Battambang – A Combination of Modern and Colonial Items
by Ngoc Van Jul 12, 2017
Battambang known as Krong Battambang is founded in the 11th century by the Khmer Empire and the capital city of Battambang province in north western Cambodia. The city is on the sides of the tranquil Sangkae river and a famous tourist destination for visitors.
Contrary to the hustle of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Battambang is said to be a peaceful respite with a rich architectural heritage and stunning surrounding countryside. Due to more than 100 ancient Khmer, Thai and French colonial buildings, pagodas and temples, Battambang is named as a City of Performing by UNESCO. The city becomes a food basket of Cambodia thanks to thanks to rich soils and moderate temperatures.
Things to See and Do in Battambang
Phnom Sampeau is a fabled limestone including Killing Caves of Khmer Rouge, caves with Buddhist images, a monastery on the summit of the hill and a display of bats. To access up to the hilltop, travellers have to climb a cement road or a steep staircases and it takes about 1 hour. On the way up to the top, there is a road leading to the Killing Caves, a place of pilgrimage. Among the green trees is a staircase to a cave, a home of a golden reclining Buddha and a glass-walled memorial filled with bones and skulls. Going to the base of the staircase, visitors will find an old memorial and human bones of whom killed by Khmer Rouge cadres. When you go down from the top’s golden stupa, you will via the gate which features a bas-relief of Eiy Sei, an old Buddha. After walking through 144 steps in a deep canon, travellers can see two Angkorian warriors and a lost world of stalactites, creeping vines and bats. Here, in the evening, a steady stream of bats will fly out of the cavern and form a variety of formations in the sky. According to the locals, there are over 1 million bats.
Prasat Banan is a Buddhist shrine, a symbol of the architecture of the mid-11th century and the end of the 12th century. Travellers will climb up 358 stone steps to reach the temple. Because it was built on the summit of the 400m-high mountain at Koh Tey 2 commune, Banan district. According to the local people, Angkor Wat is the inspiration for this five-tower structure, hereby, it is also called mini-Angkor Wat. The temple comes with impressive carved lintels above the doorways and bas-reliefs on the upper parts of the main tower. From the top of the mountain, visitors can have incredible views across surrounding countryside. Additionally, there is a narrow trail on the south side of the hill which leads to 3 caves with huge sky light and various bats.
Mrs. Bun Roeung’s Ancient House is an old French colonial era home. Before turning into a museum, it is used to be a home to Mr. Noun Chea, the second brother of the Pol Pot regime. This is a traditional wooden house with the solid mahogany flooring and ironwood beams. Having a visit to the special house, you will learn more about traditional architecture, history of the house before, during and after the Khmer Rouge civil war as well as Cambodian history. There are some options for you to explore the house such as going on a tour with one of the family’s members or staying with the family to have the best experiences of a foreign culture.
Train services are provided in many countries, however, in Cambodia, it is replaced by the norry known as bamboo train which crosses through jungle undergrowth, little bridges and rice paddies. Do you want to have a journey in the fully impressive train? Let be an explorer with us on Cambodia River Cruises to try the unique train as well as enjoy charming attractions of Battambang.