Consisting of a wheeled, bamboo platform powered by a gasoline engine and running along Battambang’s old railroad lines, the Bamboo Train is a fun, easy way to see the surrounding countryside. The scenery along the route is picturesque and pleasant, and the line terminates at a series of local shops selling refreshments and trinkets.
Explore the streets and visit the French storefronts that line the riverbank and can lend a slightly disoriented feel — a hint of Europe in the heart of Southeast Asia.
Go to an authentic Khmer Boxing match, a martial art handed down from father to son for almost a thousand years. Have a Cambodian beer afterwards with the boxers and learn about their passion for the sport.
Visit the temple complex perched atop a limestone hill, Phnom Sampeau. A small group of brightly painted shrines and a temple, including a large reclining Buddha, occupy the summit. Sadly, the complex was used as a prison by the Khmer Rouge during Pol Pot’s regime, embodying the contradictions of Cambodia’s peaceful traditions and brutal recent history.
This 10th-century temple is of roughly the same period as Angkor Wat, and locals often call it “Little Angkor.” A somewhat steep climb of several hundred stairs leads to the top of a plateau with beautiful views, and crumbling temple towers which still have some of their carved friezes and lintels.
Go see Wat Ek Phnom, an 11th-century temple ruin set along the Stung Sangker River, surrounded by lush green fields in an agrarian community. Along the way, visit a fascinating crocodile farm, which sees few tourists, and marvel at the fierce amphibians.