Content Index Battambang

Scroll down page below Activities/things to do, and view enlargeable detailed images of the following maps

:Battambang City Map.

:Battambang Province area Tourism Map.
:Pailin Town and area Tourism Map.
:Cambodia border crossings Map.

:Battambang / Siem Reap boat trip Map.   

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Explore content click on a file in Archives below right.

Editorial Content 
what you'll find on this site.
Where to Stay - Hotels and Guesthouse Info Battambang, Pailin and web links.

Battambang and Pailin City Street Maps - up to date 2020.

Battambang and Pailin Province Tourist site Map 2020.

Cambodia Travel Map with border crossings 2020.

Map of Battambang to Siem Reap Boat Journey.

New Bamboo Train 2020  – info on the famous local ride. Local interest article

Night-life ! - Late Night Bar and Food scene.

Activities - bamboo train, paintball club, art galleries, human circus, crocodiles. motorbike and bicycle rental, kayaking, things to do and see in Battambang.

Wat Banan – Temple Hill and the magic cave. Angkorian ruin. Local interest article

Well of Shadows – genocide monument. Local interest article

Photo Gallery – shots from the local area.

Getting to and from Battambang – Transport options.

Video Gallery - Battambang selection as seen on You Tube.

Where to Eat. Restaurants in Battambang  – Wine and Dine Options.

Khmer cooking class / school info and video's, Battambang

What’s in the Wat. Local interest article.

Battambang Google satellite Map Image.

Battambang Circus School. Local interest article.

City of the Lost Stick –  a History of Battambang

Kayaking. Local interest article.

Learn a little Khmer – Language.

Prasat Basseat – Angkorian ruin. Local interest article.

Ek Phnom – Downstream roads - Angkorian ruin. Local interest article.

Back of Beyond Phnom Sampov - upstream Roads. Local interest article.

Around Battambang by Ray Zepp ( full edition )
Comprehensive guide to the history of Battambang and in depth
background and descriptions of the local Angkorian ruins. 
Includes the meanings behind the paintings in the many Wat's.
Invaluable extensive travel-log of around Battambang.
Includes Pailin and further afield.
A nine chapter book first published in 2006.

Banteay Chhmar Less Travelled - Angkorian ruin. Local interest article.

Cambodia Road Maps & Distance Chart in Kilometres.

Battambang Architectural Walking Tour with map download.
A walking tour designed to do yourself.

Pailin Map - Cambodia's Gem, mountains and waterfalls.

Activities / Things to do - bamboo train, art galleries. human circus. Microlight. kayaks. motorbike and bicycle rent. crocodiles. Battambang.

               NEW Bamboo Train is Open

A reinvention of the famous bamboo rattler has been completed 500 metres from Wat Banan. The old track was closed in October 2017 to make way for the renovation of the state railway.
 Rails and sleepers from the original route have been used to lay a purpose built 4km track, running through some stunning scenic countryside alongside the Banan hills. 
Tickets are $5.
The new track is part of a larger tourism development project by a Khmer businessman.
New route 2018
The new route being built in 2017
  new bamboo train video
    old bamboo train video
The Battambang Big Top
 Phare Ponleu Selpak Circus  
see show times -
see circus article in blog archive

Battambang Art Revival
visit the galleries 

visit an art gallery 

Renting and buying Bicycles

The bicycle shop in front of the central market on street 3 see city map, rents bikes for $2 a day.

Ganesha guesthouse on Street 2 & 1.5 have bike to rent $2 a day.

Sunrise Cafe $1.50 a day. 

SoksaBike Mountain bikes $5 a day

Buying a bike, the bike shops near the 
New Market see city map 100 metres along the road to Phnom Penh, have a large selection of used city and mountain bikes for sale $40 and up.

bicycles can be transported in luggage compartment on buses for an Extra dollar or $2 on the train.

