Banteay Meanchey is a Cambodian province in the northwest of the country, and its capital is named Sisophon. The town of Sisophorn is today a charming, quiet place that only gives hints to its turbulent past upon closer examination. Like Siem Reap and Battambang Provinces, control of the province has changed hands many times between the Thais and the Khmers in the more distant past, and the Khmer Rouge and central Phnom Penh government in recent decades.
With the final demise of the Khmer Rouge (locals, however, firmly believe the Present national reconciliation only the Khmer Rouge trick), the province and towns are striving to rebuild their culture and economy.
It’s very friendly place with the locals genuinely happy to see foreign faces and the stability that it implies. Normally just a passing-through spot on the way to the border, or between Battambang and Siem Reap, the area has a few sights that warrant a visit, such the Banteay Chhmar temple ruins, the only other Khmer temple ruins besides the Bayon (Angkor) and Preah Khan ( Preah Vihear Province ) that features the famous four-faced monuments. This area was part of the extensive Khmer empire, with its most notable remains the Banteay Chhmar temple (built in 12th and 13th century) in the north of the province. In the 17th century the Siam took control over Cambodia, and made the area of the modern province part of Sisophon Province. In the year 1907 the Siam had to cede control to the French, and the area was then included into Battambang Province. In 1988 the province Banteay Meanchey was split off from Battambang.
How to Get There
The town of Sisophan i s a bout 359 k m f r o m Phnom Penh via national road number 5. You may also reach the Province from Bangkok via Poipet border.
There is not alot of choices to get into that province. You either have you rown motorcycle or you are taking a shared taxi. But wait; lets not forget the train. Or maybe we should, because its very slow – the railroad doesnt even want to quote you an correct arrival time, because its never going to be the same.
The train from Battambang arrives in Sisophan sometimes between 10:00 – 11:00 am (usually). The trip takes around 31/2 hours, which is about double the time that the shared taxies need for, but un l i k e most things in life , it s free ! T his won t last for long as the poor Khmer people are paying, while we are not . The government just hasn t or ganized the train service for tourists yet .
What to See
Banteay Chhmar Temple
Ang Teuk Kanh Va
La Ang Phnom Touch
Phnom Bak and Phnom Chen Chung
Tra Peang Thmar