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'''Battambang''' [http://www.battambang-town.gov.kh] is [[Cambodia]]'s second most populous city, and a popular tourist destination due to the many nearby ancient temples, Buddhist shrines and the infamous bamboo railway. It is also the capital city of the Battambang province.
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[[File:Naktadambangkragnoung.jpg|thumb|200px|Road No. 3 near the Central Market]]
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'''Battambang''' [http://www.battambang-town.gov.kh] is [[Cambodia]]'s second most populous city and a popular tourist destination due to the many nearby ancient temples, Buddhist shrines and the infamous bamboo railway. It is also the capital city of the Battambang province. It is popular with tourists because of it's blend of modern city, small-town friendliness and some well-preserved colonial architecture, which works together to give the town a unique charm.  
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==
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==History==
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[[File:Linteau Ramayana Musée Guimet 9972.jpg|thumb|right|200px|[[Ramayana]] depicted on carvings from the 11th century]]
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Battambang was established as an important trading city with around 2,500 residents in the 18th century. They lived mostly along a single road parallel to the Sangkae River. In 1795 Thailand, then Siam, annexed much of northwestern Cambodia including the province of Battambang and [[Siem Reap]]. The Siamese Abhaiwongse family ruled Battambang as governors for six generations until 1907 when the province was ceded to the French to be part of their French Indochina colony.
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Following the colonization of the French in Battambang the colonial administration developed an urban layout which enlarged the size of the French colonial town. In the first time development, they constructed a grid pattern of well-defined streets, put in the urban structures and built three main streets parallel to the Sangker River, connected the both side with two bridges in 1917. Military purposes and prison infrastructures were erected inside the compound. 19 years later, a second urban development plan was created with a newly constructed railway linked from Battambang to [[Phnom Penh]]. The urban structure was extended to the west of the town, featuring some important urban axes orienting on the railway station. Many outstanding buildings like residential villas and significant public buildings were constructed during that period. According to the third urban development plan for Battambang, a large extension was planned for the north, east and south of the city. The urban layout was technically planned and required long-term thinking to create an urban axis corresponding to the existing urban layout from the former period. Battambang grew as a modern provincial capital, and became the most developed part of all provinces in [[Cambodia]].
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Several large infrastructures and public facilities were built under the modernization program of the Cambodian government under Prince Sihanouk. Several provincial departments, the court house and other public administrations were set up on both sides of the river. Textile and garment factories were built by French and Chinese investors, the Battambang Airport was constructed, and the railway line was developed to reach [[Poipet]]. Numerous schools and a university were built. A sports centre, museum and an exhibition hall were constructed to serve the cultural needs of the growing population.
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
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===By boat===
 
===By boat===
  
One boat a day travels from [[Siem Reap]] (for [[Angkor Archaeological Park|Angkor]]) to Battambang, departing Siem Reap at 7AM. An interesting and very scenic journey along small rivers, the boat threads it's way through numerous charming floating villages and past dozens of towering cantilevered fishing net installations. It can take between 4-12 hr, depending on the time of year (and hence the water level), however the time can be fairly accurately predicted by checking the time that the same boat arrived yesterday.
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One boat a day travels from [[Siem Reap]] (for [[Angkor Archaeological Park|Angkor]]) to Battambang, departing Siem Reap at 07:00. An interesting and very scenic journey along small rivers, the boat threads it's way through numerous charming floating villages and past dozens of towering cantilevered fishing net installations. It can take between 4-12 hr, depending on the time of year (and hence the water level), however the time can be fairly accurately predicted by checking the time that the same boat arrived yesterday.
  
 
During the dry season, when the water level gets very low, the boats cannot get all the way to Battambang and the journey is completed by minibus or pick-up truck.
 
During the dry season, when the water level gets very low, the boats cannot get all the way to Battambang and the journey is completed by minibus or pick-up truck.
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==Get around==
 
==Get around==
  
The city centre is pretty compact and can be mostly explored by foot. Bicycles can be rented from most hotels or private companies for US$1-2 per day. Motorcycles can be rented from US$5 a day. The driving habits of locals are hazardous. Police may try to fine tourists on motobikes. If pulled over, stay calm, smile, take the key out of the ignition (to prevent the police trying to ransom it), and pay a small fine of US1-2. Arguing, waving your driving licence in their faces or otherwise upsetting the police is not smooth behaviour.  
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The city centre is quite compact and can be mostly explored by foot. Bicycles can be rented from most hotels or private companies for US$1-2 per day. Motorcycles can be rented from US$5 a day. The driving habits of locals are hazardous. Police may try to fine tourists on motobikes. If pulled over, stay calm, smile & take the key out of the ignition (to prevent the police trying to ransom it), and pay a small fine of US1-2. Arguing, waving your driving licence in their faces or otherwise upsetting the police is not recommended.
  
Tuk-tuks and motorbike drivers hang around popular tourist areas. As most of the interesting and useful destinations are quite close to each other, most rides should only cost you around US$2-4. More distant trips like Phnom Sampouv (the 'killing caves') will cost around US$10, and can be combined with other destinations for a total of US$12-15.
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Tuk-tuks and motorbike drivers hang around popular tourist areas. As most of the interesting and useful destinations are quite close to each other, most rides should only cost around US$2-4. More distant trips like Phnom Sampouv (the 'killing caves') will cost around US$10, and can be combined with other destinations for a total of US$12-15. Saam Bo is a tuk-tuk driver who has worked for Western companies and NGOs, and so speaks excellent English. (Most don't.) He's also resourceful, fair and pleasant-natured: 097 353 5305.
  
 
Small boats act as ferries (500 riel) and cross the river in front of the market.
 
Small boats act as ferries (500 riel) and cross the river in front of the market.
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
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[[File:Wat Ek Phnom.Battambang.2006.jpg|thumb|right|200px|Buddhist temple in Battambang]]
  
 
Battambang is known for its statues which seemingly decorate every public place. Most are of animals (mythical and real) and divinities.
 
Battambang is known for its statues which seemingly decorate every public place. Most are of animals (mythical and real) and divinities.
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[[Image:PsarNat.jpg|thumb|200px|Battambang's central market]]
 
[[Image:PsarNat.jpg|thumb|200px|Battambang's central market]]
  
Check out riverside dancing along the river around dusk. Some serious K-Pop action goes down.
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The town also has a number of fine early-20th-century French colonial buildings. Most of the colonial buildings can be found along the waterfront (St 1), especially just south of '''Psar Nat''' (which is quite impressive in itself). Famous Art Deco buildings are the Central market, the swimming pool Victory (riverside) and the train station. Along streets 1, 2, 21/2 and 3 are charming examples of Chinese, French and Italian architecture, with peculiar mirroring of houses constructed on one side in brick, square pillars and on the other one in concrete, round pillars. Street 3 has some charming French shop-houses.
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*The '''Governors Residence''' is the most impressive colonial building, a legacy of the early 1900s with balconies and wooden shutters and grand reception room with a 5m ceiling. It was designed by an Italian architect for the last Thai governor, who departed in 1907. The interior is closed but you can explore the grounds at leisure.
  
The town also has a number of fine colonial buildings along the river including a very grand French era governors residence. Famous Art Deco buildings are the Central market, the swimming pool Victory (riverside) and the train station. Along streets 1, 2, 21/2 and 3 are charming examples of  Chinese, French and Italian architecture, with peculiar mirroring of houses constructed on one side in brick, square pillars and on the other one in concrete, round pilars.
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*'''Battambang Museum''' (admission US$1) displays fine Angkorian lintels and statuary from all over the Battambang province, including Phnom Banan and Sneng, and it has multi-lingual signs.
  
 
'''Around Battambang''':
 
'''Around Battambang''':
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*'''Wat Samraong Knong''', roughly translated as 'Wat in the forest' is an extremely old pagoda on the eastern side of the Sangker River. The eerie old Wat was used as a Khmer Rouge prison, and there were many executions on the premises. A new pagoda is now being built, and there is a memorial to the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime, with graphic illustrations just to the north.
 
*'''Wat Samraong Knong''', roughly translated as 'Wat in the forest' is an extremely old pagoda on the eastern side of the Sangker River. The eerie old Wat was used as a Khmer Rouge prison, and there were many executions on the premises. A new pagoda is now being built, and there is a memorial to the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime, with graphic illustrations just to the north.
  
There are several opportunities to explore villages just south of town. The Cultural village of Watkor, just a few kilometres south of the town centre has several "ancient wooden houses" from the early 20th century. Further south are the agricultural villages of Kompong Seyma, and Ksach Puoy. For info call District Administration Battambang: ☎ +855 1288 1516, +855 1666 6111.
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There are several opportunities to explore villages just south of town. The cultural village of Watkor, just a few kilometres south of the town centre has several "ancient wooden houses" from the early 20th century. Further south are the agricultural villages of Kompong Seyma, and Ksach Puoy. For info call District Administration Battambang: ☎ +855 1288 1516, +855 1666 6111.
  
*<do name="Battambang Circus" alt="" address="Phare Ponleu Selpak" directions="10 min journey in tuk-tuk from the centre of Battambang-most drivers know the the circus" phone="+855 53 952 424" url="http://www.phareps.org" hours="Performances every Mon and Thurs from 6PM" price="US$10" lat="" long="">The shows are fun, energetic and exciting and include a range of circus disciplines. The ticket price helps support the NGO school which works with disadvantaged children and teenagers. After the show, you can have dinner there for US$6</do>
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*<do name="Battambang Circus" alt="" address="Phare Ponleu Selpak" directions="10 min journey in tuk-tuk from the centre of Battambang-most drivers know the the circus" phone="+855 53 952 424" url="http://www.phareps.org" hours="Performances every Mon and Thurs from 18:00" price="US$10" lat="" long="">The shows are fun, energetic and exciting and include a range of circus disciplines. The ticket price helps support the NGO school which works with disadvantaged children and teenagers. After the show, you can have dinner there for US$6</do>
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==
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[[Image:BambooTrainDerFussi.jpg|thumb|right|240px|The bamboo train near Battambang]]
 
[[Image:BambooTrainDerFussi.jpg|thumb|right|240px|The bamboo train near Battambang]]
  
* '''Rent a bicycle''' and cycle along the river. Upstream (south) or downstream (north). Both directions are flat and mostly paved, and it is possible to cycle along the river bank for a considerable distance, of up to 20 km each way. Also worth trying are the Unpaves roads, they are esy to cycle along, have nearly no traffic and there plenty of children to say hello.
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* '''Rent a bicycle''' and cycle along the river. Upstream (south) or downstream (north). Both directions are flat and mostly paved, and it is possible to cycle along the river bank for a considerable distance, of up to 20 km each way. Also worth trying are the unpaved roads, they are easy to cycle along, have nearly no traffic and there plenty of children to say hello. A good address for renting regular and better bicycles is The Battambang BIKE  rental and repair directions="60 street 2,5"  Info@thebattambangbike.com  ☎ +855 17 905 276
  
 
* '''The Bamboo Train''': ''(The term "train" being used loosely - A large bamboo platform mounted on train axles powered by a small go-kart engine)''. A trip to the train can be booked in most hotels or arranged with a motorbike/tuk-tuk driver. Currently it is regulated by Battambang's Tourist Police, with a standard rate of US$5 per person, minimum 2 people or US$10 for one person, with discounts for larger groups. It is worthwhile asking the driver to stop at scenic places.
 