Khmer Cooking Classes Battambang

Nary Kitchen 012 763950 

Coconut LyLy 016 399339 

 Ch’ngainh! Ch’ngainh! Mr Bath 012 639350

Smokin Pot Battambang

Crocodile Farm


Motorbike Rental 

Battambang Scooter and 
Motorbike Rental

Gecko Moto

Today Tours
Motorbike rental and repairs

Garage Bakery, street 2.5 
best sandwiches, soft breads, tough spanners

Green Orange Kayaks 

  Tel 012207957

see kayak article and video in blog archive

Fishing Village Boat Tour

1 hour tour  is $10 per Boat, 4 people max.
contact Mr Lim 097 9621425

Microlight Cambodia

SoksaBike Tours

Battambang Provincial Museum
open 8 --11am & 2 - 5pm

Angkor What? visit some really old rocks

Prehistoric Laang Spean, Cave of Bridges
Since at least 69,000 B.C., humans had made this cave their home.

Laang Spean located in Phnom (hill) Teak Treang 
Laang Spean Cave
Phnom (hill) Teak Treang
Phnom (hill) Teak Treang

Banan Winery

Free wine and brandy tasting
( their products are far cheaper to purchase at grocery shops in Battambang as are sold at inflated tourist price at the winery itself ) 

Street Snacking

Opposite the Post Office is a vendor selling fried insects and young frogs
neatly skewered on BBQ sticks. Includes crickets and various aquatic bugs 2pm - 9pm.
From 3pm til 9pm on the North side of Phsar Nath Market are a number of vendors 
selling BBQ chicken, legs or whole / fish / pork slices and an array of Khmer dishes.

Steamed corn on the cob can be found late afternoon near the Sar Keng Bridge in the centre of town, and near the front of Phsar Naht Market. 1400 Riel each.

After Midnight Munchies

Opposite the White Rose Restaurant there is a popular late-night Restaurant known as the 
Pink Chairs, reflecting the plastic seats colour ( sign is in Khmer ).
Food and beers flow here til 2am. Before 1am fried rice and noodle dishes ( try Mee Ka'tang noodles with pork Set J'rook ) and fruit shakes can be ordered. After 1am choices narrow to tasty stewed pork leg or a bland local rice dish called Bor Bor.
On the West Riverbank south of the town centre opposite the Post Office is a string of late-night food stalls all with varying reputations. Some of these places stay open til 2am and serve a variety of local fried and steamed dishes, fruit shakes and beers.

Dipping and Diving
.All the resorts have pools with admission fee or free if dining.

Battambang & Pailin City Street Map / Town Map 2020. large printable file

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   *Click link below to view Battambang on Google Street View. The start point is in front of the National Bank on Street 1, and the corner of Street 119 which leads to Streets 1.5 and 2.5 where many restaurants are located. 
Battambang on Google Street View

   *Clink link below to view Pailin on Google Street view. The start point is at the corner of Wat Rattanak Sophoan on the right and Wat Phnom Yat on the left with the large Buddha statue seen on the hill.
    Pailin on Google Street View 

Tourist Site Map Battambang Province and Pailin Maps 2020 . Cambodia.

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Cambodia Travel Map with Border Crossings 2020.

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Map of Battambang to Siem Reap boat journey 2020.

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NEW Bamboo Train 2020 . Battambang, Cambodia.

NEW Bamboo Train is OPEN

New route 2018
 A reinvention of the famous bamboo rattler has been completed 500 metres from Wat Banan. The old track was closed in October 2017 to make way for the renovation of the state railway.
 Rails and sleepers from the original route have been used to lay a purpose built 4km track, running through some stunning scenic countryside alongside the Banan hills. Tickets are $5.
The new track is part of a larger tourism development project by a Khmer businessman.

The new route being built 2017

THE OLD BAMBOO TRAIN    “Roll up roll up for the magical mystery tour - step right this way”. For many travellers the bamboo train is a must experience of the bizarre kind when visiting Battambang
 The bamboo train (or Norrie as it's known locally) made its first appearance in the early 1980s inspired by the small rail vehicles used by the railway workers to carryout repairs. At the time having just emerged from the years of Khmer Rouge lunacy, Cambodians were struggling to rebuild their lives and the country was reestablishing its existence. With roads in disrepair coupled with few means of transport such as buses and motorbikes the Norrie was an ingenious and practical solution. With its launch the population now had an important albeit rudimentary transport system able to haul products produce and people at minimum cost. Although flimsy looking the bamboo construction is very strong. Cattle and pigs would be taken to market tons of vegetables and rice would be delivered people could get to clinics and in emergencies it would run at nighttime. To begin with Norries were muscle-powered using poles in much the same way a gondola small petrol engines were introduced after a couple of years. In its heyday during the 80s locals say there were more than a thousand Norries operating along the 600 kilometres of track in the country. Nowadays little more than a hundred are functional in a few provinces commonly running shorter distances than their glory days.


