Let us take you through all the need-to-know facts about Battambang. Some of them will come as no surprise, whereas others will probably be news to most readers. Let’s take a digital journey through all the known and unknown facts about this sleepy town.

The largest amount of temples can be found in Battambang

Even though Siem Reap is supposed to house the majority of temple complexes in Cambodia, this is very far from the truth. Due to the fact that the largest temple, Angkor Wat, is situated close to Siem Reap, it is a common misconception that Siem Reap has the most Hindu and Buddhist temple complexes. Battambang is best known for its astonishing amount of temples.

Battambang Temples

Image by Milei Vencel

Strong cultural heritage

The name “Battambang” literally means ‘loss of staff’ or ‘city of the lost stick’. It is derived from a local legend where it is believed a well-known warrior and king, Ta Damboung, lost a powerful staff that had magical abilities in battle. According to the local legend, the staff is located in Battambang today.

Second largest city in Cambodia

Although visitors may assume Battambang is nothing more than a countryside town, with a very slow and relaxed lifestyle, Battambang is the second largest city in Cambodia, next to Phnom Phen. The population of Battambang was recorded to be at more or less about 250 000 in 2008. It comes as no surprise when one takes into account that Battambang is the rice capital of Cambodia, with the strongest agricultural offering.

Battambang Large City

Image by Milei Vencel

Home to a lot of local Celebs

Did you know that the majority of Cambodian celebrities were inhabitants of Battambang at some point? A perfect example is a singer Ros Sereysothea who made her name back in the 1960s. The majority of these celebrities who became famous during the Khmer regime. Due to the fact that famous Cambodian singers called Battambang home, the city is mentioned in many songs.

Bamboo trains are alive and well

Even if it is just to amuse the tourists, the original bamboo trains are alive and kicking in Battambang. Be sure to catch a ride if you plan a visit there soon. Even though these trains are seen as illegal, they still function and can carry passengers and freight. They are built on a wooden frame or track, wheels that are repurposed from a war machine and an engine. These trains run between Battambang and Phnom Phen once a week.

Most damages suffered during Khmer regime

Battambang was one of the regions and cities that suffered the most under the Khmer regime. With the civil war that broke out, the Battambang population was forced from their homes to relocate to smaller countryside towns. Due to this and other extreme cruel acts, the Battambang population suffered immense losses from extermination and deprivation.

Strongest French Influence

Yes, even though the country was a French colony some years ago, Battambang is the city where you will be more than likely able to pick it up in things like architecture. Luckily (or not so luckily) there are still traces of French colonialism influences throughout this quaint city with a very dark history

If you learned anything from these 7 facts listed in our post, we won’t be surprised. Even if it is only one tiny little fact! We hope that you’ve found the information we shared here useful and insightful and that you will be discovering the great city of Battambang in the very near future!