* '''The Bamboo Train''': ''(The term "train" being used loosely - A large bamboo platform mounted on train axles powered by a small go-kart engine)''. A trip to the train can be booked in most hotels or arranged with a motorbike/tuk-tuk driver. Currently it is regulated by Battambang's Tourist Police, with a standard rate of US$5 per person, minimum 2 people or US$10 for one person, with discounts for larger groups. It is worthwhile asking the driver to stop at scenic places.
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[[Image:Battambang_cooking.jpg|thumb|right|240px|Buying ingredients]]
 
[[Image:Battambang_cooking.jpg|thumb|right|240px|Buying ingredients]]
  
====Take a Cooking class====
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====Take a cooking class====
  
 
Many restaurants around Battambang offer cooking classes at varying prices.
 
Many restaurants around Battambang offer cooking classes at varying prices.
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* '''Nary Kitchen''',  Svay Por Battambang, (''opposite the Holiday Guesthouse''). ☎ +855 1276 3950, inside of a homestyle restaurant with Nary and her translator husband Toot.  Daily courses in the morning or evening with two mains and spring rolls priced at $10.
 
* '''Nary Kitchen''',  Svay Por Battambang, (''opposite the Holiday Guesthouse''). ☎ +855 1276 3950, inside of a homestyle restaurant with Nary and her translator husband Toot.  Daily courses in the morning or evening with two mains and spring rolls priced at $10.
  
* '''The Smoking Pot''', daily courses with a minimum of two or more people, which can be a problem in low season. Priced at US$10.
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* '''The Smoking Pot''', daily courses with a minimum of two or more people, which can be a problem in low season. Priced at US$10.
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====Volunteering====
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Giving something back to the friendly and helpfull locals.
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[[Image:Takomschool.jpg|thumb|right|240px|One of CAD's projects - Takom Village]]
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[[Image:Takompupils.jpg|thumb|right|240px|Students during break at CAD's Takom School]]
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* '''Children’s Action for Development (CAD)''' [http://www.cadcambodia.org], is a community-based non-government and non-profit organization that provides Khmer and English literacy classes, life skills, child rights awareness, environmental awareness, job training, girl empowerment, nutrition, community education and family business programs to support poor, orphaned, vulnerable and disadvantaged rural children and families. Depending on current projects you are able to volunteer in a variety of ways, whereas the local founder Racky Thy[http://www.cadcambodia.org/contact-us/] (known to the "Lonely Planet"-reader) will find a suitable job for you. [http://www.geo.de/blog/geo/mittendurch-statt-druberweg/kambodscha/auch-den-rmsten-eine-perspektive-bieten] will give you some impressions (text in German language).
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
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There are plenty of places to eat but after 19:00 some places close and lots of streets become dark, so eating early around 18:00, is recommended.
 
There are plenty of places to eat but after 19:00 some places close and lots of streets become dark, so eating early around 18:00, is recommended.
 
   
 
   
You can get some great French-style bread for 1,000 rial a medium-size baguette up north, between the French cultural centre and the giant statue marking the entry in Battambang from the main interprovincial road. The bread that street sellers have elsewhere in town is of a much lower standard for the same price, similar to that found in [[Phnom Penh]] a baguette-shape, but sprinkled with sugar, however some people do not notice any difference between the bread sold in the north and elsewhere in Battambang. It is generally of decent quality all across the city.
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Good French-style bread costs 1,000 rial a medium-size baguette up north, between the French cultural centre and the giant statue marking the entry in Battambang from the main interprovincial road. The bread that street sellers have elsewhere in town is of a much lower standard for the same price, similar to that found in [[Phnom Penh]] a baguette-shape, but sprinkled with sugar, however some people do not notice any difference between the bread sold in the north and elsewhere in Battambang. It is generally of decent quality all across the city.
  
 
* <eat name="Au Cabaret Vert Restaurant" alt="Au Cabaret Vert-Hôtel à Battambang" address=" Toul Ta Ek, Otakom 2" directions="5 min from the market by tuk-tuk" phone="+885 53 656 2000,+885 77 991 384 " email="info@aucabaretvert.com" fax="" url="http://www.aucabaretvert.com" hours="" price="US$9-16 for a main course, entrees US$8-12" lat="" long="">Traditional Cambodian dishes, their speciality is ''fish amok'', complemented by a French-style menu that includes desserts and wine.</eat>   
 
* <eat name="Au Cabaret Vert Restaurant" alt="Au Cabaret Vert-Hôtel à Battambang" address=" Toul Ta Ek, Otakom 2" directions="5 min from the market by tuk-tuk" phone="+885 53 656 2000,+885 77 991 384 " email="info@aucabaretvert.com" fax="" url="http://www.aucabaretvert.com" hours="" price="US$9-16 for a main course, entrees US$8-12" lat="" long="">Traditional Cambodian dishes, their speciality is ''fish amok'', complemented by a French-style menu that includes desserts and wine.</eat>   
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* <eat name="Bamboo Train Café &amp; Bar'" alt="previously known as "Snow White/Apsara Garden Bar &amp; Restaurant" address="" directions="Cross the new bridge, 200 m further and it's on the right hand side just after the pizza house" phone="" email="gikimduong@yahoo.com" fax="" url="" hours="06:30-22:00" price="" lat="N 13° 05.549'" long="E 103° 12.178'">Relaxed atmosphere, delicious food and friendly staff</eat>
 
* <eat name="Bamboo Train Café &amp; Bar'" alt="previously known as "Snow White/Apsara Garden Bar &amp; Restaurant" address="" directions="Cross the new bridge, 200 m further and it's on the right hand side just after the pizza house" phone="" email="gikimduong@yahoo.com" fax="" url="" hours="06:30-22:00" price="" lat="N 13° 05.549'" long="E 103° 12.178'">Relaxed atmosphere, delicious food and friendly staff</eat>
  
* <eat name="Cafe Eden" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="www.cafeedencambodia@gmail.com" fax="" url="http://www.cafeedencambodia.com" hours="" price="" lat="13.099622" long="103.199188">Western style riverfront cafe restaurant run by an American woman. Serves Western and Asian food, and coffee. Kitchen works to Western food handling and preparation standards.</eat>
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* <eat name="Cafe Eden" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.cafeedencambodia.com" hours="" price="" lat="13.099622" long="103.199188" email="www.cafeedencambodia@gmail.com" fax="">Western style riverfront cafe restaurant run by an American woman. Serves Western and Asian food, and coffee (but no juices). Kitchen works to Western food handling and preparation standards.</eat>
  
* <eat name="Gecko Cafe" alt="" address="Street #3" directions="One block South of Psa Nath Market" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Nice atmosphere, limited but very tasty menu, free WiFi.</eat>
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* <eat name="Gecko Cafe" alt="" address="Street #3" directions="One block South of Psa Nath Market" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Nice atmosphere, limited but very tasty menu, free WiFi.
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Staff extremely friendly and helpful and good clean environment. The business is designed to help local people to develop their standards of living and lifestyle.  Staff are paid more than the average wage, and this is reflected in the service. There appears to be a well managed training programme in place for all the staff</eat>
  
 
*<eat name="Natural" alt="Part of the project of an NGO called Coconut Water Foundation" address="N091-G34 Road 3. 20 Ousaphear Village, Svaypoar Commune" directions="street no 3, 100 m south of the central market" phone="+855 89 409 958" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">A shop and organic coffee place. The shop sells handmade clothes, bags and wallets made by local home based producers and from other local NGOs,  watercolour post cards and pictures made by art students from another NGO. Organic fruit shakes, green tea with fruits and vegetarian breakfast & brunch options. There is also a khmer lady weaving using an authentic old style loom.</eat>
 
*<eat name="Natural" alt="Part of the project of an NGO called Coconut Water Foundation" address="N091-G34 Road 3. 20 Ousaphear Village, Svaypoar Commune" directions="street no 3, 100 m south of the central market" phone="+855 89 409 958" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">A shop and organic coffee place. The shop sells handmade clothes, bags and wallets made by local home based producers and from other local NGOs,  watercolour post cards and pictures made by art students from another NGO. Organic fruit shakes, green tea with fruits and vegetarian breakfast & brunch options. There is also a khmer lady weaving using an authentic old style loom.</eat>
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* <eat name="Smokin' Pot" alt="" address="Ph.3" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="Mains 8,000-20,000 rial" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Cooking school-come-restaurant offering a good range of Khmer and Thai food. Vegetarian-friendly. Note that there are two establishments called "Smokin' Pot" a few blocks apart.</eat>
 
* <eat name="Smokin' Pot" alt="" address="Ph.3" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="Mains 8,000-20,000 rial" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Cooking school-come-restaurant offering a good range of Khmer and Thai food. Vegetarian-friendly. Note that there are two establishments called "Smokin' Pot" a few blocks apart.</eat>
  
* <eat name="White Rose" alt="" address="" directions="Almost opposite the Smoking Pot" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Huge menu, and some great fruit shakes. This place is more typically Asian-style than Western-style cosy but is still full of foreigners. A plus is that they're quick and remember everything as you ordered it.</eat>
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* <eat name="White Rose" alt="" address="" directions="Almost opposite the Smoking Pot" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Big menu, and some great fruit shakes. This place is more typically Asian-style than Western-style cosy but is still full of foreigners. Service can be very slow. The owners' children can run riot in the evenings, making dining less than peaceful.</eat>
  
*<eat name="Apple of Love" alt="La Pomme d'Amour" address="street 2.5, #63" directions="" phone="+885 12 415 513, +885 12 963 189" url="http://apple-of-love.com/" hours="19:00-10PM" price="" lat="" long="">Khmer cuisine with a French twist, sophisticated and creative with pleasant staff. Wine list [[Image:Abandoned_house_Kep.jpg|thumb|400px|Remains of a colonial French villa]]
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*<eat name="Apple of Love" alt="La Pomme d'Amour" address="street 2.5, #63" directions="" phone="+885 12 415 513, +885 12 963 189" url="http://apple-of-love.com/" hours="19:00-10PM" price="" lat="" long="">Khmer cuisine with a French twist, sophisticated and creative with pleasant staff. Wine list.</eat>
  
'''Kep''' is a seaside resort area in [[Cambodia]] and includes the small town of the same name which is the capital of Kep Province.</eat>
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*<eat name="Cafe Flirt" alt="" address="street 121" directions="Back one street from riverside, next to White Rose Restaurnat." phone="+855 92238935" url="" hours="0800-2300 or later" price="4-6$" lat="" long="">A new relaxed bar restaurant in Battambang,,serving great western food cooked by the western owner who holds a British Food Hygiene cert.
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fantastic burgers and homemade dishes.  Serving Ice Cold Anchor or Cambodia Draught beers..Happy hour 4pm-7.00pm everyday Beer only 50C a mug,,and wine only $2.50.  Guaranteed open until 11pm everyday,,the latest bar around, will stay open later if needed...So come chill out to some great tunes,,Free WI-FI, only free pool table in town!</eat>
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*<eat name="Choco l'art café" alt="" address="Street 117," directions="" phone="010661617" url="" hours="12-12" price="3-4 $" lat="" long="">2 blocks from the central market towards sout-west. A unique venue in Battambang with chic, lounge fee that reflects the mood if its young, creative owners. A contemporary blend of Khmer and French cultures achieved through gastronomy and modern art.
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Sandwiches with home-made bread, cakes, cookies, crumbles, chocolate mousses and more... Open from 12 am to 12 pm.</eat>
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*<eat name="Green mango" alt="" address="Opposite Bamboo train café" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Pastries and coffee, as a training project for disadvantaged young people</eat>
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*<eat name="Make Art space" alt="" address="Street 2.5 # 66" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">An avant-garde meeting and exhibition galery, with kid art classes, film projections, recycling shop and much more</eat>
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*<eat name="Sunrise Coffee House" alt="" address="Royal St (near Royal Hotel)" directions="150m directly west of Psar Nath (the main market)" phone="053 953 426" url="" hours="6.30AM to 8PM" price="$4-9" lat="" long="">The only Western-style restaurant which opens at dawn. Does a great Western breakfast and lunch. Juices, espresso, latte, cappuccino. Deli with huge range of cakes, cinnamon muffins, cookies, and Battambang's only wholegrain breads. Unusually fast service by Battambang standards.</eat>
  
==Understand==
 
 
Kep was Cambodia's top seaside destination until eclipsed in the 1960s by [[Sihanoukville]] (and, soon after, decades of civil war). The town is full of ruined shells of old villas, destroyed in the Khmer Rouge days and during the subsequent Civil War. More recently Kep has become established as a Khmer holiday spot and is slowly being rediscovered by overseas visitors.
 
