Battambang City in Cambodia.

Cycling at Battambang alongside the river looking at Wats and Temples.

Enjoying a local Bike Ride at Battambang - where there are several Wats to look at and also the beautiful river.

While staying at Battambang a good idea might be to hire a bike and go off for a more or less local bike ride round the city and perhaps out a little way into the countryside - maybe following the river for a while and/or one of it's connecting streams. Most of the hotels etc. can provide a map of the area - which is fairly accurate. Bike hire is widely available in the central part of the city - quite a few of the guesthouses have bikes for hire parked outside - you can get a bike without gears for just a few USD per day. Thmor Chas Bridge (The French Bridge) - Battambang, Cambodia. A couple of things to bear in mind though - for instance although the area is basically flat when a bike has no gears even a small rise in the road is hard work. So if you can find a bike with gears it is worth hiring this even if a few USD more. Just as important is to think of the Sun and how hot things can get - the city is quite low rise so there is little shade - therefore a bike trip is best avoided between midday through the middle of the afternoon when the heat can be ferocious. Once out of the city - for instance along the river - there are often trees around to offer some shade but even around here it really does get very very hot out in the open so take plenty of water with you.
Road surfaces are generally not too pot-holed and said holes etc. can be easily avoided whilst cycling - also the roads are pretty quiet most of the time. Car and tuk-tuk drivers are usually careful of cyclists and anyway nobody seems to be in any sort of hurry and drive particularly quickly at Battambang. However do beware of the local bus drivers and also tour-coach drivers who tend to drive in a fast and pig-ignorant manner - don't they always?.
The following is an example of a bike ride which might be of interest and shows some of the things to see on the way. It starts off by crossing the river via Sor Kheng Bridge onto 159D Road - turn left and almost immediately on the right you will find Wat Kandal.

Looking round Wat Kandal which is beside Sangker River at Battambang.

The best time to see this temple and certainly from the point of view of taking some photos is during the morning since later in the afternoon the direction of the Sun makes things far more difficult. The Temple is quite a large complex - as well as the Wat iteself there are quite a few shrines, chedi, accommodation buildings and also there is quite a large temple pond to the rear of the area.
Wat Kandal - Battambang, Cambodia. Wat Kandal - Battambang, Cambodia. Wat Kandal - Battambang, Cambodia. Wat Kandal - Battambang, Cambodia.
Wat Kandal - Battambang, Cambodia. Wat Kandal - Battambang, Cambodia. Wat Kandal - Battambang, Cambodia. Wat Kandal - Battambang, Cambodia.

Looking round Wat Sunglie at Battambang.

From Wat Kandal turn left and head back along 159D road following the river i.e. going south. Having passed the concrete road bridge and just before reaching Thmor Chas Bridge you will find Wat Sunglie on the left. Entry is via a nicely sculptured gate which starts off with serpents (naga) on a balustrade on either side - then at the gate there are two elephants and various carvings. The top of the gate has four stone faces of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (seemingly a copy of those found on some of the old temple gates at Angkor).
Wat Sunglie entrance Gate - Battambang, Cambodia. Wat Sunglie - Battambang, Cambodia. Chedi at Wat Sunglie, Battambang, Cambodia. Shrines and Chedi at Wat Sunglie in Battambang, Cambodia.
Ta Dambang Statue - Battambang, Cambodia. Rusty girder railwaybridge - Battambang, Cambodia.

Taking a look at Ta Dambang Kranhung - Ta Dambang Statue which is sat in the middle of a roundabout.

Having looked round Sunglie Temple you could go inland from the river and take a look at the Ta Damang Statue. To do this take the 213 Road from Thmor Chas Bridge and just follow it on round to arrive at the statue which is situated in the centre of a roundabout. From here the best and least complicated way back to the river is the way you came. Once back to the river how much further down you go is up to you - you can go a couple of kilometres further down where you will reach the railway line where- there is a very nice but incredibly rusty railway girder bridge to be found. Do not attempt to walk across this old neglected bridge - it really is in poor condition.
As far as this bike ride description is concerned the railway bridge marked the end of the ride south because we knew there was some nice cycling to the north - so now the route takes you all the way back into and on through the City. Cycle up as far as Thmor Thmey Bridge (where National Highway 5 crosses the river). Go over the river and almost immediately turn right onto 156 Road. Follow this as it goes alongside the Provincial Hospital - the road hooks sharp right about halfway along the hospital area and then goes back to the river. There are one or two Pagodas and Temples along the way to stop and look at if you wish - for instance below are some photos of

Wat Leab Pagoda.

Wat Leab Pagoda area - Battambang, Cambodia. Wat Leab Pagoda - Battambang, Cambodia. Wat Leab Pagoda - Battambang, Cambodia. Wat Leab Pagoda - Battambang, Cambodia.
Small Dam at Prek Daun Teav - Battambang, Cambodia. Prek Daun Teav stream - Battambang, Cambodia. Continue along for a couple of kilometres - look out at a bend for a signpost indicating a small road going off on the left to Wat Ek Phnom - this is also where Prek Daun Teav stream goes under the road. Follow alongside this narrow road always with the stream on your left. The area along here is really nice to cycle along - there are houses right on the stream's bank, various small dams and very rickety bamboo bridges crossing the stream - all with lots of trees and foliage.
How far along you cycle is up to you - the road ultimately goes on to Wat Ek Phnom so obviously you could cycle out that far. Bear in mind that the Wat is around 13kms from the centre of Battambang which means having to cycle that far back too of course - plus adding on the distance already cycled. Returning is really best by simply following the outbound route - otherwise you may well get a little lost if trying out some of Battambang's outer roads many of which have no signing.
Prek Daun Teav bridge, Battambang, Cambodia. Prek Daun Teav houses at Battambang, Cambodia. Prek Daun Teav stream - Battambang, Cambodia. Battambang Temple - Battambang, Cambodia.
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