 A few kilometers south of Battambang is O’Dambang village situated at the side of the worse for wear railway line. Two of us took a tuk-tuk from the centre of Battambang for $4 return once there we were greeted by the Tourist police. They explained very clearly the itinerary of our twelve kilometre passage to O’Sralau village and the non negotiable fare of $5 each. The Norrie is a crude assembly of a bamboo and wooden platform with wooden struts resting on the axles of salvaged railway rolling stock wheels the engine sits at the back with a fan belt attached to a flywheel on the axle. We got on board and sat on well worn cushions at the front the driver cranked up the engine and with a farewell shout of “take care!” from one of the tourist police we trundled on our way. 


The sense of speed is heightened by the low centre of gravity but in less than a minute we were moving down the line at a fair pace with a velocity over thirty kilometres an hour. The noise from the metal wheels rolling along the uneven rails is quite simply put earsplitting making it impossible to have a conversation along the way earplugs or otherwise improvised earplugs are strongly recommended an mp3 would be a good idea. After a while we came across an abandoned Norrie on the single line tracks on which we were traveling incidentally Cambodia’s entire rail network is single track. Anyhow to the side of tracks was a large pond and our clue was a pair of flip-flops floating at the edge suddenly a man popped up from beneath the water. He was a fisherman who had come down from the next village on his smaller sportier Norrie to check his nets he was returning in the same direction as us so there was no need for him to let us pass. The Norrie protocol is that the lighter laden Norrie gives way to the heavier. In this case which happened a couple of times on our trip the drivers easily lift the platform from the Norrie giving way remove the axles from the tracks and replace the other side. The gentle clickity click sound heard in motion on older railways is more of a sudden clank as the present railway is in a dilapidated state. Work is under way to renovate the nation’s railway with the southern line having been completed and now running freight . The northern line project which includes Battambang is expected to be ripped up and repaired in the latter half of 2016 with a passenger service connecting to Bangkok promised for 2017. Once replaced the new track will spell the demise of the Norrie. In the past the few trains that ran were traveling at speeds of 15 kilometres an hour therefore giving the Norries time to dismantle and get out of the way. After renovation is completed and with the train expected to be able to travel up to 80 kilometres an hour the Norries will be prevented from future use at any time of the day. After an hour of jolting travel we returned to O’Dambang feeling like a couple of cocktails a little shaken and stirred. Article by Kevin Bolton. 



Temple Hill and the Magic Cave. Wat Banan. Battambang. Cambodia.

Temple Hill and the Magic Cave

Reaching the top at Wat Banan

        Battambang is surrounded by lush countryside and numerous places of interest to visit, all within close proximity, and Wat Banan was the choice for a recent Sunday afternoon excursion. I use a bicycle to get around Battambang, which even for Cambodia’s second largest city, has a light traffic situation, and is as flat as a pancake, leaving the river bridges as the only humps to go over. But the trip to Wat Banan was a lot more than I wanted to tackle with peddle power, this meant either a motodop at $7 round trip / tuk tuk $12 round trip, or hiring a motorbike.
Today Tours is a bike rental shop located on street 1 ½ , yes…. street 1 ½, which logically runs parallel to streets 1 and 2, but other than that makes no sense at all. Then of course there’s street 2 ½ that runs between streets 2 and 3, this is certainly a city that can’t say it doesn’t do things by half’s. Anyway, Today Tours is at the Bridge end of the street, and has 125’s for $6, and 250’s for $15 – 092 999934, passport is required as deposit.
Wat Banan
Wat Banan is 22 kilometres from Battambang, making it an easy day trip. Leave Battambang on the southwest side of the river on route 155. Along the way there are opportunities to stop off at one or more of the Wat’s, or take a drink break at a village on route. A recommended pit stop would be Wat Chhoe Teal, named so after a tree, The tree has local economic importance, as the resin is used to repair leaking boats around the country. Despite being illegal to cut down, those in high places have turned a blind eye, and this has left many locals without the livelihood they relied upon. This Wat is located about half way, and set back a little on the river side of the road. Go through the maroon archway that leads to the river, here you’ll find a number of drink stands and seating next to a large tree, providing shade on the Sangkar riverbank.
Henri Mouhot, the French explorer who rediscovered Angkor Wat in the 1850s, traveled to Battambang along this river, here he describes the point where the Sangkar and the smaller tributary O Dambong split:  Having arrived at a place where the river divides in two, we enter a narrow stream that comes from the southwest, and which, twisting like a snake, flows with the tranquility of a torrent. This watercourse, on which Battambang is built, is at times only twelve metres wide; branches of trees plunge into our boat, and enormous monkeys hanging on the branches stop their games to watch us pass. From time to time a crocodile, rudely awakened by the splash of the oars or the singing of the rowers, throws him self from the bank where he was sleeping on the wet soil, and disappears under the water.

