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Battambang is a popular tourist town in Cambodia, famous for ancient temples and ruins. Battambang is located in the north of the country, 170 kilometers from Siem Reap and 291 kilometers from Phnom Penh (see map of Cambodia with resorts). The city is the capital of the province of the same name. Battambang is one of the largest cities in Cambodia (population about 250 thousand people, the second largest after Phnom Penh).
Despite the low popularity and fame of Battambang among Russian tourists, in fact, the city has long earned popularity among foreign tourists. Although the city is the second most populous in Cambodia, the atmosphere in the city is calm, almost rustic. The architecture of the city has changed little since colonial times, retaining its French roots. It is with its genuine, natural atmosphere of provincial Cambodia that the city attracts tourists. It is rightly said that it is in Battambang that you can see the real provincial life of ordinary Cambodians, not embellished for tourists. Of course, the sights of the city and its surroundings are no less interesting.
There are not too many hotels in Battambang yet, and the tourist infrastructure is poorly developed. Of course, you can find a travel agency, tourist transport, and even a tourist-oriented restaurant or cafe here, but all this in the most modest amount. The only thing to do in the evening is to be in your own hotel room and watch TV. Of course, no beach holidays are provided here. It's not worth going here for the entire period of your trip, it's enough to stay in the city for a day or two to get acquainted with the sights and atmosphere of the city. Staying in Battambang longer can just be boring.
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Tourist seasons, weather in Battambang
Battambang has a dry season and a rainy season.
The rainy season runs from April to October. This is not the recommended time to visit.
The dry season runs from November to March. This is the best time to visit.
How to get to Battambang
You can get to Battambang only by land or by water. The airport near Battambang is currently not operational.
From Siem Reap
From Siem Reap to Battambang, 2-3 buses depart daily, the cost is 4-5 dollars, the journey takes 2-3 hours.
A taxi ride from Siem Reap will cost $40.
A very popular way to get to Battambang from Siem Reap is by boat on Tonle Sap Lake. Departs daily at 7:00 from Siem Reap and Battambang, cost $ 18-25, travel time 6-8 hours.
From Phnom Penh
Several buses depart from Phnom Penh daily from 6:00 to 15:00, the cost is 4-5 dollars, the travel time is 5 hours.
The best way to get to Battambang from Thailand is through Aranyaprathet-Poipet border crossing. Details on how to get from cities of Thailand before this border crossing, read the section How to get to Siem Reap. You can get to Battambang from the border crossing by taxi for $ 40 or by minivan for $ 10 per person, but you will have to wait for fellow travelers.
In 2013, it is planned to launch a branch of the railway connecting Phnom Penh, Battambang and Poipet.
Battambang transportation, what to use to get around
There is no public transport in Battambang. The most common means of transportation for tourists is a tuk-tuk. A tuk-tuk ride within the city limits is $ 1, in the evening and for long distances $ 2. You can rent a tuk-tuk for a whole day with a trip to country attractions for $ 20 after bargaining.
You can rent a motorcycle (from $7) or a bicycle. It doesn't make much sense to rent a transport to move only around the city (without leaving it). It is quite possible to do with one-time tuk-tuk trips or walk around the whole city.
Boats can be used to move along the river (passes through the whole city).
Battambang attractions, things to do
There are not many classes in the city itself. You can "kill" some time walking through the streets of the city, getting acquainted with its colonial architecture and temples. The most interesting temples in the city are Wat Kandala and Wat Tahm Rei Saw.
Also in the city you can visit the local museum (Provincial Museum, opening hours from 8:00 to 11:00 and 14:00-17:00, admission 1 dollar, Museum on the map of Battambang). There are practically no opportunities for shopping here, except for local markets. Among the entertainment offered to tourists, there are Cooking Classes, where you can learn how to cook traditional Khmer dishes.
The surroundings of the city are much more attractive for sightseeing tourism. It is enough to leave the city just a few kilometers away, as the scenery around changes significantly, revealing the most beautiful landscapes of rice fields and small villages.
Phnom Sampeou (also Pnom Sampov)
This is the mountain on top of which the temple is located. Getting to the temple is not so easy, its height is 100 meters and you will have to overcome 700 steps. But those who climb to the very top will have a stunning view of the surrounding rice fields. But not only the view and the temple are interesting in this place. There are several caves in the mountain that were used by the Khmer Rouge to bury their victims. Their remains are still kept in caves. The mountain is located on highway No. 57 (National Road 57) 12 kilometers from the city (Phnom Sampeou on the Battambang map).
On this mountain are the ruins of a Buddhist temple built in the Angkor period, in the 11th century. At the foot of the mountain there is another temple, operating. There is also a cave in the mountain. Located on Highway 154, 15 kilometers south of the city (Phnom Banana on the Battambang map).
Ek Phnom Temple
This is another temple of the Angkor period. It was built a little earlier than Wat Banana, and was originally Hindu. The temple is located near Highway No. 5, 11 kilometers north of Battambang (Ek Phnom on the Battambang map).