I find Battambang to be the forgotten city of Cambodia. It has tremendous potential to be a great tourist destination but due to lack of infrastructure in central town, it makes it difficult to get around town and does not look pretty while travelling either.
I did enjoy the experience of the Bamboo train, loved meeting the people along the way...the locals are so humble and appreciative of any generosity of buying souvenirs or anything at all or just a small tip/donation. It is so amazing to think that these local workers working just to earn US $2 a day and working crazily hard...anyway, please tip directly to the person who served and made a difference in your day, not the business owner! Happy travelling. Oh, one more advice, you can buy the Tuk Tuk service for the day with the right and fair negotiation with the driver. Our Tuk Tuk was great, he did not demand a price, just left it to us...but he was ecstatic when we paid him $15 for the day...
Definitely do the bamboo train - it is a very unique and fun experience. If you have small kids and are the "safety first" type maybe i wouldn't recommend it as it is bumpy and no seatbelts or helmets (very unlike a western experience).
The temple on top of the hill is great, very sad history so try to have a driver who speaks some English to explain. When you get to the base of the temple you have to pay, then you can walk up (free- 20-30min walk) or get a moto. CONFIRM price of moto before...we did not and it cost us $6 for a very short ride. Lonely planet recommends a bbq for dinner, we went was 6.50 per person and a great Cambodian experience. Probably only need 1 night here (stop over to other places) Make sure you know what bus you are booking when you continue on for future travels!!!!!
Battambang is not visited by all tourists. As a result there is a clamor for the tourist dollar. The temples are over priced and run down after visiting the temples of Angkor but there is something attractive about this place.
If you find a good tuk-tuk driver and head north to drive through the countryside, it is worth your trip. You will get a view of Cambodian village life and the tenacity of the Cambodian people that you will miss in other places.
Wonderful city - can be explored on foot, with many attractions and day trips outside the city. Very friendly, gracious people, and a much needed counterpoint to Siem Reap's town centre with all the tourist hustle.
Visiting the bat cave, bamboo train and killing cave are highly recommended, and local dining is a treat - the newly opened restaurant (can't remember the name) on street 2, round the corner from Kinyei is incredible, and teaches local kids the ropes in cooking amazing meals, serving amazing coffee, and running a very tight ship.
Don't miss the Circus it's a really great night out. Get a Tuk Tuk for each day and go out to the Bamboo train, killing fields , bat cave, and take a local tour around the villages seeing really produce being made.
Take a tuk tuk with someone who can explain everything to you, including their feelings and emotions about Cambodia.
Battambang was very welcoming. Locals said 'hello' and allowed us to watch them at work in the fish market, rice paper making in their home and preparing produce in the market.
To view the bats leaving the cave in the late afternoon was unbelievable. A wonderful community to see in every day life with the sad history of the suffering during the Khmer Rouge era. Apart from Ankor Wat in Seam Reap, a town not to miss!
a small place bamboo railway is the highlight, tip do not travel to Battambang from Siem Reip by boat as the river is low & it takes 8/10 hours a bad trip get the bus
There are very few tourists out at night, and I believe the reason for that is because you just don't feel comfortable at first when walking around in this city.
Everyone looks at you like they have never seen a foreign person before.When you're out visiting stuff, you run into the tourists, but they are very few compared to the bigger cities? The tuk-tuk driver, mister tenks outside of my hotel, was very good and very helpful. He was also one of the few people in this city who spoke a certain level of English. Once you're out in the open, in the countryside part of the city, people are much more friendly and open ( probably because they think you are rich ), there is a high sense of poverty and I can't blame the kids for trying to get a few dollars here and there. Battambang is well worth a visit, but a short one.
This was a nicer place than Seim Reip. It is 3rd world with modern influences arising. There are quite a bit of sightseeing excursions that are not advertised.
I hired a Tuk Tuk driver for two days and he took me to all kinds of places that he knew of such as: countryside, rice paper maker, fish factory, bamboo dessert maker, crocodile farm, bat cave, etc.
Battambang is a very large city. The main part of the city similar to many big cities. take a bike ride around the outskirts and experience local life and food.
A very quite Cambodian town. The people are friendly and there are some temples to visit. The tuk tuk drivers know the way and are more than willing to help.
Battambang is a real Cambodian city as opposed to Siem Reap which is just a tourist town. It is busy, run down but has charm and the river front is nice.
It is developing quickly.
A peek at what was before the tour groups and party travellers manage to shanghai the experience. The boat trip up the river is so very worth the time.
we where there in June, bamboo train was awesome, we had fun at the end of the track with the little shop owners, we love to tease them and have fun
Second largest city in Cambodia but not a whole lot going on - none of the buzz of Phnom Penh, artefacts of Siem Reap or beaches of Sianoukville.
It is a good place to relax and just wander around. The youth circus is definitely a worthwhile inclusion to any stay. I would also recommend Soksabike tours for a sustainable way to get out and explore the surrounding area (bicycle tours with friendly guides).
I only stayed in battambang because I took the boat from siem reap to there in order to enjiy the floating villages and lees touristy Cambodia.
Battambang is a cute small city but there nothing much to do. Main attractions would be to visit the countryside around.
Eat at the Gecko cafe, it's a charity initiative. The food is excellent, international cuisine. Many historical sites in Battambang to see.
The bat caves are particularly breathe taking! Locals friendly.
A small compact city with plenty to do and see. It's worth a visit to the Bamboo Train which is only a few minutes out of the main area.