 
An unfortunate attitude of "milk the foreigner" pervades the local businesses, unlike in nearby [[Kampot]], which makes bargaining a necessity.
 
 
==Get in==
 
 
* '''From Kampot:''' The road is paved, smooth and well sign posted. 25km, 30-45 minute trip. Bus $2. For a motorcycle taxi ($2 - $3) or tuk-tuk (around $6) be prepared to bargain like a local or pay a bit more. Package day tours between the two towns often include a visit to nearby destinations such as Rabbit Island, the caves between Kampot and Kep, and a pepper plantation. 
 
 
* '''From Phnom Penh:''' The road is paved, smooth and well sign posted. Around 4 hours by bus. Several bus companies serve Kep ($5 - $6) and offer various departure times from 7am through to 3pm. '''168 Phnom Penh Sorya''' bus company runs from the bus station near [[Phnom Penh| Phnom Penh's]] central market. '''Hua Lian''' is based near Olympic Stadium (Street 182, Oknha Tep Phan). '''Capitol Tours''' run from their offices in Phnom Penh. Hiring your own taxi should cost around $40-50 (2.5 to 3 hours).
 
 
* '''From Sihanoukville:''' Minibuses take around 2 hours and cost around US$7 (shop around, prices vary). Departures are in the morning.
 
 
* '''From Ha Tien, Vietnam:''' Motorbike taxis take 45 min and should cost 100,000+ dong (~US$5). Bargain hard and in dollars, it'll work out cheaper than in dong. It is a 45min journey mainly on a dirt road.
 
 
==Get around==
 
Tuk-tuks are plentiful in the centre. Short trips around town should cost $1-$2, the price for a full day is between $12 to $25. Some roads can be a little bumpy, but there is no major dust irritation like in [[Siem Reap]] or [[Phnom Penh]].
 
 
Self-drive motorcycles can be rented for around US$7 per day for a small 125 cc or around US$14 for a 250 cc. Bicycles are also available for rent.
 
 
Apart from the beach front, most businesses are spaced out. If you don't rent any transport, be prepared to walk or alternatively stick to the area around your guesthouse and relax there.
 
 
==See==
 
* '''Kep Beach'''. A single, kilometer long crescent of sand near the tip of the Kep peninsula. Dining platforms and seafood vendors line the road behind the beach. Busy on weekends but often deserted during the week. The road through Kep traces the coastline to the beach and then circles back on itself. Cars and vans must pay admission to drive the loop (2500R-5000R). Motorcycles and pedestrians are free. Be aware that the loop is an one way street and the police do occasionally enforce the law, levying fines against violators.
 
 
* '''Kep Mountain'''. There is an easy trail going full circle around the hill above Kep in the National Park. It's a wonderful piece of jungle, in which it is quite probable to see some monkeys and other animals. The trail is about 8km long (a 2-3 hour walk) and has a lot of direction signs. If you don't want to walk, the path is big enough to ride a bicycle or a motorbike, though be prepared for a somewhat bumpy ride. There are even some small benches to enjoy the view and have a rest during the walk.
 
 
* '''Kampot Pepper'''. An absolute must is to visit the Pepper plantation at Phnom Voir mountain, about 20min drive from Kep. This pepper used to be the number one pepper in the world and all the good french restaurants had it. It is having a revival at the moment with some local NGO (Farmlink) helping promote and plant it again.
 
 
* '''Colonial Villas'''. There are around 100 or more old french villas, mostly destroyed by the Kep locals, returning after the fall of the Khmer rouge regime (and not by the Khmer Rouge itself as noted in some travel guides) and some of them overgrown like Angkor Wat - quite a spooky feeling. Some of them have been restored, but most of them are in possession of rich military officials who are waiting to sell at the highest price.
 
 
* '''Caves'''. Around Kep there are 3 major caves, some with small shrines inside. The biggest and most impressive is near Kompong Trach (30km from Kep). It boasts beautiful limestone formations and a nearby swimming cave.
 
 
* '''Crabs'''. No visit to Kep is complete without having a least one meal of the fresh crabs, reputedly the best in Cambodia.
 
 
* '''Rabbit Island'''. Rabbit island is a 20 minute boat trip from Kep beach (around US$8-10 return if part of a tour; alternatively, get to the boat pier before 09:00 and share a $20 boat ride with others). Bungalows on Rabbit Island are quaint and cheap (from US$5 a night). The island is generally pretty quiet and is a gem of coastal Cambodia. Development is slow, though there is now a massage shack directly on the beach.
 
 
*'''Angkaul Beach'''. The Angkaul beach located 45min to the east near the Vietnamese border was once the swimming beach for the Cambodian Elite in the 1960ties. The trip there might be long, but it is worth every minute. The around 2km long beach is clean with white sand and totally deserted except some fishermen. Now there are 6 deck chairs and parasols and a small shop selling cold drinks for the few tourists going there. The water is shallow but clean.
 
 
==Do==
 
*<do name="Lida Massage" alt="" address="National Road" directions="" phone="012 953 427" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Great Massages (Thai, Oil or Steam) for only USD 7, located just next to the Kep Lodge. Also now located at the crab market.</do>
 
* '''Sailing Club''', next to the crab market a newly established place called the Sailing club has commenced activities, where you can rent catamarans, kayaks and even a speedboat. They now also have a eating menu with some special food.
 
*<do name="Swim in the sea" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Whilst Kep beach doesn't have the world's nicest sand, it's still enjoyable to go for a swim in the calm, cool water. There are wooden lounge chairs spread along the beach, occasionally with a Cambodian woman requesting $1 to use them. Lots of cold drink vendors nearby and a decent place to watch the sunset too. Don't believe the gloom and doom that some guide books write about the beaches in Kep as they're quite nice.</do>
 
*<do name="Swim with the phosphorecent algae!" alt="" address="" directions="Rabbit Island's beach, maybe Kep's" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Going for a swim at night in the sea off Rabbit Island results in bioluminescent) algae glowing all around you, which is an absolutely magical experience.</do>
 
 
==Buy==
 
 
There are money changers at the Crab Market that will exchange euro, dong, US dollar, and riel. If you're fresh in over the border, note that the riel is maintained at around 4000 to the dollar. The market traders will change large denomination dollar notes.
 
 
There are no ATMs in Kep, Veranda Natural Resort and Kep Lodge offer cash advances on Visa and Mastercard cards but levy a service charge of 5%. The nearest ATM is at the Canadia Bank in Kampot (about 25km away).
 
 
*<buy name="Lili Perles" alt="" address="near Crab Market" directions="" phone="017 306 550" url="" hours="daytime" price="" lat="" long="">Liliperles, a new shop in town which sells beads from all over the world for reasonable prices. Lily and Stephane the owner have been operating for years. They also have a small school for free, for teaching French to the local people.</buy>
 
*<buy name="Kep Supermarket" alt="" address="Next to the Pier" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="7AM - 8PM" price="" lat="" long="">The first supermarket opened its doors a few weeks ago (May 2010) and is located near the pier going to Rabbit Island. It has a limited selection of wine, spirits, beers, snacks and some western food. There is also a fridge and you can buy cheese, butter, milk and other food. </buy>
 
*<buy name="Kep Souvenir" alt="" address="@ Ana's Travel &amp; Restaurant" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.kep-cambodia.com/mainpages/PlacesinKep/kep-souvenirs.html" hours="10AM-6PM" price="" lat="" long="">The Kep Souvenir stand offers you a wide range of local products like salt & pepper, t-shirts, silk bags and postcards. Located near the beach, at the roundabout. (during the rainy season located @ Kep Lodge)</buy>
 
*<buy name="Sun Supermarket" alt="" address="near the beach" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">The second supermarket in Kep with a great selection of western food, drinks and snacks. Further there are some postcards of Kep and a good selection of toys for children. Open from 08:00 - 20:00.</buy>
 
 
==Eat==
 
[[Image:Kep_Fish.JPG|thumb|200px|Fresh fish with pepper sauce.]]
 
Kep is famous for its crabs. The '''crab market''' (a 10 minute walk or $1 tuk tuk ride from Kep beach) has line-caught crabs held in floating cages in the sea. Depending on the size of the crustaceans and your bargaining skills a kilogram of crabs should cost 10,000 - 20,000 riel. Vendors can steam your purchases in the boiling pots in the market or your hotel may also cook them for you.
 
 
Several '''seafood restaurants''' line the seashore near crab market. They have terraces built over the sea to provide stunning sunset views of [[Phu Quoc]] and [[Bokor National Park]] while you enjoy crabs cooked with fresh Kampot peppercorns. If you head there early afternoon you can watch fisherman unload their catch for the day.
 
 
*<eat name="Kep Thmey Seafood Restaurant" alt="" address="At the far end of the crab market" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="08:00-22:00" price="$3+" lat="" long="" email="vetsina@mfone.com.kh">Like all the other restaurants near the crab market, Kep Thmey is noted for crab and shrimp in green pepper.</eat>
 
 
*'''Kimly restaurant'''. Established and popular but possibly becoming complacent in success. Located towards the end of the row of seafood restaurants near the crab market. Shrimps or crabs with spicy sauce are cited as notable, though this applies to all the restaurants on the row.
 
