Battambang: Exploring Cambodia’s Second-Largest City

Battambang: Exploring Cambodia’s Second-Largest City

French colonial buildings on Road Number One next to the Sangker river in Battambang Cambodia
French colonial buildings on Road Number One next to the Sangker river in Battambang, Cambodia

Battambang, located in northwest Cambodia, is the country’s second-largest city and a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by travelers. Known for its charming colonial architecture, rich history, and laid-back atmosphere, Battambang is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Cambodia.

Colonial buildings along the riverfront in Battambang Cambodia
Colonial buildings along the riverfront in Battambang, Cambodia

One of the highlights of Battambang is its well-preserved colonial architecture. The city was a major center of French colonial influence and as a result, it has a distinctly European feel. Visitors can take a stroll down the city’s charming streets and admire the beautiful colonial-era buildings.

Wat Kor Heritage House Battambang Cambodia.
Wat Kor Heritage House, Battambang, Cambodia.

Another highlight of Battambang is its rich cultural heritage. The city is home to a number of important temples and pagodas, including the Wat Banan temple, which sits atop a hill and offers panoramic views of the city. Visitors can also see Wat Kor village, known for its beautiful traditional wooden houses.

Amok a traditional Khmer dish with chicken or fish Battambang Cambodia
Amok, a traditional Khmer dish with chicken or fish, Battambang, Cambodia

The city is also known for its laid-back atmosphere and friendly locals. Visitors can take a leisurely bike ride along the scenic riverside, and explore the local markets and street food scenes, where they can try a variety of delicious Cambodian dishes.

The Bamboo Train tourist ride at Battambang Cambodia
The Bamboo Train tourist ride at Battambang, Cambodia

For those looking to experience the local culture, Battambang is home to a number of community-based tourism projects, where visitors can learn about the traditional way of life and experience the local customs and traditions. One such project is the bamboo train, an innovative transportation system that was once used to transport goods and people, but now serves as an attraction for tourists.

Phare Ponleu Selpak Phum style show in Battambang. Cambodia.
Phare Ponleu Selpak Phum style show in Battambang. Cambodia.

Battambang is also known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. Visitors can attend performances of the traditional Cambodian shadow puppet theater, which is a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Visitors can also explore the art galleries and learn about the contemporary art scene in the city.

owner and waitress of the hotel Maisons Wat Kor in the terrace of the hotel overlooking a pond with water lilies
owner and waitress of the hotel Maisons Wat Kor in the terrace of the hotel overlooking a pond with water lilies

When it comes to accommodations, Battambang has a wide range of options available, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxurious resorts. Visitors can also choose to stay in eco-lodges, which are typically built using sustainable materials and are designed to minimize their impact on the environment.

Battambang Provincial Hall Governors Residence Battambang Cambodia
Battambang Provincial Hall (Governor’s Residence), Battambang, Cambodia

Overall, Battambang is a hidden gem that offers visitors a unique experience that includes beautiful colonial-era buildings, colonial architecture, and a laid-back atmosphere, as well as rich history. There’s so much to enjoy when visiting Battambang that makes this second-large city in Cambodia.

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