A must-see city on the Sangkae River in north-western Cambodia. The perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of typical Cambodia, very few tourists, no traffic congestion and no beaches. Just a serene, friendly and authentic city - the perfect little getaway to soak up local Cambodian life.
Population: 1 milion
Vibe: Battambang manages to avoid an overly touristy vibe and remains a perfect place to experience a more local side of life in Cambodia.
Known for: Being the leading rice-producing area in Cambodia. Not known for: being the second biggest city in Cambodia. Yep - believe it or not, Siem Reap isn’t the second biggest city after Phnom Penh - it’s Battambang!
Must Do: Visit The Bat Cave, where you can see hundreds of fruit bats flying out in an impressive stream for almost an hour at sunset.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
There are quite a few ancient temples nearby, as well as historical sites from the Khmer Rouge era. Start your day exploring Wat Banan (also known as the mini-Angkor Wat) and Phnom Sampeu, which is a former killing cave network for the Khmer Rouge, now home to a moving memorial monument.
Sunset is the best time to visit The Bat Cave, where you can see - no, not Bruce Wayne - hundreds of fruit bats flying out to find their dinner.
BATTAMBANG HOMESTAY EXPERIENCE
On the Stray tour, you’ll also get a chance to experience a rural Cambodian lifestyle in our homestay, which takes place 20kms from Battambang.
You’ll have the opportunity to interact with local villages to learn about their community life. This is one of the most rewarding parts of our tour, as you get to visit places that other groups won’t go to.
After an afternoon exploring the village, you'll have an authentic, traditional Cambodian meal where you'll try local foods, such as Spring Rolls, and Amok (fish curry). After the meal, you'll have the opportunity to try the local evening drink – home brew whiskey, with snake blood. Definitely an acquired taste, and by no means compulsory!
You can choose whether you'd like to take a western style warm shower, or a traditional bucket shower before we all hit the sack in a large upstairs room. Each comfortable bed has a mosquito net over it and is underneath a fan. Sleep well! We'll have breakfast with our hosts before we leave early the next morning. Get to Battambang!