Although Cambodia is a small country, there is plenty to explore. Do you know that apart from Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, there is another city in Cambodia you need to check it out? It is none other than Battambang and is located in the northwestern part of the country. From its circus performances to its ancient but unique temples, there is more to see in Battambang and you need to explore for yourself.
Battambang is Cambodia’s second most populous city and is flocked by millions of tourists because of its well-known Bamboo train, unspoiled colonial architecture, ancient temples and shrines giving the town its unique charm. It’s also known for Sampov Mountain’s Battambang bats: the bats emerging from the caves at dusk. Book a tour with Backstreet Academy and you will be accompanied by a local guide and be mind-blown by the thousands and thousands of flapping creatures taking flight from all directions creating dazzling patterns in the sky. Stand in awe and be amazed by playful yet friendly monkeys making funny faces to beg for your fruits. Soak in the tranquillity of the mountains as the sun dips below the horizon. What’s more, hear stories of Killing Caves and the Sampov mountain. The price includes free tuk tuk pick up and drop off, bicycles and safety helmets, snacks and drinking water. This is a rare opportunity that you should not miss. An eye-opening experience that combines thrill, fun and history!
Battambang Bat Caves
Address: Phnom Sampeou, Battambang 02000, Cambodia
Website: Battambang Bat Caves
2. Battambang Crocodile Farm
Your vacation in Battambang is not complete without a visit to the Crocodile Farm. The farm is located along the river bank, north of Battambang. Bring your kids along as they will get a chance to take photos and hold the baby crocodiles. The good thing is, tourists and visitors get to learn more about crocodile breeding. The best time to visit Battambang Crocodile Farm is in the morning. Wake up early and head straight to the farm in time to see them feeding on meats.
Battambang Crocodile Farm
Address: Phum Chrey Kaong, Cambodia
3. Ta Dumbong Statue
This particular attraction is too tempting and you should not miss it while you are in Battambang. Ta Dumbong Statue is located at a roundabout on the eastern end of the city. Ever wonder how the city got its name? According to legend, a cowherd seized the throne of the king at that time by using a magic stick that he found. Coincidentally, the name of the cowherd is Battambang too. Until today, the locals still believe in Ta Dumbong as their saviour and a symbol of the city. You need to pose with the statue and take some pictures. After all, this is one huge historic statue.
Ta Dumbong Statue
Address: 314 Cnr National Route 5 & Street, Battambang 02000, Cambodia
4. Wat Banan Temple
Siem Reap is famous for its Angkor Wat. In Battambang, you will also get to have a closer look at the ancient ruins. This archaeological site is located about 27 kilometers (16.7 miles) south of Battambang. Wat Banan is totally unique yet ancient. The temple is constructed on a hill. You need to recharge your energy and rest well if you want to climb up the staircase to the top of the temple. In total, there are 358 steps. Despite the looting in the past, the site is still well preserved up to now. There is more, you can explore three caves from the temple too. You need to search for the narrow staircase at the site.
Wat Banan Temple
Address: 118 Street 3, Battambang 02360, Cambodia
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday (7am-7pm)
5. Mrs. Bun Roeung's Ancient House
Do you know that there is an ancient house in Battambang? This is the ideal place for you to learn more about Cambodian heritage. The good thing is you get to visit this attraction free of charge. Apart from that, you can actually stay at this ancient house but you need to inform the owner in advance. Mrs Bun Roeung’s Ancient House is surrounded by trees as well as plants. It is nice to see this historic house survived the Khmer Rouge civil war and is well preserved by the owner and his family. The furniture and the decorations in this house are so rare and you need to take time to explore and learn the history of all the items.
Mrs. Bun Roeung's Ancient House
Address: 800 St. | Vat Kor Village, West River Bank, Battambang 02000, Cambodia
Facebook: Mrs. Bun Roeung’s Ancient House
6. Wat Ek Phnom
There is another notable temple in Battambang every visitor and tourist must visit while in the city. Here, you will get to see both the ancient and modern side of Wat Ek Phnom. The temple is located about 13 kilometers (8.07 miles) north of Battambang. It was constructed by king Suryavarman I in the 11th-century. Besides, it is well-known for its carved pediments and lintels. Among the things you will see here is a gigantic Buddha statue, the modern temple of Wat Ek Phnom as well as the ancient temple site. Get to ready to see the Bodhi Trees surrounding the modern temple, it is truly a sight to behold. This site is popular during celebration times as many Khmers pilgrimage and locals will come to this holy site for their prayers.
Wat Ek Phnom
Address: Battambang, Cambodia
Website: Wat Ek Phnom
7. Romcheik5 artspace
Time to visit a cool and interesting art gallery in Battambang. If you love art, this is a place for you. It is an eye opener for everyone, as not many tourists and visitors know about Cambodian arts scene. All artworks are of high quality standards and you get to really admire them. After a long day of exploring the temples, it is time to relax and see something different away from the sweltering heat. What is important is the meaning behind each artwork as they are indeed thought provoking.
