Battambang Travel Guide

Introduction about Battambang

Located in North-western of Cambodia, where the gentle Sangkae River (Stung Sangkae) flows, Battambang is the city of Battambang province, the 2nd big city of Cambodia.
Beside traditional Khmer architecture, French Colonial architecture is a remarkable aspect of the city, with some of the best-preserved examples in the country.

Despite being Cambodia’s second largest city, the city is much less crowded than Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. There are not too many visitors and the city is more like a small town, which makes Battambang, itself, worth your visit, by its unique charming.

Founded in the 11th century, Battambang was once the main rice-producing province of Cambodia.

For more than a century, from 1795 to 1907, it was a major commercial hub and provincial capital of Siamese province of Inner Cambodia.

During French colonization time, they had built the first important infrastructure to connect the city with the rest of country. In 1936, a railway linking Battambang to Phnom Penh was inaugurated.

Many years later, under the modernization program of the Cambodian government led by Prince Sihanouk, more infrastructure and public facilities were built, including textile and garment factories, especially the Battambang Airport, and the railway line was extended to Cambodia-Thailand border at Poipet.

Nowadays, Battambang remains the hub of Cambodia's northwest, connecting the region with Phnom Penh and Thailand.

Weather – Best time to visit Battambang

The weather in Battambang is split into two seasons: the dry season and the wet season. Temperatures usually range between 21°C and 36°C. The warm and dry during the dry season make it the best time of the year to explore Battambang.

Dry Season (October to Early May)

The most appropriate time of the year to explore Battambang is between November and February. These months, in dry season, with a pleasant climate with temperatures between 18°C and 27°C. This is the perfect weather condition of the year to visit ancient Temples, such as Wat Ek Phnom Temple and Wat Banan Temple. It is also great to experience a funny and unforgettable bamboo train.

Wet season (Early May to September)

During the wet season, Battambang experiences cloudy weather, and September is the highest amount of rainfall month. Average temperatures are between 25°C and 30°C, with heavy precipitation. The landscapes turn to be more green and beautiful. The best thing is less tourist and easier access to the tourist hubs.

What to see/ to do in Battambang

When travelling to Battambang, there are some sites you can not to be missed.

Phnom Sampeau

Phnom Sampeau, a famous Buddhist temple, locates on a limestone, 15-kilometer southwest of Battambang, is a highly recommended tourist attraction in Battambang. It is also known as where the Khmer Rouge use in their oppressive regime.

This site involves Phnom Sampeau Temple and three natural caves: Pkasla, Lakhaon and Aksopheak.

Situated on the top is beautiful Phnom Sampeau pagoda, where you can get a breathtaking view of surrounding area.

From the top, you can comtemplate the spectacular Battambang and the surrounding area from panoramic view. The best time to visit this temple is in the early morning or the late afternoon when everything becomes magical and stunning.

Prasat Banan

Perching on the top of the hill, about 22 kilometers to the south of Battambang, Phnom Banan is an Angkor-era mountaintop temple overlooking surrounding villages.

Phnom Banan Temple or it's often called Prasat Phnom Banan or Banan Temple was originally built in the mid 11st century and finished in late 12nd century from King Ut Tak Yea Tit Tya Varman II (1050-1066) to king Jarvarman VII (1181-1219). In the past, the temple has been heavily looted but so far it is the best-preserved of the Khmer temples around Battambang.

The temple consist of five prasats (towers) arranged in the quincunx (five-pointed) form reminiscent of Angkor Wat with the middle being the largest. You have to climb up 520 steps of staircase to reach these towers and enjoy the great panoramic view to the town.

Because the temple is a short stop visit, you can combine it with a stop at the famous Phnom Sampeou for your full day trip.

Taking a bamboo train

The “train” is made up by a small bamboo platform, covered with a mat and some cushions to sit on. A wooden pole is used as both the accelerator and the brake; the train can hit the speeds of up to 50km/h.

It is operated on the rail ways which traditionally used by locals to move cargo go and back when the roads were more difficult to traverse. The funniest thing is when two trains face off on one track and the one with the less heavy load is forced to dismantle and let the other one pass. Such an amazing and unforgettable adventure!

Wat Ek Phnom

Angkorian temple Wat Ek Phnom locates on the left side of Sangkae River, about 9 km north of Battambang. It is a Hindu temple built in the 11th century during the reign of king Suryavarman I.

A giant sitting Buddha statue leads to Buddhist pagoda Ek Phnom, which is surrounded by 18 Bodhi Trees. The site is a very popular picnic and pilgrimage destination for local Khmers. The pagoda opens the way to the ruins of the ancient Hinduism temple.

The mostly remained part today is only the main towers of the temple, with some fine bas-reliefs hold by standing upper flanks. What an amazing and impressive ruins!

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