Battambang is rapidly becoming one of the hip places in Asia and becoming more and more popular as a tourist destination after visiting the Angkor temples at Siem Reap. And there are some really good reasons why.
Value – the city offers incredible value for money, it only costs $7 to get here from Siem Reap on a bus, and you can snag a comfortable, clean fan room with private bathroom for as low as seven bucks.
Laid Back – The city doesn’t have hustle and bustle, it just doesn’t happen. People are either laid back, really laid back, or asleep.
Clean – unlike the nearby jewel in Cambodia’s tourism crown, Siem Reap, the city doesn’t have piles of rubbish festering in its city’s center. Great job BB!
Artisinal – here you can find coffee on par with that you’d find in Melbourne, along with creative bakers, and loads of spots to check out indie art.
Temples – BB has several ancient wonders on its outskirts.
The Top Tens of Battambang
Here’s my pick for the top ten eats, coffee, attractions and places to stay.
Coffee & Eats
Cafe Hoc – Social Enterprise – The go-to place for breakfast, offering a buffet with fresh (and delicious) bread rolls, yogurt, muesli, fruit and eggs to order. They also do lunch and dinner and have an espresso machine ready to make your favorite brew. The breakfast buffet is $3 and other menu options are also the same great value. hopeofchildren.net
La Pizza – ambiance and great pizza baked in a brick oven. – facebook.com/La-Pizza-Battambang
Lan Chov Khorko Miteanh – Dumplings (Jiaozi), life is not complete without them. Under $2. Road 2 between Pub Street and Psar Naat
The River – Khmer and western with prices from $2 and up. Great value and great location. facebook.com/TheRiverBarAndRestaurant
Kinyei Coffee – Social Enterprise – a great tasting latte. I love the beans they use and the milk is textured nicely. Breakfast and lunch options available. Street 1.5, near Psar Nath, Battambang – kinyei.org/cafe
Memory Coffee – large, modern, and relaxed store with plenty of seating with power outlets. Latte $2 and up, light meals are tasty and begin at $2.75 – Road 3, near Borey Thmey Mall – facebook.com/memorycoffeeandeatery/
Gloria Jeans – Seating with power outlets. Coffee is OK and some days great. The place is clean and comfortable, for meals your money would be better invested elsewhere – Road 1 – gloriajeans.com.kh
Choco L’art Cafe – For French press coffee lovers, this is your place. From $1.25 and up. Also offering breakfast, lunch, and dessert. Street 117
Khmer Delight Restaurant – The place to go for Amok, and they also offer western dishes together with their popular Khmer dishes. Street 119. facebook.com/latestdelights/
Nary Kitchen – restaurant, cooking school, and bar – Street 111 – narykitchen.com
Phnom Sampeou – the 100 metre high mountain features a pagoda, three caves and breathtaking views. there is also a memorial to those killed here during the Khmer Rouge era.
Wat Ek Phnom – the most popular. Features some carvings and plenty of scattered rubble that often hide interesting lintel work. 10 kilometers from the central area.
Phnom Banan – a hilltop temple with a staircase, mostly in ruin it’s still a fascinating place. 20 kilometers from the central area.
Prasart Stueng – another ancient ruin, featuring some impressive carvings.
Phare Circus – regular performances with alternating themes telling stories of Khmer life. phareps.org/events/
Battambang Provincial Museum – located in central BB it’s a must visit featuring several impressive pieces salvaged from the nearby ancient Angkor era temples.
ROMCHEIK 5 Art Space – featuring works from some of BB’s brightest emerging talents.
HUMAN Gallery – Joseba Etxebarria Photography – features portraits of the humanitarian photographer Joseba Etxebarria – josebaetxebarria.com/human-gallery
Mrs. Bun Roeung’s Ancient House – built from now rare hardwoods, and nearing 100 years old, the house is open to visitors and also offers homestay. facebook.com/mrsbunshouse
Phsar Nath Market – or Central Market, is the local food market and it’s packed with character and curiosities. Street 113
Lotus Farm – located 30 mins from BB the Lotus Farm is situated on a large picturesque lake and the company also produces a fabric from the flower. samatoa.lotus-flower-fabric.com/samatoa-founder-awen-delaval/
Damrey Sor Pagoda – An active pagoda featuring beautiful Khmer architecture and color Buddhist paintings and sculpture. Road 3
Battambang Resort – 4 star – swimming pool, family rooms, bar, landscaped surrounds, peaceful out of the city setting. From $105.
Maisons Wat Kor – 4 star – the boutique hotel offers a swimming pool, garden, massage, in a tranquil setting. Located near to Wat Kor Pagoda. From $118.
The Sanctuary Villa Battambang – 4 star – swimming pool, beautiful gardens and atmosphere, spa and wellness centre. From $55. Five mins from the central area.
Classy Hotel – 4 star – swimming pool, spa, bar, family rooms and more. From $50. Central, with river views.
Jasmine Hotel & Sky bar – Large rooms with refrigerator, cable TV, in a reasonably central location and very clean. From $29.
Battambang Dream Bungalows – Classic Khmer bungalows set amongst scenic and peaceful rural Cambodia. Something special. From $24 with breakfast
The Blue Guest House – Fan rooms with private bathroom, comfortable and clean. From $12
Asia Hotel – 3 star – private bathrooms, refrigerator, cable tv, and clean. From $12. Central location.
Blue Diamond – 2 star – Rooms with private bathroom and balcony from $12. 5 mins walk from the central area.
The Place – Dorm beds from $7, clean and comfortable. Central location.