 
*<eat name="Led Zep Cafe" alt="" address="" directions="mountain trek road, just after Le Bout Du Monde" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">It's elevated position offers breeze and good views overlooking Kep and the ocean. The small menu offers burritos, pizzas and pancakes. There's a range of detailed maps of Kep and its surroundings. The helpful French owner has been living in Kep for 5 years and provides interesting company. Mountain bikes are available for rent. A good place to relax with a cold beer or a cappuccino. </eat>
 
 
*<eat name="Veranda Restaurant & Bar" alt="" address="Kep Mountain Hillside" directions="" phone="012 888 619" url="http://www.veranda-resort.com" checkin="" checkout="" hours="Breakfast buffet 06:30-22:30, restaurant 11AM-10PM" price="" lat="" long="">Main restaurant at the Veranda Natural Resort with a great ocean view and sunset, beside their popular Bakery shop, the restaurant offering professional seafood dishes, as well as western and Asian food.</eat>
 
 
*<eat name="Breezes Lounge &amp; Restaurant" alt="" address="National Road 33" directions="Halfway between Kep Beach &amp; Ferry Pier" phone="097 6759072" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Set in a beautiful, quiet and green area, and is a good spot to unwind near the sea. Serves imaginative food with an emphasis on Asian seafood. Has comfortable chairs, a lounge bed, jazz music and a beautiful garden. Showers available for swimmers (guests only) and free pick-up and return service (with tuk-tuk) for dinner when called in advance.  </eat>
 
 
*<eat name="Kep Lodge Restaurant and Bar" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">The comfortable bar is replete with pool table and offers a good selection of Khmer and western dishes including Swiss specialties cheese fondue and raclette. Music and liveliness can be enjoyed until midnight. Happy hour (17:30-19:00) lubricates the sun's decent over the infinity pool. Mojiot and draft beer available.</eat>
 
 
==Drink==
 
*<drink name="Lida Bar" alt="" address="National Road 33" directions="" phone="012 953 427" url="" hours="12-late" price="" lat="" long=""> Lida Bar is now closed to guarantee a good night's rest for guests. Has buil more rooms in addition.</drink>
 
 
*<drink name="Kukuluku" alt="" address="National Road" directions="" phone="012 607 8777" url="" hours="morning till late" price="" lat="" long="">Kukuluku, not only a guest house on the sea shore also has a small bar with good music. The location is hard to beat, right on the sea, with some sunset views. Recently hosted some live music sessions on the beach.</drink>
 
 
*<drink name="Toucan - Restaurant Bar Tapas" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="(+855) 097 853 10 57" url="http://www.kep-cambodia.com/mainpages/PlacesinKep/toucan-restaurant.html" hours="Open from morning - till late" price="" lat="" long="">The Toucan is in the middle of the Crab Market, with great decor and a pool table. Stays open very late and attracts a nice mix of locals and tourists. Offers free WiFi and Moto for Rent.</drink>
 
 
*<drink name="Baraka" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">The Baraka Bar and Pizzeria is not only a popular hang out for local expats, also a cozy place to enjoy a sea side pizza and cocktails. Has a upstairs terrace overlooking the ocean..</drink>
 
 
==Sleep==
 
*<sleep name="The Beach House Kep" alt="" address="Right on the beach" directions="Directly behind the white lady statue on Kep Beech Road" phone="" url="http://www.thebeachhouseKep.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="$40-55" lat="" long=""></sleep>
 
 
* <sleep name="Botanica" alt="" address="National Road 33a" directions="" phone="097 899 8614" url="http://www.kep-botanica.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$10-25" lat="" long="" email="info@kep-botanica.com" fax="">A friendly easy going guesthouse with 6 nice bungalows with fan and shower. Restaurant, pool table, petanque, book exchange. A new, friendly owner who has undertaken some renovations, and now also offers air con rooms. </sleep>
 
 
*<sleep name="Le Bout du Monde" alt="" address="Preah Thom Kep" directions="" phone="+855 (0)119 641 81" url="http://www.leboutdumondekep.com/" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$20-150" lat="" long="">French and Khmer cuisine, restaurant-bar, private bungalows, on the hill, steep reception.</sleep>
 
 
*<sleep name="Jasmine Valley Eco-resort" alt="" address="Kep Mountain" directions="two kilometers up into the mountain from the Kep Hospital corner" phone="+855 (0)977 917 635" url="http://www.jasminevalley.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="from US$19" lat="" long="">Jasmine Valley is nestled just below the national park in the jungle-covered mountains. Opened in December 2009 and offers home-grown foods, views across the islands to Vietnam, a natural pool with nibbling fish. Solar-powered mud-brick and thatch bungalows, overlooking the creek, deep in the valley. Tree-houses on poles.  Some rooms have natural bathrooms and views across the islands to Vietnam right from your bed. The cafe, and restaurant, sit by the natural swimming pool and the games room, complete with pool table, table-football and table tennis. You can see monkeys in their natural habitat in amongst the trees on the mountain, and you may even be lucky enough to spot a Great Hornbill from your own veranda.</sleep>
 
 
*<sleep name="Kep Lodge" alt="" address="Pepper Street" directions="below the national park, next to Tree Top, Entry is to the left!  " phone="+855 (0) 92 43 53 30" url="http://www.keplodge.com/" checkin="2PM" checkout="12AM" price="US$28-70" lat="" long="" 92="92" 43="43" 53="53" 017="017" 879="879" email="info@keplodge.com">Offering views from each bungalow down to the Gulf of Thailand. Ten private bungalows with shower, minibar, desk and a big private terrace with a hammock and sofa - full breakfast included. The popular infinity salt-water swimming pool, free bicycles, fast & free WiFi all over the lodge, a book exchange and lots of games will make your holiday peaceful and relaxing. Four spacious deluxe bungalows with air-con, sat TV, DVD, sound-system, safe, minibar, tea & coffee maker, shower, king size bed and one of the best views in town. Has a bar and restaurant.</sleep>
 
 
* <sleep name="Knai Bang Chatt" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$160-350" url="http://www.knaibangchatt.com/">One of the fanciest places in all Cambodia, this complex has only three seaside villas.  Book more than one, and they'll guarantee that the entire place is yours. Great swimming pool, free Wi Fi, a real private hide away. Next to the Sailing Club.</sleep>
 
 
* <sleep name="Sovanna - ex Starr Inn" alt="" address="777 Ocean Blvd" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$25-40" lat="" long="" email="Starinn_kepcity@yahoo.com" fax="">Small 13-room hotel. All rooms are facing the sea. All the rooms have been renovated. They even made a tiny pool in front of the hotel, a comfortable restaurant as well as a bar.</sleep>
 
 
*<sleep name="Villa Romonea" alt="" address="Street 33" directions="" phone="012879486" url="http://www.villaromonea.com" checkin="2pm" checkout="12noon" price="US$150-190" lat="" long="">. Directly on the sea, the villa with six rooms is on a two hectare property with a six hole golf course, an infinity swimming pool and a tennis court..</sleep>
 
 
*<sleep name="The Vine Retreat" alt="" address="Phnom Voar, Chamcar Bei" directions="off Highway 33, between Kep and Kompong Trach" phone="+855 11 706 231" url="http://www.thevineretreat.com/" checkin="" checkout="" price="$20-45" lat="10° 33' 57.2394" long="104° 21' 38.5194" email="info@thevineretreat.com">Ecologically conscientious guesthouse, organic farm and restaurant nestled at the foot of a small range of jungle entrenched mountains called Phnom Vor. Famous Kampot Pepper plantation and a naturally filtered swimming pool. Remote, tranquil and beautiful. Base yourself there for trekking or mountain biking in Phnom Voar or just wiling away the hours in a hammock with a good book.</sleep>
 
*<sleep name="Raingsey Bungalow" alt="info@raingsey-bungalow-kep.com" address="Kep Mountain Hillside Road" directions="same road as Vanna and Veranda" phone="+855 (0) 11 558 197" url="http://www.raingsey-bungalow-kep.com/index.html" checkin="" checkout="" price="35$" lat="" long="">Eight independent, wooden bungalows surrounded by a growing tropical garden. From your private balcony, you have access to the swimming pool, shaded by palm trees.
 
The bedrooms in the Raingsey Bungalows are tastefully decorated and comfortable to ensure you a peaceful sleep. Each room has air conditioning, well equipped en suite bathrooms with hot power showers but no doors to the toilet. You have a choice of a double bed or 2 single beds.
 
Enjoy delicious food (local and Western) in the upstairs restaurant which overlooks the sea and the National Park of Kep. WiFi.</sleep>
 
*<sleep name="Brise de Kep" alt="" address="18-19 Kep Beach Road" directions="The row of restaurants and guesthouses on Kep beach near the southern roundabout" phone="036 633 633 9" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$12 (fan) US$15 (air-con)" lat="" long="">All rooms have hot water and TV. The adjoining restaurant looks good but isn't.</sleep>
 
*<sleep name="Tree Top Bungalows" alt="" address="" directions="just below the national park next to Kep Lodge" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="12" price="$4+" lat="" long="">Set in a beautiful garden next to Kep Lodge overlooking the sea with both Bokor Hill Station and Phu Quoc in view, this place offers a wide range of accommodation ranging from $4 double fan basic rooms, treehouse style rooms through to shared bathroom rooms to $20 with private bathroom rooms.</sleep>
 
 
*<sleep name="Boathouse" alt="" address="33A Sangkat Pray Thom" directions="" phone="097 572 4444" url="http://www.boathousekep.com" checkin="Anytime" checkout="12:00" price="8-30$" lat="10.48493" long="104.29360">Charming wooden rooms (from $25) with fan/air-con, cheaper rooms in concrete building. Traditional khmer style, tropical garden with stylish huts, views on the national park. Restaurant serves traditional Khmer & western food.
 
Friendly family atmosphere. Free WiFi.
 
Motorcycle rental is available.
 
theboathousekep@hotmail.com
 
boathousekep@gmail.com</sleep>
 
*<sleep name="Masada Resort" alt="" address="Pepper Street 2" directions="below the national park, opposite to Tree Top" phone="+855 (0) 97 50 62 338" url="info@masadaresort.com" checkin="13.30" checkout="11.30" price="US$40-50" lat="" long="">Five bungalows with air-con and a private balcony.</sleep>
 
*<sleep name="Le Flamboyant Resort" alt="www.flamboyant-hotel.com" address="33a National Road" directions="500m on the road to Kampot after the Vishnu Roundabout" phone="+855 (0)17 491010" url="leflamboyant165@gmail.com" checkin="14:00" checkout="11:00" price="60 - 250 $" lat="" long="">28 spacious, comfortable and private bungalows (rooms between 30m2 and 80m2) and two beautiful swimming pools all set in a lush, tropical garden. Lovely al fresco restaurant and bar overlooking the premises as well as the mountains. Le Flamboyant Resort also offers the services of a state-of-the art, on-site conference centre.</sleep>
 
*<sleep name="Villa Saat" alt="www.villa-kep.com" address="" directions="" phone="+ 85517383185" url="http://www.villa-kep.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Brand-new villa opening in Jan 2013, overlooking the seashores of Kep. Villa for rent on short or long stay. + 85517383185 p.</sleep>
 
 
 
==Get out==
 
* [[Kampot]] - Gateway to Bokor National Park.
 
* [[Sihanoukville]] - Cambodia's best-known beach resort
 
* [[Ha Tien]] ([[Vietnam]]) -  The Vietnamese border town is a fishing hub that offers boat trips to [[Phu Quoc]] or buses into the [[Southern Vietnam|Mekong Delta]]. The border area is still pretty rustic and some roads will be unpaved.
 
