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Places to Visit Details

Battambang, Cambodia's second largest city is surprisingly quaint and low-key. There's plenty to do, but you needn't feel guilty if you miss something. A visit here is mainly about connecting with the real Cambodia, rural Cambodia.

Battambang town is located in Battambang province, 170 kilometres from Siem Reap and sits at the centre of the country's rural heartland. It's the most productive rice growing region in Cambodia. While Siem Reap and the Angkor temples are the perfect tourism bubble, many travellers are finding Battambang's local feel to be the perfect antidote. 
Downtown Battambang is home to a collection of French colonial era shophouses rivalled only by Kampot on Cambodia's southern coast. The surrounding countryside is alive with farming that's interrupted by small and refreshingly quiet Angkorian ruins.

Places of interest in Battambang

Battambang Museum
The Museum of Battambang Province located downtown is relatively small but very interesting indeed. Many lintels are exposed as well as Buddha statues, figurines …You can stop for hours on the skill of Battambang people to sculpt with refinement of the materials, which require a well-knowledge when we would carve to tame them. Its director is French-speaking.

Bamboo Train Ride
Enjoy a unique experience on the “Bamboo Train” in the middle of the lush countryside.The Bamboo Train (unique in Cambodia and it’s at Battambang !) is a small motorized platform that follows in a few miles the narrow gauge railroad linking Phnom Penh to Battambang
We invite you to sit and explore the countryside of Battambang which, thanks to its fertile soil, is the first “rice granary” of the country. Plantations surrounded by palm trees, Zebu pulling plows, farmers leant on the farming are an integral part of the Cambodian countryside. (Caution:it is a means of local transportation very easy and very less comfortable).

Wat Ek Phnom
Wat Ek Phnom, a modern pagoda, sits next to some 11th century Angkorian ruins built as Hindu temples under Suryavarm I. The river road drive to Ek Phnom from Battambang passes through some absolutely beautiful countryside.

Phnom Sampuove
The Phnom Sampuove is the natural resort located along the National Road No 57 (the former National Road No 10) at Sam Puoy commune (the high land having more than 100-meter height) approximately 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 sites 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 Run Say Sork.

Phnom Banan Temple
Phnom Banan Temple is an Angkorian ruins locates 25km from Battambang town and travel through scenic countryside area. The 11th century temple consisting of 5 towers, is at the top of a small mountain and is accessed from an original staircase that cover the 105 meter climb. The temple is modest and the design will be familiar to any who has visited temples of Angkor in Siem Reap. 

Ek Phnom Temple
Ek Phnom Temple is an 11th century temple ruin 11km north of Battambang through scenic countryside. The most modest ruins can be some of the most atmospheric. And it often depends on when you arrive. This temple is modest compared to the main Angkorian offerings of Siem Reap and much of the structure has collapsed. Some of the carvings remain in good condition.

Prek Toal
From Siem Reap you can make a daytrip to Prek Toal to see the impressive water bird spectacle, the pristine flooded forest, the traditional fishing and the traditional floating community. In the dry season (November – March) thousands of endangered species of birds, such as storks, adjutants, pelicans and ibises come to the area to breed in the sanctuary. Around the core area lie several fishing villages comprising 1200 families living in houses floating on a bamboo rafts or in houseboats, an adaptation to the ebb and flow of the lake.

Kamping Pouy Reservoir
Kamping Pouy Reservoir is located between two mountains Phnom Ku or Phnom Ta Ngen and Phnom Kamping Pouy - in Ta Nget Village, Ta Kream Srok commune, about 35 kilometers west of the provincial town.This gigantic civil-engineering project was central to the Khmer Rouge?s plan to irrigate the countryside around Battambang. Tragically, the construction of the Kamping Puoy Reservoir resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people. Unlike the victims of S21 and Choeung Ek most of the deaths on the Kamping Puoy project were caused by malnutrition, disease, overwork or mistreatment. The deaths were in short, preventable.
A gripping, visceral and painfully honest account of life in Battambang under the Khmer Rouge was written by Haing S. Ngor, the Cambodian doctor, actor and community worker who won an oscar for the film The Killing Fields. His book Survival in Cambodia's Killing Fields is perhaps the most eloquent account of day-to-day life during the Pol Pot period. It is laced with insights into the Khmer psyche and is ultimately a heartbreaking read. Kamping Pouy Reservoir is 6 meters long and 1,900 meters wide. During the rainy season the Reservoir can hold 110 million cubic metere of water, which is used primarily for agriculture. Kamping Pouy Reservoir is vital to this area. It is now a popular picnic site for residents of Pailin and Battambang because of its fresh air. Lotus flowers grow in the water and nearby you can buy lotus seeds to eat (they are delicious and taste a bit like sweet, uncooked peas). Takream Commune in Banan District is the nearest settlement.

Phare Circus Battambang
“Phare, the Cambodian Circus” is an offshoot project of Phare Ponleu Selpak (Association) which translates as “Brightness of the Arts” in English. PPS Association is a Cambodian non-profit, non-governmental association founded in 1994 by eight young Cambodians ex-refugees artists in the area of Anchanh Village, Ochar Commune, Battambang Province. It serves as a tool to build the careers of Cambodian Artists, to revive Cambodian art scenes, to make worldwide arts connections with Cambodia and to contribute to the artistic, educational and social programs of PPS Association. The circus is an amazing blend of traditional and modern theater, music, dance, acrobatic, juggling and contortion beautifully choreographed and performed in a story about Cambodian lives and society. During one hour, through high technical skills, the performers transmit the emotion and excitement and totally blow the audience away thanks to their distinctive personalities and humor. The show is not daily and schedule often change so do check their schedule.  

French Colonial Architecture 
Battambang is home to Indochina's best preserved colonial era architecture. It can be easily explored on foot or bicycle over a few hours from downtown. The eastern bank of Sangke River that runs through Battambang town center has some of Cambodia's best French colonial architecture. Some of the building has been spruced up but most are in various state of decline. The former Governor's residence, Chinese temple, railway station are some of the must see architecture. 

Pagoda in Battambang city
In addition to the town's French colonial architecture, Battambang also has a number of interesting pagodas. They're located in the downtown area on both sides of the river and are open to visitors. 

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