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Battambang Province

The name literally means ‘lost staff’; referring to an episode in Khmer history when the King Dambang Kranhoung threw his wooden staff from Angkor and it landed in present day Battambang. A fact commemorated by the huge black statue in honour of the staff-throwing king, erected in the center of town.

Believed to be the kingdom’s second most populated city, Battambang is set on fertile alluvial soil that provides the country’s highest quality rice crops.  It is known as the Rice Bowl of Cambodia since as a province, Battambang can provide enough rice for the entire country. With such agricultural wealth and the existence of both rubies and emeralds within the provincial border, Battambang has grown through trade.

Even with these economic advantages, Battambang still retains its colonial charm which is one of the prime reasons to visit the city.  Surrounding the market are the faded yellow and peeling blue of the colonial houses that give Battambang so much of its character.

Places of Interest:

Barsaet Temple
Barsaet temple is located in Barsaet village, Tapoan commune, Sanke district, about 15 kilometers east of Battambang provincial town. The temple was built in the 11th century, between AD 1036 and 1042, during the reign of King Suryavarman I (AD 1002-1050). This temple was seriously damaged, and only the door frame remains. Next to this temple, there is an ancient pond that is 20 metes long, 12 meters wide and 10 meters deep. It holds water year round.

Banan Temple
Banan temple is located in Kanti II commune, Banna district, atop a 400-meter-high mountaintop, about 25 kilometers south of the provincial town. This sandstone and laterite temple was built between the mid 11 th and late 12th centuries. Work was started under King Udayadityavarman II (AD 1050-1066) and ultimately finished by King Jayavarman VII (AD 1181-1219). The temple has five towers  similar to Angkor Wat, but it was constructed separately. At the foot of the mountain, there is a moat and two natural wells, Bet Meas and Chhoung.

Wat Ek Phnom Temple
Wat Ek Phnom temple is located in Tkov village, Peam Ek commune, about 14 kilometes from Battambang provincial town. The temple was built in AD 1027, during the reign of King Suryavarman I. There are 18 bodhi trees around the temple. They are lovely to look at and provide abundant fresh air. Outside the temple to the south, there is a moat that is now a pond.

Sneung Temples
The Sneung temples are divided into two parts – East Sneung and West Sneung. The East Sneung temple is located in Sneung pagoda, Sneung commune, Banan district, about 22 kilometers southwest of the provincial town. The temple, constructed of bricks on a hill, is 30 meters long and 20  meters wide. It features three separate shrines and is similar in style of other temples built during the 12th century. Behind the temple is a newer temple.

The West Sneung temple is constructed of sandstone and is located near national Road 57  (the former Natioanl Road 10).

Phnom Sampeou
Phnom Sampeou is a natural site located along National Raod 57 in Sampeou commune, Battambang district, about 12 kilometers from the provincial town. Atop a 100-meter-high mountain stands a pagoda and three natural caves: Pkasla, Lakhaon and Aksopheak. Pkasla cave is full of uprooted stones and is considered important because it is where Phnom Sampeou residents come to celebrate after a marriage.

Next to the Phnom Sampeou are several important mountain clusters, including phnom Kdaong, Phnom Kraper, Phnom Trung Moan, Phno Trung Tear and Phnom Neang Romsay Sok. All are related to the Khmer folktale titlted Reachkol Neang Romsay Sok.

Kamping Puoy Basin
Komping Pouy Basin is located between two mountains – Phnom Ku or Phnom Ta Ngen and Phnom Kamping Puoy – in Ta Nget village, Ta Kream Srok commune, about 35 kilometers west of the provincial town.

Kamping Puoy Bassin is 6 meters long and 1900 meters wide. During the rainy season the basin can hold 110 million cubic meters of water, which is used primarily for agriculture. Kamping Puoy basin is vital to this area. Local people come here to relax and fish in the basin for Domrei fish.

Sek Sork
Sek Sork is located in Treing commune, Rattanak Mondul district, about 50 kilometers southwest of the provincial twon. It has long been a popular site for local people to visit Sek Sork is a slope stream, about 500 meters long, from which water flows over a flat stone surface. There are green forests nearby, and wild bamboo grows in rows along the stream, providing shade. Visitors to Sek Sork can also go to Pich Chenda Dangtung water bubble and Laang Spean Andet site, which are only about 6 kilometers away.