 
 
{{routebox
 
| image1=CR_Southern_Line.png
 
| imagesize1=100
 
| directionl1=N
 
| majorl1=[[Phnom Penh]]
 
| minorl1=Takeo
 
| directionr1=W
 
| majorr1=[[Sihanoukville]]
 
| minorr1=[[Kampot]]
 
}}
 
 
{{IsPartOf|Cardamom and Elephant Mountains}}
 
{{usablecity}}
 
 
[[de:Kep]]
 
[[it:Kep]]
 
[[WikiPedia:Kep, Cambodia]]
 
.</eat>
 
  
 
==Drink==
 
==Drink==
Line 255: Line 146:
 
*<drink name="Espresso Cafe" alt="" address="" directions="Beside Hotel Royal, inner side of yellow art-deco market" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Everything is provided with a smile. Good smoothies. A good family-run Khmer restaurant.</drink>
 
*<drink name="Espresso Cafe" alt="" address="" directions="Beside Hotel Royal, inner side of yellow art-deco market" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Everything is provided with a smile. Good smoothies. A good family-run Khmer restaurant.</drink>
  
*<drink name="Street One and a Half" alt="" address="End of St 1.5" directions="head south from central market on St.2, hang a left and find it at the end/corner of that little street" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Good cafe menu with a few snacks but mainly just excellent coffee and drinks. Easily best espresso in town, very cool alleyway atmosphere.</drink>
+
*<drink name="Street One and a Half" alt="" address="End of St 1.5" directions="head south from central market on St.2, hang a left and find it at the end/corner of that little street" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Good cafe menu with a few snacks but mainly just excellent coffee and other drinks. Good espresso coffee, very cool alleyway atmosphere.</drink>
  
 
*<drink name="Centre Cafe" alt="" address="Street Number 3" directions="one block towards the river from the Lux Hotel" phone="" url="" hours="07:30 - midnight" price="US$1-5" lat="" long="">Cheap and tasty western and Khmer dishes, usual beer coffee and smoothies, nice atmosphere and tours/bus tickets available at prices much cheaper than the hotels (half the price for a day-bus ticket to Phnom Penh than what the Lux hotel quotes). Staff speak decent English and the manager/owner is very friendly.</drink>
 
*<drink name="Centre Cafe" alt="" address="Street Number 3" directions="one block towards the river from the Lux Hotel" phone="" url="" hours="07:30 - midnight" price="US$1-5" lat="" long="">Cheap and tasty western and Khmer dishes, usual beer coffee and smoothies, nice atmosphere and tours/bus tickets available at prices much cheaper than the hotels (half the price for a day-bus ticket to Phnom Penh than what the Lux hotel quotes). Staff speak decent English and the manager/owner is very friendly.</drink>
Line 271: Line 162:
 
===Budget===
 
===Budget===
  
* <sleep name="Ancient House" alt="Homestay in Watkor village" address="" directions="100 m south of Watkor temple and a few km south of town" phone="+855 12 363174" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Talk with Madame Boun Roeung (who speaks some French but no English) about the possibility of staying in her "Ancient House." Accommodation is simple, with foam mattresses on the floor. Other owners of ancient houses may also be open to this.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Battambang My Homestay" alt="" address="" directions="little bit out of city centre, but nicely quiet (10 min by bike)" phone="+855 12 300 249" url="http://bbmhguesthouse.com/" checkin="" checkout="" price="12USD fan, 16USD AC" lat="" long="" email="bbmh.guesthouse@yahoo.com" fax="">Just call the owner Mr. Kun or go to the website. Very friendly atmosphere, traditional Khmer breakfast and lovely fruitplates for the evening, free bicycles, free WiFi, TV, extrodinary Tuk-Tuk drivers with high English-skills and good knowledge about the area and Cambodia in general, contact to local volunteering organisation.</sleep>
 +
 
 +
* <sleep name="Ancient House" alt="Homestay in Watkor village" address="" directions="100 m south of Watkor temple and a few km south of town" phone="+855 12 363174" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Talk with Madame Boun Roeung (who speaks some French but no English) about the possibility of staying in her "Ancient House." Accommodation is simple, with foam mattresses on the floor. Other owners of ancient houses may also be open to this.</sleep>
  
*<sleep name="BOVA Village Homestay" alt="" address="Samroang Khnong Village" directions="8km North of Battambang City" phone=" 012326577" url="http://www.battambangorphanagevillageassistance.org/" checkin="" checkout="" price="12USD" lat="" long=" email="sophornbb@yahoo.com">Khmer homestay run by Mr. Sophorn a local man who also is the founder of BOVA (Battambang Orphanage Village Assistance). $12 per person per night which includes pickup and drop off from your location in Battambang, traditional Khmer cuisine, drinking water and accommodation with a Khmer family. Accommodation is very basic but authentic. Bicycles may be borrowed from the orphanage to ride around the village and say hello to all the smiling children. The fee is split between the host family and the Orphanage. Numerous volunteer opportunities at the Orphanage.</sleep>
+
*<sleep name="BOVA Village Homestay" alt="" address="Samroang Khnong Village" directions="8km North of Battambang City" phone=" 012326577" url="http://www.battambangorphanagevillageassistance.org/" checkin="" checkout="" price="12USD" lat="" long=" email="sophornbb@yahoo.com">Khmer homestay run by Mr. Sophorn a local man who also is the founder of BOVA (Battambang Orphanage Village Assistance). $US12 per person per night which includes pickup and drop off from your location in Battambang, traditional Khmer cuisine, drinking water and accommodation with a Khmer family. Accommodation is very basic but authentic. Bicycles may be borrowed from the orphanage to ride around the village and say hello to all the smiling children. The fee is split between the host family and the Orphanage. Numerous volunteer opportunities at the Orphanage.</sleep>
  
* <sleep name="Seng Hout Hotel" address="No. #1008B, Road 02" phone="+855 53 952 900, cell +855 12 530 327" directions="North of Psar Nat Market 50m, Prekmohatep, next door to the White Rose Restaurant and around the corner from the Smoking Pot" email="chhounseng@yahoo.com" fax="" url="http://senghouthotel.com/" checkin="" checkout="" price="March 2011-Standard room promo rate US$16, double occupancy. Standard single (VIP) US$18 nett/room (max 2 guests).Standard double US$15 nett/room (maximum 2-3 guests). Standard twin US$15 nett/room (max 2 guests)" lat="" long="">Good hotel with elevator and large reception area. Rooms have air-conor optional cheaper fan,free WiFi, cableTV and ensuite. Rooftop cafe with 360⁰ views. Newly built in 2008 with cableTV, air-con, refrigerator and hot and cold water. Rates inc taxes and pick up any station in Battambang city</sleep>  
+
* <sleep name="Seng Hout Hotel" address="No. #1008B, Road 02" phone="+855 53 952 900, cell +855 12 530 327" directions="North of Psar Nat Market 50m, Prekmohatep, next door to the White Rose Restaurant and around the corner from the Smoking Pot" email="chhounseng@yahoo.com" fax="" url="http://senghouthotel.com/" checkin="" checkout="" price="March 2011-Standard room promo rate US$16, double occupancy. Standard single (VIP) US$18 nett/room (max 2 guests).Standard double US$15 nett/room (maximum 2-3 guests). Standard twin US$15 nett/room (max 2 guests)" lat="" long="">Good hotel with elevator and large reception area. Rooms have air-conor optional cheaper fan,free WiFi, cableTV and ensuite. Rooftop cafe with 360⁰ views. Newly built in 2008 with cableTV, air-con and refrigerator. Rates inc taxes and pick up any station in Battambang city</sleep>  
  
* <sleep name="Chhaya Hotel and Serviced Apartments" alt="" address="118, St 3, Svaypor" directions="" phone="+855 53 952170, +855 12 882500" url="http://www.chhayahotel.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="Hotel: US$4-12, apartments: US$20/night or US$270/mth" lat="" long="" email="chhaya.best@yahoo.com" fax="">Opened in June 2010, single, double and triple rooms, both air-con and non air-con, cableTV available. The cheaper hotel rooms have a shared bathroom, the more expensive ones have private facilities and a refrigerator. Serviced apartments newly opened in June 2010 and have large rooms with kitchenette and balconies, large ensuite, WiFi, cableTV. 24 hr security, free airport/bus station/boat harbour transfers.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Chhaya Hotel and Serviced Apartments" alt="" address="118, St 3, Svaypor" directions="" phone="+855 53 952170, +855 12 882500" url="http://www.chhayahotel.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="Hotel: US$3-12, apartments: US$20/night or US$270/mth" lat="" long="" email="chhaya.best@yahoo.com" fax="">Opened in June 2010, single, double and triple rooms, both air-con and non air-con, cableTV available. The cheaper hotel rooms have a shared bathroom, the more expensive ones have private facilities and a refrigerator. Serviced apartments newly opened in June 2010 and have large rooms with kitchenette and balconies, large ensuite, WiFi, cableTV. 24 hr security, free airport/bus station/boat harbour transfers.</sleep>
  
* <sleep name="Lux Guest House" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+855 92 335767" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$8-23 (down to $6 in low season)" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Built in 2009, rooms include hot water, aircon, fan, cableTV, free WiFi, fridge and minibar. Rooms are big clean and nicely decorated, as goes for the entire hotel. Staff are friendly, helpful and a little bit shy. Location is close to nice eating places and at a road which is lit at night.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Lux Guest House" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+855 92 335767" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$8-23 (down to $US6 in low season)" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Built in 2009, rooms include hot water, aircon, fan, cableTV, free WiFi, fridge and minibar. Rooms are big clean and nicely decorated, as goes for the entire hotel. Staff are friendly, helpful and a little bit shy. Location is close to nice eating places and at a road which is lit at night.</sleep>
  
 
* <sleep name="Tomato Backpacker Hostel, Restaurant and Bar" alt="" address="20 Ushaphea Village" directions="behind LUX Guest House" phone="+855 12 85 34 39" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$2-10" lat="" long="">Very friendly place with ensuite rooms for just US$3 and dorms for US$2. Has only 4 rooms in total on first floor that also has nice restaurant balcony. Good value..</sleep>
 
* <sleep name="Tomato Backpacker Hostel, Restaurant and Bar" alt="" address="20 Ushaphea Village" directions="behind LUX Guest House" phone="+855 12 85 34 39" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$2-10" lat="" long="">Very friendly place with ensuite rooms for just US$3 and dorms for US$2. Has only 4 rooms in total on first floor that also has nice restaurant balcony. Good value..</sleep>
  
* <sleep name="Hotel Royal" alt="" address="" directions="On a side street west of the central market" phone="+855 16 944955" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$3-25" lat="" long="">Rooftop restaurant. Spacious rooms with bathroom, hot water and air-con. Clean singles and doubles available with shared bathroom and toilets.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Hotel Royal" alt="" address="" directions="On a side street west of the central market" phone="+855 16 944955" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$7-25" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Rooftop restaurant. Spacious rooms with bathroom, hot water and air-con. Clean singles and doubles available with shared bathroom and toilets. Wi-Fi working in most rooms + rooftop. Very helpful staff who speaks good english. Free cold water on arrival.</sleep>
  
 
* <sleep name="Golden River Hotel" alt="" address=" Street 3 " directions="A few blocks down from Hotel Chhaya and just before the sign posted turn for the train station" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="From US$5" lat="" long="">Good clean hotel with the standard facilities you will find elsewhere in Battambang. Staff are helpful and friendly.</sleep>
 
* <sleep name="Golden River Hotel" alt="" address=" Street 3 " directions="A few blocks down from Hotel Chhaya and just before the sign posted turn for the train station" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="From US$5" lat="" long="">Good clean hotel with the standard facilities you will find elsewhere in Battambang. Staff are helpful and friendly.</sleep>
Line 293: Line 186:
 
* <sleep name="Holiday Hotel" alt="" address="#695, St.4" directions="" phone="+855 81 999 006" url="http://www.holidayhotel-bb.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$15-20" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Good hotel with elevator and large reception area. Rooms have air-con, wifi, cableTV and ensuite.</sleep>
 
