Battambang

Battambang is Cambodia's second most populous city, and a popular tourist destination due to the many nearby ancient temples, Buddhist shrines and the infamous bamboo railway. It is also the capital of Battambang Province.

Get in

Map of Battambang

By road

National Hwy 5 is paved and from Battambang runs southeast to Phnom Penh and northwest to Sisophon and Poipet. At Sisophon, Hwy 6 branches off to provide paved access to Siem Reap. In a car, Phnom Penh is around 4 hr away and Sisophon can be reached in just under 1 hr. By bus, Phnom Penh takes about 5-6 hr and cost about USD4. Siem Reap takes at least 3 hr and costs USD3.75.

Paramount Angkor Buses run twice daily from Battambang to Pailin via Hwy 57 (2 hr) for USD4.

By boat

One boat a day travels from Siem Reap (for Angkor) to Battambang, departing Siem Reap at 07:00 and costs USD20. An interesting and very scenic journey along small rivers, the boat threads its way through numerous charming floating villages and past dozens of towering cantilevered fishing net installations. It can take between 4-12 hr, depending on the time of year (and hence the water level), however the time can be fairly accurately predicted by checking the time that the same boat arrived yesterday.

During the dry season, when the water level gets very low, the boats cannot get all the way to Battambang and the journey is completed by minibus or pick-up truck.

By rail

Cambodia's defunct rail system is due to be regenerated by 2013. The line runs from Poipet on the Thai border through Sisophon and along the southern side of the Tonle Sap Lake to Battambang and Phnom Penh.

Get around

The city centre is pretty compact and can be mostly explored by foot. Bicycles can be rented from most hotels or private companies for USD1-2 per day. Motorcycles can be rented from USD5 a day. The driving habits of locals are hazardous. Police may try to fine tourists on motorbikes. If pulled over, stay calm, smile, take the key out of the ignition (to prevent the police trying to ransom it), and pay a small fine of USD1-2.

Tuk-tuks and motorbike drivers hang around popular tourist areas. As most of the interesting and useful destinations are quite close to each other, most rides should only cost you around USD2-4. More distant trips like Phnom Sampouv (the "killing caves") will cost around USD10, and can be combined with other destinations for a total of USD12-15.

Small boats serve as ferries (500 riel) and cross the river from in front of the market.

See

Phnom Sampeou
Wat Ek Phnom

Do

The bamboo train near Battambang

Cooking classes

Buy

Battambang's central market

Eat

There are plenty of places to eat, but after 19:00 some places close and lots of streets become dark, so eating early (around 18:00) is recommended.

You can get some great French-style bread (by French standards) for 1,000 riel a medium-size baguette up north, between the French cultural centre and the giant statue marking the entry in Battambang from the main inter-provincial road. The bread that street sellers have elsewhere in town is of a much lower standard for the same price, similar to that found in Phnom Penh, baguette-shapes, but sprinkled with sugar. Some people do not notice any difference between the bread sold in the north and elsewhere in Battambang. It is generally of decent quality all across the city.

Drink

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Connect

Go next

Routes through Battambang

Poipet Sisophon  NW  SE  Moung Ruessei Phnom Penh


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, December 29, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.