Battambang Province

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Battambang

ខេត្តបាត់ដំបង
Surrounding countryside at Phnom Sampeau (Battambang, Cambodia 2011).jpg
Phnom Banan temple.jpg
Wat Sangker, Battambang, Cambodia.jpg
Kamping Puy Lake Battambang.jpg
From top: Phnom Sampov, Wat Banan, Wat Sangkae, Kamping Puoy Lake
Official seal of Battambang
Seal
Map of Cambodia highlighting Battambang Province
Map of Cambodia highlighting Battambang Province
Country Cambodia
Siamese administration1795–1907
Provincial status6 December 1907
CapitalBattambang
Government
 • GovernorNguon Ratanak (CPP)
Area
 • Total11,702 km2 (4,518 sq mi)
Area rank5th
Population
 (2019)[1]
 • TotalDecrease 997,169
 • Rank5th
 • Density85/km2 (220/sq mi)
 • Density rank16th
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
ISO 3166 codeKH-2
Websitebattambang.gov.kh

Battambang (Khmer: បាត់ដំបង, Bătdâmbâng [ˌɓatɗɑmˈɓɑːŋ], lit. 'Lost Stick') is a province (khaet) of Cambodia in the far northwest of the country. Bordering provinces are Banteay Meanchey to the north, Pursat to the east and south, Siem Reap to the northeast, and Pailin to the west. The northern and southern extremes of the province's western boundaries form part of the international border with Thailand. In addition, Tonle Sap forms part of the northeastern boundary between Siem Reap and Pursat. Its capital and largest city is Battambang.

It is the fifth most populous province in Cambodia.[1] In land area, Battambang is the fifth largest province of Cambodia. Battambang is one of the provinces included in the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve.[2] The province's fertile rice fields have led to a mostly agricultural economy giving rise to the moniker "the rice bowl of Cambodia". The province features a range of cultures as well as natural resources. Seventy five percent of the area is jungles and mountains. The area has a tropical climate.

Etymology[edit]

Battambang literally means 'loss of staff or stick' in Khmer, referring to the local legend of Preah Bat Dambang Kranhoung. No stone inscriptions from the pre-Angkorian and Angkorian eras have yet been discovered containing mention of any contemporary villages or districts called "Battambang", but according to the document Mohachun Khmer, Srok Battambang (Battambang District) was used during the Angkor and post-Angkor eras. In Thai, the province is called Phra Tabong.

Battambang was annexed by both Siam and Cambodia from time to time because its location is in between both kingdoms. A majority of the local population is of Khonpor or Chong ethnicity, a part of the Austro-Asiatic family.

In 1769, Battambang and Siem Reap were conquered by King Taksin of Siam. On March 23rd 1907, Battambang, with Siem Reap and Koh Kong, were annexed to French Indochina. During World War II it was annexed to Imperial Japan before being handed over to Thailand. After the war ended, it was returned to an independent Cambodia.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Battambang is divided into 13 districts and one municipality which are further subdivided into 92 communes (Khmer: ឃុំ, khum), 10 sangkats (Khmer: សង្កាត់) and 810 villages (Khmer: ភូមិ, phum).

ISO Code District Khmer Population (2019)[3]
02-01 Banan ស្រុកបាណន់ 86,486
02-02 Thma Koul ស្រុកថ្មគោល 105,982
02-03 Battambang Municipality ក្រុងបាត់ដំបង 119,251
02-04 Bavel ស្រុកបវេល 92,306
02-05 Aek Phnom ស្រុកឯកភ្នំ 71,120
02-06 Moung Russei ស្រុកមោងឫស្សី 103,841
02-07 Rotanak Mondol ស្រុករតនមណ្ឌល 38,848
02-08 Sangkae ស្រុកសង្កែ 111,118
02-09 Samlaut ស្រុកសំឡូត 43,715
02-10 Sampov Loun ស្រុកសំពៅលូន 37,323
02-11 Phnom Proek ស្រុកភ្នំព្រឹក 44,741
02-12 Kamrieng ស្រុកកំរៀង 53,076
02-13 Koas Krala ស្រុកគាស់ក្រឡ 30,192
02-14 Rukhak Kiri ស្រុករុក្ខគិរី 42,329

Local government entities within the province include the two towns and 12 subdistrict municipalities

Historical sites[edit]

Wat Ek Phnom[edit]

Wat Ek Phnom (Khmer: វត្តឯកភ្នំ) is a partly collapsed 11th century temple 11 km north of Battambang city. The temple measures 52 m by 49 m and is surrounded by the remains of a laterite wall and an ancient baray (reservoir). A lintel depicting the Churning of the Ocean of Milk is above the east entrance to the central temple, the upper flanks of which hold some finely carved bas-reliefs. Construction of an oversized Buddha statue began by locals next to the temple has been stopped by the government because, they say, it mars the site’s historical provenance and "timeless beauty".[4]

Wat Banan[edit]

Wat Banan (Khmer: ភ្នំបាណន់), some 25 km south of Battambang city, has been likened to a smaller version of the more imposing Angkor Wat. The 11th century Angkorian mountain ruin of Phnom Banan is one of the best preserved Angkorian Khmer temples around Battambang province. As you approach you will see the distance five tower pointing skyward, Like a small version of Angkor Wat. At the base of the mountain you can faced with a step laterite staircase flanked by nagas. After climbing the 350+ steps you are treated to a wonderfully peaceful setting.

Transportation[edit]

Battambang is accessible by road, and by boat via the Sangkae River. National Highway 5 runs straight through the province. Both the airport and railway line are not in use. Buses make 5-6 hour journey from Phnom Penh and the 3-4 hour journey from Siem Reap almost hourly.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "General Population Census of the Kingdom of Cambodia 2019 – Final Results" (PDF). National Institute of Statistics. Ministry of Planning. 26 January 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  2. ^ "tsbr-ed.org". www.tsbr-ed.org. Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  3. ^ http://nis.gov.kh/nis/Census2019/Final%20General%20Population%20Census%202019-English.pdf
  4. ^ Wat Ek Phnom at Lonely Planet Archived March 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 13°1′43″N 102°59′22″E / 13.02861°N 102.98944°E / 13.02861; 102.98944