Battambang  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. Battambang's ever increasing variety on food and coffee is a refreshing change from more remote destinations in Cambodia, and has the potential to be as funky as Thailand's Chiang Mai, minus the hordes of tourists. And yes, you can have your latte and your piccolo like you never left home.
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 Abhaiwongse family (a Khmer family of noble origin) ruled Battambang as governors for the Siamese 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.
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 takes about 5-6 hr and cost about US$4. Siem Reap takes at least 3 hr and costs $5 ($6 at a local tour provider).
UPDATE: March 2014, buses are no longer allowed to drive into the city. The new bus station is about 3 km west of the city centre. A tutuk to the city centre will cost about $1.
The major bus companies, e.g. Capitol, Sorya, are still running their offices in the city and offer a free minivan transfer to the bus station. Smaller companies will take you to their own offices where you are at the mercy of the two or so moto drivers hanging around (they'll insist the city is 8km. away).
Highway 57 from Battambang to Pailin was paved in 2010. Paramount Angkor Buses run twice daily from Battambang to Pailin (2 hr) for $4.
From Siem Reap there are buses at 7:30am, 10:30am and 13:30pm. The Capitol bus costs $4.50 if booking direct at their office in Siem Reap, plus they will pick you up from your accommodation for free if necessary.
One boat a day travels from Siem Reap (for Angkor) to Battambang, departing Siem Reap at 07:00. An interesting and very scenic journey along small rivers, the boat threads its way through numerous charming floating villages and past dozens of towering cantilevered fishing net installations. It can take between 4-12 hr, depending on the time of year (and hence the water level), however the time can be fairly accurately predicted by checking the time that the same boat arrived yesterday.
During the dry season, when the water level gets very low, the boats cannot get all the way to Battambang and the journey is completed by minibus or pick-up truck.
As of January 2019 there is a weekly train connecting Battambang with Phnom Penh and Poipet. The train leaves Phnom Penh every Wednesday at 7:00h arriving in Battambang in the afternoon. On Thursdays the train departs Poipet station at 7:00h, arriving in Battambang between 9 and 10. Tickets are about 5$ and can be bought at the station. Reservation is possible through easybook.com.
After a test phase the train will start running on a normal schedule, which is supposed to be every other day in either direction.
This service is operated by Royal Railways.
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$7 a day, or $5 for half a day. Some hotels rent bikes. 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$12, and can be combined with other destinations for a total of US$20-25.
Small boats act as ferries (1000 riel) and cross the river in front of the market.
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. The gates at the front are all closed, so you must enter from the street running along the left side of the compound. Here a man is collecting donations in a box, and can be very persuasive that you should pay; you don't have to pay anything! The gardens are beautiful and well-tended, and the building is definitely worth seeing. I can only imagine how grand it must be inside, but at the moment (2019) it is closed up. Next to it is the office of the local ombudsman; we tried exiting from the gate in front of the office, but the guard on the gate was very rude and slightly aggressive, and insisted that we needed to walk all the way back to the entrance we had used. There was no sense in this, and the local government should try to prevent such altercations.
- 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. The opening times are not necessarily reliable, but it is interesting, if small. Signage is good. Five minutes after entering, the man in charge told the lady who had taken our money to stop us from taking photos; I know this is a rule in many world museums, but the items here, almost without exception, are stone, and even flash photography would not affect them. There are some statues outside even, that you can photograph quite openly.
Phnom Sampeu's Killing Caves
- Phnom Sampeu (sometimes also “Sampov Mountain”), 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$3 - 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. Just before the ticket office, you can see a cave about 100 metres or so up the rock face. At around about 5.30 or 6pm (depending on sunset time) every evening, you can witness a steady stream of bats exiting the cave. It takes about 40 minutes for all the bats to leave. There must be tens of thousands of bats that make this journey every night. Some locals say over 1 million bats, but who knows? Whatever the number is, it's an amazing sight. From the main road, you should be able to see the bats forming various formations in the sky. This cave also features several restaurants in front of it with their seats turned towards the cave like an open air cinema.
If you’re looking for a less crowded place, ask your driver to take you to the second cave, it’s approx. 500m down a road to the right (facing the mountain, heading south). Here you’ll have to hike up a small path to the left of the road for a few meters but get rewarded by a beautiful sunrise as a perfect background for the clouds of bats leaving the cave.
