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Battambang

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BATTAMBANG

 

 

 

 

Battambang

Cambodia's Second City

Sitting on the Sangker River just southwest of the Tonle Sap Lake, Battambang is at the heart of Cambodia's 'rice bowl', and even though it is one of the country's largest towns it still has a fairly lightly touristed, provincial atmosphere. Much of the architecture is colonial-era with traditional shophouses lining quaint narrow lanes. There are plenty of hotels and a selection of restaurants in town these days. And a pleasant little walking district has taken shape in the old colonial blocks just south of the market - restaurants, cafes, a few shops, galleries and bars.

As you leave the town by road, the scenery quickly becomes one of villages and rice paddies, offering an excellent opportunity to see a bit of rural Cambodia. The nearby countryside harbors several picturesque old pagodas, Angkorian era ruins, caves, mountains and waterfalls.

‘Battambang’ means ‘disappearing stick,’ from the legend of a powerful staff wielded by the legendary ruler Ta Dambang. A statue of Ta Dambang and the stick stand imposingly at the eastern entrance to the town on Route #5.

 

 

Getting to

Battambang

 

Phnom Penh to Battambang


Road (291km, National Route #5): The road is paved and in good condition. 

Bus Several bus companies (including Phnom Penh Sorya, Ponleu Angkor, Rith Mony and Capitol Tours) run multiple daily buses between Phnom Penh to Battambang. First bus departs at 6:30AM and the last at 3:00PM. Fare: 17,000R-20,000R. The trip takes 5 hours. In Battambang, buses depart from the various transportation company offices. See the map.

Taxi A private taxi is $45. Shared taxi: 25,000R per person. 4 hours. Prices for shared local transport are very nominal, but are also crowded and uncomfortable. Buy more than one place for the extra leg room.

 

Air There are currently no regularly scheduled flights to Battambang.

 


Siem Reap to Battambang


Boat
Daily ferry departs in each direction at 7:00am. $18-$25/person. It's a picturesque, 6-8 hour journey across the Tonle Sap and along the Sangker River in the wet season, but can be considerably longer or cancelled in the dry season due to low water levels. Ask about current conditions. The boats in no way meet international safety standards.

Road (National Routes #6 and #5, via Sisophon): The road from Battambang to Siem Reap around the west side of the lake is in excellent condition. 

Bus At least four bus companies (including Capitol Tours, Phnom Penh Sorya and Rith Mony) run two or three daily a/c buses, most leaving in the morning. Buy tickets at the bus company office. $4-$5, 2½-3 hours.

Taxi A private taxi costs $40-$45 and takes about 3 hours.

 

Air There are currently no regularly scheduled flights to Battambang.

 

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Battambang Hotels/Guesthouses  (Back to top)
 

Bambu Hotel

Range: $55 - $75 (breakfast included)

Fully outfitted and equipped hotel/resort complex sporting well-appointed, traditionally inspired rooms. All rooms with a/c, CTV, DVD, stocked mini-bar, wifi, en suite bathroom with hot/ water. Swimming pool and full restaurant and bar serving Cambodian and international fare. Quiet area only 2 minutes from town center.

Visa/MC/ANZ

Tel: +(855)(0)53-953900

Fax: +(855)(0)53-953951
bookings@bambuhotel.com 
www.bambuhotel.com

Classy Hotel & Spa

Range: $50 - $795 (Breakfast including)

Brand new upmarket hotel featuring Khmer-inspired design and décor, and offering rooms and suites suitable for the leisure, business or family traveler. Well-appointed rooms and suites with luxurious wooden furniture, all modern amenities and many rooms with private balconies. Hotel facilities include fitness center with all new exercise equipment, full spa and massage services, international restaurant and banquet facilities and a large saltwater swimming pool with poolside bar. Free wifi in the rooms and throughout the hotel.

Visa/MC

Street 159D and street 207, Phum Romchek 4, Sangkat Ratanak, Battambang City, Cambodia.

Tel: +(855)(0)53-952555

      +(855)(0)76-8686666

      +(855)(0)12-911265

Fax: +(855)(0)53-952556

sales@classyhotelbattambang.com

www.classyhotelbattambang.com

Coconut House

Range: $11 - $13

Villa style guesthouse a couple of hundred meters off the main road in a quiet area. Large rooms with the standard amenities: a/c, CTV, en suite with hot water. Very affordable. Long term rates available.