* <sleep name="Holiday Hotel" alt="" address="#695, St.4" directions="" phone="+855 81 999 006" url="http://www.holidayhotel-bb.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$15-20" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Good hotel with elevator and large reception area. Rooms have air-con, wifi, cableTV and ensuite.</sleep>
  
* <sleep name="Lux Guest House" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+855 92 335767" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$8-23" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Built in 2009, rooms include hot water, aircon, fan, cableTV, free WiFi, fridge and minibar. Rooms are big clean and nicely decorated, as goes for the entire hotel. Staff are friendly, helpful and a little bit shy. Location is close to nice eating places and at a road which is lit at night.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Lux Guest House" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+855 92 335767" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$8-23" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Built in 2009, air-con, fan, cableTV, free WiFi, fridge and minibar. Rooms are large, clean and nicely decorated; as is the entire hotel. Staff are friendly, helpful and a little bit shy. Location is close to nice eating places and at a road which is lit at night.</sleep>
  
 
* <sleep name="Teo Hotel" alt="" address="St.3" directions="" phone="+855 53 952288, (mobile) +855 12 8570487" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="From US$10" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Immaculately clean and well-maintained rooms with double bed, air-con and fan, hot water, TV, and mini-fridge. Visa and MasterCard accepted. If you are in a room far from the router then wifi reception may be very poor or unavailable. Indoor restaurant is closed. Unhelpful staff.</sleep>
 
* <sleep name="Teo Hotel" alt="" address="St.3" directions="" phone="+855 53 952288, (mobile) +855 12 8570487" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="From US$10" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Immaculately clean and well-maintained rooms with double bed, air-con and fan, hot water, TV, and mini-fridge. Visa and MasterCard accepted. If you are in a room far from the router then wifi reception may be very poor or unavailable. Indoor restaurant is closed. Unhelpful staff.</sleep>
Line 303: Line 196:
 
* <sleep name="Banan Hotel" alt="" address="National Rd No 5" directions="" phone="+855 77 707789. +855 61 577777" url="http://www.bananhotel.doodlekit.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$15/$25" lat="" long="" email="phaysodavy@yahoo.com" fax="">Close to bus station and city centre. Helpful staff. Free WiFi, free bicycles.</sleep>
 
* <sleep name="Banan Hotel" alt="" address="National Rd No 5" directions="" phone="+855 77 707789. +855 61 577777" url="http://www.bananhotel.doodlekit.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$15/$25" lat="" long="" email="phaysodavy@yahoo.com" fax="">Close to bus station and city centre. Helpful staff. Free WiFi, free bicycles.</sleep>
  
* <sleep name="Phka Villa Hotel/Resort" alt="" address="K O St, Romchea 5, Sankat Ratanak" directions="" phone="+855 53953255" email="phkavilla@gmail.com" fax="" url="" checkin="12 noon" checkout="12 noon" price="US$55">10 ensuite equipped bungalow rooms, 13 m x 18 m swimming pool, free internet and in-room WiFi, free bicycles, free shuttle to town, airport shuttle (surcharge), car or taxi arranged. All rooms have hot water, air-con, fan, network cable LCD TV, DVD player, safety box, stocked mini bar, hair dryer, bathrobe, toiletries. 2 private terraces, one is sun terrace facing the swimming pool. Restaurant and bar open from 6AM-midnight. Hotel opened in 2009, renovated in 2012</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Phka Villa Hotel/Resort" alt="" address="K O St, Romchea 5, Sankat Ratanak" directions="" phone="+855 53953255" email="phkavilla@gmail.com" fax="" url="" checkin="12 noon" checkout="12 noon" price="US$55">10 ensuite equipped bungalow rooms, 13 m x 18 m swimming pool, free internet and in-room WiFi, free bicycles, free shuttle to town, airport shuttle (surcharge), car or taxi arranged. All rooms have air-con, fan, network cable LCD TV, DVD player, safety box, stocked mini bar, hair dryer, bathrobe, toiletries. 2 private terraces, one is sun terrace facing the swimming pool. Restaurant and bar open from 06:00-midnight. Hotel opened in 2009, renovated in 2012</sleep>
  
 
===Splurge===
 
===Splurge===
Line 309: Line 202:
 
* <sleep name="Au Cabaret Vert" alt="" address="Toul Ta Ek, Otakom 2" directions="" phone="+855 53 656 2000, +855 77 991384" url="http://www.aucabaretvert.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$50-66 for 2 persons, with breakfast" lat="" long="" email="info@aucabaretvert.com" fax="">New hotel with bungalows around a natural swimming pool. Library, parking, free internet, tours, car and motorbike, electric bike and tuk-tuk hire arranged, international telephone, laundry and historic film screenings.</sleep>
 
* <sleep name="Au Cabaret Vert" alt="" address="Toul Ta Ek, Otakom 2" directions="" phone="+855 53 656 2000, +855 77 991384" url="http://www.aucabaretvert.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$50-66 for 2 persons, with breakfast" lat="" long="" email="info@aucabaretvert.com" fax="">New hotel with bungalows around a natural swimming pool. Library, parking, free internet, tours, car and motorbike, electric bike and tuk-tuk hire arranged, international telephone, laundry and historic film screenings.</sleep>
  
* <sleep name="La Villa" alt="" address="N 185 Pom Romchek 5 Kom, Rattanak Srok" directions="" phone="+855 5373 0151 , mob +855 1741 1880 " url="http://www.lavilla-battambang.net" checkin="" checkout="" price="from US$55-100" lat="" long="" email="lavilla.battambang@gmail.com " fax="+855 5373 0151">Guest house with a swimming pool in a renovated 1930s French colonial period villa, art-deco furniture and fittings. 7 rooms available (6 in the main house and 1 in the house nearby the swimming pool). Each room has a private toilet with bath or shower, hot and cold water, air-con, fan, TV and cable network, 4 poster bed with mosquito net, light summer duvet, wardrobe, work desk, safety box, coffee and tea facilities, DVD player with DVD for rent. Located just across the river from the central market.  Book ahead as it is often full.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="La Villa" alt="" address="N 185 Pom Romchek 5 Kom, Rattanak Srok" directions="" phone="+855 5373 0151 , mob +855 1741 1880 " url="http://www.lavilla-battambang.net" checkin="" checkout="" price="from US$55-100" lat="" long="" email="lavilla.battambang@gmail.com " fax="+855 5373 0151">Guest house with a swimming pool in a renovated 1930s French colonial period villa, art-deco furniture and fittings. 7 rooms available (6 in the main house and 1 in the house nearby the swimming pool). Each room has a private toilet with bath or shower, air-con, fan, TV and cable network, 4 poster bed with mosquito net, light summer duvet, wardrobe, work desk, safety box, coffee and tea facilities, DVD player with DVD for rent. Located just across the river from the central market.  Book ahead as it is often full.</sleep>
  
* <sleep name="Bambu Hotel" alt="" address="Phum Romchek 5, Sangkat Rottanak, KO Street" directions="" phone="+855 53 953900" url="http://www.bambuhotel.com" checkin="" checkout="" email="bookings@bambuhotel.com" fax="+855 53 953951" price="From US$66" lat="" long="" >16 rooms, inc 4 suite rooms (32 sq m incl bathroom),  6 deluxe superior rooms (27 sq m incl bathroom), 4 deluxe standard rooms (27 sq m incl bathroom). All have en suite bathrooms, air-con, telephone, flat screen cable TV, DVD player, access to DVD library, iPod docker, mini bar, room safe and private terrace or balcony. Free wifi, 2 computer terminals in reception for use by guests, salt water swimming pool (14m x 6) open from 08:00-21:00. Restaurant open 6AM-10PM, wine, beers, fruit juices and soft drinks available from the bar.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Bambu Hotel" alt="" address="Phum Romchek 5, Sangkat Rottanak, KO Street" directions="" phone="+855 53 953900" url="http://www.bambuhotel.com" checkin="" checkout="" email="bookings@bambuhotel.com" fax="+855 53 953951" price="From US$66" lat="" long="" >16 rooms, inc 4 suite rooms (32 sq m incl bathroom),  6 deluxe superior rooms (27 sq m incl bathroom), 4 deluxe standard rooms (27 sq m incl bathroom). All have en suite bathrooms, air-con, telephone, flat screen cable TV, DVD player, access to DVD library, iPod docker, mini bar, room safe and private terrace or balcony. Free wifi, 2 computer terminals in reception for use by guests, salt water swimming pool (14m x 6) open from 08:00-21:00. Restaurant open 06:00-22:00, wine, beers, fruit juices and soft drinks available from the bar.</sleep>
  
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==

Revision as of 03:12, 19 March 2013

Road No. 3 near the Central Market

Battambang [1] is Cambodia's second most populous city and a popular tourist destination due to the many nearby ancient temples, Buddhist shrines and the infamous bamboo railway. It is also the capital city of the Battambang province. It is popular with tourists because of it's blend of modern city, small-town friendliness and some well-preserved colonial architecture, which works together to give the town a unique charm.

Contents

Understand

History

Ramayana depicted on carvings from the 11th century

Battambang was established as an important trading city with around 2,500 residents in the 18th century. They lived mostly along a single road parallel to the Sangkae River. In 1795 Thailand, then Siam, annexed much of northwestern Cambodia including the province of Battambang and Siem Reap. The Siamese Abhaiwongse family ruled Battambang as governors for six generations until 1907 when the province was ceded to the French to be part of their French Indochina colony.

Following the colonization of the French in Battambang the colonial administration developed an urban layout which enlarged the size of the French colonial town. In the first time development, they constructed a grid pattern of well-defined streets, put in the urban structures and built three main streets parallel to the Sangker River, connected the both side with two bridges in 1917. Military purposes and prison infrastructures were erected inside the compound. 19 years later, a second urban development plan was created with a newly constructed railway linked from Battambang to Phnom Penh. The urban structure was extended to the west of the town, featuring some important urban axes orienting on the railway station. Many outstanding buildings like residential villas and significant public buildings were constructed during that period. According to the third urban development plan for Battambang, a large extension was planned for the north, east and south of the city. The urban layout was technically planned and required long-term thinking to create an urban axis corresponding to the existing urban layout from the former period. Battambang grew as a modern provincial capital, and became the most developed part of all provinces in Cambodia.

Several large infrastructures and public facilities were built under the modernization program of the Cambodian government under Prince Sihanouk. Several provincial departments, the court house and other public administrations were set up on both sides of the river. Textile and garment factories were built by French and Chinese investors, the Battambang Airport was constructed, and the railway line was developed to reach Poipet. Numerous schools and a university were built. A sports centre, museum and an exhibition hall were constructed to serve the cultural needs of the growing population.

Get in

Map of Battambang

By road

National Highway 5 is paved and from Battambang runs southeast to Phnom Penh and northwest to Sisophon and Poipet. At Sisophon, National Highway 6 branches off to provide paved access to Siem Reap. In a car, Phnom Penh is around 4 hr away and Sisophon can be reached in just under 1 hr. By bus, Phnom Penh take about 5-6 hr and cost about US$4. Siem Reap takes at least 3 hr and costs US$3.75.

Highway 57 from Battambang to Pailin was paved in 2010. Paramount Angkor Buses run twice daily from Battambang to Pailin (2 hr) for US$4.

