Discover Battambang – Cambodia’s Serene and Charming Town


Tucked away in northwestern Cambodia, Battambang is a hidden gem that will captivate you with its serenity and undeniable charm. This laid-back town invites you to slow down and savor its rich cultural heritage, from ancient temples to a thriving arts scene. Leave behind the crowds and discover the true essence of Cambodia in this vibrant yet serene destination, where warm hospitality and authentic experiences await you at every turn. Keep reading to uncover more!

Why Battambang is Worth the Trip

Battambang may be off the radar of some travelers, but this unique allure offers a wealth of experiences that make it a truly rewarding destination. 

Rich Cultural Heritage

Battambang is a tapestry of cultural wonders waiting to be explored. Ancient temples like the awe-inspiring Wat Banan will transport you back in time, while the vibrant arts scene, highlighted by the renowned Battambang Circus, showcases the incredible talent and creativity of the region.

Authentic Rural Charm

Battambang has more to discover beyond its history and culture. It invites visitors to embrace the laid-back pace of life and understand the authentic charm of rural Cambodia. Venture into quaint villages, where friendly locals will welcome you with warm smiles, and immerse yourself in traditional crafts like the intricate art of Khmer ceramics, witnessing skills passed down through generations.

Unique Experiences 

Lastly, let’s not forget the unique attractions that make Battambang truly one-of-a-kind. Imagine the thrill of riding the iconic bamboo train, chugging through the picturesque countryside, or strolling through the town’s well-preserved colonial architecture, which transports you back to a bygone era with every turn. Battambang promises an adventure like no other, where the extraordinary becomes the norm.


The rural mountain view of Samlot district in Battambang

Getting to Battambang

Transportation Options 

There are many options for you to get to this lovely town.

  • By bus/private car: For a scenic journey, take a bus or private car from Phnom Penh, a 5-hour trip that winds through rural landscapes.
  • Flight: International travelers can fly into Siem Reap International Airport and then hop on a bus or hire a private transfer for the 3-hour drive to Battambang.
  • Bamboo train: Adventurous souls won’t want to miss the chance to ride the iconic bamboo train, a unique local mode of transport that offers an authentic glimpse into the daily life of the region.

Best Time To Visit Battambang

Battambang enjoys a tropical climate with two distinct seasons. 

The dry season, from November to April, brings mild temperatures and clear skies, making it an ideal time for exploring the town’s attractions and engaging in outdoor activities without the worry of rain. Temperatures during this period range from 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F), with minimal rainfall.

On the other hand, the green season, spanning May to October, offers its own charm. During this time, the countryside transforms into a lush, vibrant paradise, and the town takes on a different allure with fewer crowds. However, be prepared for occasional showers and higher humidity levels, with temperatures ranging from 28°C to 38°C (82°F to 100°F).

Ultimately, the best time to visit Battambang depends on your preferences. If you’re seeking dry, comfortable weather for exploring, the dry season is perfect. But if you’re drawn to the beauty of nature in full bloom and don’t mind the occasional shower, the green season promises a unique and authentic experience.

>> For more details: Best Time To Visit Cambodia

Top Attractions and Experiences in Battambang

Battambang is a treasure trove of captivating sights and experiences that will leave you spellbound. From ancient temples that transport you back in time to unique local traditions, this charming town offers an array of unforgettable adventures.

Riding The Iconic Bamboo Train


The bamboo train is the first and foremost experience that draws visitors to Battambang

Born out of necessity after the region’s railway system fell into disrepair, this quirky mode of transportation offers a thrilling and authentic glimpse into local life.

Imagine boarding a bamboo flatbed powered by a small engine and chugging through the picturesque countryside at speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph). As you rumble along the tracks, you’ll be treated to stunning vistas of lush rice fields, quaint villages, and the ever-present smiles of friendly locals waving from the roadside.

The fun part is when two trains encounter one another on the single-track line. In a display of ingenuity, the train with fewer passengers is disassembled, allowing the other to pass before reassembling and continuing the journey. This unique experience is a testament to the resourcefulness of the Cambodian people and a highlight that you won’t want to miss.

Visiting Khmer Heritage Houses in Wat Kor Village

Step back in time and immerse yourself in Battambang’s rich cultural heritage by visiting the traditional Khmer houses of Wat Kor Cultural Village. 

Among the around 20 hardwood houses that have stood for nearly a century, the houses of Mrs. Bun Roeung and Khor Sang are true gems. These historic residences, built with intricate Khmer architecture and surrounded by lush orchards, exude an ambiance of a bygone era.

If you’re lucky, you might be greeted by the French-speaking matriarch, who will proudly escort you through the homes, sharing captivating stories and offering a glimpse into the lives of those who once called these houses home. Marvel at the ancient furniture, family heirlooms, and intricate woodcarvings that adorn the interiors, and let your imagination transport you to a time when these structures were at the heart of a thriving community.

Learning About The Traditional Khmer Ceramics

Immerse yourself in the centuries-old tradition of Khmer ceramics, a vibrant art form meticulously preserved by skilled artisans in the quaint villages surrounding Battambang. Watch in awe as these master craftsmen shape the clay precisely, etching intricate patterns and motifs that tell stories of Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage.