- Wat Banan,Entry is US$3 - 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. Once at the top of the temple follow the trail on the south side of the hill. It will lead you down and eventually to a breathtaking cave. Huge sky light ceilings and plenty of bats.
Secret Cave: (12°56′57.89″N, 103°08′11.15″E)
- Wat Baydamram, a temple where hundreds of fruit bats live in trees under the protection of the Buddhist monks.
- 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. Entry US$1.
- 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, . Performances every Mon and Thurs starting 7pm. 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. Show US$14. edit
The bamboo train near Battambang
- Soksabike Tours:  : Soksabike is a social enterprise dedicated to sustainable tourism in Battambang. They offer half day and full day bike tours around the countryside where guests can learn about the everyday life and culture of Cambodia. The money for the tour is distributed to families in the community along the way and goes to pay the salaries of the guides, all local university students. They use high quality mountain bikes and include a coffee at one of the best cafes in town. ☎ (+855)12542019 Email: [email protected] Address: Street 1.5, Near Psar Nat
- Bicycle Tours:  : Bicycle tours with Butterfly Tours takes you on a half day or full day trip to various sites around Battambang. The tour is an initiative run by university students and priced reasonably - around $15 for a half day tour. The guides are students of English at the university level and provide an interesting local insight into life in Cambodia. ☎ (855) 89297070 ([email protected])
- Lemongrass Garden Beauty & Massage (massage), 77 Pub St (Street 2.5), ☎ 077369025, . 10am-10pm. An family run organic and vegan friendly day spa that is eco-conscious; their emphasis is on relaxation and quality treatments. Services include traditional massage with organic oils, natural body scrubs and facials, nail services including gel and waxing. Lemongrass Garden was founded in Siem Reap in 2009 and has become the most visited day spa with 2 locations. Opened in Battambang in Nov 2019, the spa is set in a 100+ year old shop house from the French colonial period. Open from 10am-10pm, everyday. edit
- Visit local industries by asking a tuk tuk driver to bring you around the local countryside. See the locals weaving silk material with old wooden looms, making rice paper for spring rolls, visit a crocodile farm and hold a baby crocodile, see and smell fish paste and fish sauce being made and in the dry season visit the mushroom farms. Only the crocodile farm charges $2 to visit while most of the others will have items for sale, they make very little money so consider buying something and bring small change as they will have none. This tour will only take a couple of hours so it is possible to hire the driver for the whole day for $20 and include other sights. Tuk tuk drivers at The Lux Guesthouse (see below) are familiar with this tour, ask in particular for Peter ☎ 097 920 1988 [email protected]
- 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 bicycles is The Battambang BIKE rental and repair directions="60 street 2,5" [email protected] ☎ +855 17 905 276 or Soksabike Tours on Street 1.5 offers city and mountain bike rentals as well (info above).
- 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 old Battambang bamboo train has now been replaced by a new, more sedate (= safe), more modern one - ask at your hotel.
- 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, 13 km. US$12. edit
- Abandoned Pepsi Factory. While the abandoned factory existed from the 1970s until 2015, this is no longer the case. The land has been repurposed and the location will now serve as a wastewater treatment facility. However, researching the history of this factory still makes for an interesting read, as it involves the battle between Coca Cola and Pepsi in Thailand. edit
- Tep Kao Sol, Street 2 (Next to the chinese noodle man), . from 9am to 9pm everyday. A gallery-boutique where you can find watercolors, reproductions and postcards at an affordable price. They are all made by a local artist. from 10dollars to 50 dollars. edit
- Loeum Lorn Gallery, Street 2 (Next to the chinese noodle man), . from 9am to 9pm everyday. A contemporary art gallery by a local artist whose work relies on the use of ice and photography. A good place if you want to learn more about the contemporary art scene of Cambodia. edit
Take a cooking class
Many restaurants around Battambang offer cooking classes at varying prices.
- Coconut Lyly - Street #111, 200m West of the Phsa Nat Central Market Battambang (Google Maps). Cooking course cost 10$ and are led by a young and enthusiastic chef. You cook traditional Khmer meals but you get a little more, as the website says: quality over quantity. Courses can include the shopping, you find yourself back watching coconut milk get produced freshly for the Amok you prepare.
- Ch'Ngainh Ch'Ngainh - a homely and familial approach to cookery carried out in a family home. ([email protected]) ☎ +855 12 63 93 50. Daily courses priced at US$10.