By boat

One boat a day travels from Siem Reap (for Angkor) to Battambang, departing Siem Reap at 07:00. An interesting and very scenic journey along small rivers, the boat threads it's way through numerous charming floating villages and past dozens of towering cantilevered fishing net installations. It can take between 4-12 hr, depending on the time of year (and hence the water level), however the time can be fairly accurately predicted by checking the time that the same boat arrived yesterday.

During the dry season, when the water level gets very low, the boats cannot get all the way to Battambang and the journey is completed by minibus or pick-up truck.

By rail

Cambodia's defunct rail system is due to be regenerated by 2013. The line runs from Poipet on the Thai border through Sisophon and along the southern side of the Tonle Sap Lake to Battambang and Phnom Penh.

Get around

The city centre is quite compact and can be mostly explored by foot. Bicycles can be rented from most hotels or private companies for US$1-2 per day. Motorcycles can be rented from US$5 a day. The driving habits of locals are hazardous. Police may try to fine tourists on motobikes. If pulled over, stay calm, smile & take the key out of the ignition (to prevent the police trying to ransom it), and pay a small fine of US1-2. Arguing, waving your driving licence in their faces or otherwise upsetting the police is not recommended.

Tuk-tuks and motorbike drivers hang around popular tourist areas. As most of the interesting and useful destinations are quite close to each other, most rides should only cost around US$2-4. More distant trips like Phnom Sampouv (the 'killing caves') will cost around US$10, and can be combined with other destinations for a total of US$12-15. Saam Bo is a tuk-tuk driver who has worked for Western companies and NGOs, and so speaks excellent English. (Most don't.) He's also resourceful, fair and pleasant-natured: 097 353 5305.

Small boats act as ferries (500 riel) and cross the river in front of the market.

See

Buddhist temple in Battambang

Battambang is known for its statues which seemingly decorate every public place. Most are of animals (mythical and real) and divinities.

The most famous of these statues is on the main road in from Phnom Penh and is of an ancient Khmer King holding a stick which he used to quell rebellions in the Battambang area. The name of the town / province comes from this legend.

Battambang's central market

The town also has a number of fine early-20th-century French colonial buildings. Most of the colonial buildings can be found along the waterfront (St 1), especially just south of Psar Nat (which is quite impressive in itself). Famous Art Deco buildings are the Central market, the swimming pool Victory (riverside) and the train station. Along streets 1, 2, 21/2 and 3 are charming examples of Chinese, French and Italian architecture, with peculiar mirroring of houses constructed on one side in brick, square pillars and on the other one in concrete, round pillars. Street 3 has some charming French shop-houses.

  • The Governors Residence is the most impressive colonial building, a legacy of the early 1900s with balconies and wooden shutters and grand reception room with a 5m ceiling. It was designed by an Italian architect for the last Thai governor, who departed in 1907. The interior is closed but you can explore the grounds at leisure.
  • Battambang Museum (admission US$1) displays fine Angkorian lintels and statuary from all over the Battambang province, including Phnom Banan and Sneng, and it has multi-lingual signs.

Around Battambang:

Phnom Sampeu's Killing Caves
  • Phnom Sampeu, a hill with the Killing Caves of the Khmer Rouge, a few others caves adorned with Buddhist statues, and a monastery with two Buddhist Stupas on the hilltop. Entry is US$2 - also covering Wat Banan - and it takes about 1 hr to climb the circuit to the monastery on top, with a short-cut leading back down to the shops and restaurants which line the approaching road.
  • Wat Banan, the so-called mini-Angkor wat, an impressive flight of stairs lead up to a dilapidated Angkor-style temple which is still in use as a Buddhist shrine.
  • Wat Baydamram, a temple where hundreds of fruit bats live in trees under the protection of the Buddhist monks.
Wat Ek Phnom
  • Wat Ek Phnom, another Angkor-type temple ruin, about 15 km north west of Battambang. The road runs along lovely small rivers flanked by trees and small villages making it a generally nice area. Approaching Wat Ek Phnom, you suddenly encounter a giant Buddha statue in the Wat, which is certainly picture-worthy. The grounds of the Wat also have an Angkorian era temple which is in relatively good shape and with some interesting carvings.
  • Wat Samraong Knong, roughly translated as 'Wat in the forest' is an extremely old pagoda on the eastern side of the Sangker River. The eerie old Wat was used as a Khmer Rouge prison, and there were many executions on the premises. A new pagoda is now being built, and there is a memorial to the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime, with graphic illustrations just to the north.

There are several opportunities to explore villages just south of town. The cultural village of Watkor, just a few kilometres south of the town centre has several "ancient wooden houses" from the early 20th century. Further south are the agricultural villages of Kompong Seyma, and Ksach Puoy. For info call District Administration Battambang: ☎ +855 1288 1516, +855 1666 6111.

  • Battambang Circus, Phare Ponleu Selpak (10 min journey in tuk-tuk from the centre of Battambang-most drivers know the the circus), +855 53 952 424, [2]. Performances every Mon and Thurs from 18:00. The shows are fun, energetic and exciting and include a range of circus disciplines. The ticket price helps support the NGO school which works with disadvantaged children and teenagers. After the show, you can have dinner there for US$6 US$10.

Do

The bamboo train near Battambang
  • Rent a bicycle and cycle along the river. Upstream (south) or downstream (north). Both directions are flat and mostly paved, and it is possible to cycle along the river bank for a considerable distance, of up to 20 km each way. Also worth trying are the unpaved roads, they are easy to cycle along, have nearly no traffic and there plenty of children to say hello. A good address for renting regular and better bicycles is The Battambang BIKE rental and repair directions="60 street 2,5" Info@thebattambangbike.com ☎ +855 17 905 276
  • The Bamboo Train: (The term "train" being used loosely - A large bamboo platform mounted on train axles powered by a small go-kart engine). A trip to the train can be booked in most hotels or arranged with a motorbike/tuk-tuk driver. Currently it is regulated by Battambang's Tourist Police, with a standard rate of US$5 per person, minimum 2 people or US$10 for one person, with discounts for larger groups. It is worthwhile asking the driver to stop at scenic places.
  • Green Orange Kayak, +855 77 204 121. Go on a beautiful Stung Sangker river voyage from the small village of Ksach Poy to Battambang, past riverside terraces and traditional bamboo houses. Get away from the dusty roads and learn first hand about traditional fishing and farming techniques. Half day trip, 11 km. US$12.
Buying ingredients


Take a cooking class

Many restaurants around Battambang offer cooking classes at varying prices.

  • Ch'Ngainh Ch'Ngainh, a homely and familial approach to cookery carried out in a family home. (sambath_9@yahoo.com) ☎ +855 12 63 93 50. Daily courses priced at US$10.
  • Nary Kitchen, Svay Por Battambang, (opposite the Holiday Guesthouse). ☎ +855 1276 3950, inside of a homestyle restaurant with Nary and her translator husband Toot. Daily courses in the morning or evening with two mains and spring rolls priced at $10.
  • The Smoking Pot, daily courses with a minimum of two or more people, which can be a problem in low season. Priced at US$10.


Volunteering

Giving something back to the friendly and helpfull locals.

One of CAD's projects - Takom Village
Students during break at CAD's Takom School
  • Children’s Action for Development (CAD) [3], is a community-based non-government and non-profit organization that provides Khmer and English literacy classes, life skills, child rights awareness, environmental awareness, job training, girl empowerment, nutrition, community education and family business programs to support poor, orphaned, vulnerable and disadvantaged rural children and families. Depending on current projects you are able to volunteer in a variety of ways, whereas the local founder Racky Thy[4] (known to the "Lonely Planet"-reader) will find a suitable job for you. [5] will give you some impressions (text in German language).

Eat

There are plenty of places to eat but after 19:00 some places close and lots of streets become dark, so eating early around 18:00, is recommended.

Good French-style bread costs 1,000 rial a medium-size baguette up north, between the French cultural centre and the giant statue marking the entry in Battambang from the main interprovincial road. The bread that street sellers have elsewhere in town is of a much lower standard for the same price, similar to that found in Phnom Penh a baguette-shape, but sprinkled with sugar, however some people do not notice any difference between the bread sold in the north and elsewhere in Battambang. It is generally of decent quality all across the city.

  • Au Cabaret Vert Restaurant (Au Cabaret Vert-Hôtel à Battambang), Toul Ta Ek, Otakom 2 (5 min from the market by tuk-tuk), +885 53 656 2000,+885 77 991 384 (), [6]. Traditional Cambodian dishes, their speciality is fish amok, complemented by a French-style menu that includes desserts and wine. US$9-16 for a main course, entrees US$8-12.
  • Bamboo Train Café & Bar', (Cross the new bridge, 200 m further and it's on the right hand side just after the pizza house), (). 06:30-22:00. Relaxed atmosphere, delicious food and friendly staff (N 13° 05.549',E 103° 12.178')
  • Cafe Eden, (), [7]. Western style riverfront cafe restaurant run by an American woman. Serves Western and Asian food, and coffee (but no juices). Kitchen works to Western food handling and preparation standards. (13.099622,103.199188)
  • Gecko Cafe, Street #3 (One block South of Psa Nath Market). Nice atmosphere, limited but very tasty menu, free WiFi. Staff extremely friendly and helpful and good clean environment. The business is designed to help local people to develop their standards of living and lifestyle. Staff are paid more than the average wage, and this is reflected in the service. There appears to be a well managed training programme in place for all the staff
  • Natural (Part of the project of an NGO called Coconut Water Foundation), N091-G34 Road 3. 20 Ousaphear Village, Svaypoar Commune (street no 3, 100 m south of the central market), +855 89 409 958. A shop and organic coffee place. The shop sells handmade clothes, bags and wallets made by local home based producers and from other local NGOs, watercolour post cards and pictures made by art students from another NGO. Organic fruit shakes, green tea with fruits and vegetarian breakfast & brunch options. There is also a khmer lady weaving using an authentic old style loom.
  • Smokin' Pot, Ph.3. Cooking school-come-restaurant offering a good range of Khmer and Thai food. Vegetarian-friendly. Note that there are two establishments called "Smokin' Pot" a few blocks apart. Mains 8,000-20,000 rial.
  • White Rose, (Almost opposite the Smoking Pot). Big menu, and some great fruit shakes. This place is more typically Asian-style than Western-style cosy but is still full of foreigners. Service can be very slow. The owners' children can run riot in the evenings, making dining less than peaceful.
  • Apple of Love (La Pomme d'Amour), street 2.5, #63, +885 12 415 513, +885 12 963 189, [8]. 19:00-10PM. Khmer cuisine with a French twist, sophisticated and creative with pleasant staff. Wine list.
  • Cafe Flirt, street 121 (Back one street from riverside, next to White Rose Restaurnat.), +855 92238935. 0800-2300 or later. A new relaxed bar restaurant in Battambang,,serving great western food cooked by the western owner who holds a British Food Hygiene cert. fantastic burgers and homemade dishes. Serving Ice Cold Anchor or Cambodia Draught beers..Happy hour 4pm-7.00pm everyday Beer only 50C a mug,,and wine only $2.50. Guaranteed open until 11pm everyday,,the latest bar around, will stay open later if needed...So come chill out to some great tunes,,Free WI-FI, only free pool table in town! 4-6$.
  • Choco l'art café, Street 117,, 010661617. 12-12. 2 blocks from the central market towards sout-west. A unique venue in Battambang with chic, lounge fee that reflects the mood if its young, creative owners. A contemporary blend of Khmer and French cultures achieved through gastronomy and modern art. Sandwiches with home-made bread, cakes, cookies, crumbles, chocolate mousses and more... Open from 12 am to 12 pm. 3-4 $.
  • Green mango, Opposite Bamboo train café. Pastries and coffee, as a training project for disadvantaged young people
  • Make Art space, Street 2.5 # 66. An avant-garde meeting and exhibition galery, with kid art classes, film projections, recycling shop and much more
  • Sunrise Coffee House, Royal St (near Royal Hotel) (150m directly west of Psar Nath (the main market)), 053 953 426. 6.30AM to 8PM. The only Western-style restaurant which opens at dawn. Does a great Western breakfast and lunch. Juices, espresso, latte, cappuccino. Deli with huge range of cakes, cinnamon muffins, cookies, and Battambang's only wholegrain breads. Unusually fast service by Battambang standards. $4-9.


