Battambang, four hours from Siem Reap is the second largest city in Cambodia. Don’t let it’s size mislead you – unlike Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Battambang feels more like a quiet town lazing away on the banks of the river watching the world go by. The following are some exciting activities you can do in this province.
Visit the circus
Every Thursday night and Monday night from 6pm acrobatic circus performances are held by Phare Ponleu Selpak, a NGO school which offers young people a way out of poverty and misfortune by training them in the arts, in particularly circus, music, theater and visual art. The shows are a mix of classical tales and humorous skits, with balancing, juggling, twirling, spinning, dance and more.
Take a tuk tuk tour of the countryside
It’s the countryside around Battambang that makes this region so fascinating. And there’s no better way to see it than by tuk tuk. There’s so much to see and taste! Rice paper being made for spring rolls as it dries in the sun on racks or see rice noodles being made in a factory. Sticky sweet rice is cooked inside bamboo with coconut and red beans.
You can stop to see the sticky rice being baked over fire and then enjoy pulling the bamboo apart and eating it with your fingers – it’s sticky and messy but that’s half the fun. If sticky rice isn’t your think, why not visit a fresh seafood market. The markets around here redefine the word fresh!
Go kayaking through villages
Run by a NGO local school, Green Orange Kayaks offers kayaking trips down the river from villages 11km from a nearby village into the heart of town. It’s a lovely trip passing through villages and fields before you enter the city. The trip stops at several temples and along the way you’ll see daily life on the river – from fishing to washing to bathing to play. Even farm animals are housed on small cages floating on the water. The riverside is stunning and if you didn’t arrive in Battambang by the slow-boat from Siem Reap then you really should try make this top of your list!