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Battambang

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Cambodia : Cardamom and Elephant Mountains : Battambang
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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.

Understand

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 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.

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

See

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 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.

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 esy to cycle along, have nearly no traffic and there plenty of children to say hello.
  • 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


  • Volunteering. If you would like to give something back to the friendly lokals.

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.

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 (), [3]. 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, (), [4]. 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. (13.099622,103.199188)
  • Gecko Cafe, Street #3 (One block South of Psa Nath Market). Nice atmosphere, limited but very tasty menu, free WiFi.
  • 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). 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.
  • Apple of Love (La Pomme d'Amour), street 2.5, #63, +885 12 415 513, +885 12 963 189, [5]. 19:00-10PM. Khmer cuisine with a French twist, sophisticated and creative with pleasant staff. Wine list
    Remains of a colonial French villa
    Kep is a seaside resort area in Cambodia and includes the small town of the same name which is the capital of Kep Province.

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 $US2. For a motorcycle taxi ($US2-3) or tuk-tuk (around $US6) be prepared to bargain like a local or pay a bit more. Package day tours between the two towns often include a visit to nearby destinations such as Rabbit Island, the caves between Kampot and Kep, and a pepper plantation.
  • From Phnom Penh: The road is paved, smooth and well sign posted. Around 4 hours by bus. Several bus companies serve Kep ($US5 -6) and offer various departure times from 07:00 through to 15:00. 168 Phnom Penh Sorya bus company runs from the bus station near 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 $US40-50 (2.5 to 3 hours).
  • From Sihanoukville: Minibuses take around 2 hours and cost around US$7 (shop around as 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 $US1-2, the price for a full day is between $US12-25. 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. There is a 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 used 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 who visit. The water is shallow but clean.

Do

  • Lida Massage, National Road, 012 953 427. Great Massages (Thai, Oil or Steam) for only $US7, located just next to the Kep Lodge. Also now located at the crab market.
  • 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.
  • Swim in the sea. 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 $US1 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.
  • Swim with the phosphorecent algae!, (Rabbit Island's beach, maybe Kep's). 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.

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 4,000to the US 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).

  • Lili Perles, near Crab Market, 017 306 550. daytime. 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.
  • Kep Supermarket, Next to the Pier. 7AM - 8PM. 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.
  • Kep Souvenir, @ Ana's Travel & Restaurant, [6]. 10AM-6PM. 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)
  • Sun Supermarket, near the beach. 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.

Eat

Fresh fish with pepper sauce.

Kep is famous for its crabs. The crab market (a 10 minute walk or $US1 tuk tuk journey 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 kilogramme 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.

  • Kep Thmey Seafood Restaurant, At the far end of the crab market, (). 08:00-22:00. Like all the other restaurants near the crab market, Kep Thmey is noted for crab and shrimp in green pepper. $3+.
  • 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.
  • Led Zep Cafe, (mountain trek road, just after Le Bout Du Monde). 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.
  • Veranda Restaurant & Bar, Kep Mountain Hillside, 012 888 619, [7]. Breakfast buffet 06:30-22:30, restaurant 11AM-10PM. 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.
  • Breezes Lounge & Restaurant, National Road 33 (Halfway between Kep Beach & Ferry Pier), 097 6759072. 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.
  • Kep Lodge Restaurant and Bar. 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 draught beer available.

Drink

  • Lida Bar, National Road 33, 012 953 427. 12-late. Lida Bar is now closed to guarantee a good night's rest for guests. Has built more rooms in addition.
  • Kukuluku, National Road, 012 607 8777. morning till late. 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.
  • Toucan - Restaurant Bar Tapas, (+855) 097 853 10 57, [8]. Open from morning - till late. 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.
  • Baraka. 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..