Tel: +(855)(0)53-6655447

      +(855)(0)12-955447
thecoconuthouse@gmail.com

www.thecoconuthouse.net

Ganesha Family Guesthouse

Range: $4 - $12

Nicely refurbished, family-friendly guesthouse in the middle of town on street 1.5 and 2, about 150m south of Phsar Nath. Eco-friendly. Individual rooms, family room, deluxe rooms, bar, restaurant, BBQ and tasty foods. Pool table, free wifi. Open late and free pick up. Welcoming atmosphere. new movie rooms, tour and info center, souvenirs. Bus tickets.

On street 1.5 and 2 about 150m south of Phsar Nath ( Center market), Battambang City, Cambodia.

Tel: +(855)(0)92-135570

      +(855)(0)92-144479
www.ganeshaguesthouse.com

Here Be Dragons

Range: $3-$10

Friendly, sociable backpacker hostel with dorm beds and private rooms. Lush garden with hammocks, shady bungalows and a ping pong table. Roof terrace for films or live sports, playing wii, or relaxing as the sun sets over the river. The bar/restaurant has an extensive and good value food and drink menu. Tours, tickets, travel advice.

Tel: +(855)(0)89-264895
thedragons@herebedragonsbattambang.com
www.herebedragonsbattambang.com

Holiday Hotel

Range: $17 - $50

City center hotel offering spacious rooms at reasonable prices. Individually decorated rooms outfitted with a/c, LCD-CTV, wifi, fridge, en suite bathroom with hot/cold water and wooden furniture including a proper writing desk. Conference facilities.

#695, St. 106, Village Preak Mohatep, Khum Svay Por, Battambang City, Cambodia.

Tel: +(855)(0)81-999006

      +(855)(0)92-999006

      +(855)(0)53-953733

Fax: +(855)(0)53-953734

reservation@holidayhotel-bb.com

www.holidayhotel-bb.com

Khemara Battambang I Hotel
Range: $15 - $450

137 rooms. One of Battambang’s best. Well-appointed a/c rooms and suites with all amenities: Cable TV, fridge, IDD, free wifi, en suite with hot water. Swimming pool, restaurant, gym, spa, massage, shop and karaoke club.

Visa/MC
Tel: +(855)(0)53-737878

      +(855)(0)17-612168

Fax: +(855)(0)53-732626
admin@khemerahotel.com

gm@khemarahotel.com 
www.khemarahotel.com 

Park Hotel

Range: $5 - $9

Overlooking a nice little park near the entrance to town. Reasonably priced a/c and fan rooms with attached bathroom, cable TV, hot water and fridge. Free pick up.

Tel: +(855)(0)53-953773

      +(855)(0)12-817170

Phone/Fax: +(855)(0)53-953773             
park_hotelbtb@yahoo.com

 

 

Ramchang Guesthouse

Range: $6 - $28

Clean, budget-friendly fan and a/c rooms in Battambang. Fan rooms from only $6. All rooms with cable TV, fridge, in-room wifi and en suite bathroom with hot and cold water. Some rooms with other amenities including hair dryer, coffee maker, etc. Hotel restaurant serving Khmer and western food and other tourist services including laundry service.

On Street 403, Phum Ang, Sangkat Ochar, Battambang City, Cambodia.

Tel: +(855)(0)12-872326

      +(855)(0)77-417333

      +(855)(0)78-525333

ramchangguesthouse@gmail.com

 

Sangker Villa Hotel

Range: $38 - $60

Seven rooms including one suite in a beautiful colonial house with a swimming pool and a beautiful garden. The hotel is near the river in a countryside setting on the east side of the river, a five minute walk from the city center. Swiss management. English, French, German, Italian and Spanish spoken. Homemade bread. Espresso. WiFi. Western Food. Swiss Specialties.

Visa/MC

200 Street, Phum Rumchek4, Battambng City, Cambodia.
Tel: +(855)(0)97-7640017

info@sangkervilla.com  
www.sangkervilla.com

Senghout Hotel

Range: $8 - $25

In town near Phsar Nath (the main market.) Nicely furnished a/c rooms with CTV, fridge, free wifi and en suite bathroom with hot water. Rooftop cafe with a 360 view of the town. Good value for money.

Visa/MC

Tel: +(855)(0)12-530327

      +(855)(0)92-530293
chhounseng@gmail.com  www.senghouthotel.com

Spring Park Hotel

Range: $6 - $10

A/c and fan rooms with all amenities including IDD and Internet port. En suite bathroom. Conference room. Elevator. Free pick-up and internet. Boat, bus tickets available.

