Battambang is Cambodia’s second most populous city and a popular tourist destination due to the many nearby ancient temples, Buddhist shrines, and the infamous bamboo railway. It is also the capital city of the Battambang province. It is popular with tourists because of its blend of the modern city, small-town friendliness, and some well-preserved colonial architecture, which works together to give the town a unique charm. Battambang’s ever-increasing variety of food and coffee is a refreshing change from more remote destinations in Cambodia and has the potential to be as funky as Thailand’s Chiang Mai, minus the hordes of tourists. And yes, you can have your latte and your piccolo like you never left home.
We are offering daily private taxi for mini VIP transport for sightseeing tour (DAY TOURS / MULTI-DAY & EXTENDED TOURS), and Long Distance (DOOR to DOOR) by the good condition of (A/C SUV car & Minivan), for the most popular routes from Battambang to the cities in Cambodia and the border of Thailand – Laos – Vietnam.
We have drivers with a full driving license who can speak in English, and with over 10 years of experience in doing this job, we knew the road conditions quite well and have brought our guests to their destinations comfortably and safely.
Our Vehicle Types
Daily Private Taxi Shuttle From Battambang
Get in Battambang
National Highway 5 is paved and from Battambang runs southeast to Phnom Penh and northwest to Sisophon and Poipet. At Sisophon, National Highway 6 branches off to provide paved access to Siem Reap. In a car, Phnom Penh is around 4 hr away and Sisophon can be reached in just under 1 hr. By bus, Phnom Penh takes about 5-6 hr and cost about US$4. Siem Reap takes at least 3 hr and costs $5 ($6 at a local tour provider).
UPDATE: March 2014, buses are no longer allowed to drive into the city. The new bus station is about 3 km west of the city center. A tutuk to the city center will cost about $1. The major bus companies, e.g. Capitol, Sorya, are still running their offices in the city and offer a free minivan transfer to the bus station. Smaller companies will take you to their own offices where you are at the mercy of the two or so moto drivers hanging around (they’ll insist the city is 8km. away).
Highway 57 from Battambang to Pailin was paved in 2010. Paramount Angkor Buses run twice daily from Battambang to Pailin (2 hr) for $4.
From Siem Reap there are buses at 7:30 am, 10:30 am and 13:30 pm. The Capitol bus costs $4.50 if booking direct at their office in Siem Reap, plus they will pick you up from your accommodation for free if necessary.
One boat a day travels from Siem Reap (for Angkor) to Battambang, departing Siem Reap at 07:00. An interesting and very scenic journey along small rivers, the boat threads its way through numerous charming floating villages and past dozens of towering cantilevered fishing net installations. It can take between 4-12 hr, depending on the time of year (and hence the water level), however, the time can be fairly accurately predicted by checking the time that the same boat arrived yesterday.
During the dry season, when the water level gets very low, the boats cannot get all the way to Battambang and the journey is completed by minibus or pick-up truck.
As of January 2019, there is a weekly train connecting Battambang with Phnom Penh and Poipet. The train leaves Phnom Penh every Wednesday at 7:00h arriving in Battambang in the afternoon. On Thursdays, the train departs Poipet station at 7:00h, arriving in Battambang between 9 and 10. Tickets are about 5$ and can be bought at the station. Reservation is possible through easybook.com. After a test phase, the train will start running on a normal schedule, which is supposed to be every other day in either direction. This service is operated by Royal Railways.
What to See in Battambang
Battambang is known for its statues which seemingly decorate every public place. Most are of animals (mythical and real) and divinities.
The most famous of these statues is on the main road in from Phnom Penh and is of an ancient Khmer King holding a stick which he used to quell rebellions in the Battambang area. The name of the town/province comes from this legend.
The town also has a number of fine early-20th-century French colonial buildings. Most of the colonial buildings can be found along the waterfront (St 1), especially just south of Psar Nat (which is quite impressive in itself). Famous Art Deco buildings are the Central Market, the swimming pool Victory (riverside), and the train station. Along streets 1, 2, 21/2, and 3 are charming examples of Chinese, French and Italian architecture, with peculiar mirroring of houses constructed on one side in brick, square pillars, and on the other one in concrete, round pillars. Street 3 has some charming French shop-houses.
