Banteay Meanchey Province

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Banteay Meanchey
Banteay Meanchey countryside
Banteay Meanchey countryside
Map of Cambodia highlighting Banteay Meanchey
Map of Cambodia highlighting Banteay Meanchey
Coordinates: 13°45′N 103°00′E / 13.750°N 103.000°E / 13.750; 103.000Coordinates: 13°45′N 103°00′E / 13.750°N 103.000°E / 13.750; 103.000
Country  Cambodia
Capital Sisophon
 • Governor Suon Bava (CPP)
 • Total 6,679 km2 (2,579 sq mi)
Area rank Ranked 12th
Population (2008 census)[1]
 • Total 678,033
 • Rank Ranked 10th
 • Density 100/km2 (260/sq mi)
 • Density rank Ranked 11th
Time zone UTC+07
Dialing code +855
ISO 3166 code KH-1
Districts 8
Communes 64
Villages 624

Banteay Meanchey (Khmer: ខេត្តបន្ទាយមានជ័យ, IPA: [ɓɑntiəj miən cɨj] "Fortress of Victory") is a province (khaet) of Cambodia located in the far northwest. It borders the provinces of Oddar Meanchey and Siem Reap to the east, Battambang to the south, and shares an international border with Thailand to the west. Its capital and largest city is Serei Saophoan.

Banteay Meanchey is the 13th largest province in Cambodia. With a population of 678,033, it ranks as the tenth most populous in the nation. The town of Poipet in the western part of the province is an international border crossing into Thailand. Banteay Meanchey is one of the nine provinces that are part of the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve.[2]


Banteay Meanchey means "Fortress of Victory" in Khmer. Chey (Khmer: ជ័យ) is derived from the Sanskrit word jaya (जय) meaning "victory", and banteay (Khmer: បន្ទាយ) is a Khmer word meaning "fortress" or "castle".[3]


The area was part of the extensive Khmer empire. Its most notable remains is the Banteay Chhmar temple in the north of the province, built in 12th century towards the 13th century. Other lesser known temples are the Banteay Neang and Banteay Torp temples.[citation needed]

In the 1795 Siam took control over Western Cambodia, and made the area into Siamese province of Inner Cambodia with the administration capital in Phra Tabong (Battambang). This province lasted until 1907 when Siam traded Inner Cambodia for the return of Trat and Dan Sai. In the same year, King Sisowath decided to split the return Inner Cambodian Province into Battambang Province (which included Sisophon) and Siem Reap Province. When Thailand re annexed western Cambodia 1941, Sisophon was split off Battambang Province and was an administration capital of Phibunsongkram Province which lasted until 1946 when the whole region was return to the French control.[citation needed]

In 1988 the province Banteay Meanchey was split off from Battambang, originally consisting of the five districts Mongkol Borei, Thmar Puok, Serei Saophoan, Preah Net Preah and Phnom Srok.[4]

During the Cambodian Civil Wars of the 1970s and 1980s Banteay Meanchey Province was on the frontlines of much of fighting and as a result it is one of the three most heavily mined provinces in Cambodia along with Pailin and Battambang.[5]


Small lake in Serei Saophoan.

Banteay Meanchey is mostly covered by extensive lowlands, with a few uplands to the north and east. The main rivers are the Mongkol Borei and the Sisophon Rivers.


The province is subdivided into 9 districts (srok), which are further subdivided in 65 communes (khum) and 644 villages (phum).[6][7]

ISO Code District Romanization
0102 មង្គលបុរី Mongkol Borei
0103 ភ្នំស្រុក Phnum Srok
0104 ព្រះនេត្រព្រះ Preah Netr Preah
0105 អូរជ្រៅ Ou Chrov
0106 ក្រុងសិរីសោភ័ណ Krong Serei Saophoan
0107 ថ្មពួក Thma Puok
0108 ស្វាយចេក Svay Chek
0109 ម៉ាឡៃ Malai
0110 ក្រុងប៉ោយប៉ែត Krong Paoy Paet


  1. ^ "General Population Census of Cambodia 2008 - Provisional population totals" (PDF). National Institute of Statistics, Ministry of Planning. 3 September 2008. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Headley, Robert K; Chhor, Kylin; Lim, Lam Kheng; Lim, Hak; Chun, Chen (1977). Cambodian-English Dictionary. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press Bureau of Special Research in Modern Languages. ISBN 0813205093. 
  4. ^ "Background of Battambang In the past and the present". Battambang town. 
  5. ^ Flooding unearths Cambodia’s landmines, IRIN, PHNOM PENH, 21 October 2013 (IRIN),
  6. ^ Royal Government of Cambodia
  7. ^ "Index Map 1-2. Provinces and Districts in Cambodia" (PDF). National Institute of Statistics, Ministry of Planning (Cambodia). 2013-12-31. 

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