Home Cambodia Travel GuideTop 8 Things to Do in Battambang

Top 8 Things to Do in Battambang

Battambang is the second largest city in Cambodia. It was founded by Khmer leaders as part of the Khmer Empire during the 11th century. The city is characterized by art with historical and religious influences.

When walking along in the city, you can see lots of temples, French colonial architecture and other ancient buildings.

Outside the city, villages and rice paddies spring to attention, offering you an excellent opportunity to witness the simple lifestyle of local people.

Experience the Excitement of Riding on a Bamboo Train

Bamboo Train

Recommended length of visit: half a day

You’ll probably have taken a train before, but how about a bamboo train? Have you ever tried it? Or have you ever even heard of it? Relatively few people have ever experienced it.

The only bamboo train in the world is in Cambodia and the last bamboo train in Cambodia is in Battambang. So this is something you shouldn’t miss.

Sitting on board the roofless bamboo train, you will be excited as the train moves off. Listening to the clatter from the wheels and admiring the authentic rural setting, you’ll sense the simplicity of rural life.

Listen to Stories of Tragedy

Phnom Sampeau

Recommended length of visit: two to three hours

This fabled limestone mountain is southwest of Battambang. Here, anything could happen. You may climb, sweat, marvel and even cry.

During the period of Khmer Rouge (1975–79), an ancient temple half-way up the mountain used to be a prison. After the temple, two caves come into sight. These are the Killing Caves of Phnom Sampeau.

It seems like evidence of the slaughter turns to grievous lament blowing in the wind; and it seems as though you can still hear it.

At dusk, you can witness the spectacular sight of a swarm of bats flying out of the hole. This will be amazing and unforgettable.

Sense the Peace of Angkor

Wat Ek Phnom

Recommended length of visit: two to three hours

The ancient temple of Wat Ek Phnom is well known for its gargantuan statue of Buddha, 28 meters high. These are the ruins of Angkor temple. Several new temples have recently been built nearby.

Strolling around here, you will be immersed in the peaceful murmur of water under the bridges, arching of rainbows across the sky and twittering of birds.

Seek the Inspiration of Angkor Wat

Banan Temple

Recommended length of visit: two to three hours

If you want to go sightseeing and do physical exercise at the same time, Banan Temple is probably a good option for you.

Only when you have conquered 358 stone steps can you reach the top and have access to incredible views of the adjacent countryside.

The temple was built in the 11th century by Udayadityavarman II. Some local people believe it was the inspiration for Angkor Wat.

Explore the History of Angkor Wat

Battambang Museum

Recommended length of visit: one to three hours

If you are a fan of Khmer culture, you’ll be interested in Battambang Museum. Explanations are in Khmer, English and French.

The museum is small and even a little dusty, but a collection of art ranging from paintings and sculptures to other arts and crafts is displayed here. The most precious treasures are the charming lintels and sculptures of the Angkor period, which are collected from Prasat Banan and Sneng.

Marvel at the Luxury of French Colonial Days

Governor’s Residence

Recommended length of visit: one to two hours

If you want to learn about the legacy of French colonization, this is a good place to visit.

Built for the governor of Thailand by an Italian architect, during the period of French colonization, the Governor’s Residence is a notable landmark of the city. Balcony, bar-counter and window-shades exude the culture of European colonization from the nineteenth century.

Seen from outside, the building is conspicuous by comparison with the shabby houses around. It will give you a sense of being back in the colonial period.

Embrace a Leisurely Pace of Life As If You Were a Local

Go sightseeing along the river

Recommended length of visit: one day

Battambang has a reputation for its idyllic rural scenes and its leisurely pace of life. So you’d better experience the leisurely local life by meandering along with the river, through the streets.

There is a row of French shops along the river. The shops emit fresh, pure, sexy and romantic fragrance, helping to immerse you in this leisure time.

Study the Art of Local Cuisine

Attend a Smokin’ Pot class

Recommended length of visit: half a day

After tasting local restaurant food, do you not want to study how to cook it? Here comes the chance!

Join in the Smokin’ Pot class and you can be your own Cambodian chef. In the morning, your guide will teach you how to choose fresh vegetables in the local market and will also pass on some tips about bargaining. Then, follow the instructions. In the end, simply enjoy your meal.

You’ll have an enjoyable morning.

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