Battambang is a city in Cambodia. The city itself is a bit dull, but the surrounding is so much fun. The famous bamboo train is just outside of Battambang in the countryside. The easiest way to get around is by renting a scooter for US$5 per day or make a deal with a local tuk-tuk driver. In general, the city is quiet, so I went for a scooter. Take all the time in the world to just wander around. You can choose to go off the main road and take dirt roads in the countryside. This is the perfect way to interact with the locals and see the beautiful nature. It might take a bit longer, but it’s worth it.
IndexWhat to do in Battambang?Hotspots and highlights
Awesome things to do in Battambang: The famous bamboo train
The most amazing thing to do around Battambang is taking a ride on the bamboo train. You can find this epical attraction just outside the city, in the countryside. An old train track is converted in to a tourist attraction. You can race from one village to another on a bamboo plateau. There is only one track, so if there are passengers coming from the opposite direction, the people with the least passengers has to get off the track. Together you take your plateau from the track and let the others pass. Afterwards you can continue your journey. It goes surprisingly fast, so the safety might not be guaranteed. But besides that, it is absolutely the most fun thing to do in Cambodia. The ride will take about 15 minutes from on village to the other. In total 30 minutes. When arriving in the second village, you can relax a bit. They sell souvenirs and drinks, like fresh coconuts.
Preah Bat Dambang Kranhoung
The statue of Preah Bat Dambang Kranhoung is displayed in the middle of the city on a roundabout. This statue symbolizes the legend after which the city and province are named. The statue is better known as the Black Buddha, and is pretty special to see. When driving to the bamboo train, you will pass the statue.
Phnom Sampeau (Killing caves)
While visiting Cambodia, you will be confronted with the heartbreaking history of the country. It is not that long ago, that more than 2 million people got killed. There are killing fields and museums all over the country. In Battambang there are no killing fields, but killing caves. Just the word killing caves will give you the chills. During the terror of the Khmer Rouge, people got thrown into the caves alive. If you survived the fall, you were certain to die by starvation. Nowadays, there are stairs leading to the caves. They are open for visitors and free to visit.
Note: If you have your own scooter, people will tell you it is not possible to drive up the mountain. They want to guide you with their own, and you have to pay for it. Don’t believe them. The drive up is easy and possible with any scooter.
Every evening, just before sunset, millions of bats fly out of the Bat cave to go hunting for food. A lot of people will wait for this special moment. If you drive back from the Killing cave, you will pass the Bat cave. Definitely worth the wait.
Visit The Circus of Battambang
The circus of Battambang is known for its talented youth. It is all about having fun. You can have a fun evening, they will have a better life. The local youth will try to tell a story and show you what they’ve got. The profit of the circus goes to the children. In this way, children in poverty can try to make something out of their lives. There are two shows a week. Lots of people promote it on the streets. So, getting a ticket is easy.
The Battambang Circus also performs in Siem Reap, so if you want to see them while over there it’s also possible.
Like I said before, the city is a bit dull. But the surrounding makes up for it all. You can easily spend a day or two in this city. There are plenty of beautiful temples and activities around the city. Restaurants for dinner are scarce, but the night markets have good street food.
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What was one of your favourite things to do in Battambang?
More on Cambodia: Things to do in Kampot at the south coast of Cambodia