But this is more than just an observer’s experience – you’ll have the opportunity to try your hand at this ancient art form under the guidance of a ceramicist. Mold the clay, learn the techniques passed down through generations, and create your own one-of-a-kind souvenir to take home as a tangible reminder of your journey into the heart of Khmer culture.

Touring Wat Ek Phnom

Escape the bustle of town and venture 13 km north to the partially collapsed Hindu temple of Wat Ek Phnom. 


The giant Buddha statue in the modern Wat Ek Phnom temple

The 45-minute drive through the tranquil Cambodian countryside sets the tone for a serene and mysterious experience. Nestled beside a large pond, the dilapidated temple is renowned for its intricate carved pediments and lintels, which have withstood the test of time.

As you navigate through the crumbling ruins and towering stone blocks, you’ll feel as though you’re discovering a long-forgotten temple. The juxtaposition of the ancient ruins and the modern Buddhist pagoda, complete with a gigantic white Buddha statue, adds to the enchanting atmosphere. This holy site is a popular destination for local pilgrimages and picnics, offering a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Cambodian culture and spirituality.

Hiking to Hilltop Wat Banan

Prepare for an adventure as you journey 27 km south of Battambang to the ancient hilltop temple of Wat Banan. This 12th-century archaeological site, often referred to as a “mini Angkor Wat,” sits atop a 400-meter-high mountain, surrounded by rice fields and offering breathtaking panoramic views.

Conquer the 358 steps that wind up the mountain, and you’ll be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and awe as you explore the well-preserved five-tower structure. From the temple platforms, take in the stunning vistas of the winding Sangker River, sugar palm trees, rice paddies, and small villages dotting the landscape. On clear days, you can even spot the distinctive crocodile-shaped mountain range in the distance.

Watching Performances at Phare Ponleu Selpak – Battambang’s Phare Circus

As the sun sets, prepare to be mesmerized by the incredible feats of human strength, agility, and artistry showcased by the talented performers of Phare Ponleu Selpak, Battambang’s renowned circus. Unlike traditional circuses, this unique experience blends physical theatre, acrobatics, gymnastics, and traditional dance into a captivating spectacle.

Founded in 1994 as an NGO project, Phare Circus provides underprivileged youth and street children with a chance to improve their lives through the art of circus performance. After years of professional training, these remarkable artists take the stage, delivering jaw-dropping performances that will leave you in awe. 


Attend one of the several shows held each week to witness the passion, dedication, and resilience (Source: Collected)

Discovering the Romcheik 5 Artspace

Battambang has long been considered Cambodia’s unofficial cultural capital, and the revival of its vibrant arts scene is well underway. 

Among the trendy cafes, artist-run galleries, and boutique shops that line the sleepy streets, Romcheik 5 Artspace stands out as a true gem.

This ambitious museum and gallery boasts three floors of contemporary Cambodian art, showcasing a captivating collection of folklore, religious, abstract, and wooden art sculptures created by local artists. 

Nominated as one of the top 10 best independent art spaces in Southeast Asia and Number 1 in Cambodia (The Guardian, November 2017), Romcheik 5 offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of Cambodia and support the flourishing local arts community.

>> Read More: 9 Exotic Places To Visit in Cambodia

Tips For A Memorable Trip in Battambang

To make the most of your time in this charming town, consider the following tips:

  • Explore on two wheels

Rent a bicycle or motorbike and immerse yourself in the laid-back pace of Battambang. Pedal or cruise through the quaint streets, stopping to admire the colonial architecture, visit local markets, and interact with friendly residents. This mode of transportation will allow you to experience the town’s authentic charm at your own pace.

  • Stay in a heritage accommodation

Enhance your cultural experience by booking a stay at one of the beautifully restored colonial-era houses or traditional Khmer villas. These unique accommodations offer a glimpse into the region’s rich history while providing a comfortable and atmospheric base for your explorations.

  • Indulge in local cuisine

Battambang is renowned for its delectable cuisine, with a diverse range of flavors influenced by the region’s rich cultural heritage. Savor the town’s signature dishes, such as the tangy and savory num ban chok noodles, or venture off the beaten path to discover hidden gems in local eateries and street food stalls.


Sweet treats at the Battambang market

  • Engage with local artisans

As mentioned, Battambang is a hub for traditional arts and crafts, and engaging with local artisans is a rewarding way to gain a deeper appreciation for the region’s cultural legacy. Attend workshops, visit galleries, and purchase unique souvenirs directly from the skilled hands that created them.

  • Take a day trip to the countryside

While Battambang itself is a delight, the surrounding countryside offers a wealth of opportunities for exploration. Consider taking a day trip to nearby villages, where you can witness traditional ways of life, stunning natural landscapes, and hidden temple complexes.

  • Embrace the relaxed pace

Battambang is a place where time seems to slow down, offering a respite from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Embrace the town’s laid-back atmosphere, and allow yourself to truly unwind and soak in the authentic charm of this captivating destination.

>> Read More: How To Make The Most Out Of One Week In Cambodia?

Battambang: A Hidden Gem Awaiting You

Battambang offers a mesmerizing journey through time, where awe-inspiring temples transport you to bygone eras, and the renowned Phare Circus dazzles with its mesmerizing performances.

Do not hesitate to immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Khmer arts and crafts and savor the tantalizing flavors of the delectable local cuisine. Tell Us Your Desires and let Asia Pioneer Travel be your travel guide to the timeless allure of Battambang.

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