Holidays to Battambang, Cambodia

Despite being Cambodia’s second largest city, Battambang is a world away from the buzzy tourist hubs of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Set along the Sangkae River, it’s a quaint, laid-back city where you’ll find fascinating architecture, a hip arts scene and some of the best food in the country. It’s currently being considered for UNESCO status, which will undoubtedly see its visitor numbers soar, so now’s the time to go if you want to experience authentic Cambodian life.

On the west side of the river lies the compact Old Town, a hodgepodge of different shophouses and temples. Cycle through the area’s history or amble around the grid-like streets on foot. Look out for the colourful 1800s Chinese Temple, the row of shophouses on Street 2 ½, and the Art Deco Psar Nath market. After the sun goes down, the riverfront area opposite Psar Nath becomes a bustling night market full of sizzling street food, from smoky barbecue meats to slurpable noodle dishes. It’s a great place for socialising too, so make time between mouthfuls to chew the fat with the locals. Elsewhere, you’ll find an eclectic mix of cuisines reflecting Battambang’s diverse cultural past, taking in classic French and Italian, along with contemporary Khmer fare.

Battambang is a thriving arts hub, with an ever-evolving collection of independent galleries and exhibition spaces showing works from new and emerging artists, many of whom are graduates of Phare Ponleu Selpak. The big draw of this arts school is its internationally acclaimed circus, which puts on thrilling performances several evenings a week in a proper big top. The school also offers workshops in circus skills, music and painting. For tourist essentials, you can’t beat the bamboo train – a wooden platform with a small engine that runs on a track through the rice fields for fifteen minutes or so. It’s a unique experience and a fun way to see the countryside.

About twelve kilometres out of the city you’ll find Phnom Sampeou, a mountain-top complex that’s home to a beautiful pagoda, troops of macaques, and – more grimly – the notorious Khmer Rouge Killing Caves and fields. The fields are a chilling reminder of the brutal regime enforced in the 1970s which saw thousands of people killed. In the cave, you’ll find a large glass memorial and a golden reclining Buddha. Head here in the early evening to see a spectacular murmuration of bats flooding out of one of the lower caves.

Katie
Travel Designer
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I have lived and worked in Thailand and explored in depth Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam.

Battambang Trip ideas

Here are some trip ideas in Battambang. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 01483 319 333

Places to stay in Battambang

Here are some of our favourite accommodation options in Battambang. All of our hotels and lodges are hand-picked by our Travel Designers. Need help deciding where to stay during your trip? Call our Travel Designers now and they’ll help you pick the best hotels suited to your needs: 01483 319 333

Things to do in Battambang

Here are some of the things you can do in Battambang. When you've chosen your favourite experiences, just give our Travel Designers a call and they'll put a trip together for you. If you need help choosing an experience, or if you want to learn more about it, our Travel Designers will be more than happy to talk to you. Just call them on: 01483 319 333

Map of Battambang

When to go to Battambang