visitors to be careful and mindful! You’d better leave the cave before dusk.
How to Get to Battambang
National Road No5
You can drive from Phnom Penh to Battambang within 291km via the national road No5. The driving road is very scenic, and most drivers find it interesting to drive their motorbike or car to arrive in the lovely riverside town. Also, it is easy to drive from Siem Reap to Battambang, as long as you know the route. Otherwise, the great alternative is to use the taxi.
During the rainy months, speed boats and Mekong River Cruises are the best channels to reach the riverside town. The boat trip is enjoyable and relaxing. However, note that the dry months might make the boat trip impossible because the water level goes down. For instance, the boat departs from Siem Reap at 7:00 AM, and then you will arrive at Battambang around 10:30 AM. In the case of departing from Phnom Penh, the 8:00 AM boat brings you to Battambang about 4:00 PM.
Phnom Penh – Battambang Train
This train journey might take around 13 or 14 hours, and it offers the free lunch on the train. Though the scenery along the train is not as stunning as the route of Phnom Penh-Kampot-Sihanoukville, this is worth contemplating for the agricultural sights.