If you’re visiting Battambang soon, you’ve come to the right place. After reading this guide, you’ll know which area to stay in, where to find the best restaurants and how to get around this historical and unique city in Cambodia.
What to expect in Battambang
Battambang is one of the oldest cities in Cambodia, dating back to the 11th century and bursting with rich history. But don’t worry, Battambang isn’t stuck in the past, it’s a brilliant blend of old-world charm and contemporary culture.
In the morning you can be visiting an ancient temple, and by lunchtime you’re sitting in one of Battambangs delicious restaurants that are creatively adding modern twists to traditional Khymer dishes. Your afternoon can then be used to visit the Killing Caves or to discover Battambangs flourishing arts scene.
If you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-track destination in Cambodia, Battambang might be the place for you. Especially if you choose to stay in the countryside village of Wat Kor just outside of Battambang.
Is Battambang worth visiting?
Battambang is often overlooked in favour of the better known cities of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, but Battambang has something different to offer from these two cities. First off, it’s considerably calmer than both of them. It’s not Kampot and Kep level of laid back, but it’s a good in between.
A lot of travellers visit Battambang for the chance to ride the famous Bamboo Train, a bamboo flatbed on wheels powered by a small motorcycle engine, that used to run all the way to Phnom Penh. Nowadays, the majority of the track lies in disrepair, with Battambang being one of the only places where it still runs. It’s certainly a fun and unique thing to do in Cambodia.
How many days should you spend in Battambang?
If you’re not tight on time, we’d recommend spending at least two days in Battambang. This allows you to explore everything there is to do without having to rush. For those with a fast-paced itinerary, you can make one day in Battambang work too.
To help you make the most of your time in Battambang, we’ve put together a list of the top things to do in Battambang.
Where to stay in Battambang
Battambang has a number of areas to choose from, with each one offering a slightly different vibe. Are you looking to be at the centre of it all, or would you prefer to be surrounded by nothing by nature?
Check out the different locations below to help you decide where fits best:
Location #1: The city centre – the heart and soul of Battambang
Best for: being within close walking distance to everything that you could need. Staying in the city centre puts you right next to the Central Market, Provincial Museum, and the Colonial Quarter.
Who is it for: those who love to fully embrace the energy of a city and are up for a party. The city centre is where most of the action is at, so if you want to jump head first into the energy, stay in the city centre.
Don’t miss: the nightlife on the aptly named Pub Street. Here you’ll find a number of pubs, bars and restaurants to create memories with new travel friends.
Biggest downside: you probably guessed it. With lots of pubs and bars comes noise. If you’re looking for undisrupted sleep, maybe consider sleeping a bit outside the city centre.
Accommodation in the city centre
You’ll find a number of city hotels, hostels and guesthouses in the city centre. You’re almost spoilt for choice. And, even better, they start from less than $10 per night for a private room.
Location #2: Riverside – a more relaxing vibe
Best for: waking up and opening your curtains to views of Sangkae River flowing past. Couple this with a more relaxing vibe and it almost sounds like paradise.
Who is it for: those looking for a more relaxing vibe than the city centre. It’s less built up on the west side of the river and you won’t find a lot of nightlife.
Don’t miss: the temples and pagodas that you can find on the west side of the river. These include Wat Bo Knong in the north, Wat Bovil in the middle and Wat Kandal just below.
Biggest downside: accommodation is slightly more expensive around the river than in the city centre.
Accommodation on the west side of the river
The higher-end accommodations tend to be clustered around the river, making the most of the riverside views. If you’re on a budget, you might struggle to find somewhere that’s within your price range.
If you do have the cash to splash, we’d recommend staying by the riverside. The fancier hotels and great views will make your time in Battambang that little bit better.
Private rooms start at around $20 per night.
Location #3: Wat Kor Village – an idyllic countryside retreat
Best for: Wat Kor Village is complete tranquillity and an opportunity to experience what local village life is like in Cambodia.
