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Battambang Location Profile

Battambang Location Profile

Overview

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Over recent years, Battambang city has started to lose its moniker as a ‘sleepy town’. Battambang province has also steadily climbed the economic ladder to become one of Cambodia’s most important provinces and is also known as the “Rice Bowl” of Cambodia, producing more than half of the country’s annual rice output.

Battambang is the third most populous province in the Kingdom of Cambodia, with a population of more than 150,000 people. It is also Cambodia’s fifth largest province with a total area of 11,702 square kilometres and Battambang city is its capital in the north of Cambodia.

The Cambodian Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts are also seeking heritage city status for Battambang from UNESCO.

Don’t forget to check on our property listings if you want to buy or rent an apartment, house, or any other types of real estate in Battambang.

Key Information

The city of Battambang has been a vital trading city since the 18th century and the northwest area of the country was also ruled by the Thais for a long period of time until it was ceded to the French colonial rulers of French Indocina in the early 20th century.

Under French rule, the city experienced proper urban planning and the development of its infrastructure as well as the building and demarcation of roads, bridges and other key features which are still present today. The French colonial architecture is also prominent in parts of Battambang city. Schools, a university as well as a sports centre, museum and an exhibition hall were all constructed. 

For those interested in history and culture, the city's museum is a key attraction. Established in 1963 by the prominent French historian Madeleine Giteau, the Battambang Provincial Museum houses pottery, musical instruments, and artifacts from the Angkorian and Pre-Angkorian periods.

Battambang has developed a more varied and growing economy in Cambodia and real estate is still quite affordable but there is potential for many industries, especially due to the proximity to Thailand and possible new trade routes and border crossings.

Battambang’s fertile rice fields have led to a predominantly agriculture-driven economy, and the title of “Cambodia’s Rice Bowl”. Other forms of local agriculture are also prosperous, such as Battambang’s famous green oranges. The city is even home to a vineyard and winery, located close to Phnom Bayon temple.

Battambang provincial governor Nguon Ratanak said in 2020 that three major sectors tourism, agriculture, small- and medium-sized enterprises are playing critical roles in boosting the economy.

Key Real Estate has said that the Sangkat Svay Por area is growing in popularity while plots of land near the centre of Battambang cost between $2,400 to $4,000 per square metre while prices are between $100 to $300 per square metre on the outskirts of the city. Shophouses in Battambang are available for around $150,000 to $180,000.

Villas are prominent in Battambang but many are outside of the city centre. Smaller villas cost as little as $50,000 while larger plots will cost $600,000. Some larger villas have been converted to businesses, while small villas are also often used as holiday homes.

Plots of land in Battambang cost $3,000 with some areas being developed for business and not residential purposes.

Battambang is the third most populous province in the Kingdom, with a population of around 150,000 people in 2020.

Things To Do in Battambang

Battambang has a wide range of markets, retail shops, and other businesses. It is also known as an arts and culture hub and a rich variety of local gifts and souvenir items can be purchased such as at La Fabrik Shop & Gallery. Heng Chhay Ly Mart also offers a variety of locally-made and imported goods. Fresh fruits and vegetables and street food can be bought from Psar Nath Market.

If you are a wine connoisseur or just want to try locally-produced wines, you may head to Chan Thai Choeung (Banan) Winery 14 kilometres out of town on the banks of the Sangkae River. Every year the  winery, which is Cambodia’s sole winery, produces several thousand bottles of Cambodian brandy, red wine, white wine, and grape juice.

Wat Banan, located about 20 km from Battambang city centre, was built from the 10th to the 13th century. This temple was built by King Udayadityavarman II and sits on a hill overlooking the Sangkae River. You can reach the summit by climbing 358 flights of stairs to reach the temple. Wat Banan is the best-preserved Khmer temple in Battambang.

Phnom Sampeau is a historic, 100-metre tall mountain situated 15 kilometres outside of Battambang city. The popular spot is peculiarly shaped like a ship, hence the name Phnom Sampeau or “ship mountain” which overlooks Battambang, the site offers stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside. Tourists and locals alike congregate here at dusk, when millions of bats fly out of the caves, making for a spectacular scene.

