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The word Battambang in Khmer means “disappearing stick” and was bestowed upon the town by a former king who legend says used a powerful stick to control the people. Now in more modern times it is commonly referred to as the rice bowl of Cambodia, due to the vast amount of rice produced. As Cambodia’s second largest city it has all the charm and feel of a provincial town. The Sangker River languidly winds its way through the city and a stroll along its banks unveils the faded glow of old colonial buildings and Chinese shop houses. The architecture here is some of the best preserved in Cambodia. Battambang is an ideal place to get the feel of what Cambodia was like in the golden years before the Khmer Rouge came to power and receives a small number of tourists. The city of Battambang is easy to access either by road from Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. For a more unique journey the boat trip between Battambang and Siem Reap is truly a highlight as the boat wends its way down river through small waterways passing fishing villages and rural hamlets.

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