Battambang is a city in Northwest Cambodia, some 293 km from Phnom Penh, and was the leading rice-producing province of the country until the war years. It was part of Siam for centuries serving as its eastern commercial hub. The French left a strong mark on the town's architecture, resulting in a pleasing colonial effect – making it well worth the detour it requires to visit.
The true bonus is the village life that is merely a motorcycle, jeep or boat ride away. Battambang is also a popular base for visiting the nearby temples of Phnom Banon and Wat Ek Phnom and it serves as a gateway between Thailand and Phnom Penh. Even so, it still retains a sleepy atmosphere not conducive to people looking for nightlife and fine dining.
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