AWA 5: Battambang – Killing caves of Phnom Sampeau

We reached Battambang today. We took a vehicle for hire for two days. My initial plan was to take a boat ride, which is currently unavailable. So we settled for the next best, which is a car that we can also use locally.

After a light breakfast, we left Siem Reap around 9 AM and reached Battambang by 1130 AM. We had brunch at Flavours of India, and the food was average. But if you want some sort of Indian food, that is an option.

At around 3 PM, we left the hotel and went to Phnom Sampeau to see the killing caves. Killing caves are actual caves that were used as execution sites in Phnom Sampeau by the Khmer Rouge. It's on a small hill about 11 km from the city. Khmer Rouge killed their victims at the top and used to throw the body body into the cave.

Memorial at Killing caves of Phnom Sampeau
Memorial at Killing caves of Phnom Sampeau

It's a sad place with an unfortunate history, but which country doesn't have a tragic past? Knowing and remembering them is essential so we don't repeat them. Anyway, today, there is a memorial for the victims in the form of skulls and bones placed inside a glass cubicle. The cave also has a statue of a reclining Buddha. There are steps to enter the cave and visit the memorial.

The hill also has other Buddhist stupas, which you can visit. They also offer great views of the surrounding paddy fields and the city.

View from the top of Phnom Sampeau
View from the top of Phnom Sampeau

The hill is also famous for Battambang Bat Caves. They come out of the caves every evening around 6 PM. The population of bats is so high that it takes at least 30 minutes to clear the caves. You can see them flying out (my video); watching a stream of bats fly out continuously is amazing. You can see it from the side of the hill from the road. Now, they have a new Buddha statue on that side of the hill, a tourist attraction. So you have chairs, local snacks, beer, etc, available.

Battambang bat caves - Can you see a stream of bats?
Battambang bat caves - Can you see a stream of bats?


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