The country’s 2nd largest city has emerged over the past years as a wonderful escape from the leading tourism destinations in Cambodia; with a growing art stream, heritage preservation and laid-back atmosphere, Battambang will positively surprise you.
At the core of Battambang’ s charm lies a network of charming old French shop houses clustered along the riverbanks which draws more and more visitors to Cambodia’s second largest city. Founded in the 11th century, it’s the former capital of the once powerful Monton Kmer, the city’s location along the small Sangker River and its verdant green surroundings (it once was the leading rice-producing province in the country), aside from not being overrun with tourism, Battambang is home of some well-preserved architecture, dating back from the French occupation and wonderful temples. Up and coming is the art scene and one may be dazzled by the sheer amount of galleries and bars that uphold an artistic flair to its décor. Join us on exploring the ins and outs of Battambang - where nature, architecture and the fast-moving stream of artists pass the revue.
With everything within easy reach, we gain the maximum out of this day by leaving at around 08:00 hrs from your Battambang hotel. Accompanied by an English-speaking guide, you head out of the city first in the direction of what is one of the city’s most cherished temples. The 11th century Wat Ek Phnom still is home to a number of monks who are housed in a slightly more modern monastery. The huge Buddha image, the lily ponds and its peaceful location north of Battambang makes this a popular picnic spot for locals. The pagoda itself is praised for its beautiful collection of murals and ceiling paintings which make this 10-kilometer journey in northern direction a nice start of your full day Battambang exploration.
After enjoying a local lunch at a Battambang restaurant, the afternoon is reserved for exploring the artistic side of the city. An ever-growing movement of artists, painters and sculptors are settling themselves and expanding their presence through the galleries, boutiques and cafes and bars. This positively-received movement has drawn new industries too, ranging from rice wine makers and incense manufacturers. Using a Remork (Cambodian Tuk Tuk) as our means of transportation, we spice up our visits to a leading gallery with a presentation from the curator, a fabulous movie screening made by Khmer artists at a local studio alongside seeing the architectonical side of Battambang and the Tep Kao Sol, owned by local artist Loeum Lorn, who's known for creating works out of melting coloured ice and then photographing it. You will not only gain an insight in the often creative thoughts of the residing artists but also learn what drives artists moving over to Battambang to express themselves via art and design.
Time flies when you’re having fun; the day comes to an end as we transfer you back to your hotel where you will arrive back at your hotel at around 18:00 hrs.