7 activities to do in Battambang province- what to do and see in Battambang

Founded in the 11th century by the Khmer Empire, Battambang is well known for being the leading rice-producing province of the country. For nearly 100 years, it was a major commercial hub and provincial capital of Siamese province of Inner Cambodia (1795-1907), though it was always populated by Khmer with a mix of ethnic Vietnamese, Lao, Thai and Chinese. Still today Battambang is the main hub of the Northwest connecting the entire region with Phnom Penh and Thailand, and as such it’s a vital link to Cambodia.

 Wikipedia

The city is situated by the Sangkae River, a tranquil, small body of water that winds its way through Battambang Province providing its nice picturesque setting. As with much of Cambodia, the French Colonial architecture is an attractive bonus of the city. It is home to some of the best preserved French colonial architecture in the country. (Wikipedia)

There are many things tourist can do and see in Battambang province such as:

Battambang Museum

 
This museum displays artifacts from Battambang and nearby. Next door is a small display about local agricultural and fishing practices, and local legends and folk tales.

Circus Show 


Good things sometimes come from bad times. One of these was the founding, in 1986 in a refugee camp on the Thai border, of Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS). This volunteer project used simple drawing workshops to help young refugees overcome the trauma of war through art and self-expression.

The children of PPS are now young adults who run a home at Anh Chanh village, near Battambang, where more than 100 students are able to enjoy free activities and support, and get an education. Among the activities are an animation centre, music classes and a circus, which now has a growing reputation.

Cooking Courses 


The Smokin’ Pot restaurant offers courses to help you learn to cook traditional Khmer food at reasonable prices.

Ride a Bamboo Train

 
These trains, known as “norry” in Khmer, consist of a wooden frame, bamboo decking, an engine and wheels that come from a bust-up wartime tank. They chug up and down the railway line between Battambang and the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

Naturally, they are illegal, but tolerated because they are so useful – and in any case there is only one real train a week up and down the line. Bamboo trains are used for carrying people as well as freight.
A trip on one of these can be booked through most hotels, or you can arrange it through your local motorbike taxi or tuk-tuk driver.

Sightseeing by Motorbike Taxi 

 

A fun way to see the Cambodian countryside is on the back of a motorbike taxi. Puttering along the roads with the wind in your face, you’ll go past small villages, streams and farms. There are many places to stop and take a look around, such as Wat Sampeau which sits on top of a limestone hill 18 kilometers out of town. Another is Wat Banan, nicknamed “Mini-Angkor Wat”, which has a beautiful view once you’ve climbed the 359 steps to get to it.

Wat Baydamram is fascinating because of the large number of bats living in the trees inside the temple compound, and you should also visit Wat Ek Phnom, another “Mini-Angkor Wat”. Don’t expect to cover all these temples in one day. Take your time, take it slow and enjoy the scenery.

The Cultural Village of Watkor

 
Two kilometers south of the town, this village has half a dozen wooden houses dating from about 100 years ago, along with tools and other artifacts used in daily life at that time, such as a rice mill and an ox-cart.

The Naga for Peace and Development Monument 

 

On the road heading south out of town, this 6.5-metre-high monument was created by four Cambodian artists and completed in September 2007. It was built from weapons surrendered by residents of Battambang province; due to the years of war at the end of last century, thousands of weapons had found their way into the hands of Cambodian civilians. Continuing efforts are being been made by the government, in conjunction with international bodies, to collect and destroy these weapons. The monument was sponsored by the Japanese government to mark Cambodia’s commitment to peace after the 30 years of conflict going back to the Vietnam War.


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