- The Smoking Pot Restaurant and Cooking Classes - [Google Maps] - Mr. Vannak is a good-hearted Cambodian cook with an excellent English vocabulary who has recipes of traditional Cambodian dishes that have been passed through his family for a long time. Learn how to cook a delicious Fish Amok or whatever dish that you feel like cooking. He will take you to his home (4km from the restaurant) and on the way you will stop in his village's market and learn how to choose the best ingredients and buy everything fresh. His home is simple but everything is super clean. Mr. Vannak has a beautiful family and his children will often help in the process with big smiles. He teaches vegetarian dishes as well. Class usually starts at 9:30am, so sign up the day before in his restaurant or call him at ☎ +855 12821400. US$10
One of CAD's projects - Takom Village
Students during break at CAD's Takom School
Giving something back to the friendly and helpfull locals.
- GHV (Give Hope to the Vulnerable) NGO, ☎ (855) 92 20 63 48,(855) 92 855 255 ([email protected],[email protected]), . Primary focus is providing free English lessons to very poor local children. GHV needs volunteers in these areas: Teaching (all subjects in English), Teaching English, Vocational Training, Sewing, Cooking. Comfortable, safe accommodation is available on site for $5 per night, close to Battambang city. edit
- Children’s Action for Development(CAD), . is a community-based non-government and non-profit organisation 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. edit
- Khmer New Generation Organization (KNGO), ☎ +855 092 79 05 97, . is an NGO founded and run by Mr. Sun Saveth to aid the community of Bospo Village, Cambodia (reachable from Battambang by bike, moto, or tuk-tuk, about 5km from the city). KNGO is a nonprofit that also works on health, environment, and employment initiatives in the Bospo community. KNGO welcomes volunteers who are willing to come and teach or to work in the office assisting the Executive Director with various tasks such as social media outreach, project management, and writing. Volunteers can elect to stay in Bospo Village and experience the traditional Cambodian lifestyle for a small fee (currently $13/day including all meals). KNGO also offers tours to visitors, donations gladly accepted. edit
- PTD (Ptea Teuk Dong - Cambodian NGO), ☎ (855-53) 63 66 788, (855-12) 96 30 16 ([email protected]), . Non-political, non-religious organisation. edit
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.
You can find insects (beetles, river snakes, etc) fried with sweet soy sauce opposite the Post Office at night or across (from the Phsar Nath market part) the Stung Sangke bridge which is located at the corner and also sells fruits and other amenities.
In the daytime, you can find street food at Phsar Nath or better, at Boeung Chhouk market near the inter-city bus area. Every night you will find a long row of food stalls opposite the Post Office by the river. Less touristy, cheap and some stalls have menu in English.
- HOC Cafe, One block South of Street 115, corner with Street 106 (essentially one block West of Choco l'Art Cafe). 7:30am - 10pm. Possibly the best value-for-money eatery in town, combining an ethical, noble cause paired with wholesome, delicious food. HOC ( Hope Of Children) is an NGO orphanage sheltering and educating disadvantaged children affected by poverty, domestic violence and childhood HIV. Earnings from the cafe is helping them to become financially independent. HOC is managed by the most jolly and friendly staff you'll come across in town - always personalized service with a smile. Their breakfast special is a killer: all-you-can-eat fruit, muesli, yoghurt, bread and your choice of eggs for just $3! Blend into the mix that most of their stuff is either organic and/or homemade, and you have a hard to beat value for money offering. The dinner specials are more expensive ($6) but for good reason: Fresh organic buffet salads and dressings, one entree of your choice, one main course and one dessert are all included. If its in your budget, dinners at the HOC are nothing short of an epic splurge. On the downside, the aircon seems to be permanently switched off, and the coffee is ok but nothing spectacular. Also their beef and pork can be extremely hard and chewy, so best opt for vegetarian or chicken. If you are a coffee addict, have your breakfast here and head straight for Kinyei Cafe which is just an easy 5 mins walk east, which is nothing short of spectacular coffee and amongst the best in SouthEast Asia. edit
- Kinyei Cafe, 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). Winner of the 2012 and 2013 Cambodian Restaurants Association Barista Championship. Good cafe menu with excellent coffee, their winning signature coffees are worth a try. The piccolo is spectacular. Possibly the best coffee in Cambodia, whilst being a social enterprise with a very cool alleyway atmosphere. The food is somewhat pricey. edit
The "Original" Battambang Waffles!
