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Battambang Attractions Cambodia

Off limits to most visitors until the Khmer Rouge cease fire in 1996 Battambang, Cambodia's second city, is an increasingly popular destination for tourists who want to experience a taste of the "real Cambodia".

In 1858 the city was visited by Henri Mahout, a French naturalist and early western explorer of Angkor Wat. He wrote that  "the inhabitants enjoy a certain well being which can be seen on first meeting them" and few would argue differently today.

A far cry from the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap or Sihanoukville (Battambang still doesn't have any traffic lights!) the city has noticeably different feel to it - the pace of life is slower here, the people friendlier and the famous Cambodian smile much more in evidence.

Despite being the second largest town in Cambodia Battambang is actually a fairly compact city of around 100,000 inhabitants and is easily traversed on foot. Set on the gently meandering Sangker river - which flows into the Tonle Sap - the city has some of the best preserved French colonial architecture in the country. Also, thanks to the relatively benign leadership of the local Khmer Rouge commanders between 1975 and 1979, many of the city's temples fared better than those in the rest of the country and make fascinating places to visit.



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There are many activities to do and sites to visit in and around Battambang,river boats to Siem Reap, temples, and local countryside and village life. If you want to see the real Cambodia Battambang is the place to come.