Battambang travel guides

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Battambang was established as an important trading city with around 2,500 residents in the 18th century. They lived mostly along a single road parallel to the Sangkae River. In 1795 Thailand, then Siam, annexed much of northwestern Cambodia including the province of Battambang and Siem Reap. The Siamese Abhaiwongse family ruled Battambang as governors for six generations until 1907 when the province was ceded to the French to be part of their French Indochina colony.

Following the colonization of the French in Battambang the colonial administration developed an urban layout which enlarged the size of the French colonial town. In the first time development, they constructed a grid pattern of well-defined streets, put in the urban structures and built three main streets parallel to the Sangker River, connected the both side with two bridges in 1917. Military purposes and prison infrastructures were erected inside the compound. 19 years later, a second urban development plan was created with a newly constructed railway linked from Battambang to Phnom Penh. The urban structure was extended to the west of the town, featuring some important urban axes orienting on the railway station. Many outstanding buildings like residential villas and significant public buildings were constructed during that period. According to the third urban development plan for Battambang, a large extension was planned for the north, east and south of the city. The urban layout was technically planned and required long-term thinking to create an urban axis corresponding to the existing urban layout from the former period. Battambang grew as a modern provincial capital, and became the most developed part of all provinces in Cambodia.

Several large infrastructures and public facilities were built under the modernization program of the Cambodian government under Prince Sihanouk. Several provincial departments, the court house and other public administrations were set up on both sides of the river. Textile and garment factories were built by French and Chinese investors, the Battambang Airport was constructed, and the railway line was developed to reach Poipet. Numerous schools and a university were built. A sports centre, museum and an exhibition hall were constructed to serve the cultural needs of the growing population.

In the southwest of the Tonle Sap Lake, Battambang is located on the Sangker riverbank. Battambang means "disappearing stick" - related to a legend of the magic stick by a Khmer king used to hold and maintain power in the Battambang area. It is the second largest city of Cambodia as well as in the granary of the country. Despite being the second largest province of Cambodia, Battambang still keeps the atmosphere of the countryside and it is not be affected by tourism.

Most of the buildings in this Battambang have French colonial-style and Cambodia’s traditional architecture. There are very few buildings having more than three-floor height. Unlike other tourist towns, the local economy is mainly based on planting rice and crops, logging, mining sapphire…

When you travel to Battambang by road, the landscape quickly appears in your eyes with small villages, rice fields and farms. It gives tourists wonderful opportunities to enjoy the unpolluted countryside of Cambodia. The surroundings of the countryside are ancient temples, the ruins of the Angkor period, caves, waterfalls, and even the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge regime.

Battambang is the main hub of the Northwest connecting the entire region with Phnom Penh and Thailand, and as such it’s a vital link for Cambodia. Battambang city is a peaceful and pleasant place these days. The main parts of the city are situated closed to the Sangker River, a tranquil, small body of water that winds its way through Battambang Province. It is a nice, picturesque setting. As with much of Cambodia, the French architecture is an attractive bonus of the city.

Attractions: Battambang has a number of historic wats and they largely survived damage during the Khmer Rogue regime. Tourists can visit these following attractions in Battambang:
  • White Elephant Pagoda (Wat Tahm-rai-saw)
  • Phare Ponleu Selpak - Battambang Circus
  • Battambang Bat Caves
  • Banan Temple
  • Wat Ek Phnom Temple
  • Sneung Temple
  • Phnom Sampeou
  • Kamping Puoy Basin
  • Sek Sork…

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