Use the quick links below to jump to a particular section of our sights and activities coverage for Battambang.
It may be Cambodia’s second-largest city, but Battambang, a sleepy burg connected to the Tonle Sap by the Sangkor River, retains a unique small-town charm and makes for a great weekend getaway from Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. Battambang province is steeped in dramatic history, with ownership going back and forth between Thailand, Cambodia and the French. In the 90s, the areas around the city were ... Read more about Battambang weekend .
Walking ‘heritage’ tours take in wats, markets and colonial buildings in town while some of the cycling options take you to Phnom Sampeou, Wat Banan or Wat Ek, stopping at villages on route. This is a great way to visit the area’s sights while taking in the magnificent local scenery at a leisurely ... Read more about Tours of Battambang .
Wat Ek, often called Ek Phnom, dates back to the 11th century and is one of the most visited attractions around Battambang. If you’ve already seen Angkor you’ll probably find it a bit disappointing, but if you haven’t been there yet, it’s a fine taster. The temple has some good carvings remaining and is particularly picturesque at sunset. It’s only a 10 kilometre or 20 minute or so ... Read more about Ek Phnom and Wat Baset .
Phnom Banan is some 22 kilometres to the south of Battambang, but worth a visit if you’ve time to spare. Like Ek Phnom, Banan is also originally 11th century-built, though it saw a Buddhist makeover during the 12th century and reign of Jayarvarman VII. The temple is constructed on top of a hill overlooking the Sangkar river and there’s a 358-step climb to the top, where five towers ... Read more about Phnom Banan .
Just 12 kilometres southwest of Battambang, a strange protrusion is the site for a pretty hilltop pagoda complex from which gorgeous views across Battambang’s green fields and distant hills can be enjoyed as a reward for making the hard slog up the steep hill, and for confronting one of the more dire elements of the Khmer Rouge ... Read more about Phnom Sampeou .
A final temple you’ll see in Battambang guides is Prasart Steung in Snoeung village, and a great little temple it is too, though it’s some way out of town on the Pailin road. A visit here could be combined with Phnom Sampeou, with Snoueng being the next village down the road. If road conditions are okay, there’s a loop taking you from Banan to Sampeou, making for a round day trip. ... Read more about Prasart Stueng .
Born out of the ashes of the Civil War and Khmer Rouge era, Phare Ponleu Selpak is an extraordinary initiative that aims to provide a channel and a future for young Cambodians through the arts. One of the most visible, and exciting, outcomes of this is the Phare Circus just outside of the city and a trip to Battambang genuinely can’t be considered complete without ... Read more about Phare Circus .
Forever under threat of extinction, this unusual, and thrilling, way of catching a glimpse of the gorgeous Battambang countryside is known locally as a norrie, or nori, or nory. It’s a “train” made of a bamboo platform set on two sets of bogies with a small motor stuck on the back. They used to be powered by long poles (Venice-style), but that was clearly simply not terrifying ... Read more about Bamboo train .
Cambodia’s first and only winery, the Chan Thai Choeung (or Banan) Winery, is located 14 kilometres outside of town on the banks of the Sangkar River and is open for visits and tasting. ... Read more about Battambang Winery .
Can't get enough of Cambodia's ancient relics? Battambang museum offers an excellent display of sculptures and sandstone carvings, mostly items that have been removed from Cambodia's various temples. The pieces seem to be arranged in no particular order with little regard to chronology or origin, but with its great central location, cheap admission fee of $1 and magnificent Angkorian works of ... Read more about Battambang Provincial Museum .
Smokin’ Pot Laidback, informative and entertaining; sold as the longest-running cooking class in Cambodia, the Smokin’ Pot lessons also offer excellent value, at only $10 for a half-day, which includes a copy of a cookbook with 12 of the restaurant’s best recipes, so you don’t need to worry about remembering everything you’ve just ... Read more about Cooking classes .
For a small town, Battambang has its share of interesting galleries and cultural spaces and a lively art scene worth seeking ... Read more about The art scene in Battambang .
Battambang doesn’t really lend itself easily, or much at all, to identification as a shopping mecca, or even the kind of place you might go slightly out of your way for to satisfy your material desires, unless you dream of tractors. But there are still interesting things to be found in among the phone shops and hair ... Read more about Shopping .