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Battambang

Visit Battambang

Introduction

Khmer temples and colonial buildings are among the attractions of Cambodia's second city, Battambang, which can be reached via a scenic boat trip from Siem Reap.

The impressive Governor's Palace and colonial villas point to the French era, while a busy art deco market and a number of wats in the town and its environs reveal other influences.

A few kilometres downriver is one of these, Wat Ek, an 11th century sandstone temple, now abandoned and peaceful.

Other temples can be visited at Phnom Sampeu, a serene mountain that belies a brutal recent past - it was a former Khmer Rouge stronghold where mass torture and executions took place in the so-called Killing Caves.

The Bamboo Train

Bumping along on a bamboo train, or nori, has become one of the most popular - and fun - tourist activities in Battambang; it's also a lovely way of seeing the town and the nearby rural villages, which are connected by the 40-kilometre single-track line.

Designed as a cheap and effective way for local people to get around, the ‘trains' comprise a simple bamboo platform on a steel frame, powered by a small engine.

As well as transporting people, the bamboo trains are used to move produce and livestock. There are a couple of small ‘train stations' but elsewhere on the line lighter trains are quickly taken off the track and then reassembled once the line is clear again.

Top places to stay in Battambang

Maison Wat Kor, Battambang

Small & intimate hotel

This charming hotel offers guests a unique opportunity to experience rural Cambodian life in a traditional Khmer village, located near the temple-strewn town of Battambang in western Cambodia.

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Battambang articles

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Test your knowledge of Vietnam and Cambodia with our quiz to find out how well you know these favourite destinations.

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