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Monday, February 4, 2013

Battambang, between Thailand and Cambodia

Battambang is a city in modern day Cambodia founded in 1795 by the Thais.
Although there aren't many tourist attractions in  Battambang the atmosphere and legacy of the city is fascinating.
Founded by the Thais it was abandoned by them a century later, and Cambodian people settled in. World War 2 was present here and  Battambang was under Japanese rule, even after the war the peoples sufferance continued: the Thais returned and established work camps for highway building and in 1975 the Khmer Rouge regime forced the population to build the Kamping Puoy dam.
The main attraction of the town is the French Colonial architecture, with more than 800 old buildings still intact Battambang has the best preserved architecture in South-East Asia.
Although  Battambang is considered the second largest city in Cambodia it does have a provincial aura so it's a nice place to visit if you want some quiet time and maybe some day trips around the city, the Battambang Province providing a nice picturesque setting.
The statues decorating the city are also quite popular: an ancient Khmer King holding a stick will impress you if you travel on the main road from Phnom Penh.

Battambang Khmer King statue
Battambang Khmer King statue

Battambang city street
Battambang city street

Another street statue in Battambang, Cambodia
Another street statue in Battambang, Cambodia

Bamboo train near Battambang
Bamboo train near Battambang

Battambang river bathing
Battambang river bathing