  The trip to Wat Banan takes a leisurely forty minutes, to the right you will see the lotus plant shaped spires of the Wat rising above the trees around the phnom ( hill ). The entrance is a few metres past the iron bridge on the left, this crosses the Sangkar to the east side, and could be an alternative route back to Battambang, either on the winding scenic river road or the main road set back a few hundred metres away. In the entrance courtyard area at the bottom of the phnom there are three or four restaurants, and a tourist ticket booth ( $2 ) before the steps ascend, grab some refreshments before you climb. The sharp incline of about three hundred stones to the top takes no prisoners, and is unforgiving. Most seemed to be taking a couple of rest breaks during the ordeal, and the locals were exclaiming the word ‘hot’ many times, meaning tired.  Wat Banan is made up of four temple towers, with a further one in the centre. The original temple dates back to 1050, and the reign of king Udayadityavarman I as a Hindu temple, later it was rebuilt using the same stones, as a Buddhist temple, around 1219, during the reign of king Jayarvarman VII. Banan is built from sandstone and laterite, laterite being the fashionable material used so much nowadays for bars and hotel receptions in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, it’s a light brown sediment rock with lots of small holes within it. The towers are impressive and basically intact, if not a little shaky looking, but many of the carvings are headless, having been plundered.
In the 1800s we know from Henri Mouhot that there were numerous Buddha statues inside the temples, and a huge guardian statue at the entrance. Now, due to looting there are only half a dozen in the centre spire, where devout Buddhists come to receive a blessing from the resident monk, who literally hangs out in a hammock during the day, listening to the radio while waiting for the next devotees, and why not. A replica of the guardian statue was positioned at the base of the phnom in 2000. It is not uncommon to find an adventurous family having hauled up their pots of curry and rice, and bags full of food and drinks, boasting a picnic and enjoying the views atop this national monument, as was the case for a couple of groups the day I was there, so don’t feel left out, take some sandwiches. At the bottom of the phnom is a colourful water lily covered baray, a few picnic gazebos line one side of this man made lake, which may have been where the laterite was excavated as large pieces can be seen exposed around the edge of the banks.

Former anti aircraft gun at Wat Banan
Little known, and therefore often unvisited, is the magic cave round the side of the phnom. The old name for the cave was Cave of Sacred Water, it is said that drinking the water that drips from a stalactite will bring knowledge of the past, present, and future. The present name means Walls of Gold, but alas, there is no gold, so what does this cave have apart from two dubious names. Well, there is a magical air within the cave, as a beam of light enters from a opening in the ceiling, and its cool surroundings make it a wonderful retreat from the heat of the day.
On the way back to Battambang on the west side of the river, there is a winery on the right, called Chan Thai Chhoeung, about nine kilometres from Wat Banan. They welcome visitors, and have wine tasting table near the entrance to the vineyard. The red wine is quite sweet, but a bottle would make a unique souvenir, although it would be more suitable for making a pitcher of sangria, especially with the abundance of local fresh fruit that’s available, cheers. Article by Kevin Bolton.