Wat Banan Temple : Battambang, Cambodia

Located about 18 km south of town, Wat Banan is likened to a smaller version of the imposing Angkor Wat. It is the best preserved of the temples around Battambang, makes a worthwhile half-day trip combined with Phnom Sampeu.

Located about 18km from town along a new road Wat Banan is an Angkor era temple which sits on top of a hill close to the Sanker river. It was once thought that Wat Banan with its five towers was a prototype for Angkor Wat although this has now been dismissed by most scholars who date the structure later than Angkor.

The steep steps up to the temple are worth the effort as there are stunning 360 degree panoramic views from the top. Banan is seldom frequented by tourists and outside of Cambodian holidays it is likely that you may be the only visitor. At the bottom of the hill are a few food and drink stalls making it a pleasant place to while away some time. Also beneath the hill are some limestone caves which local children with torches are happy to show you around for a small fee.

Close to Wat Banan is the Prassat Banan vineyard, the only such one in Cambodia. Visitors are welcome to drop by to sample and perhaps buy some of the wines made here. They also make a brandy which is very palatable!

Phnom Banan Temple
Location: Battambang, Cambodia

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