Kamping Puoy Lake was formerly a reservoir built during the Khmer Rouge era. Is now a popular recreational area located just outside of Battambang. It’s a frequently visited destination for picnics, boating, and swimming by families and friends. Visitors can also hire a boat to explore the lake and its surroundings. The Lake is also a good area for bird watching with the area inhabited by many different kinds of birds.

The bamboo train, even though it was relocated to make way for the expanding Royal Railways tracks, is still very popular. In May 2020, the Battambang Tourism Department said the “bamboo train” accounts for around 30% of total tourist visitors in the province.

The bamboo train, known locally as the Nori, runs on wheels and provides a unique and exhilarating way to view the beautiful and charming scenery of the Battambang countryside.

In 2020, the Cambodian government designated nearly 3,500 hectares of forest land in Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces as natural heritage sites.

Like the other top tourist destinations in Cambodia, Battambang does not lack in dining options. If you want to savour mouth-watering Khmer food it is a great city for local fare. 

Jaan Bai, which is run by the Cambodian Children’s Trust (CCT), is a popular choice and social enterprise but there the options in the city are abundant and vary according to a visitors budget.

There is also a growing number of international food options from Indian, Italien, Western, Chinese and more as the city is attracting a more diverse population.

Like all of the cities in Cambodia, there is an ample supply of great coffee and cafes to relax in Battambang, including the popular Feel Good Cafe.

Unlike Siem Reap or Phnom Penh, Battambang is not famous for its nightlife. Battambang does have some good bars and pubs to unwind at and socialise. The most famous spots are Riverside Balcony Bar, Lotus Bar & Gallery, Here Be Dragons, Vintage Wine Bar Mezze, and Madison.

The city does host cultural and art festivals throughout the year and the city can be busy on those occasions.

The Battambang Circus (Phare Ponleu Selpak) is also a constant popular attraction, the social enterprise teaching Cambodian youths artistic, educational, social and community outreach and engagement programmes.

Battambang does not have an active commercial airport in 2020, the abandoned airport is used at night time by the Cambodian youth for racing, drinking and socialising. However, in March 2020, work on the abandoned Battambang airport was due to commence according to the government.

The most common transportation method to reach Battambang is via bus, taxi or train.

Mekong Express, Capitol Tourist transport, Phnom Penh Bayon Express and Phnom Penh Sorya passenger transport all travel to the city from Phnom Penh and the journey takes five to six hours along State Road 5. A bus ticket usually costs between $6 to $12. The journey from Siem Reap costs about $5 for a 3.5-hour bus ride.

There are cruises from Siem Reap to Battambang and vice versa. A trip can take four to 12 hours, depending on the time of year, and costs about $20. 

The train lines in Cambodia, operated by the Royal Railway has a northern line which runs through Battambang. It is hoped international trains (Passenger and Freight Services) will start between Cambodia and Thailand and Battambang should be a stop on this route.

You can easily rent a motorbike or bicycle to explore the city and surrounding areas.

Battambang has increased its range of accommodation options, with budget hotels, resorts and villas all available to visitors and expats in Battambang.

Although the city doesn’t have as many luxury brands as Phnom Penh or Siem Reap, hotels like Bric-a-Brac and Bambu Hotel have stunning and well laid-out rooms and provide access to a swimming pool, sky bar, gym, and other luxury amenities. The rates may vary but rooms can be booked from $80 to $120 a night. For between $30 to $70 Delux Villa, Classy Hotel, and King Fly Hotel are the most well-known in the city

An increasing number of expats have made the move from other busier cities in Cambodia to settle in Battambang. The city, although experiencing more development and is earmarked by the government to grow, is still relatively quiet and relaxed.

Explore the Area

Battambang is located in the northwest of Cambodia and is bordered by the provinces of Banteay Meanchey to the north, Pursat to the east and south, Pailin to the west, and Siem Reap to the northeast. Battambang also shares a border with Thailand. The province is located around 300 kilometres north of Phnom Penh.

Battambang is divided into 13 districts and one municipality which are further subdivided into 92 communes, 10 sangkats, and 810 villages.

It is one of the most important provinces in Cambodia in terms of economy, tourism, and agriculture.


Real Estate in Battambang

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