Sitting on the Sangker River just southwest of the Tonle Sap Lake, Battambang Town is at the heart of Cambodia’s “rice bowl”. Although it is the country’s second largest town, it still has a very local, untouristed, and provincial atmosphere. Much of the architecture is French colonial and traditional Cambodian. Few buildings are over three stories, and the main streets are shared by cars and horse carts alike. Unlike more touristy towns, the local economy which mainly produces rice; wood; sapphires; and food crops truly reflect the town’s local feel and rich character. Similarly, as you leave Battambang by road, welcoming sights including small villages; rice paddies; and farmland offer visitors an excellent view of the “unspoiled” rural Cambodia. The nearby countryside also harbours old pagodas, Angkorian era ruins, caves, waterfalls, and even the Khmer Rouge period killing fields. Battambang, or “disappearing stick”, is named after a powerful stick used by a legendary Khmer king to achieve and maintain his power over the Battambang area.