Visiting the old Khmer City of Battambang
Situated to the west of Tonle Sap Lake and with the lovely Sangkae River passing through the city, Battambang is a quiet but interesting place to visit for a few days. After the sometimes hectic and tiring touring around Angkor or perhaps a little too much indulgence in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh, Battambang offers the opportunity for
some relaxation for a while. In reality there may seem to be not a huge amount to do around the area but you can go off for some pleasant cycle rides around the city and countryside - maybe cycling alongside the River Sangkae for a while or go out to take a ride on the Nory (bamboo train) or perhaps take a trip to Tonle Sap Lake. There are also several really beautiful Wats and Temples scattered around Battambang and the near area - some reachable by cycling or alternatively quite easy and cheap to reach on a tuk-tuk.
Ways of travelling too and from Battambang in Cambodia.
There are regular fast and inexpensive bus services connecting the city - many do the trip with Phnom Penh (takes about 6 hours) and and
slightly fewer go on the Siem Reap route (around 3 hours). You can at times also take a scenic though somewhat longer trip by boat to/from Siem Reap - leaving daily, this goes along small rivers and how far you get is dependant on how much water there is in the rivers - trips sometimes having to be completed by min-bus or pick-up truck. Note although there is an airport at Battambang it is closed to flights - the nearest commercial airports therefore are at either Siem Reap or Phnom Penh.
An alternative way of travelling
too and from Battambang from Phnom Penh and/or Siem Reap is to hire a car and driver for a one way drop off - obviously this is significantly more expensive than taking the bus. The benefits are you do get a nice relaxed start to your day of travel - going when you are ready and suitcase packing is not too much of an issue since you can take what you want loosely packed how you want with you in the car - carrier bags certainly come into good use!. Anything you see or want to take a quick look at on the way is of course
possible so the whole thing is worthwhile.
Don't try booking a car and driver at your hotel since it almost certainly will be way more money than necessary - instead talk to the hovering tuk-tuk drivers outside your accommodation - they will certainly know someone. Haggling does come into this - perhaps the trip from Siem Reap to Battambang can be done by car and driver for around 55 to 65 U.S. Dollars and from Battambang to Phnom Penh for around 60 to 70 USD. Note that such trips will almost certainly have to be payed
for in cash and of course in Dollars.
Battambang Hotels, Rooms and Restaurants and getting around the City.
There are quite a few hotels within the city - prices (obviously depending on facilities) are significantly cheaper than Siem Reap and Phnom Penh - many are available to book online of course so shopping around for a good deal is easy. Battambang is quite a compact city so that where you stay from a location point of view is not too much of a concern. There are quite a few restaurants available in central Battambang offering pretty decent menus and well-cooked inexpensive food of
Certainly once of the nicest ways to move around the city (apart from walking) is to hire a bike - there are several bike-hire places available and often as not the smaller hotels have bikes available too. The quality of the bikes does vary somewhat - it is even possible to hire a bike which actually has gears if you look around. Although the general area around the city is basically flat - when cycling in what can be extemely hot weather then even small rises in the roads become difficult so it is worth
trying to find a bike with gears!.
If you want to go further afield then you can do a deal with a tuk-tuk driver or consider hiring a car for a while - don't do this via your hotel though - it is nearly always far cheaper to work out something with one of the drivers outside.
Our topics about Battambang in Cambodia.
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