Battambang, Cambodia

Battambang is in northwestern Cambodia. It is the capital of the leading rice-producing province of the country. Battambang remains the hub of Cambodia’s northwest, connecting the region with Phnom Penh and Thailand.
The city is situated on the Sangkae River, a tranquil, small body of water that winds its way picturesquely through Battambang Province. As with much of Cambodia, French Colonial architecture is a notable aspect of the city, with some of the best-preserved examples in the country.

Battambang is drawing in more visitors to enjoy its laid-back charms and the opportunity to go off the beaten track territory of Cambodia, Seim Reap, and Phnom Penh. This spot that has loads of things to see and do for the visitor. It feels like a genuine living city and not like an amusement park as the close-by Siem Reap can feel like now and then.

French Architecture in Battambang

1. The primary thing that will strike you about Battambang is an early architecture that shows French engineering making up a significant part of the old town. There is everything from lines of terraced shophouses that are all built in the French style as well as some bigger private estates. Once occupied by the pioneer world class all of which make an exceptionally fascinating strolling visit. The most excellent and of these are the old governors’ home, the city corridor, railroad station and the postal station.

2. Battambang is situated on a waterway and there are numerous bridges and crosswalks, some made of stone and some from metal which traverses the water. The majority of the lodgings and places to eat are on the eastern side. The business sector is the middle part of the town as is normal in Cambodian towns and it’s shaded paths are pleasant spots to shop and talk to the shop owners and street sellers.

Bamboo Railroad in Battambang

Battambang Bamboo Railroad-1

3. Further out of the downtown area you will locate some different sites, most famous is the Bamboo Railway. Cambodia’s railroad system is today in a condition of decay and has no trains running on it. The villagers living along the train tracks chose to put them back to some use and assembled their own particular trains. In no way like a full train, as you know them, the bamboo train is a lightweight wooden truck fueled by a petrol motor that keeps running along the old railroad line. One problem though is that there are no sidings or spaces to pull over for trains to pass each other. When two trains meet one must be disassembled and put to the side for the other to pass. You can go to the train starting point by taxi or Tuk Tuk and take a ride for a few kilometers to a village at the end of the ride. This costs five dollars.

Battambang Bamboo Railroad-2
Battambang Bamboo Railroad-3

4. Battambang is the area of Cambodia’s unparalleled vineyard and winery and they invite guests with a wine sampling display.

5. Another irregular sight is the old Pepsi industrial facility, which was relinquished by its proprietors when the Khmer Rouge possessed the zone. You can stroll inside and see the apparatus and a large number of unfilled Pepsi bottles precisely as they were left in 1979.

Battambang Sanctuaries

6. There are also sanctuaries built during the same time as Angkor Wat around Battambang called Wat Ek and Baset, that are worth of a visit. Baset sanctuary sits on top of a slope which likewise contains two huge hollows. Prasat Banan is a larger sanctuary that is at the summit of a 400-meter high mountain and the top of the precipice overlooks the rice fields and countryside of Cambodia. There are amazing photos to be taken from here. It is an amazing sight to see.

Battambang BatCave

7. Bat Cave is a great way to close out the day. Take a Tuk Tuk for a few dollars to the outskirts of town. At sunset one of the largest concentration of bats in the world will leave their nests all at the same time. They go out each night to eat bugs and search for food.

Battambang 100-year-old-house-1

8. 100 Year Old House is one of the oldest structures in Battambang. Many of the homes were damaged during the war of the last century but this structure went without any damage and is a great example of local architecture. Spend a few minutes here and head off to the next spot on your visit.

9. One last note, a great way to travel on to Siem Reap is by slow boat. The trip takes about 8 hours and is a good way to see life and it goes on in Cambodia in areas less affected by tourism. Once you are in Siem Reap you can visit the Angkor Wat Complex. Check out our post on the temples in the complex.  8 Must See Temples in Angkor Wat Cambodia


  1. OH MY GOOD!!!! Very beutiful. I hope I can have a trip to go there. The bamboo railroad is the first I want to try. I never know it before.

  2. Wow! I havent heard about that bamboo railroad before. It sounds so amazing. Cambodia so close to the Philippines and it must in my bucket list since the place looks so amazing nd interesting!!

  3. One of the places i truly would want to visit next to Vietnam and Liverpool. Cambodia creates an impression of a serene and laid back lifestyle, something i find truly peaceful and inspirational. Hope to be there soonest.

  4. Astonishing. That is my reaction as I read about the Bamboo Train. I have read about Cambodia in many blogs, but none has offered a unique look such as you did. If I remember, I saw one of your article published at … Outdoor magazine?

    If not for reading blogs, I would not have known much about Cambodia except the horrible wars of the past. Mercifully too, the old structures may have mostly been damaged but the house you visited is well taken care of. Surviving the war is one thing, maintaining it is another. I love how you travel and go to places as in really exploring.
    ROBERT LEE recently posted…A Letter to My Twenty Year Old Self by Pia Dysangco VillamorMy Profile

  5. You are right, Battambang is a great place to consider visiting.. I have only been to Siem reap because I am such a huge fan of ancient remains and Angkor Wat and the rest of those places fascinated me no end but with this post, I can see Battambang has just so much to share also… and I have to put it on my bucket list …

  6. Never heard anything about this place since Siem reap dominated the tourism of Cambodia. I know there’s so much to explore in this country and 8 hours boat trip from SR sounds exciting! Looking forward to go back to Cambodia ❤️

  7. It is always great to visit the off the beaten destination which are free of touristy crowds. The ride on the bamboo train sounds interesting though it’s painful to get down and disassemble every time there’s a train from opp direction. We would love to visit the Prasan Banan sanctuary and capture shots of rice fields and countryside.

  8. I’m going to Cambodia for the first time in March! Definitely adding Battambang to my list after reading your article. The bamboo railroad is so interesting, I’d love to see that in person. And great to know too that the area is known for their wine! Would love to visit a winery there. Thanks for sharing – I learned so much from reading this and am so excited for Cambodia now!

  9. Disassemble an entire train? Wow! That sounds crazy! I see from the above comment, though, that at least it is not time consuming. Clearly – where there is a will! There is a way!

    Cambodia has not been on our radar as a family travel destination. Would you consider if kid friendly?

    1. I have not been to but one country that I would say isn’t friendly for children. The series of articles we did on Mongolia was one of our favorite adventures. Not talking about the people — Mongolians are very much about families…But the rough conditions of the roads, being thrown about in a van with no seatbelts and literally sleeping on a board most nights would lead me to tell you no to that one. Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia are all good for the family.

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