Address: Street 201, Krong Battambang, Cambodia
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday (2pm-6.30pm)
Price: About 2.50 USD
8. Phare Ponleu Selpak
If you have kids, bring them along to watch some circus performances. Cambodia’s circus performances are very rare and unique, therefore you must see it and experience it the local way. Phare Ponleu Selpak is a not for profit organization established since 1994. The organization was awarded a Prince Claus Award by the Netherlands in 2012. While watching the various performances, you will notice that most of the performers are young children, teenagers and young adults. Most of them are from poor families in Cambodia and also victims of the Khmer Rouge regime.
From dance shows, acrobats to juggling act, all the shows are lively and memorable. With a combination of strong storytelling and tricks you will get to see a world class performance. All the kids and young adults are given overseas exposure every year and they have performed in countries like Denmark, Bangladesh and Germany.
Phare Ponleu Selpak
Address: Phum Anh'Chanh, Cambodia
Opening Hours: Kindly refer website as shows are available on certain weekdays
Price: Circus show, Adults (about 14 USD), Kids (about 7 USD), Guided tours (about 3-5 USD per person)
Website: Phare Ponleu Selpak
9. Bamboo Train
Forget the train rides you normally take. This train is totally a whole new experience for tourists and visitors. Heard of the Bamboo Train before? Get ready to have some fun by experiencing a once in a lifetime ride with your family. You will pass by some villages and get to see the countryside by taking this train ride. Since it is made from bamboo and can be assembled easily, this mode of transportation is very popular in the past. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Bamboo Train was used to transport not just humans but animals, belongings and motorcycles. Now it has become a major tourist attraction in Battambang. The best time to come here and take the train ride is early in the morning as it is not too hot at that time.
Address: NR6, Cambodia, Battambang 02360, Cambodia
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday (5am-5pm)
Price: About 10 USD
10. La Fabrik, Shop & Gallery
If you plan to buy some souvenirs, fret not, there are plenty to bring back home in Battambang. Head over to La Fabrik, a unique and modern gift shop in the city. It offers something for everyone. La Fabrik has a mix of modern accessories and jewelry. Besides, you can also buy yourself some natural soaps and sugar scrubs. If you are looking for perfect souvenirs to give, you should check out the different spices, oils and jams at the shop. In terms of pricing, it is reasonable and you not need to worry about burning your pockets
La Fabrik, Shop & Gallery
Address: 65 Street 2,5, Krong Battambang, Cambodia
Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday (9am-2pm, 5pm-9pm), Closed on Sunday
Facebook: La Fabrik, Shop & Gallery
11. Damrey Sor Pagoda (White Elephant Pagoda)
Damrey Sor Pagoda is another point of interest you must visit if you are in Battambang. It is also known as the White Elephant Pagoda. The pagoda is perfectly located in the heart of the city and you will not have a problem finding it. Every year, many tourists will come to visit this pagoda due to its amazing architectural structure. Kids will also love this place as they will get to see the White Elephant statues at both sides of the entrance of the pagoda. This attraction is full of tourists and locals during the Khmer New Year festivities. So, if you happen to come here at that time, join in the locals and enjoy the classical dancing performance.
Damrey Sor Pagoda (White Elephant Pagoda)
Address: Krong Battambang, Cambodia
Enjoy traditional Cambodian recipe with a local foodie. Your tour begins with a visit to an open-air market where our guide will introduce you to seasonal produce. Cambodian food is a redolent of herbs, freshwater fish, chicken and vegetables. Then, head back to the kitchen and prepare recipes passed down through the generations. This is a hands-on lesson where you are expected to join the preparation of the ingredients. The workshop suits whatever cooking ability you have. After all the work, there’s nothing left but to sit down and enjoy good food with good friends!
Cambodian cooking class
Price: 20 USD
Duration: 3.5 hours
Want to take a step back from city life? A captivating adventure awaits you in the countryside of Battambang. Take a cycling tour and escape to the cool breeze and astoundingly beautiful views of the town. Delve deep into the traditional industries that are powering the region’s economy: from rice paper, to banana chips, and rice wine production, to tropical fruits farming, and fish paste processing. Learn how to prepare the Khmer noodle and sample seasonal fruits and snacks along the way. Plus get to hear stories about the Killing Cave where remnant bones of the men, women and children killed can be found. The package is also inclusive of round-trip tuk tuk transfers, mountain bike and safety helmets, and all admission fees.
Countryside cycle (half day)
Price: 18 USD
Duration: 4 hours
A unique destination to chill out
If you have been to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh for your vacation, why not visit Battambang for your upcoming holiday. After all, Cambodia is a country rich in heritage, culture, food and much more, which you will not want to miss. Time for you to chill out and have some fun at the charming yet unique city of Battambang.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.