To the far northwest of Cambodia, where share the boundary with Thailand, and in the large delta area, the city of Battambang situated in calm and slow. Despite the fact that it is the second biggest city of Cambodia, its rhythm is quite easy when comparing to the bustling Vientiane and Siem Reap. This is what wins the tourists' heart, visitor when arriving at the destination, they can enjoy the city atmosphere but won’t be stuck in some dull situation.
2. BEST TIME TO VISIT BATTAMBANG
Tropical climate runs the country out, but in the north, the weather is more pleasure than in the south.
From November to May, the dry season takes place and from November to February is the “tourist season”. During this period of time, the sun shines gently and the wind flows lightly, the temperature is also pleasing at 26°C average.
From June to October, the region switches to wet mode. Among all of the months, June to August would be the peak of rainy season. But in general, the region can be visited throughout the year, rain won’t take place too severe and the temperature of the hottest time seems manageable.
3. THINGS TO DO IN BATTAMBANG
Visit Ancient Heritages
The city of Battambang owns several spots of astounding remains that have always been a tourist attraction. Explore the Wat Ek Phnom, where used to be a glamorous temple back to the 11th century. It was built by stone so after a millennium, most of the temple still last, the temple is famous for its carved pediments and lintels. Besides, there is a modern side of the temple and a stunning gigantic Buddha statue in the place. Wat Ek Phnom had impressed tourist at first sight. If time permits, you should visit Wat Banan, it is also in the list of remarkable ruins. Five big ancient temples are what mark its name.
Worship at Pagodas
Off course the city has many pagodas that would confuse you, among them, you should visit some of these gorgeous. The famous Damrey Sor Pagoda is at the top of the list, it has many remarkable statues of Buddha and his elephants on its campus, beautiful design and wall sculpting statue, Buddha images. Otherwise, you can choose the Wat Samrong Knong, which owns an old-time design, has both ancient and modern building, big campus with hundreds of Buddha statues.
Shop at Markets
Check these markets out for some goods.
- Wat Leap Market: sell diverse items from made and fresh food, handicrafts, dried goods, clothes, etc. the place is rather big and easy to find.
- Central Market: where you can find rather cheap items diverse to many kinds, opens till late in the evening
- Riverside Night Market: you can find lots of vendors sell of handicrafts, foods, snack, silk, etc.
Travel to the Outskirt by Bike
At the outskirt of the city, people still live by growing paddy plant and raising cattle. Hire a bicycle to travel around, you can enjoy the countryside sites and cross a wide area covered by paddy field, meadow.
Explore Battambang Bat Caves
About 11 kilometers away from Battambang city center, you will see yourself in a giant bat cave that home for million bats. Best time of the day to visit the place is during sunset. In the time, bats fly out from their cave and provided a stunning view for some pictures. Not really far from Bat Caves, there is a well - known killing cave of Phnom Sampeau, right there you can catch skeletons and skulls scattered around, it is not surprising because the cave used to be the mass executing ground of brutal Khmer Rouge regime.
Take the Bamboo Train
The train is pretty odd and simple itself, with no rooftop, cabins or long train pulled behind. It just pieces of wood that nailed together and 4 wheels but this special train will take you to many attractive places of the local before heading to the city. It is safe and also brings you the best experience that you have ever had on any train ride.
Cambodia Must-try Dishes and Best Things to Buy
How about spending in the regional cuisine and souvenirs for yourself and your friend to mark that you had visited Cambodia. When you are still in the city, try these dishes out:
- Khmer curry: both with a sweet aftertaste and rather mild. They often contain a kind of meat, coconut milk, and cream, fish sauce, garlic, turmeric, curry powder and vegetable. You can eat with rice, rice noodle or bread.
- Nom banh chok: contain thin rice noodle, sprout, flavor and ingredients, vegetable and green fish curry on top.
- Fish Amok: a Cambodia signature dish, it is curry with freshwater fish, cooked with coconut cream, fish sauce, sugar palm, egg and added in some flavor, vegetable. All together cooked in a banana leaf bowl.
- Kuy teav: Cambodia noodle soup.
- Prahok: though it smells bad however tastes beautiful, Prahok is made of fermented fish that added some flavors in it. The dish is eaten with rice, it is also a famous dish that made Cambodia reminded for.
In local gift shops and markets, you can easily buy those items like Cambodia silk, bracelet, necklaces, jewelry, statue, textile, painting, carpet, etc. each one of the products just looks so unique.
4. DOS & DON'TS
People here are really nice and friendly, they won’t take it hard on tourist, but you should know these basic first when visiting the Battambang.
- Say “Sous sa rye” (hello) when you talk and meat Cambodian.
- Show your respect when entering temples
- Learn to bargain at the market
- Learn a bit the language of Cambodia, only a little can speak English.
- Prepare Cambodian money or bring visa/master card. They charge pretty high if you exchange the currency in markets, stores.
- Ask for the price first when you want to buy something
- Don’t give the attitude or surprise about food hygiene