Got a thing for Bats? Probably not, but Battambang is full of them. Founded in the 11th Century, Battambang is the main producer of rice for the entire country of Cambodia and is situated on the Sangker River. After the highs and the lows of Siem Reap, we arrived at our hideaway hotel in Battambang, ready to relax by the pool and only do one excursion a day. There is a Norry or Bamboo Train, a cave with Bats who go on a nightly escapade, a traditional Cambodian home and of course, temples. Beyond anything, it was the in between moments here that I confided in, writing in my journal, appreciating the foliage in the garden of the hotel and telling jokes over dinner or afternoon ice cream. These trips can be a sensory overload and Battambang and La Villa hotel provide the escape one needs.
STAY. AT LA VILLA
We drove from Siem Reap to this lovely little town, and found ourselves in a art deco dream palace family owned hotel called La Villa. True character and detail exist in this mini mansion. Nestled in amongst a row of restaurants, private homes and other hotels you can achieve daily trips to see the sites and then come home to the spotless pool and old world charm. You could easily fall in love in this la vie en rose estate after a home cooked meal from an all female kitchen, over a glass of sherry and tunes from the 30's over the gramophone.
DO. TO THE BAT CAVE
Banan Temple, temple up a steep staircase
The Bat Cave of Phnom Sampo Mountain, arrive at 5pm and sit on the chairs amongst tourists for the sunset descending of the thousands and thousands of bats, be prepared their poo (guano) smells really inappropriate, sit through it
The Bamboo Train, Krong Battambang, Cambodia
The Killing Cave of Phnom Sampov, take a motorcycle or tuk tuk up this steep mountain to visit the Buddhist Temple and Killing Cave from the Khmer Rouge regime where they would kill people at sunrise and through their bodies into a cave
The Traditional Khmer House, beautiful, rich history albeit at times dramatic and good shopping
Wat Ek Phnom, pagoda and buddha statues
Wat Samrong Knong, buddhist temple
Battambang Crocodile Farm, Phum Chrey Kaong
THE BAT CAVE EXPERIENCE
EAT. GLUTEN FREE PIZZA IN CAMBODIA
La Pizza, 59 street 159 D, Krong Battambang, Cambodia call in advance for Gluten Free!!
The Lonely Tree Café, No. 56, Street 2.5, Krong Battambang, burgers and fries
Jaan Bai, Street 2 in next to Psar Nat, Krong Battambang traditional
Nary Kitchen: Cooking school, Restaurant, and Bar, Krong Battambang cooking class in the mornings and restaurant in the evening
Coconut Lyly, 111, Krong Battambang, Cambodia traditional, beautiful banana leaf wrapped soups
SHOP. LOCAL FRANGIPANI
La Fabrik, 65 Street 2,5, Krong Battambang, Cambodia locally made crafts, jewelry, fabric, home goods, coconut oil, frangipani bath products, owned by a french couple
Phsar Nath Market, 113, Krong Battambang, Cambodia local market for food and trinkets, also night market
Boeung Chhouk Market, Street 110, Krong Battambang, Cambodia (additional local market)
Sangker Gallery, 194 Rd No 2, Krong Battambang, Cambodia features Cambodian artists and performances