Battambang is the rice bowl of western Cambodia, home to some spectacular rural scenery and within easy distance of both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.



This sprawling province has a range of tourist sites including Angkor-period temples, mountain viewpoints, wetlands and typical day-to-day rural scenery. Despite the wealth of attractions, Battambang province makes it onto the itinerary of relatively few travellers, making it a fabulous off-the-beaten-track destination.

The provincial capital of the same-named province, Battambang is Cambodia’s second largest city and one of our all-time favourite spots in Cambodia. A relaxed and laid-back town, Battambang is primarily a farmer and trader town, a refreshing change from far more touristy Siem Reap.

Set across the banks of the Sangker River, the bulk of the town’s restaurants, hotels and attractions are to the west. It is a pleasant place to explore for a day or two on foot and forms a perfect base for trips into the surrounding area, where there’s plenty to see and do.

Battambang is best known for its Angkor-period ruins at Ek Phnom and Phnom Banan, but there’s also Phnom Sampeau — the site of the local Killing Fields.


Wat Ek Phnom Temple Ruin at Battambang Cambodia

Big-ticket attractions aside, what often swings it for Battambang is the laid back, sleepy feel to the place. It’s an attractive town in a rundown kind of way with a few colonial shopfronts and pretty tree-lined streets. Spend an evening by the riverfront munching away on fried bugs and other critters and no doubt you’ll be sold.

One oddity of Battambang province is the rain gambling. Although it does happen all over Cambodia, this is the epicentre of the phenomenon. Fortunes are won and lost betting how much rain will fall at a given place at a given time. When in the capital, keep an eye out for people clustered on the roofs of the buildings overlooking the central bus station. Clutching walkie-talkies, they’re communicating with both their rain-spotters who are scattered across the surrounds monitoring the clouds and their bookies at Phsar Boeung Chhoeuk. The bookies can be a bit shy about having their photo taken, but they’re not too worried if you’re just there to check it out.

Battambang is Khmer for “disappearing stick”, referring to a legend about a cowherd named Ta Dambong who found a magic stick and used it to usurp the then-king. The king’s son ran off to the woods and became a monk. In the meantime, Ta Dambong had a dream that a holy man on a white horse would vanquish him, so he decided it would be a good idea to have all the holy men rounded up and put to death. When the prince heard he was required to go into town, a hermit came up and gave him a white horse. When the prince got on the horse he found it could fly. When he flew into town, Ta Dambong realised his dream was coming true so he threw his magic stick at the prince and did a runner. Neither he nor the magic stick was ever seen again.

Battambang province borders Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey to the north, Pailin Special Zone and Thailand to the west, Pursat to the south and east and the Tonle Sap to the east. The provincial capital is linked to Phnom Penh by an excellent all weather road and to Siem Reap by a slightly more patchy affair. You can also travel by boat from Battambang to Siem Reap — a stunningly beautiful (if occasionally very slow) way to cross the broad Tonle Sap.

Tourist attraction in Battambang:

Barseat Temple in Battambang
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 kilometer 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 meter length 12 meter width and 10 meter depth. The pond is never dried, though in the dry season. In rainy season, the water level is higher than usual.

Wat Ek Temple in Battambang
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 kilometer from the provincial town.

Ba Nan Temple in Battambang
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, Jarvarman VII (1181-1219). The temple is located on the top of approximate 400 meter heighten mountain at Koh Tey 2 commune, Ba Nan District in 15 kilometer 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.

Prasat Snung in Battambang
Characterizes as three separated stupas made of brick, located on a hill having 30 meter length and 20 meter width, in Snung pagoda’s area, Snung commune, Ba Nan District in 22 kilometer distance from the provincial town. According to the style at the gate, the temple is similar to other temples in 12thcentury. Behind the temple, there is another new constructing temple.

Phnom Sam Pov Resort in Battambang
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 meter height) in 12 kilometer 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 in Battambang
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 kilometer distance from the provincial town. Boeng kam Pinh Puoy has 1,900 meter width, 19 kilometer length and can load 110,000,000-cubic meter water.

Sek Sak Resort in Battambang
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 meter 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 to six kilometer distance from each other. Sek Sak located Treng commune, Rotanak Mondul District in 50 kilometer distance from the provincial town of Battambang along the National Road No 57, the former National Road No 10.


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