Battambang is Cambodia’s largest agricultural hub, and second largest city.
The town is the capital of Battambang Province, and dates back to an 11th century settlement installed as a trading hub for the Khmer Empire. The French redeveloped the city in the 20th century with a gridded street pattern lined with colonial architecture and greenways, which have survived the passage of time to become some of the country’s best preserved examples of colonial planning. Of these standing monuments to the former French rule, the Governor’s Residence is the most splendid, and though the interior is closed, its wide balconies dotted with wooden shutters and manicured grounds are worth a look.
The city’s compact grid design of wide streets makes it easy to navigate on foot or by bicycle. Statues seem to dot every open air public space, and there a number of Buddhist temples and shrines in town in excellent states of preservation. Wat Kandal, Wat Damrey Sar, and Wat Phiphetaram stand out as some of the finest of the numerous temples found in the city.
In recent years, a thriving art district has begun to coalesce along Street 2 ½ with a series of modern galleries, shops, and trendy bars.
Best Time to Visit Battambang:
The best sightseeing weather in the region falls between December and May during Cambodia’s temperate dry season. The temperature begins to rise in June, and continues do so until November. The frequent rain showers that blow through during the second half of the year restore the countryside’s verdant landscape, and lower the high daytime temperatures.
How to get to Battambang:
Battambang is capital city of Cambodia’s northwestern Battambang Province. Guests traveling on one of our luxury tours of Cambodia reach the city and province overland in a private vehicle departing from Phnom Penh.
Battambang’s well-preserved colonial architecture, scenic countryside, and splendid Buddhist temples mean there’s a little something for everyone to discover in the city.
Western-style apparel is fine to wear while exploring town, but it’s best to dress modestly in clothing that covers shoulders to knees if you’re planning to visit any of the numerous Buddhist temples found within the city limits.