Getting to know Battambang

Battambang is the third largest city in Cambodia and is also the capital of Battambang province. A quaint riverside town, it has several well-preserved old colonial structures. Till recently, Battambang was deemed off the map by most travelers, but amenities and conditions have improved and it is now an ideal base for visiting surrounding temples such as Wat Aek Phnom, Phnom Banan, and villages nearby.

The streets are lined with lovely French houses and shops facing the riverbank. These charming old colonial structures are the main attraction of the provincial capital, but there are also quite a few wats in various parts of town. The small museum in town has a number of Angkorian artifacts and outside of town are a few Angkor-era wats such as Prasat Banon that has 358 steps. Travel here is not as hectic as Siem Reap!

One of the most popular destinations in the province is Phnom Sampeau – where visitors can find the Phnom Sam Pov Pagoda and the ‘Ghost Cave’, notorious since the days of the Khmer Rouge. The Ghost Cave is a noteworthy trip despite its dark history and the small number of tourists makes it and acceptable destination compared to Cheung Ek in Phnom Penh.