- The Governors Residence: is the most impressive colonial building, a legacy of the early 1900s with balconies and wooden shutters and a grand reception room with a 5m ceiling. It was designed by an Italian architect for the last Thai governor, who departed in 1907. The interior is closed but you can explore the grounds at leisure. The gates at the front are all closed, so you must enter from the street running along the left side of the compound. Here a man is collecting donations in a box, and can be very persuasive that you should pay; you don’t have to pay anything! The gardens are beautiful and well-tended, and the building is definitely worth seeing. I can only imagine how grand it must be inside, but at the moment (2019) it is closed up. Next to it is the office of the local ombudsman; we tried exiting from the gate in front of the office, but the guard on the gate was very rude and slightly aggressive and insisted that we needed to walk all the way back to the entrance we had used. There was no sense in this, and the local government should try to prevent such altercations.
- Battambang Museum: (admission US$1) displays fine Angkorian lintels and statuary from all over the Battambang province, including Phnom Banan and Sneng, and it has multi-lingual signs. The opening times are not necessarily reliable, but it is interesting, if small. Signage is good. Five minutes after entering, the man in charge told the lady who had taken our money to stop us from taking photos; I know this is a rule in many world museums, but the items here, almost without exception, are stone and even flash photography would not affect them. There are some statues outside even, that you can photograph quite openly.
- Phnom Sampeu: (sometimes also “Sampov Mountain”), a hill with the Killing Caves of the Khmer Rouge, a few other caves adorned with Buddhist statues, and a monastery with two Buddhist Stupas on the hilltop. Entry is US$3 – and it takes about 1 hr to climb the circuit to the monastery on top, with a short-cut leading back down to the shops and restaurants which line the approaching road. Just before the ticket office, you can see a cave about 100 meters or so up the rock face. At around about 5.30 or 6 pm (depending on sunset time) every evening, you can witness a steady stream of bats exiting the cave. It takes about 40 minutes for all the bats to leave. There must be tens of thousands of bats that make this journey every night. Some locals say over 1 million bats, but who knows? Whatever the number is, it’s an amazing sight. From the main road, you should be able to see the bats forming various formations in the sky. This cave also features several restaurants in front of it with their seats turned towards the cave-like an open-air cinema.
If you’re looking for a less crowded place, ask your driver to take you to the second cave, it’s approx. 500m down a road to the right (facing the mountain, heading south). Here you’ll have to hike up a small path to the left of the road for a few meters but get rewarded by a beautiful sunrise as a perfect background for the clouds of bats leaving the cave.
- Wat Banan: Entry is US$3 – the so-called mini-Angkor wat, an impressive flight of stairs lead up to a dilapidated Angkor-style temple which is still in use as a Buddhist shrine. Once at the top of the temple follow the trail on the south side of the hill. It will lead you down and eventually to a breathtaking cave. Huge skylight ceilings and plenty of bats.
Secret Cave: (12°56′57.89″N, 103°08′11.15″E).
- Wat Baydamram: a temple where hundreds of fruit bats live in trees under the protection of the Buddhist monks.
- Wat Ek Phnom: another Angkor-type temple ruin, about 15 km northwest of Battambang. The road runs along lovely small rivers flanked by trees and small villages making it a generally nice area. Approaching Wat Ek Phnom, you suddenly encounter a giant Buddha statue in the Wat, which is certainly picture-worthy. The grounds of the Wat also have an Angkorian era temple which is in relatively good shape and with some interesting carvings. Entry US$1.
- Wat Samraong Knong: roughly translated as ‘Wat in the forest’ is an extremely old pagoda on the eastern side of the Sangker River. The eerie old Wat was used as a Khmer Rouge prison, and there were many executions on the premises. A new pagoda is now being built, and there is a memorial to the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime, with graphic illustrations just to the north.
There are several opportunities to explore villages just south of town. The cultural village of Watkor, just a few kilometers south of the town center has several “ancient wooden houses” from the early 20th century. Further south is the agricultural villages of Kompong Seyma, and Ksach Puoy. For info call District Administration Battambang: +855 1288 1516, +855 1666 6111.
- Battambang Circus: Phare Ponleu Selpak (10 min journey in tuk-tuk from the center of Battambang-most drivers know the circus), +855 53 952 424, Performances every Mon and Thurs starting 7 pm. The shows are fun, energetic, and exciting and include a range of circus disciplines. The ticket price helps support the NGO school which works with disadvantaged children and teenagers. After the show, you can have dinner there for US$6. Show US$14.
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