Sleep

  • The Beach House Kep, Right on the beach (Directly behind the white lady statue on Kep Beech Road), [9]. $40-55.
  • Botanica, National Road 33a, 097 899 8614 (), [10]. 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. US$10-25.
  • Le Bout du Monde, Preah Thom Kep, +855 (0)119 641 81, [11]. French and Khmer cuisine, restaurant-bar, private bungalows, on the hill, steep reception. US$20-150.
  • Jasmine Valley Eco-resort, Kep Mountain (two kilometers up into the mountain from the Kep Hospital corner), +855 (0)977 917 635, [12]. 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 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. from US$19.
  • Kep Lodge, Pepper Street (below the national park, next to Tree Top, Entry is to the left!), +855 (0) 92 43 53 30 (), [13]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12AM. 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. US$28-70.
  • Knai Bang Chatt, [14]. 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. US$160-350.
  • Sovanna - ex Starr Inn, 777 Ocean Blvd, (). 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. US$25-40.
  • Villa Romonea, Street 33, 012879486, [15]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 12noon. . 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.. US$150-190.
  • The Vine Retreat, Phnom Voar, Chamcar Bei (off Highway 33, between Kep and Kompong Trach), +855 11 706 231 (), [16]. 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. $20-45. (10° 33' 57.2394,104° 21' 38.5194)
  • Raingsey Bungalow (info@raingsey-bungalow-kep.com), Kep Mountain Hillside Road (same road as Vanna and Veranda), +855 (0) 11 558 197, [17]. Eight independent, wooden bungalows surrounded by a growing tropical garden. From your private balcony, you have access to the swimming pool, shaded by palm trees. The bedrooms in the Raingsey Bungalows are tastefully decorated and comfortable to ensure you a peaceful sleep. Each room has air conditioning, well equipped en-suite bathrooms with hot power showers but no doors to the toilet. You have a choice of a double bed or 2 single beds. Enjoy delicious food (local and Western) in the upstairs restaurant which overlooks the sea and the National Park of Kep. WiFi. 35$.
  • Brise de Kep, 18-19 Kep Beach Road (The row of restaurants and guesthouses on Kep beach near the southern roundabout), 036 633 633 9. All rooms have hot water and TV. The adjoining restaurant looks good but isn't. US$12 (fan) US$15 (air-con).
  • Tree Top Bungalows, (just below the national park next to Kep Lodge). checkout: 12. 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. $US4+.
  • Boathouse, 33A Sangkat Pray Thom, 097 572 4444, [18]. checkin: Anytime; checkout: 12:00. Charming wooden rooms (from $US25) with fan/air-con, cheaper rooms in concrete building. Traditional khmer style, tropical garden with stylish huts, views on the national park. Restaurant serves traditional Khmer & western food. Friendly family atmosphere. Free WiFi. Motorcycle rental is available. theboathousekep@hotmail.com boathousekep@gmail.com 8-30$. (10.48493,104.29360)
  • Masada Resort, Pepper Street 2 (below the national park, opposite to Tree Top), +855 (0) 97 50 62 338, [19]. checkin: 13.30; checkout: 11.30. Five bungalows with air-con and a private balcony. US$40-50.
  • Le Flamboyant Resort (www.flamboyant-hotel.com), 33a National Road (500m on the road to Kampot after the Vishnu Roundabout), +855 (0)17 491010, [20]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. 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. 60 - 250 $.
  • Villa Saat (www.villa-kep.com), + 85517383185, [21]. Brand-new villa opening in Jan 2013, overlooking the seashores of Kep. Villa for rent on short or long stay. + 85517383185 p.


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 Mekong Delta. The border area is still pretty rustic and some roads will be unpaved.


Routes through Battambang
Phnom Penh ← Takeo ←  N noframe W  KampotSihanoukville




This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


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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, [22]. 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, [23]. 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, [24]. 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

  • 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 (), [25]. 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 (), [26]. 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 (), [27]. 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$4-12, 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. US$3-25.
  • 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, [28]. 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, [29]. 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 (), [30]. 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 (), [31]. 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), [32]. 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), [33]. 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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