I have been to Cambodia a lot of times and only travel between Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. Even though I often hear about Battambang a lot of times from people that I meet along the way, I still end up not going to that place. Until last February I finally had the chance to visit Battambang.
How To Get There
From Siem Reap, I booked the tickets at Capitol Tours (near El Terrase, along Sivutha Road) and only paid $3.75 (isn’t it cheap!). There are buses going to and from Battambang and Siem Reap in the morning and afternoon. They don’t have night buses though. The trip is a short one and only takes around three hours including a brief stopover at Sisophon.
At Sisophon, we were a bit surprised when we got off at the Capitol Tours station and the bus left. All of the other travelers that I met were also caught off-guard and were a bit concern about the luggage left on the bus. But the attendant at the counter assured us that the bus will come back. It actually did but after more than 15 – 20 minutes perhaps.
From Sisophon, the journey to Battambang is just around an hour.
My First Impression
We were picked up for free by the hotel at the bus stop (which turned out to be just a few minutes walk from the hotel). We booked the hotel the night before going to Battambang. It’s a pretty new hotel and the only available rooms online start at $15/night for a double/twin room. I searched Seng Hout Hotel online and called them directly and got a cheaper room for $10 for a fan room.
The rooms are nice and clean, definitely a great value for money and they also have a rooftop lounge overlooking the neighborhood and a nice saltwater swimming pool!
Not bad huh!
As soon as we left our bags, we immediately went out and explore this city. Battambang is actually the 2nd largest city in Cambodia (next to Phnom Penh) but once you’re here you wouldn’t feel that you’re in a city. There aren’t much vehicles and motorcycles, there aren’t much people actually. Even at the “rush hour” there’ll just be a moderate flow of traffic in some areas.
A huge part of the developed part of Battambang are colonial houses and some new establishments. A huge part of this city are lands dedicated for farming.
Here are some pictures I took in Battambang:
At a temple near our hotel
Second floor of a shop house at the riverside
Gorgeous Building – State Bank
Chinese Temple? I’m not really sure…
The riverside seems to be the most popular place to visit to do some people watching or just to relax and enjoy the glorious sunsets. The river is actually clean and you’ll see a lot of people swimming, fishing and sometimes bathing their cows or buffaloes.
Battambang is the perfect place to relax after indulging yourself to the hustles and bustles of the main tourists destinations in Cambodia.