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- ▸ Cambodia Travel Guide
Battambang city is a peaceful and pleasant place, the name Battambang or Batdambang, literally means "loss of stick" referring to a legend of the Preah Bat Dambang Kranhoung (Kranhoung Stick King). The population is nowadays around 250,000 people . It's a riverside town, home to some of the best-preserved, French colonial architecture in the country.
Cambodia’s second largest city is one in perfect balance – it’s bustling yet friendly and interesting without being overwhelming. Underneath its sleepy persona is a bubbling undercurrent of creativity, often fuelled by the expat community. A smattering of arty boutique hotels, quirky cafés and innovative restaurants are among the urban draws, while the lush surrounding countryside is ideal for excursions. Here, we’ve whittled down the top 7 reasons to visit.
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.
The countryside around Battambang lends itself perfectly to exploration by bicycle. Bumpy roads lead past simple shacks, monasteries that echo with the sounds of chanting and village streets taken over with colourful wedding celebrations. At times the dusty, ochre tracks are only wide enough for a single bike – tricky when you occasionally have to squeeze between a herd of cattle. At other moments paths open out into an expanse of vivid-green rice paddies threaded with lazy streams.
Battambang's ever increasing variety on 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.
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