Battambang is Cambodia’s second largest city. Of course, when you consider that the whole country has a population of less than 15 million, it is not so surprising that this “city” is only about 250,000 people.
As small as it is, Battambang, which is located on the Sangker River (Stung Sangkae), has always been the trade hub of the northwest. Established under the Khmer empire in the 11th century, it was remodelled by the French during their colonial rule, and the buildings still show evidence of both traditions.
I read somewhere that the buildings of Battambang survived the Khmer Rouge regime so well because Pol Pot had headquarters in the region: whatever the reason, this charming little city stands in contrast to the rice fields and traditional crafts and cottage industries in the villages surrounding it.
Leave the city and you are launched directly into “the past”.
I was on a day trip that started at Battambang’s morning markets and took us through the Fish Paste “Factory” before culminating at the ancient Khmer ruins of Wat Ek Phnom. After our walk through the wooden Cambodian house, we visited a site where they make the large clay pots that are used to collect and store rainwater.
This photo series marks my final post from the Cambodian Photo Tour I participated in last July under the guidance of Karl Grobl, Gavin Gough, Marco Ryan and Matt Brandon. So, it seems only fitting that I include their portrait as part of this set. (Matt had already returned home, so is absent from the picture.)
I think you can see from the photo that they are great fun.
They are also brilliant photographers. It was a wonderfully organised and most enjoyable trip. For me, it was also an extremely fruitful one: this is my fourteenth post using only photos from those two weeks.
I’d do it again anytime – thanks, guys!