on the Sangker River just southwest of the Tonle Sap Lake,
Battambang town 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 very
lightly touristed, provincial atmosphere. Much of the architecture
is colonial-era with traditional shophouses lining quaint narrow
lanes. There are plenty of hotels in town these days including
several new mid-range places. And a pleasant little walking district
is taking shape in the old colonial blocks just south of the market
- restaurants, cafes, a few shops and bars...
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 'unspoiled' rural Cambodia. The nearby countryside harbors
several picturesque old pagodas, Angkorian era ruins, caves,
waterfalls, and even Khmer Rouge killing field.
‘Battambang’ means ‘disappearing stick,’ from the legend of a
powerful staff wielded by the legendary ruler Ta Dambang to achieve
and maintain power in the area. A statue of Ta Dambang and the stick
stand imposingly at the eastern entrance to the town on Route #5.
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
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.
There are currently no regularly
scheduled flights to Battambang.
Siem Reap to Battambang
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.
There are currently no regularly
scheduled flights to Battambang.
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.
Battambang Lotus Hotel
Range: $15 - $95 (from $39 with
Clean, affordable hotel offering a/c
rooms with CTV, mini-bar, phone, safe, hot water and wifi. Wooden
furniture including desk. Conference facilities in hotel. Elevator.
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.
Ganesha Family Guesthouse
Range: $4 - $30
Newly renovated family-friendly
guesthouse right in the middle of Battambang town on Street 1.5
close to Phsar Nath Market. Eco-friendly. Individual rooms, family
rooms and dormitory available. Bar, restaurant and pool table. Tasty
foods, Khmer, Western and Thai. Welcoming atmosphere.
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.
#695, St. 106, Village Preak Mohatep, Khum Svay Por,
Battambang City, Cambodia.
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.
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.
Range: $55 (breakfast included)
Stylish bungalows situated around a
garden swimming pool. A/C, Cable TV, attached bath with hot water, nice
decor, quite atmosphere. Restaurant and bar.
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
On Street 403, Phum Ang, Sangkat
Ochar, Battambang City, Cambodia.
Reaksmey Battambang Hotel
Range: $10 - $15
New multi-storey hotel about 1 km west
of town on Route #5. Large a/c rooms with CTV and en suite with hot
water. Upper floor rooms with a nice view of the area. Elevator.
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.
Stung Sangke Hotel
Range: $40 - $120
A leading hotel in Battambang with 130
rooms and suites. Only a 5 minute walk from ferry dock and a 10-15
minute walk to visit colonial architecture, the provincial hall,
Phsar Nat and pagodas. Large, well-appointed rooms. Wifi. Swimming
pool and gym. All in all a very good value.
Vimean Sovannaphoum Resort
Range: $30 - $80
Unique hotel, in town on the riverside
on the east side of the river. Rooms, suites and villas with a/c,
CTV, in-.room wifi, fridge, en suite bathroom with hot water..
Family rooms available. In-room wifi. Swimming pool. Massage.
There are a fair number of eateries in town, both
local and foreigner-run. These days 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.
Several restaurants including a couple with bars are clustered in
the walking district just south of the market. For local street food
check out Street 2 path through Phsar Nath and the riverfront park
near the Provincial Museum.
The Apple of Love (Pomme d’amour)
Patrice cooks Khmer cuisine with a
French twist, sophisticated and creative. The food is exceptional,
the cozy atmosphere exquisite and the local staff a delight. All the
culinary delights are gathered in the Apple of Love from the
appetizer to the wine card. One of Battambang’s best dining venues.
Au Cabaret Vert
Traditional Cambodian dishes (Fish Amok)
and French cuisine (home-made foiegras, and ouillette with mash
potatoes...) Selected wines, great cocktails, first Kingdom draft in
town. Fine dining with setting sun on the tropical garden. Free
7AM - 9:30 PM
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.
Battambang Comfort Inn Restaurant
Restaurant and late night bar at the
Battambang Comfort Inn near the Market. Serving authentic Cambodian
food, Asian fusion dishes and a variety of western dishes including
pizzas. Good fruit shakes. Full bar, cocktails, wines and draft beer
of only 75 cents. Free wifi.
Open until 2AM.
Riverfront cafe with a nice riverside view serving mostly western
favorites: breakfasts, salads, BLTs, Philly Cheese Steak, both veg
and meat burgers, Pizza, lots of mains. Good coffee. Wifi.
One of the few air-con places in town, popular with local,
occasionally discovered by tourists. Lots of rice and noodle dishes
at reasonable prices. Some western dishes. English menu. Full bar.