- Battambang Cafe, (Corner of Street 2.5 and Street 119.). Open 08:00 - 18:00. Terrific little cafe specializing in delicious "Battambang Waffles" made with a secret recipe that doesn't use wheat or eggs. I'd love to know the secret because these are some of the best waffles I've ever eaten. The menu is kept minimal as the waffles are truly the star of the show. Fresh fruit smoothies, ice cream and a variety of coffee drinks are available to round out the menu. With waffles starting at .75, you can easily get 2 or 3 along with an iced coffee or smoothie for $5 or less. Highly recommended. edit
- 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 ([email protected]), . 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. edit
- Coconut Lyly, Street 111 (200m west from central market), ☎ (+855) 016 399 339 ([email protected]), . 9am - 10pm. Offers a nice compact menu with mainly Khmer dishes. The chef is a friendly and enthusiastic young guy. The food is recommendable, and the cooking classes are great!(Google Maps) US$3-4 for a main course. edit
- Bamboo Train Café & Bar' ("previously), (Cross the new bridge, 200 m further and it's on the right hand side just after the pizza house), ([email protected]). 06:30-22:00. Relaxed atmosphere, delicious food and friendly staff (N 13° 05.549',E 103° 12.178') edit
- Cafe Eden, ([email protected]), . 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) edit
- Gecko Cafe, Street #1 (50m South of Psa Nath Market). Has moved from Street #3, your map may have it in the old location. The new location is spacious, airy, clean, but unfortunately looks slightly touristy. New, extensive but pricey menu (meals $4-$10), free WiFi. Decent burger and fries for $6. Staff friendly and helpful. 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 edit
- 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. edit
- Smokin' Pot, Ph.3. Small family run cooking school-come-restaurant offering a good range of Khmer and Thai food. Vegetarian-friendly. Don't expect a fast food, but everything is made carefully with fresh ingredients and the taste will surprise your senses. Note that there are two establishments called "Smokin' Pot" a few blocks apart. ☎ +855 12821400. Mains 8,000-20,000 rial. edit
- 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. Hygiene and service have improved since their 2016 renovation. edit
- Apple of Love (La Pomme d'Amour), street 2.5, #63, ☎ +885 12 415 513, +885 12 963 189, . 19:00-10PM. Khmer cuisine with a French twist, sophisticated and creative with pleasant staff. Wine list. edit
- Choco l'art café, Street 117,, ☎ 010661617. 8-12. 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 8 am to 12 pm. 3-4 $. edit
- Green mango, Opposite Bamboo train café. Full service restaurant serving western and Asian food. Green Mango is also a part of Center for Global Impact's culinary training program for disadvantaged young people. edit
- 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 edit
- 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. edit
- Ambrosia Cafe, street#208, Romchek 4 village (Between President Hotel and Sky Disco), ☎ 092766938. 7am-10pm. Delicious and Healthy Khmer, Thai, Western, and vegetarian food. Attentive and friendly staff, Clean & Relaxing Environment, Wifi, Xbox,and Board-games.Watch Sports & Movies in a Comfy prívate room. famous dishes: grilled ribs, cheese burgers, crispy chicken burgers, fettuccini alfredo, green curry, coconut cream soup, steamed fish with lime sauce, fried fish with curry sauce, and salted fish omelet, and larb. famous desserts: chocolate cake, apple crisp with ice cream, lemon bars, pumpkin bars, ice cream sandwiches, and brownie. $1.00-$4.00. edit
- Khmer Delight. breakfast to Late. A long established restaurant serving a great range of Khmer, Western and fusion foods.The wines and cocktails are excellent. Relaxed atmosphere and good music $3-$4. edit
- Sangker Villa, 200 Street, Phum Rumchek 4 (Behind the King Fy), ☎ 097 764 00 17, . 7 am- 22 pm. Western cuisine, Swiss specialties. Swiss cheese fondue with homemade bread. All dishes are served with homemade bread. edit
- Vegetarian Restaurant, La.A Street opposit of Asia Hotel, ☎ 012243402. 7:00am-7:00pm. A nice Vegetarian Restaurant. Serves modern food. edit
- Woodhouse, Street 115 (opposite of Royal Hotel), ☎ +855 70 496402. Friendly Khmer owned Restaurant in the Center of Battambang. Traditionel Khmer and European Cuisine. Wiener Schnitzel a Speciality. Large Breakfast menu and homemade bread. Outdoor sitting, Fresh shakes, juices and classic cocktails. 2-7US$. edit
- Lan Chov Khorko Miteanh (Chinese Noodle Shop), 131, Street 2, Battambang, ☎ +855 92 589639, . Newly opened restaurant (July 2016) ran by an Cambodian/Spanish couple. Try the Khmer food and Spanish omelets. USD 5. edit
- About the world, Street 2.5. Winner of the 2012 and 2013 Cambodian Restaurants Association Barista Championship. Good cafe menu with excellent coffee, their winning signature coffees are worth a try. The piccolo is spectacular. Possibly the best coffee in Cambodia, whilst being a social enterprise with a very cool alleyway atmosphere. The food is somewhat pricey. edit
KC Burgers, Tenders and Fries!
