As I had a friend visiting from the UK who wasn’t overly keen on spending too much time at the temples, I decided it would be fun to get them out of Siem Reap to explore a little bit more of Cambodia. I have wanted to visit Battambang, a town (well Cambodia’s second largest City in fact) to the South West of Siem Reap for a while and as it is only about 180 km away it seemed like the perfect destination for a weekend away.
As always, the Grantourismo website http://grantourismotravels.com/2014/08/05/where-to-stay-in-battambang/ was my first port of call when deciding where to stay. I was immediately taken with the Bambu Hotel http://www.bambuhotel.com/ and after deciding that I couldn’t stay anywhere else I fired off a quick email to book us in.
It really does pay to be organised when it comes to arranging transportation in Cambodia. I was quoted everything from $100 to $180 for a return taxi ride to Battambang until I remembered the advice on the Grantourismo website to use Sopheakna Travel in Siem Reap (just next to the Riviera Hotel) firstname.lastname@example.org; 855 (0) 63 968 895 who quoted us $40 one way and we decided to just pick up a return taxi from our hotel in Battambang.
Located down a dusty side road leading away from the river there is no clue to the little oasis that awaits you when you pull up outside The Bambu Hotel. The hotel is actually made up of 3 separate buildings around a small leafy swimming pool and courtyard. It was lovely just lying by the pool or sitting at the bar drinking their delicious tropical cocktails and apart from dinner and a short wander around the City before we left, we spent most of our time in Battambang at the hotel.
Our rooms – well suites – were in the main building above the reception. I really loved the clean, minimalist design of the rooms which had lovely detailing like the brightly coloured floor tiles and silk cushions on the bed to break up the crisp white feel to the rooms. Importantly, the air con and room fans meant that that the rooms offered the perfect refuge from the scorching 39 degree sunshine outside and the comfy beds meant that I slept better than I have done in ages.
Breakfast has 3 options; Noodle Soup, Cereal & Fresh Fruits or 2 Eggs, Bacon, Sausage and Grilled Tomato, all of which are served with Toast and Homemade Jams, Freshly Squeezed Juice and Tea or Coffee. The Western breakfast was so filling I wasn’t able to eat more than 1/2 of it and as we were in the car on the way back to Siem Reap over lunch time it did a great job of filling me up until dinner.
Whilst there is plenty to do in Battambang, we really enjoyed just relaxing at Bambu and I would definitely stay there again on my next visit there.