Battambang, located in northwestern Cambodia, contains the second most populous city in the country after Phnom Penh. The provincial capital, also Battambang, has always been a popular destination for its nearby ancient temples, French colonial architecture, and Buddhist shrines. Sitting on the Sangker River just south west of the Tonle Sap Lake, Battambang town is at the heart of Cambodia’s ‘rice bowl’, and it maintains an untouched, bucolic feel. The streets are filled with remarkably well-preserved French colonial buildings alongside traditional Cambodian houses. The nearby countryside harbors old pagodas, Angkorian era ruins, caves, waterfalls, and Khmer Rouge period killing fields. Places of interest include Phnom Sampeu, a hill with caves of Buddha statues; the 12th Century Prasat Snung, Wat Banan, an Angkorian temple now occupied as a Buddhist shrine; Wat Baydamram where thousands of fruit bats reside, and Wat Ek Phnom.
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.
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.
Wat Ek Phnom
Watt 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.
Sek Sak Resort
Sek Sak is a natural resort, which has been popular since before the civil war. Sek Sak stretches along the river bank full of plants, trees and bamboo-green nature.
Prasat Snung Temple
Prasat Snung consists of three separated stupas made of brick in Snung pagoda’s area, Snung commune, Ba Nan District, about 22-kilometre (14 mi) distance from the provincial town. Based on the style of the gate, the temple is similar to other temples in 12th century.
Adapts the architecture of mid 11th century and the end of 12th century the temple was first built by King Ut Tak Yea Tit Tya Varman II (1050-1066) and was finally built by the king Jarvarman VII (1181-1219). The temple is located on the top of approximate 400 meter heighten mountain at Koh Tey 2 commune, Ba Nan District in 15 kilometer distance from the provincial town by the provincial Road No 155 parallel to Sang Ke River. At the mountain’s valley, there are Ku Teuk and two main natural well, namely: Bit Meas and Chhung or Chhung Achey.
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). Duration : 1hour. Price: 5$/pax
Museum of Battambang
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 kie to tame them. Its director is French-speaking.