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Home | Cambodia | Cities in Cambodia | Battambang City
Battambang City

Battambang  is a province of Cambodia. It is in the northwest of the country, and its capital is Battambang. The name literally means loss of stick referring to a legend of Preah Bat Dambang Kranhoung


The stone inscriptions discovered from the pre-Angkor and Angkor eras have as yet mentioned no villages or districts at that time that were called ‘Battambang’ but according to the document ‘Mohachun Khmer’, ‘Srok Battambang’, literally meaning Battambang district, was used during the Angkor and post-Angkor eras.

During the pre-Angkor and Angkor eras, the areas to the north and to the north west of the Tonle Sap Lake were known as the territories of Amogha Boreak and Bhima Boreak. During the Angkor period, the territory of Amogha Boreak was significantly prosperous because the land was so fertile that rice crops, fruit and vegetables produced excellent yields. Many Khmer people settled there as indicated by the existence of so many ancient temples in the area. With the exception of the temples of Banan, Ek Phnom, Baseth, Stung, Banteay Tey, Banteay Chmar, etc,other monuments, which were built by dignitaries and subjects at the time as places of worship to God and other deities of Buddhism and Hinduism, almost completely disappeared.battambang

  Between the 15th century and the 18th century the area   was invaded by the Siamese army, forcing landowners off their land and splitting up their families.

From late in the 18th century until early in the 20th century, the Siamese overran Battambang and placed it under the rule of the Lord Chaofa Ben family, which was later known as the Akpheyyavong Family, for 6 generations ending in 1907.
However the French Siamese Treaty of March 23, 1907, meant that the Siamese had to return the territories they occupied for over a century to Cambodia including Siem Reap and Angkor, in exchange for Trat province and the area of Dach Se (Lao territory) in the upper catchment area of the Mekong River. On December 6 1907 His Majesty Preah Bat Sisowath issued a royal declaration splitting Battambang into 3 provinces: Battambang, Siem Reap and Serei Sophorn. In 1925, however Battambang was re-divided into two provinces: Battambang and Siem Reap, with Battambang having two districts: Battambang and Serei Sophorn. Then in 1940, it consisted of 7 districts: Battambang, Sangke, Maung Russey, Monkol Borei, Toeuk Cho, Serei Sophorn, and Bei Thbaung.

In May 1953, the Poi Pet administration was founded and ordered under the district of Serei Sophorn which was divided into two districts: Serei Sophorn and Banteay Chmar. In March 1965, the administration of Poi Pet, was elevated to the status of a district named O Chrov. In July 1965, part of the territory of Maung Russey was separated to become the administration of Kors Kralor. In March 1966, another new district Thmar Pouk was founded and the district of Banteay Chmar was cut off from the province of Battambang for incorporation into Oddor Meanchey province, another newly founded province. In the early years of the Khmer Rouge, two new districts were established: Banan and Kors Lor. During the 3 years and 9 months of the Killing Fields, Battambang saw its people evacuated by Pol Pot's men from the city and towns and relocated to remote and mountainous areas. The province of Battambang, once known as the rice bowl of the country, was turned into a site of torture, killings, and starvation.

The province of Battambang was completely liberated from the genocidal regime on January 13, 1979. At that time, the People’s Committee of commune-Sangkat was founded through the first-ever elections in 1983. Between 1979 and 1986, Battambang had 9 districts and one provincial town.

In 1986, three new districts were created: Banan, Bovel, and Ek Phnom. Until that point, Battambang had 12 districts and 1 provincial town. In 1988, however 5 districts were separated and incorporated into the newly founded province of Banteay Meanchey .

In 1998, following the integration of the Democratic Kampuchea, the province of Battambang saw part of its territory separated for the municipality of Pailin, while 4 new districts were established: Samlot, Kamreang, Phnom Proeuk and Sampov Loun. In 2000, part of the district of Maung Russey was split off to become the district of Koas Krala.

Today, the province of Battambang has 13 districts, 96 communes, and 741 villages, covering an area of 11,622 km² with a population of 185.706 families or 955.104 persons.
Known as the Rice Bowl of Cambodia the province has a strong agricultural economy with a great production of rice. In the 2006 rainy season 2,440.14 km² of rice, were cultivated for production and the average rice yielded 2.2 tons per hectare, with the total output standing at 536,830.80 tons. With the amount reserved for consumption, seeds, animal food, and waste during harvest, there were about 300,000 tons left for sale. The Department of Agriculture in Cambodia has provided quality rice seed varieties like the Romduol and Senpidor strains for farmers to grow on their rice fields as a demonstration and have allocated significant funds towards experimentation in many of the provinces districts.

In addition to rice, subsidiary crops were also planted on 98,342 hectares, including some 420 km² of corn, 400 km² of red corn, 180 km² of cassava, 2.42 sq km of sweet potatoes and many other crops including green beans and chilies. There was a total of 501.78 km² of industrial crops with ground nuts, soybean, jute, sugarcane produced. The Province also produces notable quantities of pineapple, sesame, grapefruit, oil palm and saffron.

Besides arable farming, local people mainly indulge in livestock breeding, rice seed production, the production of animal fodder, etc while few operate animal breeding farms. Strategies laid out by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery, have intended to aid the transition from the tradition of growing long-term rice varieties to using medium- and short-term varieties and practicing nature-based intensive rice farming.

Battambang Province has 12 fishing lots and commercial fishing exceeded 7,000 tons in 2006 of which 990 tons of rice field fish were caught by local families. The province has 37 fishing communities, each with over 300 members.

During this monsoon season, snakeheads and snakehead Murrells are a common target of fishing with a significant increase in stock in recent years due to the Ministry of Agriculture imposed restrictions on illegal fishing to ensure sustainability.

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Battambang is home to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows / SOS Children's Village, an orphanage and home to the Samlaut Multiple Use Area. Samlaut Multiple Use Area is a protected area which, along with other forests and preserves, was declared to be a protected area in 1993 by King Norodom Sihanouk. The multiple use area includes some of the country's richest farmland, but nearly 330 km² is covered by rain forest, home to a wide array of rare vegetation and wildlife.

Due to the limited resources of the kingdom Samlaut has received little government management or enforcement. WildAid's Maddox Jolie Pitt Project, (named for the adopted son of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt,) has provided funding for rangers to protect Samlaut's forests. On October 3, 2006, the Cambodian Ministry of Environment and the National Park Service of the United States signed an agreement making the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks sister parks to Samlaut. The agreement facilitates the sharing of experience, skills, technical knowledge, and professional abilities between the two protected areas.

Wat Ek Phnom
Wat Ek Phnom is a 10th century temple .

Wat Banan
Wat Banan located some 25 km south of Battambong City is like a smaller version of the rather more illustrious Angkong Wat. Built in the 10th century, it is very popular at weekends with Khmer families out on picnics.

Kamping Pouy
Kamping Pouy is the site of both a recreational lake and one of the Khmer Rouge's grander schemes, a massive hand-built dam stretching between two hills.

This is a small town near the border with Thailand , known for its gem, precious stones and timber resources.

The Battambang Provincial Service of Culture and Fine Arts is a local government agency, responsible for providing information and directives on culture and fine arts from central government, to issuing performing permits to registered arts organizations in the province. It is responsible both to the provincial government on administrative and operational matters and to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts in  Phnom Penh  on cultural matters.

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