Start the Journey
Krong Battambang is a small town located at Sangkae River. It has so many colonized buildings left over from the city and it looks beautiful. It only takes around four hours from Siem Reap province. It has so many good boutique hotels and villas but in the middle of town are more likely with hotels. I had been looking but all are fully booked, so I decided to have a hotel right in town near Phsar Nat, the most well-known of Battambang’s landmarks. The town is so quiet after 8 o’clock in the evening, it’s a lot cleaner compared to the other town in Cambodia.
Go for It
Taking a bus from Siem Reap in the mid-afternoon and arrived at around 5 o’clock in the evening. I walked straight forward to the hotel to checking-in and just can’t wait for dinner. It was recommended to go to Coconut Lyly restaurant. They serve with local Cambodian cousins or make your own meal with their cooking class. Opening hour is 9 am – 10 pm but the kitchen will close at 9 pm.
Only some bars and restaurants at the riverfront still stay alive so after dinner, I wandered a bit at the riverside next to Phsar Nat, had a quick drink then headed back to the hotel room for an early night.
In the early morning, I got a full-day tuk-tuk tour, just the guy outside of the hotel. On the first stop, I visited the oldest house in Battambang province, located in Wat Kor village – and right outside one of the local houses about 5 minutes drive from the old house I just left, a lady selling grilled rats, a very popular snack for locals especially a snack when they have a beer. Have you ever tried?
Just about 30 seconds stopped for a picture of Grilled Rats, the driver asked if I would like to see the village of Muslims, and I have the whole day to go “so why not”. The village is a bit small but so many tiny houses settled down on the river bank, it looks so beautiful and feels so local. I got to see the life of the villagers, a friendly baby goat walking around in the village, then come to say hello to me.
A quick stop at the local market located outside of Pagoda in Khum Ou Dombang Mouy. the moment you arrived, you have no idea, why are you even here – it wasn’t just about the locals! take a look at the tree, you’ll see what’s on. It’s filled with mammal bats (Chiroptera) bigger than a normal bats. It’s like you can’t even see the leaf, it’s a tree of Chiroptera.
One of the most recognizable activities in Battambang is riding a Bamboo train (Nory). A bamboo platform is placed on the two axles and propelled with an engine. Being on the Bamboo train can actually see the amazing villages hidden beside bushes along the train railway. It is incredibly fun, making it so popular and famous for tourists.
The 358 steps to climb on to the top of the mountain to see the five towers remaining at Banan temple. Even though the weather was a bit hot but people still come and go, up and down the mountain for the whole day. It’s very common here, children will come along with you to offer something but they definitely want something back. I would recommend visiting just before lunchtime because there are so many restaurants at the entrance, where you could have your lovely lunch break. You can choose a restaurant for your own favorite view.
Phnom Sampov is located along national road 57, about 12 kilometers from the town. If you only go for the bat cave, better come later before the sun goes down. I was there at two pm in the afternoon, absolutely empty at the mountain. I was too early to be at the mountain, so I decided to hike to the top of the mountain for the mountain-top views and come down half an hour before sunset.
Another well-known about Battambang is the Bat Cave in Phnom Sampov. It is the spectacle excitement of visitors sitting and waiting for millions of bats flying out, up to the sky from their house every sun goes down. I picked the best spot just right in front of the opened’s cave. It was since nobody and I had lots of drinks, just around 5:30 pm, it was full of tourists and local visitors.
Sun goes down, bats coming out – one hour later, bats still coming out of the cave and I don’t really know when it was going to end but after 30-45 minutes of watching you just gonna walked out and said WOW “that was extraordinarily spectacular” see the video.
Take Advantage of the Last Day
I got the whole morning in Battambang before I get on the bus at 2 o’clock. Wandered around at the riverside a bit then I started to bargain the tuk-tuk to visit Ek Phnom temples. On the way, I had two stops, where the spring roll wrappers producing and the banana crisps are made.
Wat Ek Phnom
The temple is located on the left bank of the Sangke River, around 13 kilometers from the town. Most parts of the temple are collapsed but looted. It looks more impressive than the Banan temple with its beautiful carved. The site wasn’t busy at all, just only a couple of tourists and a few other locals.
Headed back to town, the tuk-tuk driver dropped me at one of his favorite cafes, which is also part of the NGO, named Kinyei Cafe. I got a delicious lunch and drink before the bus left Battambang. I do love my weekend holiday in Battambang province. I am so pleased that I could do so many activities in a couple of days.
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