Thinking of visiting Battambang before PP for 2 - 3 days. Is it worth the stop? Just asking off hand, for those who have been there and liked it or hated it for that matter. I've looked at http://travelfish.org/location/cambodia/western_cambodia/battambang/battambang
Oops, replied to this sort of in other thread. I'm not going to Siem Reap, already been to Angkor. I may spend more time in PP, for various reasons. Also some people like Kep, better than Kampot & there's my always wondering Koh Tonsay or Koh Rong question - lol. One point of view....
"It really depends on what you like. Are you into a more relaxed vibe and a place to unwind a bit, then Battambang might be your choice. If you like nightlife and lots of choices of activities, then maybe not so much.
Battambang is great for:
o some temple ruins (Wat Banan on a hilltop is rather nice)
o various caves to explore
o drives through the countryside and rice fields
o chilled-out vibe in town with very few tourists, so not really touristy
o Phare Ponleu Selpak Circus performances - a must see!
o a growing art scene as it seems to be the area where many of Cambodia's artists come from
Most people spend no more than 2 days there."
I haven't been myself yet, but you might find this entry in a blog that I follow an interesting read to give you an idea: http://flashpackatforty.com/2012/06/16/battambang-and-a-bamboo-train/
It has a good balance between being "non touristy" and actually having a decent tourist infrastructure - good budget accommodation, decent tourist-oriented restaurants and drinking holes, friendly English-speaking tour guides and interesting if not mind-blowing tourist attractions (and on the flip side, no child beggars, scammers or evident sex tourism). Definitely worth a couple of days at least IMHO, and easier to fall in love with than PP.
#6 enigmatic has been a member since 14/4/2011. Posts: 84
I spent 3 days there in January, 2011, and again 20-22 November of this year. I like the town, for several reasons. It is a small city with a small town feel. It has some interesting ruins and other things in the vicinity, as others have already noted. There is a well-preserved couple of blocks of colonial-era buildings on Street One, facing the river, as well as other areas of town. Gecko is a great place to eat for a good cause, and has a balcony that overlooks the street corner; great people-watching. There is actually a vineyard, the only one in Cambodia, some distance out of town to the southwest (though I can't say too much positive about the wine itself).
What has changed in the two years between my visits? The once-empty and run down space at the east end of the market hall, Psaa Nath, now houses a modern, even trendy-looking, pizza restaurant. On Street 2.5, south of the market, are some art galleries. Definitely check out Make. Look for the large baskets, lined with white paper, hanging from the building facade and over the middle of the street. At night, they are lit from within. On the same block is a bike rental shop. The town is busier, but not annoyingly so. Two years ago, there were several child beggars, particularly around restaurant sidewalk tables. This year there were none. The place is changing - a couple of multi-storey hotels have sprung up, on the east side of the riverfront - but people are still warm and open, and the place is not over-run with tourists (Siem Reap, I'm looking at you). Go, hang out, and enjoy.