Who is it for: travellers who want to immerse themselves in the local culture and those looking for a bit of respite from the car horns and noise of Cambodia’s cities.
Don’t miss: the chance to stay in a traditional Khmer house. Most of the houses in Wat Kor Village are built on stilts and adorned with intricate wood carvings. They’re beautiful! Also don’t miss Wat Kor Temple!
Biggest downside: Wat Kor Village is 2km from the centre of Battambang, so you’ll need to hire bicycles or hop in a tuk-tuk to get to the city centre.
Accommodation in Wat Kor Village
In Wat Kor Village you’ll find boutique guesthouses and homestays that offer a unique and off-the-beaten-track experience.
We recommend staying at Maisons Wat Kor. This place feels like a slice of paradise with their luxury bungalows, refreshing swimming pool and lucious vegetation everywhere you look.
Best places to eat in Battambang
Not many people are shouting about the amazing food scene in Battambang, but we will! There are almost too many good restaurants to choose from here. And something that we love — a lot of them are social enterprises working to help the youth or disadvantaged in Cambodia.
Cooking classes are also a popular offering by many restaurants. Get your hands dirty and your stomachs filled in Battambang.
Here are our three favourite places to eat in Battambang:
Jaan Bai Restaurant — great food with a great cause
Eating at Jaan Bai is about more than just filling your belly. It’s a social enterprise run by a Cambodian Children’s Trust which works to provide hospitality training for young people in Cambodia. And it gets better, many of their ingredients are grown in the restaurant’s organic farm. No wonder the food tastes so good!
They serve an extensive menu of Asian and Khmer dishes with a modern twist.
Coconut Lyly — learn how to cook their delicious food
The food at Coconut Lyly is so good that you’ll want to know how to cook it yourself. And luckily, you can! Coconut Lyly offers cooking classes so that you can take Khymer flavours and cooking techniques home with you.
Amok is a fan favourite here, so make sure to try that when you visit!
Nary Kitchen — budget-friendly traditional Cambodian food
Nary Kitchen is a cheaper alternative to the first two restaurants, but the lower price certainly doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on the taste. This place is delicious! They also offer a cooking class that is $5 less than Coconut Lyly. It’s up to you to decide which one looks better.
On top of the tasty food, the staff are extremely welcoming and make everyone feel like they’re part of the family.
How to get around in Battambang
Like most other Cambodian cities and towns, tuk-tuks are one of the most popular ways to get around. These motorised rickshaws are everywhere and very easy to spot as they’re almost every colour of the rainbow.
There are two main ways to get yourself a tuk-tuk. The first is the traditional way of flagging them down on the street and haggling for a price. Always make sure to haggle and agree on a price before getting in.
If you don’t like haggling, then the second method might be better for you. Throughout Cambodia you can use apps like PassApp and Grab to hail taxis, tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis. This way, the price is already set and it’s normally always a fair price.
Hire a tuk-tuk for the day
An easy way to explore all the top spots in Battambang is by hiring a tuk-tuk with a driver who can show you around for a half or full day.
If this sounds like a great idea to you, a half day should cost between $10-15, whilst a full day is likely to be $20-25. To book a tuk-tuk with a driver, you can book it through your accommodation or book this 9:30-6:30pm tour by tuk-tuk online.
Top tip: keep an eye on your belongings when you’re riding along in a tuk-tuk or motorbike taxi. It can be easy to relax into the moment, but that’s when the thieves can strike. Thieves on motorbikes are known to speed past and swipe your bag as they go.
Battambang isn’t a huge city, which means that you can explore most places by foot. Walking around a city can also be a great way of discovering hidden gems that you’d probably miss from the street.
Battambang is a relatively small and flat city, making it perfect for cycling. You can rent bicycles from plenty of places in the city, such as guesthouses, hotels, or bike rental shops. Bike rental should cost between $4-7 a day.
Biking around Battambang allows you to explore at your own pace and enjoy the scenery.