Tel: +(855)(0)12-849999

      +(855)(0)15-789999

Phone/Fax: +(855)(0)53-730999
spparkhotel@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Stung Sangke Hotel

Range: $40 - $120

One of Battambang’s better hotels, with 130 nicely appointed rooms and suites. 10-minute walk to the town center, Phsar Nat and pagodas. Large, well-appointed rooms. Wifi. Swimming pool and gym. All in all a very good value.
Tel: +(855)(0)53-953495

      +(855)(0)89-378188

 

 

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Battambang Restaurants/Bars

Battambang offers a fair number of eateries these days, both local and foreigner-run. You can have an authentic Cambodian meal or a fine French dinner, enjoy a cup of espresso at a riverside cafe and even party late into the evening at the bar.

There are a cluster of restaurants along Street 121 within a couple blocks of the river, and several dot the walking district south of Phsar Nath, including a few trendy little cafes and bars that stay open into the late evening. To try some local street food check out Street 2 path through Phsar Nath and the riverfront park near the Provincial Museum where a couple of dozen soup, sandwiches and dessert places set up in the afternoons and evenings.

 

The Apple of Love (Pomme d’amour)

Patrice cooks Khmer cuisine with a French twist. The food is very good, the cozy atmosphere exquisite. One of Battambang’s best dining venues.

Bambu Hotel

The restaurant/bar at the Bambu Hotel offers some of the better dining in town - primarily western favorites and some local choices. BBQ Lamb Chops, imported steak, baked grouper and more. Free wifi.

Visa/MC/ANZ
Tel: +(855)(0)53-953900
www.bambuhotel.com

Cafe Eden

This friendly cafe serves up mostly Western fare, with American-sized portions and American-style service. Breakfasts at Cafe Eden are just the ticket before a day of sightseeing; try the huevos rancheros or the homemade cinnamon apple pancakes. In addition to the regular menu, every day there are a few tasty daily lunch and dinner specials, and a happy hour from 3pm until 7pm. Eden also has a small boutique that features products made by local charitable organizations.

Located on the riverfront just north of Phsar Nath

Tel: 053-731525
www.cafeedencambodia.com

Ganesha Family Restaurant & Bar

Tasty western and Khmer foods. Relaxing atmosphere. Special Sunday BBQ. Reasonable prices. Happy day Draft $0.75. Free pool table and wifi. Delicious cocktails, friendly service. 2 new movie rooms!

On street 1.5 and 2 about 150m south of Phsar Nath (Center market), Battambang City, Cambodia.

Tel: 092-135570

      092-144479
www.ganeshaguesthouse.com

The Green Mango Café & Bakery

Large full air-conditioned restaurant and bakery located on the New Bridge Road about 50 meters west of the river, near Park Hotel. Offering a nice selection of western, American and Mexican breakfasts and lunches - Granola, eggs and potatoes, biscuits and sausage gravy, burgers, meatloaf, pizzas, burritos, tacos and more. A few Khmer dishes as well. Fresh baked cakes, cookies, brownies, pies, breads. Wifi. Delivery.
Tel: 053-6499966

      017-315450

www.greenmangoCGI.com

Here Be Dragons
Cheap beer and cocktails, and a wide range of Khmer and Western food, including homemade sausages and burgers, a traditional steamed fish amok and Full English Breakfast. Eat and drink swinging in a hammock in the garden, or sitting with friends round a pub table under a canopy of flowers. Open late. Weekly pub quiz and barbecues. Tel: 089-264895
www.herebedragonsbattambang.com

Kinyei

Artsy little corner shop cafe and bar on the quiet Street 1-1/2. Breakfasts, sandwiches, good coffees, teas and juices. More on the board. Wifi. Good work space. Bicycle rental and tours available.

www.kinyei.org

La Villa

Some of the finest western dining in town. Excellent western and Asian food and a wide range of cocktails served in an a/c restaurant or the garden patio of a beautifully restored 1930s colonial villa. Wine selection. Western managed. Closed Tuesdays.
Tel: 053-730151

      017-411880

Madison Corner

Full bar: draft beer, cocktail, home-made rum and a large variety of ice creams and local snacks. Excellent crepes. 6AM-Midnight. Popular bar, especially in the evening, often one of the last places in town to close.

  Noodle Restaurant
Inexpensive local restaurant near the White Rose. Very good fresh made noodles. Lots of Chinese dishes. Great place for a Cambodian noodle soup (kuiteo) or fried meat with rice breakfast. Try the duck soup. Recommended.
 