The food is particularly good and the local people very hospitable.
I had great plans to go see the bamboo train but fell asleep! I was only in Battambang overnight so didn't really have time to see much.
Walked around the town and through the market and into the "pub street". There are a few good restaurants there, I found the Choco L'Art Cafe from something I read, and there food was amazing! I also had lunch at the Chinese Noodle Cafe and that was good as well. Would recommend both of them! Battambang just seemed like another busy city that is dirty like most of Cambodia.
a sleepy town with its own charme. take a bike or a motorbike and discover the suroundings and you will find beautiful landscapes.
Battambang offers the Bamboo Train and an amazing mountian top Wat & ruins & Khmer Rouge genocide sites of historical importance.
But this is NOT a tourist oriented city at heart and I would never travel there alone or with small kids. We were met with wariness & a tiny bit of hostility at a couple of small shops & while eating out. Another couple we met had similar experiences. There are one or 2 expat eateries that actually offer info on buying drugs. NO THANK YOU and that may explain the strange & closed atmosphere of the city. The rest of Cambodia was a delight!
Battambang is a very chill and quiet Cambodian city that has a friendly charm to it that most cities in the country doesn't have.
There's almost no "night life", which is good for families and if you want to feel safe walking the streets late at night. There are many things to see and did in and around the city but it's not an "easy" tourist experience...you have to make an effort and get out and see things! If you do that, you will be rewarded.
I think Battambang is a place to go in case you are in Siem Reap and have 1 or 2 days free. The bus from Siem Reap leaves at 7.
30 in the morning and takes 3.5 h. At Battambang's bus station, you will have the possibility to take a tour, there are a lot of tuk-tuk drivers offering their services. It is also easy to rent a motorbike or a bike. The thing is that there are no buses going back to Siem Reap in the evening/night, that means, you have 2 possibilities: or you stay in a hotel and take a bus the next day back to Siem Rep early in the morning or you get a taxi or a shared taxi to go back. Things I did in Battambang: - I walked around the city. You can see the most important things in 1h, approximately: the market, the street along the river, the colonial houses. I have to say that I was expecting a little bit more of the architecture of the place. -I took the bamboo train. It is fun and not very long and I think it was nice. - Phnom Sampeau. It is a mountain with great views, with some temples, a cave where the khmer rouge used to torture and kill people and now there is a laying buddha -the place itself is nice, but as usual in a lot of places in Camboia, the story behind is so sad-. To get to the top of the mountain you can walk or you can take a motorbike lift. I walked and I think it was nice, you can find some small temples along the way. At the evening, at the same momennt, millions of bats go out from a crack in a cave, personally, I think that with seeing it 5 minutes is enough. - Because it was thursday, I went to see the local circus, which was a nice experience. Don't expect to see the 'cirque de soleil' but enjoy a fancy show involving talented young artists that perform complex accrobatics in a very nice athmosphere. Actually, there is a very interesting project behind involving a music, arts and circus school, so by attending the show, you are supporting them, and just because of that it is a place worthy to go.
Not many tourists come to Battambang, which is a shame. The Bamboo railway experience was one of the best I've had in Cambodia.
I also really enjoyed the Circus - visitors should be aware that the performers are just kids, and are still perfecting their skills. A visit to the Cambodian Cotton Club is another 'must see'. We found it just by chance. The very eccentric Japanese owner is trying to create a cottage industry that will bring a skill and work opportunities to the very poor and uneducated villagers. You can watch the process of cotton production, from the raw material to the weaving and dying processes and finally the finished item, in the shape of a shawl. The dyes are natural - even the indigo is produced from plants growing in the garden. Since Battambang is getting a name for itself as the centre of Cambodian art, there should be a formal tour of the galleries, rather than letting tourists just happen upon them. The hotel provided no advice at all on what to do and where to go. It would have been useful if there had been someone who could have advised us what was worth visiting.
The Bamboo train is worth doing. We took a tuk tuk to Boat Mountain and the dam and this went through interesting countryside.
The architectoral walk around Battambang was interesting. Our favourite restaurant was Tastes of India and White Rose was our second favourite. Take a torch as Battambang has lots of power failures
Battambang itself is fairly uninteresting, but there are some fantastic sightseeing opportunities just outside the city.
The local tuk tuks do tours of a number of famous locations, including the bat cave, the killing fields, and villages where you can see locals make rice paper, rice alcohol, spring rolls, and other things.
The two most important attraction are the Bamboo Railway and the Camdodian Circus. Both very unique to Battambang.
Apart from these two a trip to some of the Pargodas and villages are essential to have an understanding of these these great people.
Battambang is not really a tourist destination. it's really more like a pit stop between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
That being said, it's a large town (for Cambodia), and is the site of the school that trains acrobats for the famous Cambodian circus show, Phare. Now you can watch the circus in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, but it's nice to see the shows in the original, more informal setting. If I came back to Battambang, we would go to the circus every night (and yes, they have a show practically every night. What show they decide to do just depends on who's around). Battambang also has some really great restaurants. We ate better food here than anywhere else in Cambodia. Granted, we were here for a week, relaxing, but we ate multiple times at Jaan Bai and Gekko. The bike tour is also great. It's run by entrepreneurial college students, and you really get a personal touch.
There is good sightseeing around the area. The circus, bamboo train and bat caves were all interesting.
We took a boat from Battambang to Siam Reap which was a highlight of our holiday. Took 8 hours but was very interesting all the way.
This is a very interesting town for its history, day to day life of locals, Wats and countryside trips