If you’ve got luggage, travelling over a longer distance and would prefer a more comfortable ride, then a taxi can be a great alternative to a tuk-tuk. They will be more expensive, but still, it’s Cambodia, how expensive can it get?
Like with tuk-tuks, you can also use PassApp and Grab to hail a taxi to your location, haggle-free!
There are local buses and minivans that you’ll see zooming around Battambang. You’re more than welcome to use them, but the problem is that they’re not the easiest to navigate. You won’t really find any schedules, and figuring it out can be difficult too.
If you’re set on using public transport, we recommend asking your accommodation for advice.
How to get to Battambang
|Leaving from||Duration||Prices from||See details|
|Siem Reap||2.5-8 hours||from $8||Siem Reap to Battambang|
|Sihanoukville||4hrs 05m-11hrs 30m||from $24.50||Sihanoukville to Battambang|
|Kep||6.5-10 hours||from $19||Kep to Battambang|
|Phnom Penh||5-6 hours||from $10.50||Phnom Penh to Battambang|
Now that you’ve finished reading this guide, you’re almost ready for your adventure in Battambang. The next step is to create your personalised itinerary with our top picks of what to do in Battambang. Simply choose your favourite activities and places to visit, and you’re all set to make lasting memories in Battambang.
The city of Battambang is fairly spread out, however, you’ll find the majority of accommodations are located centrally, near the Sangkae River.
The downtown area is less than 5km from the airport so taking public transportation or hopping in a taxi will be an easy & quick trip to your hotel. The bus terminal is located in the downtown area and will likely be within walking distance of your hotel, or just a short taxi ride away.
When looking for a great place to stay in Battambang, we recommend staying in one of these accommodations:
Pomme Hostel - Budget Friendly
Pomme Hostel, Bar & Restaurant is located centrally in the heart of Battambang. Just 200 m from Psar Nat, Riverside Night Market, and Battambang Museum, it’s a great place to stay to see the local sights.
While breakfast is not included with your stay, it’s only an extra $2 for a full English breakfast or a ‘build-your-own’ breakfast. The restaurant offers an array of local, Asian, and international meals for lunch and dinner as well. The hotel staff, who are known to be extremely welcoming and friendly, can also arrange local tours for you.
- Perfect location
- Build-your-own breakfast available
- Onsite restaurant
- Amazing staff
Private rooms start at $11 per night.
Family Batcave Homestay - Budget Friendly
Located amongst the rice fields and surrounded by beauty, this homestay is 15km from the city centre of Battambang. If this sounds a bit far, don’t worry, the homestay offers free bicycle rentals.
The hotel has a stunning garden and a relaxing terrace to soak in the sights. The owners and staff will treat you like family, offering a complimentary and delicious vegetarian breakfast every morning. The private bamboo bungalows are small slices of paradise.
- Surrounded by rice fields
- Free bicycles
- Amazing staff
- Complimentary vegetarian breakfast
Private bungalows start at $20 per night.
Muni Residence and Spa - Mid Range
Muni Residence is one of the most popular places to stay in Battambang. That’s mostly down to its almost perfect rating and incredible hosts, Liy and his family. They make you feel like you’re part of the family instantly, helping you with anything you need.
The sweet treats that they surprise guests with are such a memorable and considerate touch. The rooms are nicely designed and spacious, whilst the beds are super comfortable.
- Very popular
- Amazing host
- Free sweet treats
- Spacious and nice rooms
Private rooms start from $27 per night.
Cambana La Rivière Hotel - Treating Yourself
Situated in the centre of Battambang, Cambana La Rivière Hotel feels like an oasis where you can escape the noise. The pool area with comfy sun loungers and packed with plants is the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring.
Or you can chill out and order room service to your private balcony. The rooms are luxurious, spacious and clean. You won’t want to leave your huge comfortable bed, but hopefully, the complimentary breakfast is enough to entice you.
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Private balcony
- Luxurious rooms
- Delicious free breakfast
Deluxe suites start from $60 per night.
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Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.