- KC's Burger & Lounge Bar, Street 2, Number 114 ((Between Street 119 and 121)). 11:00 - 20:00. Awesome burgers for a reasonable price ($3 for a KC Classic). Chicken burgers, chicken tenders and chicken wings for those wanting a little clucking in their life. The chicken tenders are fresh and out of this world. French fries and sweet potato fries on the menu of course, along with some salads and bagel sandwiches if you're not in a burger mood. The waitstaff is extremely friendly. Overall, a great addition to the Battambang food scene. edit
- 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. edit
- Madison Corner, Street 2.5, . 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. edit
- 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. edit
- Scoop Cocktails Bar ([email protected]), K.o street, romcheak 5, Sangkat Ratanak, Battambang, ☎ 855-53953255, . 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. edit
- Here Be Dragons, On the east bank of the river, between Sar Kheng Bridge and Hun Sen Bridge, ☎ 089264895, . 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. edit
- Wood House, opposite the Royal Hotel (Battambang). Early-late. Comfy dining experience. $2-5. edit
- Lotus bar and Gallery, 53, St 2.5. 8am. Newest and chicest restaurant/ bar in town. Set in a beautifully restored colonial era shophouse on the lovely St 2.5, with an Art gallery upstairs and a comfortable lounge bar/ restaurant downstairs that stages regular events. Daily special offers on food and drinks, Lavazza coffee, cocktails, comfortable and friendly, Lotus is fast becoming The place to go in Battambang. edit
- Riverside Balcony Bar, 465, Road No. 1, Battambang (2 km south of city centre.), ☎ +855 10337862, . Atmospheric old wooden bar overlooking the river, cocktails, beer and pizza. edit
- The Place Hostel & Rooftop Bar, No 3, Street 3, Svaypor, Battambang (Between the central market and the pagoda), ☎ +855 96 537 9599, . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 11am. Wonderful Design Hostel with two Dorms (5-6$), 1 Twin Room (15-16$) with private bathroom and 1 Double Room (19-20$) with air con and private bathroom. The cozy rooftop terrace offers drinks(0,75-2$), cocktails(3$) from the bar and food(2,5-3.5$) from the restaurant. The owner is very friendly and can arrange almost everything for you. He is also very excited to share some knowledge if you want to know about Cambodia and its history and people. US$5-6 for bed dorm. (13.1034092,103.1957182) edit
- Battambang My Homestay, (little bit out of city centre, but nicely quiet (10 min by bike)), ☎ +855 12 300 249 ([email protected]), . 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. edit
- 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. edit
- BOVA Village Homestay, Samroang Khnong Village (8km North of Battambang City), ☎ 012326577 ([email protected]), . 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. (,") edit
- Seng Hout Hotel, No. #1008B, Road 02 (North of Psar Nat Market 50m, Prekmohatep.), ☎ +855 53 952 900, cell +855 12 530 327 ([email protected]), . Good hotel with elevator and large reception area. Free WiFi, cableTV and ensuite. Rooftop cafe with 360⁰ views. Newly built in 2008 with cableTV and refrigerator. Rates inc taxes and pick up any station in Battambang city Standard double and twin rooms available with and without a.c. (maximum 2-3 guests) $12 w/fan $18 w/a.c. (low season).. edit
- Chhaya Hotel and Serviced Apartments, Street 3, ☎ +855 53 952170, +855 12 882500 ([email protected]), . 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$3-12, dorm 2US$ apartments: US$20/night or US$270/mth. edit
- 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$9-23 (down to $US6 in low season). edit
- 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 (but you might have to remind them!!). US$7-25. edit I had a problem with a motorbike rented from here. However, the manager handled the situation very professionally.