White Rose

Well-known and long-established, this corner-shop Cambodian restaurant offers an extensive menu, pretty good Cambodian food, ice cream, reasonable prices. Street 2 near several other restaurants. Another good place to for Cambodian breakfast.

6:30AM - 10:00PM.

Located on street 2, Battambang City, Cambodia.

 

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Battambang: What to See  (Back to top)

Battambang City is full of wonderful colonial-era architecture and historic old pagodas, and the surrounding countryside harbors not only Angkorian-era ruins and historic pagodas but also offers some of the most picturesque rice paddy and village scenery in the country.

 

Bamboo Train

The bamboo train is a unique and creative form of ad-hoc transportation. It consists of a small motorcycle engine-powered bamboo cart that rides the railroad tracks, picking up and dropping off passengers, cargo and animals along the way. When it meets bamboo train, it can be disassembled and taken off the rails in a minute or two, allowing the other to pass. The bamboo train near the city seems to be catering as much to tourists as locals these days, but is still the real deal. They now charge foreigner upwards of $5/pax..

 


Circus

The Phare Ponleu Selpak NGO gives Cambodian children from disadvantaged families the opportunity to “access culture via different artistic activities” including music, drawing, drama, dance and circus. Offering traditional Cambodian circus performances and other show. Look for fliers around town.

Tel: 012-890360

053-952424

Located on Route #5 about 1km west of town, Battambang City, Cambodia.

www.phareps.org

 

 

Cooking Classes

Nary Kitchen is offering twice daily Cambodian cooking classes, morning and afternoon, taught by Ms. Nary. The class is about 2-1/2 hours and includes a market trip, preparing a single traditional Cambodian meal (recipe sheet included) and then enjoying the fruits of your labor for lunch or dinner.

Located just west of Phsar Nath. See map for exact location, Battambang City, Cambodia.

Tel: 012-763950

The Smokin' Pot restaurant near the White Rose restaurant at the corner of Street 1 in the center of town also offers cooking classes.

 

 

Countryside Tour

The rural countryside outside of Battambang is National Geographic picturesque. Within just a few kilometers of town the countryside turns into small villages filled with stilted houses and rice paddies that stretch to the horizon. You’ll see plenty of countryside on the way to any of the local sites. Check out some of the local products in the making - rice paper, noodles and the fishpaste market. It’s all very traditional if not a bit unhygienic and smelly, but a interesting experience and adventure nonetheless. The roads are often rough and during the dry season. always exceptionally dusty. Bring a good hat and a krama to cover your nose and mouth.

 

 

Ek Phnom
Ek Phnom, about 45 minutes from Battambang, is an substantial early-11th century Angkorian-era temple ruin built as a Hindu temple under the ruler Suryavarman I. The temple is in rough condition, consisting of prasats on a platform with some Hindu themed carvings in pretty good condition. Wat Ek Phnom, a modern Buddhist pagoda, sits picturesquely next to the ruin and a small lake. The river road drive to Ek Phnom from Battambang passes through some absolutely beautiful countryside, along a palm lined Stung Sangker river and through several small villages.

 

 

Phnom Banan
Phnom Banan Phnom Banan is a mountaintop, mid-11th century Angkorian-era ruin consisting of five prasats (towers) arranged in the quincunx (five-pointed) form reminiscent of Angkor Wat. The temple was built by the Khmer ruler Udayadityavarman II, son of Suryavarman I, the king who built the temple at Ek Phnom. Several lintel carvings are in good condition. The mountaintop is a peaceful location with a sweeping view of the surrounding area. There is a small cave nearby known as L’Ang But Meas. A very old (150 years+) active pagoda at the base of the mountain.

As both are south of Battambang City, the trip to Phnom Banan is often combined with a stop at Phnom Sampeou, Battambang City, Cambodia.

 


Pagodas

Battambang town and the surrounding countryside are rich with beautiful old pagodas, some of them hundreds of years old, highly respected and displaying some very unique art and architecture. There are nine pagodas in Battambang town alone. In town, Wat Kandal displays some of the most interesting architecture and vihear paintings. Wat Tahm Rei Saw, built in 1903, is one of those rare Cambodian wats to display paintings of the Hindu epic Reamker. See absolutely indispensable Around Battambang for more information about visiting the local pagodas.