On Route #5 in town
Cafe Flirt Western-run cafe and
bar in the center of town. Serving excellent western breakfast, and
lots of western favorites for lunch and dinner - burgers, mains,
Mexican, pasta... Full bar, draft beer, spirits, cocktails, pool
table, open until at least 11:00PM. Next to White Rose
restaurant, just off Street 2.
Chinese Noodle Restaurant
Inexpensive local restaurant Just a
few doors down from the White Rose. Very good fresh made noodles,
noodle soup, lots of Chinese dishes. Good place for a local
breakfast noodle soup (kuiteo) or fried meat and rice.
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.
Large air-con restaurant at the Stung
Sangke Hotel. Serving affordable Cambodian, Thai, Chinese dishes and
some western selections as well including burgers, spaghetti and
pizza. Live traditional Cambodian music every evening. Large enough
to accommodate banquets and meeting. Full bar. Wifi.
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.
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.
Friendly family atmosphere of Patrice
and his lovely Khmer wife Nary, where you can enjoy a drink, draft
beer, cocktail, home-made rum and a large variety of ice creams and
local snacks. Some of the best crepes in Cambodia. A Battambang
meeting place. 6AM-Midnight. Great place for breakfast an espresso
before catching the boat to Siem Reap. Popular bar, especially in
the evening, often one of the last places in town to close.
Hotel restaurant and bar serving a good selection of western and
traditional Cambodian dishes. Full bar open until 11:30PM. Indoor
and poolside seating.
Local family-run place.
Unique, riverside bar and restaurant,
open-air and under the trees and stars. Comfortable table seating
and a proper bar and bar seating. Serving Cambodian snack and meals
as well as several western choices. Full bar with cocktails, draft
beer and wine. A pretty special place. Located riverside near the
Old Stone Bridge..
Located riverside near the Old Stone
The name says it. Western managed
balcony bar and restaurant hovering over the bank of a quiet stretch
of the Sangker River. Very friendly place. Good western food -
burgers, sandwiches, specials on the board. Full bar. Located at the
south end of town.
Located at the south end of town.
Small, air-conditioned cafe/restaurant
serving drinks, snacks and light meals at the Tola petrol station
near the Khemara Battambang 1 hotel on the road to Ek Phnom. Wifi.
About 1km north of town center.
Open 6:30AM - 9:00PM
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 - 10PM.
Located on street 2.
Battambang: What to See
Battambang City is absolutely 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.
The bamboo train is a unique and
creative form of ad-hoc local transportation. It consists of a
small motorcycle engine-powered bamboo cart that rides the
railroad tracks, picking up and dropping off passengers, cargo,
animals, motorcycles along the way. When it meets on-coming
train or bamboo train, it can be disassembled and taken off the
rails in a minute or two, allowing the other to pass. Cambodia
is currently in the process of upgrading its rail system. When
the Battambang tracks are replaced, the Bamboo Train will likely
come to an end. If you ever wanted to try the bamboo train, it’s
now or never.
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.
Located on Route #5 about 1km west of town.
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
Located just west of Phsar Nath. See map for
The Smokin' Pot restaurant near
the White Rose restaurant at the corner of Street 1 in the
center of town also offers cooking classes.
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.
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 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 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.
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:
Tel: 092-914688, 016-896727
Traditionally, Battambang was a
place to buy marble and wood carvings, cut and uncut sapphires and
Pursat oranges. It still is, but Battambang has also been taking on
an artier air of late, with a couple/few new art and shopping venues opening
amongst the quaint old colonial shophouses, especially in the
walking district in the blocks just south of Phsar Nath.
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
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.
The Smiling Sky Bookshop Second hand bookshop dealing in
English language books - Cambodia related titles, novels, popular
literature. Buy sell trade. Road #3..
Banks in Battambang
Like the rest of Cambodia, the Cambodian riel is the
official currency but the US Dollar is the de facto tender. Hotel
prices are set in dollars. Unique to Battambang and western
Cambodia, Thai baht is in common use as well.
Banks and ATMs
All banks encash travelers checks and change
money and most have ATMs. Canadia Bank, UCB and ANZ Royal
are located in front of Phsar Nath, all with ATMs. The ACLEDA
Bank on the east side of the river offers Western Union.
Moneychanger/gold sellers are concentrated around the market with a
few along Road #1.
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.
Cambodia Asia Bank
Currency exchange, t/c exchange, Western Union services.
#72, Street 3, Battambong
Currency exchange, ATM, t/c exchange, Western Union services.
#118, Street 2, Battambong Province, Cambodia.
Union Commercial Bank (UCB)
Currency exchange, ATM, t/c exchange, ‘No commission’ Visa card
No. 100E0, Group 9, Prek Moha Tep
village, Sangkat Svay Por, Battambang Town, Battambang Province,
updated April 2013