Cambodia‘s second-largest city is known for its quirky bamboo railway, Buddhist shrines and centuries-old hilltop temples. Here you can experience the best of both worlds, ancient and modern, and mingle amongst the friendly locals.
Battambang has been called the “Chiang Mai of Cambodia“, and it’s easy to see why; but you’ll find that the pace of life here is more laid-back, and there are fewer tourists. Thanks to the city’s riverside setting and colonial architecture, a trip here is a chance to relax and soak up the local culture. It may be a tourist cliché, but the locally-run bamboo railway is famous for a reason! These quirky little bamboo carriages, powered by go-kart engines, will take you on a 30-minute round trip on a disused track just outside the city – a fun activity for families or groups of friends.
Eating in Battambang is a feast for all the senses and for an authentic Cambodian experience, street food is definitely what it’s all about. The Night Market on the street to the south of Wat Piphithearam is the place to be, with steaming pots of delicious local delicacies changing nightly. Or head for Psar Nat market to shop for fresh produce like juicy oranges and pomelos – delicious on a scorching summer day!
Visit some of Battambang’s local businesses for something a little out of the ordinary during your trip. It’s a great way to get to know the area, and you’ll be supporting local industries too. Check out mushroom farms or see fish sauce and paste being made at a fish sauce factory – you’ll definitely remember the smell! You can even watch silk being woven on traditional wooden looms. The best way to experience all this is to hire a tuk-tuk driver to take you on a tour of the countryside for the day. Just make sure you carry plenty of small change, so you can buy from the locals you visit.
Battambang is a city of contrasts that’s just waiting to be explored. Whether you get out of the city to see the temple of Wat Ek Phnom with its giant Buddha, or take a tour of Phnom Banan Vineyard, the country’s first winery, you’re guaranteed to have a memorable trip.
Plan your trip to Battambang today.