 


Phnom Sampeou Mountain

Phnom Sampeou is a mountain steeped in legend, topped by Wat Sampeou and a group of caves used as 'killing caves' by the Khmer Rouge, containing the skeletal remains of their victims. The wat is unexceptional but the view is spectacular. The whole area in intertwined with the well-known Khmer folk legend of Neang Rumsay Sok, 'the girl who let down her hair.' Many of the local geographic features are named after aspects of the legend, including Phnom Sampeou (Boat Mountain.) Ask your guide or driver to tell you the legend. For sake of ease, take the winding path up the mountain rather than the stairs. The stairs make for a formidable climb.

 

 

Provincial Museum

The Battambang Provincial Museum on the riverfront in the center of town houses a large collection of Angkorian and pre-Angkorian artifacts - statues, carvings, bits of ancient temples, pottery, etc. These little provincial museums can be a real treat for the Angkor enthusiast, containing some rare and unique pieces, and this is one of the best of the provincial museums. Hours: 8:00AM-11:00AM / 2:00PM-5:00PM, make reservations for weekend visit and they will open the door for you. Friendly people always happy to see visitors. Guides available. Admission: US$1.00.
Tel: 092-914688

      016-896727

 

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Shopping in

Battambang  (Back to top)

 

Battambang shopping has been taking on an artsier air of late. Traditionally, Battambang was a place to buy marble and wood carvings, Pailin sapphires and Pursat oranges. It still is, but over the past couple of years several new art spaces and shopping venues have open amongst the quaint old colonial shophouses in the walking district south of Phsar Nath (main market). Walk Street 2 and the surrounding area to explore for contemporary art galleries and unique curio shops and well trendy little dining and drinking opportunities.

Phsar Nath in town is the main phsar (traditional market,) geared to the locals, vending the usual fruits, vegetables, meat, clothes, sundries, etc. Gem dealers, a couple of banks, photo shops and moneychangers line the streets that ring the phsar. Phsar Leu, just south of town, is the place to buy local fruits: oranges and pomelos from Pursat. The oranges are said to be the best in the country.

Chea Neang Drink Shop is a small convenience store on the west side of Phsar Nath, popular with foreigners and offering ice cream bars, cheeses, yogurt, wines, and other imported items.

 

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Banks in Battambang  (Back to top)

Banks and ATMs

All banks encash travelers checks and change money and most have ATMs. There are several ATMs at the riverfront street corner in front of Phsar Nath. Moneychangers are concentrated around the market with a few along Road #1.

 

ACLEDA Bank Plc. 
Western Union service, locations throughout Cambodia. ATMs, cash transfer, Travelers Cheques, en-cashed and sold...

Visa/Gold Dot
Kamakar Village, Sangkat Svay Por, Battambang Municipality, Battambang Province, Cambodia.

Tel: +(855)(0)53-953171

      +(855)(0)15-900229

www.acledabank.com.kh

 

Cambodia Asia Bank 
Currency exchange, t/c exchange, Western Union services.

Visa/MC
#72, Street 3, Battambong
Province, Cambodia.

Tel: +(855)(0)53-953149

Fax: +(855)(0)53-953150

www.cab.com.kh

 

Cathay United Bank Cambodia
Currency exchange, ATM, t/c exchange, Western Union services. Visa/MC/Maestro/Cirrus/Diners Club International/Riels.
#118, Street 2, Battambong Province, Cambodia.

Tel: +(855)(0)53-953339

www.sbc-bank.com

 

Union Commercial Bank (UCB) 
Currency exchange, ATM, t/c exchange, ‘No commission’ Visa card cash advance. 

No. 100E0, Group 9, Prek Moha Tep village, Sangkat Svay Por, Battambang Town, Battambang Province, Cambodia.

www.ucb.com.kh

 

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Dentists  (Back to top)

 

BouengChhouk Dental Clinic

Dentistry: Implant, Oral Surgery, Orthodontics, Pediatric, Preventive, Endodontic & Restorative, General Consultation and Diagnosis, Aesthetics and  Whitening, Prosthondontics, Dr. Ly Sokseyha.

Open: 7:30AM - 11:30AM / 1:30PM - 7:30PM

#212-213, (Next to Sorya Bus Station and Opposite Hang Lay Guesthouse) North of Boeung Chhoeuk Market, Battambang Province, Cambodia.

Tel: +(855)(0)12-872326

lysokseyha.dentalclinic@gmail.com

 

 

Last updated June 2014

 

This website is the (expanded) online version of Canby Publications' Cambodia travel guides: The Phnom Penh Visitors Guide, The Siem Reap Angkor Visitors Guide and The Sihanoukville Visitors Guide, (also including Battambang, Kampot, Koh Kong and Kep.)

 

Battambang

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