For fine French colonial architecture and a relaxed atmosphere
Battambang is the second-largest city in Cambodia and situated in the northwest of the country. It's riverside setting offers quiet cafes, charming shops and some of the best-preserved French colonial architecture in the country. Recommended excursions include the amazing Battambang Bat Caves, the scenic boat trip from Battambang to Siem Reap and the unique Bamboo Train which was created by the local villagers.
Here we have selected a few of the sights and experiences that you really should see on a visit to Battambang.
Ride the Bamboo Train
The bamboo train, or nori, is essentially a bamboo flatbed on wheels, powered by a small motorcycle or tractor engine. Although the rail line stretches down to Phnom Penh, but the bamboo train runs for just 7 kilometers to a nearby village and back.
Wat Kor Village
The village of Wat Kor, just south of Battambang, is centred around the temple of the same name. It's a great place to wander, especially late in the afternoon when the sun sets over the Sangker River. Picturesque bridges span the river, the spires of Wat Kor glow bright platinum and Khmer village life is on full display.
Visit the Bat Caves
Make your way to the base of Phnom Sampeou, on the outskirts of Battambang, at sunset to see the millions of bats awake from their slumbers and soar into the sky. This natural phenomenon truly is a sight to behold and a must-see daily event.
Go to the Circus
As Cambodia’s creative capital, Battambang is home to Phare Ponleu Selpak, an organisation that offers underprivileged youngsters free arts training in a range of skills. It is most famous for the circus performances which feature a range of gravity-defying acrobatics.
Discover Colonial Architecture
Battambang is home to Cambodia’s best-kept collection of French colonial buildings and other ancient architecture, which is well worth viewing. The city is not large, so it is easy to walk around, or for the more energetic, you could hire a bicycle.