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Bat­tam­bang is Cam­bo­di­a’s sec­ond-largest city and the cap­i­tal of Bat­tam­bang Province, which was found­ed in the 11th cen­tu­ry. It is the for­mer cap­i­tal of b and lies in the heart of the North­west of Cam­bo­dia. Until the war years, in which almost every infra­struc­ture was destruc­t­ed it was the lead­ing rice-pro­duc­ing province of the country. The name Bat­tam­bang or Bat­dambang, lit­er­al­ly means “loss of stick” refer­ring to a leg­end of the Preah Bat Dambang Kran­houng (Kran­houng Stick King). The pop­u­la­tion is nowa­days around 250,000 peo­ple . It’s a river­side town, home to some of the best-pre­served, French colo­nial archi­tec­ture in the coun­try. Until recent­ly Bat­tam­bang was off the map for road trav­ellers, but facil­i­ties have recent­ly been improved and it makes a great base for vis­it­ing the near­by tem­ples, such as Phnom Banon and Wat Ek Phnom, as well as the closed­by vil­lages. It’s a sec­ondary hub on the over­land route between Thai­land and Viet­nam, and if the Nation­al High­way No 6 from Poipet to Siem Reap is ever upgrad­ed it’ll become an even small­er hub. The net­work of charm­ing old French shop hous­es clus­tered along the river­bank is the real high­light here, and there are a num­ber of Wats scat­tered around the town. The small muse­um has a col­lec­tion of Angko­ri­an-era arti­facts, and beyond the town there’s a num­ber of hill­top tem­ples, yet more Wats and a pret­ty large lake. One of the more famous hills is Phnom Sam­peau (Ship Hill) with the noto­ri­ous killing caves. Bat­tam­bang did not give way to the Khmer Rouge move­ment after the fall of Phnom Penh, but it?s been in the cen­tre of the ongo­ing gov­ern­ment Khmer Rouge con­flict ever since the Viet­namese inva­sion in 1979 pushed the geno­ci­dal regime out of Phnom Penh and to the North­west. Until the sur­ren­der deal of Ieng Sary (Khmer Rouge num­ber three man based in Pailin),Battambang was the Khmer Rouge strong­hold in the region. In the ear­li­er his­to­ry Bat­tam­bang flip-flopped back and forth between Thai­land (called Siam before their 20th-cen­tu­ry renam­ing) and Cam­bo­dia. It’s been a part of Thai­land most of the time since the 15th cen­tu­ry, with Cam­bo­dia regain­ing con­trol (more specif­i­cal­ly due the French) in 1907. The Thais grabbed it again, with Japan­ese assis­tance, in 1941 and kept the region in their camp until the World War II years in 1947. The Allied Forces helped per­suade the Thais that the region was orig­i­nal­ly part of ancient Cam­bo­dia and the world com­mu­ni­ty would not take kind­ly to the Thais hold­ing onto it fur­ther. Like the rest of the North­west, there is still a lot of Thai influ­ence appar­ent. The main cur­ren­cy is still the Thai Baht and many peo­ple are able to con­verse in Thai. But the area is very Khmer, with ancient Khmer ruins scat­tered around, and even the ways of life are much more sim­i­lar to the rest of Cam­bo­dia than to Thai­land. Bat­tam­bang city is a peace­ful and pleas­ant place these days. The main parts of the city are sit­u­at­ed closed to the Sangk­er Riv­er, a tran­quil, small body of water that winds its way through Bat­tam­bang Province. It is a nice, pic­turesque set­ting. As with much of Cam­bo­dia, the French archi­tec­ture is an attrac­tive bonus of the city. Geog­ra­phy The provin­cial cap­i­tal of Bat­tam­bang is the sec­ond largest city in Cam­bo­dia (2007 esti­mat­ed pop­u­la­tion around 1/4 mil­lion peo­ple). It is locat­ed in one of the biggest rice-grow­ing areas in South­east Asia. The aver­age alti­tude of the province is around 50m. The province is bor­der­ing to the North with Ban­teay Meanchey, to the West with Thai­land, to the East and South with Pur­sat and the great lake Ton­le Sap. The coun­try’s total sur­face is about 11,702 sq/km with around 67.7 inh/sqkm. The city is on both the high­way and rail­road link­ing Phnom Penh with Thai­land; after the out­break (1970) of civ­il war in Cam­bo­dia, the Bat­tam­bang-Phnom Penh road was a prime tar­get of the Khmer Rouge insur­gents, who, by cap­tur­ing it, sev­ered Phnom Penh from its major source of rice.Battambang was acquired by Thai­land in 1809 and returned to Cam­bo­dia in 1907. The city has also a tech­ni­cal uni­ver­si­ty. Pop­u­la­tion The pop­u­la­tion cen­sus in 2007 shows that Bat­tam­bang is a dense­ly pop­u­lat­ed province with male 511,378 and female 525,145 and total pop­u­la­tion of 1,036,523 peo­ple. The pop­u­la­tion den­si­ty is 68 per km2, which is slight­ly high­er than the nation­al den­si­ty of 64. The pop­u­la­tion of this province con­sti­tutes 6.9% of the whole Cam­bo­di­an pop­u­la­tion. The per­cent­age of female pop­u­la­tion accounts for 51% .Cli­mate Cam­bo­dia has a trop­i­cal mon­soon cli­mate. Dur­ing the rainy sea­son between mid-April and mid-Octo­ber the Mekong swells and backs into the Ton­le Sap (Great Lake), increas­ing the size of the lake almost three­fold. Between Novem­ber and April winds are less strong and there are high­er tem­per­a­tures (up to 35?C). Gen­er­al infor­ma­tion about the cli­mate: Rainy sea­son: June — Octo­ber (<31c) — Cool sea­son: Novem­ber- Feb­ru­ary (>26c) — Hot sea­son: March- May : Tem­per­a­ture: from 28c ‑35c Econ­o­my The Bat­tam­bang Rice were the prin­ci­pal exports of Cam­bo­dia, but exports fell sharply after the onset of the civ­il war, which put most of the rub­ber plan­ta­tions out of oper­a­tion. By the 1990s, how­ev­er, rub­ber plant­i­ngs had been under­tak­en as part of a nation­al recov­ery pro­gram. When we talk about trop­i­cal fruites, the Bat­tam­bang orange is the most famouse among the peo­ple. Until recent­ly, inad­e­quate trans­porta­tion ham­pered exploita­tion of the coun­try’s vast forests, but by the mid-1990s tim­ber had become the largest source of export income. Exploita­tion of min­er­al resources like phos­phate rock, lime­stone, semi­precious stones, and salt sup­ports impor­tant local min­ing oper­a­tions. Infla­tion was 1.6% in 2002, where­as offi­cial unem­ploy­ment fig­ures amount­ed to 2.6%. Due to closed Thai­land there is quite a lot of finan­cial influx from for­eign (Thai) invest