Drink

  • Espresso Cafe, (Beside Hotel Royal, inner side of yellow art-deco market). Everything is provided with a smile. Good smoothies. A good family-run Khmer restaurant.
  • Street One and a Half, End of St 1.5 (head south from central market on St.2, hang a left and find it at the end/corner of that little street). Good cafe menu with a few snacks but mainly just excellent coffee and other drinks. Good espresso coffee, very cool alleyway atmosphere.
  • Centre Cafe, Street Number 3 (one block towards the river from the Lux Hotel). 07:30 - midnight. Cheap and tasty western and Khmer dishes, usual beer coffee and smoothies, nice atmosphere and tours/bus tickets available at prices much cheaper than the hotels (half the price for a day-bus ticket to Phnom Penh than what the Lux hotel quotes). Staff speak decent English and the manager/owner is very friendly. US$1-5.
  • Madison Corner, Street 2.5, [9]. 06:00-late. The unique Pub in town. Enjoy a drink, draft beer, cocktail, home-made rum and a large variety of ice creams and local snacks. Some of the best crepes in Cambodia. A Battambang meeting place.
  • Fresh Eats, Street 2.5 (A few doors down from Apple of Love/La Pomme d'Amour). NGO restaurant with a reasonably-priced menu with lots of fruit juices, breakfast foods and make-your-own sandwiches.
  • Scoop Cocktails Bar (scooprottanakresort@gmail.com), K.o street, romcheak 5, Sangkat Ratanak, Battambang, 855-53953255, [10]. 18hours from 6.am. Scoop Cocktails Bar(River east Bank)lives sports/ 1 LCD 40inchs and 2 LCD 30inchs, best cocktails in town, free tapas and snacks, happy hours 17:00-19:00 and 22:00-23:30 ( draught beer 75c buy 2 get 1 free, all cocktails $2.50). mid day- late afternoon come for beers or cocktails swim for free. $75c-$5.
  • Here Be Dragons, On the east bank of the river, between Sar Kheng Bridge and Hun Sen Bridge, 089264895, [11]. 7am till late. Western-managed backpacker bar, restaurant and guesthouse. Has cheap beer, cocktails and good music, and a garden with hammocks. Dorm beds $2, rooms $10.


Sleep

Budget

  • Battambang My Homestay, (little bit out of city centre, but nicely quiet (10 min by bike)), +855 12 300 249 (), [12]. Just call the owner Mr. Kun or go to the website. Very friendly atmosphere, traditional Khmer breakfast and lovely fruitplates for the evening, free bicycles, free WiFi, TV, extrodinary Tuk-Tuk drivers with high English-skills and good knowledge about the area and Cambodia in general, contact to local volunteering organisation. 12USD fan, 16USD AC.
  • Ancient House (Homestay in Watkor village), (100 m south of Watkor temple and a few km south of town), +855 12 363174. Talk with Madame Boun Roeung (who speaks some French but no English) about the possibility of staying in her "Ancient House." Accommodation is simple, with foam mattresses on the floor. Other owners of ancient houses may also be open to this.
  • BOVA Village Homestay, Samroang Khnong Village (8km North of Battambang City), 012326577 (), [13]. Khmer homestay run by Mr. Sophorn a local man who also is the founder of BOVA (Battambang Orphanage Village Assistance). $US12 per person per night which includes pickup and drop off from your location in Battambang, traditional Khmer cuisine, drinking water and accommodation with a Khmer family. Accommodation is very basic but authentic. Bicycles may be borrowed from the orphanage to ride around the village and say hello to all the smiling children. The fee is split between the host family and the Orphanage. Numerous volunteer opportunities at the Orphanage. 12USD.
  • Seng Hout Hotel, No. #1008B, Road 02 (North of Psar Nat Market 50m, Prekmohatep, next door to the White Rose Restaurant and around the corner from the Smoking Pot), +855 53 952 900, cell +855 12 530 327 (), [14]. Good hotel with elevator and large reception area. Rooms have air-conor optional cheaper fan,free WiFi, cableTV and ensuite. Rooftop cafe with 360⁰ views. Newly built in 2008 with cableTV, air-con and refrigerator. Rates inc taxes and pick up any station in Battambang city March 2011-Standard room promo rate US$16, double occupancy. Standard single (VIP) US$18 nett/room (max 2 guests).Standard double US$15 nett/room (maximum 2-3 guests). Standard twin US$15 nett/room (max 2 guests).
  • Chhaya Hotel and Serviced Apartments, 118, St 3, Svaypor, +855 53 952170, +855 12 882500 (), [15]. Opened in June 2010, single, double and triple rooms, both air-con and non air-con, cableTV available. The cheaper hotel rooms have a shared bathroom, the more expensive ones have private facilities and a refrigerator. Serviced apartments newly opened in June 2010 and have large rooms with kitchenette and balconies, large ensuite, WiFi, cableTV. 24 hr security, free airport/bus station/boat harbour transfers. Hotel: US$3-12, apartments: US$20/night or US$270/mth.
  • Lux Guest House, +855 92 335767. Built in 2009, rooms include hot water, aircon, fan, cableTV, free WiFi, fridge and minibar. Rooms are big clean and nicely decorated, as goes for the entire hotel. Staff are friendly, helpful and a little bit shy. Location is close to nice eating places and at a road which is lit at night. US$8-23 (down to $US6 in low season).
  • Tomato Backpacker Hostel, Restaurant and Bar, 20 Ushaphea Village (behind LUX Guest House), +855 12 85 34 39. Very friendly place with ensuite rooms for just US$3 and dorms for US$2. Has only 4 rooms in total on first floor that also has nice restaurant balcony. Good value.. US$2-10.
  • Hotel Royal, (On a side street west of the central market), +855 16 944955. Rooftop restaurant. Spacious rooms with bathroom, hot water and air-con. Clean singles and doubles available with shared bathroom and toilets. Wi-Fi working in most rooms + rooftop. Very helpful staff who speaks good english. Free cold water on arrival. US$7-25.
  • Golden River Hotel, Street 3 (A few blocks down from Hotel Chhaya and just before the sign posted turn for the train station). Good clean hotel with the standard facilities you will find elsewhere in Battambang. Staff are helpful and friendly. From US$5.

Mid-range

  • Bungalow Restaurant and Guesthouse. CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS. Amongst flowering gardens and tropical fruit trees. Good for really relaxing atmosphere and very good western and Thai food.
  • Holiday Hotel, #695, St.4, +855 81 999 006, [16]. Good hotel with elevator and large reception area. Rooms have air-con, wifi, cableTV and ensuite. US$15-20.
  • Lux Guest House, +855 92 335767. Built in 2009, air-con, fan, cableTV, free WiFi, fridge and minibar. Rooms are large, clean and nicely decorated; as is the entire hotel. Staff are friendly, helpful and a little bit shy. Location is close to nice eating places and at a road which is lit at night. US$8-23.
  • Teo Hotel, St.3, +855 53 952288, (mobile) +855 12 8570487. Immaculately clean and well-maintained rooms with double bed, air-con and fan, hot water, TV, and mini-fridge. Visa and MasterCard accepted. If you are in a room far from the router then wifi reception may be very poor or unavailable. Indoor restaurant is closed. Unhelpful staff. From US$10.
  • Khemara Battambang Hotel, No 224, Old National Rd No 5, Roumcheck 4 Village, Sangkat Rathanak., +855 53 732727, [17]. Very comfortable beds, clean rooms with internet access (LAN cable, but in some rooms a connection from a nearby WiFi network is available), TV, air-con, fan and a fridge. Car parking possible. Also has an outdoor swimming pool. In room massage available from US$5/hr. Bicycle hire US$4/day. US$15 or $25 VIP. (13.11599,103.20299)
  • * Banan Hotel, National Rd No 5, +855 77 707789. +855 61 577777 (), [18]. Close to bus station and city centre. Helpful staff. Free WiFi, free bicycles. US$15/$25. US$15/$25.
  • Phka Villa Hotel/Resort, K O St, Romchea 5, Sankat Ratanak, +855 53953255 (). checkin: 12 noon; checkout: 12 noon. 10 ensuite equipped bungalow rooms, 13 m x 18 m swimming pool, free internet and in-room WiFi, free bicycles, free shuttle to town, airport shuttle (surcharge), car or taxi arranged. All rooms have air-con, fan, network cable LCD TV, DVD player, safety box, stocked mini bar, hair dryer, bathrobe, toiletries. 2 private terraces, one is sun terrace facing the swimming pool. Restaurant and bar open from 06:00-midnight. Hotel opened in 2009, renovated in 2012 US$55.

Splurge

  • Au Cabaret Vert, Toul Ta Ek, Otakom 2, +855 53 656 2000, +855 77 991384 (), [19]. New hotel with bungalows around a natural swimming pool. Library, parking, free internet, tours, car and motorbike, electric bike and tuk-tuk hire arranged, international telephone, laundry and historic film screenings. US$50-66 for 2 persons, with breakfast.
  • La Villa, N 185 Pom Romchek 5 Kom, Rattanak Srok, +855 5373 0151 , mob +855 1741 1880 (, fax: +855 5373 0151), [20]. Guest house with a swimming pool in a renovated 1930s French colonial period villa, art-deco furniture and fittings. 7 rooms available (6 in the main house and 1 in the house nearby the swimming pool). Each room has a private toilet with bath or shower, air-con, fan, TV and cable network, 4 poster bed with mosquito net, light summer duvet, wardrobe, work desk, safety box, coffee and tea facilities, DVD player with DVD for rent. Located just across the river from the central market. Book ahead as it is often full. from US$55-100.
  • Bambu Hotel, Phum Romchek 5, Sangkat Rottanak, KO Street, +855 53 953900 (, fax: +855 53 953951), [21]. 16 rooms, inc 4 suite rooms (32 sq m incl bathroom), 6 deluxe superior rooms (27 sq m incl bathroom), 4 deluxe standard rooms (27 sq m incl bathroom). All have en suite bathrooms, air-con, telephone, flat screen cable TV, DVD player, access to DVD library, iPod docker, mini bar, room safe and private terrace or balcony. Free wifi, 2 computer terminals in reception for use by guests, salt water swimming pool (14m x 6) open from 08:00-21:00. Restaurant open 06:00-22:00, wine, beers, fruit juices and soft drinks available from the bar. From US$66.

Get out

Routes through Battambang
PoipetSisophon  NW noframe SE  → Moung Ruessei → Phnom Penh




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