Battambang is the second most populous city in Cambodia. It lacks beaches and downtown buzz, but it also does not suffer from congested traffic, mass tourism and touts. The colonial architecture can be seen at every corner and it is here that you can find the Cambodia’s most famous circus (Phare Ponleu Selpak).
I got to Battambang by night bus from Sihanoukville and was left in the TVK Station. This station is located outside the city, ~4km from the city centre. You can either walk to the city centre (I did it and I think it is not a big stretch) or you can try with one of the many tuk-tuk drivers available there. I booked a double room for ~6$ in First Hotel, the cheapest place I stayed in Cambodia.
I only stayed in Battambang for 1 entire day and then went directly to Siem Reap. The fact is that Battambang is so small and compact that you can reach almost anywhere by foot. The most touristic attraction that will be hard to get to by foot is the Bamboo Train located at ~5.5km outside town. I didn’t go there because I decided to stay only 1 day in the city, so I ended up just exploring the downtown.
Walk, walk walk…
You’ll come across many temples, cafes, colonial architecture, markets… But that’s it folks, really…
I really don’t know what the Battambang’s buzz is about… I don’t really recommend anyone making plans to stop in this city unless, and only unless, you have unlimited time on your journey.
Instead, go directly to Siem Reap, the most touristic place in Cambodia, but well worth it. I got my ticket on one of the many bus companies in downtown.
How to get there and away
- From Sihanoukville to Battambang I booked a night bus from the pier to the TVK Station outside Battambang city centre.
- From Battambang to Siem Reap I booked a bus on one of the many offices around town. The trip should cost ~4-5$.
What to do/see
- Temples, colonial architecture and cafes...
Where to sleep
- First Hotel, 6$ double bed per night.