- 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. edit
- Sangker Villa Hotel Pool Restaurant, St.200, Rumcheck 4., ☎ +855 97 7640017 ([email protected]), . Sangker Villa with pool combines the charm of the countryside to the advantages of the city. Swiss management. Languages : English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. US$38 or $60 VIP. edit
- Holiday Hotel, #695, St.4, ☎ +855 81 999 006, . Good hotel with elevator and large reception area. Rooms have air-con, wifi, cableTV and ensuite. US$15-20. edit
- 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. edit
- Khemara Battambang Hotel, No 224, Old National Rd No 5, Roumcheck 4 Village, Sangkat Rathanak., ☎ +855 53 732727, . 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) edit
- "President. * <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="[email protected]" fax="">Close to bus station and city centre. Helpful staff. Free WiFi, free bicycles. edit
- Phka Villa Hotel/Resort, K O St, Romchea 5, Sankat Ratanak, ☎ +855 53953255 ([email protected]). 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. edit
- King Fy Hotel, 306, Street 155, Romchek 4, Ratanak Commune, Battambang, ☎ +855 77 757502 ([email protected]), . East side of river, helpful and professional staff, free WIFI, TV, AC, swimming pool, restaurant, roof-top bar. US$18/$69. edit
- Au Cabaret Vert, Toul Ta Ek, Otakom 2, ☎ +855 53 656 2000, +855 77 991384 ([email protected]), . 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. edit
- La Villa, N 185 Pom Romchek 5 Kom, Rattanak Srok, ☎ +855 5373 0151 , mob +855 1741 1880 ([email protected], 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. from US$55-100. edit
- Bambu Hotel, Phum Romchek 5, Sangkat Rottanak, KO Street, ☎ +855 53 953900 ([email protected], fax: +855 53 953951), . 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. edit
It you are renting a motorbike or a bicycle, your guesthouse will most likely insist that you park inside the building during the night. Enquire with the guesthouse as well as with the rental place on the best way, as well as if you should leave your helmet on the motorbike or take it with you every time you park. There are some times designated places for motorbikes around town with a person issuing tickets, and although Battambang feels safe for travellers, theft is not uncommon in the city.
As with most of SE Asia, bag-snatching from women is probably the most common crime. This is more common with women on motorbikes. Burglaries happen opportunistically also.
- Siem Reap - Capitol bus leaves at 7:45, 9:45 and 13:00 and costs 7.5 USD
- Siem Reap - By boat, every day, will pick you up from the hotel. Ticket available at your hotel/guest house. Cost 18USD (November 2015) for 6/7 hours depending on the boat. One or two stops for food in the fishermen villages. Arriving in Siem Reap, you will have to take a tuktuk to the center which is quite far, 4/5USD per tuktuk.
- Bangkok - Buses every day, will pick you up from your guesthouse at 8am. 15 USD (July 2015). Capitol Bus booking direct price is $13, Dec 2018) Buy ticket directly from your guest house. You will be dropped off at a travel agent in Poipet, who will take your ticket and will stick a colored sticker on your shirt (red or green depending on the company). You will then be driven for a few hundred meters to the Cambodian immigration. Despite all claims that "we will walk you through", you will have to clear Cambodia exit and Thailand entry by yourself, like everyone else. On the Thai side somebody will spot you on the left sidewalk, just keep walking straight. Look for other travellers with stickers irrespective of colour. They will put you in another bus or minivan that will hopefully take you to Khao San Rd in Bangkok arriving 5pm or later depending on traffic. As of April 2017 the service from Capitol Tours still exists (be sure to insist on going to Bangkok by Capitol when conferring with your hotel for the other companies suffer from crushing reviews on the internet). On this occasion, the traveller was fetched at the hotel by minivan at 7:40, driven to a bigger bus that went to Sisophon and after yet another change there the bus reached the border at around 11:30. Beforehand, an employee of Capitol handed out the common stickers stating not to lose them. Then he took the travellers to the offices on the Cambodian and Thai side, leaving them on their own there. Dealing with the authorities was easy. Upon receiving the permission to stay in Thailand, the same guy waited on the Thai side and lead the group to a little wagon that went to the station where yet another minivan was waiting to make way to Bangkok. Arrival time in Bangkok Ekkamai: somewhere between 16:30 and 18:00. On this occasion the journey was hassle-free, well organized and nothing to worry about. The usual price seems to be 13 USD but guesthouses and hotels may apply a minor charge (April 2017).
|Routes through Battambang
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