Written by

Located at the base of the mountain Phnom Sampov, Battambang Bat Caves hold an important place in history and ecology. A testament to the Khmer Rouge, this cave houses millions of bats which emerge every evening. The spectacular site of the bats emerging out of the cave at dusk covers the sky with a black streak for a good 30 minutes. Rich in history, the Battambang Bat Caves tour would leave all history buffs mesmerised. The beauty of Battambang and its picturesque landscape and architecture will captivate your mind and heart.

Battambang Bat Caves History

Entrance of Battambang Bat Caves Cambodia.

Image Credit: shankar s for Wikimedia Commons

The Battambang Bat Caves are located on the Phnom Sampov, a limestone calcification mountain. It served as the perfect shelter for the bats and was used as a site for execution. During the Khmer Rouge in the period 1975 to 1979, the mountain of Phnom Sampov and its caves were used to accumulate the war victims who were later executed. The caves are now a reminder of the dark history and have multiple important religious temples. Cambodians believe in using joy as a tool to overcome the sorrow of the post and hence people visit this place to admire the beauty of the bats painting the sky.

Must Read: Places To Visit In Cambodia

Battambang Bat Caves Facts

Limestone formations inside Battambang Bat Caves Cambodia

Image Credit: Rich Brooks for Wikimedia Commons

Here are some interesting facts which will leave you amazed and will make your trip more insightful:

  • The Battambang Bat Caves are home to millions of bats. Approximately 15 million bats are found here.
  • The species of bat found here is wrinkled-lipped bats, which have a characteristic feature of living in large groups.
  • The bats are crucial to the ecosystem of Battambang as they reduce the agricultural pests and insects.
  • These bats can eat insects as much as twice their weight
  • The bats head on a journey of around 50 km in search of prey.
  • The inside of the cave has intense stalactites and stalagmite formations reaching as high as 65 feet.

Battambang Bat Caves Visiting Hours

Close-up of a bat inside Battambang Bat Caves Cambodia

Image Credit: David Dennis for Wikimedia Commons

The main attraction of the Battambang Bat Caves is the magnificent sight of the bats flying out on an expedition for food. The bats wake up in the evening and head out at around 5:30 PM. All the tourists bring their chairs and sit to witness the streak of bats across the golden hour sky. Sometimes the bats come out 15 or 30 minutes late due to rain or sudden weather changes. These nocturnal creatures keep coming out of the cave for more than half an hour and showcase the natural ecosystem of the area. You can visit the Battambang Bat Caves and the mountain in the late afternoon and enjoy the nearby attractions as well.

Suggested Read: Hotels In Cambodia

Battambang Bat Caves Price

The entry to the mountains leads to multiple caves and temples

Image Credit: shankar s. for Wikimedia Commons

The entry to the mountains leads to multiple caves and temples each with a historical background; the entrance into these areas cost me a meagre USD 3. The path of the mountain is covered with flora and fauna with mischievous monkeys on the way. The mountain also has a few restaurants for tired visitors to replenish their energy and traverse through the beauty of Phnom Sampov.

Battambang Bat Caves Nearby Attractions

Battambang is filled with scenic views, cultural heritages and religious sites. A trip to Battambang would leave you captivated. If you are visiting the Battambang Bat Caves, here are some of the nearby attractions which you must visit as well:

1. Killing Cave

Killing Cave of Phnom Sampov located near Battambang Bat Caves.

Image Credit: Christophe95 for Wikimedia Commons

Located at the top of the same mountain Phnom Sampov, you can combine both cave trips on the same day. Killing caves are at the top of the hill, whereas bat caves are at the base. You can hike to the top or hop into a tuk-tuk to reach there. The journey of 10 to 15 minutes will bring you to the magnificent killing caves. Another historical site, this cave, was also used by the Khmer Rouge for the execution of war victims. As you enter you will see a large reclining Buddha statue with bones and skulls in a glass cabinet. The cave is now a shrine and mourns the loss of the ones who lost their lives.

Suggested Read: Island Hopping In Cambodia

2. Bamboo Train Ride

Bamboo train ride (Norry) in Cambodia.

Image Credit: Isderion for Wikimedia Commons

Located 10 km from the Battambang Bat Caves, you can travel back in time by booking the bamboo train ride. Also known as norry, it essentially has a platform made of bamboo and a motor powering the motion. You can explore Cambodia on this not-so-fast Norry for 20 minutes with no seatbelts and hassles. There are two trains: old and new. The new bamboo train rides are under a private company and will offer you well-maintained tracks and a better experience. On the old bamboo trains, you would experience authentic Cambodia, which is equally enjoyable.

3. Wat Ek Phnom

Wat Ek Phnom, a Hindu temple near Battambang Bat Caves Cambodia.

Image Credit: Stefan Fussan for Wikimedia Commons

Located 25 km to the north of Battambang Bat Caves, Wat Ek Phnom is just a 45-minute tuk-tuk ride away. Built during the 11th century under King Suryavarman I, this temple was earlier for Hindu devotees and is now a Buddhist shrine. This Angkorian temple is now mostly in ruins, a walk through the large blocks would take you back in time. With a main temple area and surrounding towers, the temple walls are adorned with intricate carvings depicting tales of Hindu mythology. Beside the temple, the Sangkae pond is filled with colourful lilies and a 28-etre Buddha temple with 18 bodhi trees paints a beautiful scene.

Suggested Read: Cambodia Visa For Indians

How To Reach Battambang Bat Caves, Cambodia

There are several options available to reach the Battambang Bat Caves f

Image Credit: Ilya Plekhanov for Wikimedia Commons
Battambang Bat Caves is located 12 km to the southwest of the Battambang city centre. You can either take a guided tour plan to enjoy the attractions of Phnom Sampov or go on to venture to the cave by yourself. Here are the different modes of transport you can take to head on to the Battambang Bat Caves :

By Tuktuk: If you are in Battambang City, you can just ask the Tuktuk driver to drop you off at the cave. The cave is a popular tourist destination and takes around half an hour to 45 minutes to reach. The roads are quite uneven, so get ready for a bumpy ride, but you will surely witness the tranquility and beauty of the city.

By Motorbike: You can rent a motorbike, put your Google Maps in place and head out to explore the terrains of Phnom Sampov. With multiple bike rentals all around the city, you can easily get one and start with your road trip.

By Bus: Several bus services leave Phnom Penh and drop you off at Battambang. You can also reach this city from Siem Reap. Although inexpensive, the ride can take up to 6 hours.

By Boat: You can travel from Siem Reap to Battambang by riverboat. Although it takes around 7 hours, it is an enriching experience as you pass through the floating markets of Siem Reap. Witness the strength and resilience of the people who build their houses along the lake and carry their livelihoods.

Further Read: Things Not To Do In Cambodia

Cambodia’s second-largest city, Battambang, is a treasure trove of historic caves, temples, french architecture, exotic South Asian cuisine and wide stretches of nature’s flora. Walk across the never-ending golden rice fields and enjoy the essence of true Cambodian culture and lifestyle. If our guide about the Battambang Bat Caves motivates you, here are some of the best packages for a trip to Cambodia . Visit Cambodia to get an idea of urban life facilities that complement rural life traditions.

For our editorial codes of conduct and copyright disclaimer, please click here.

Cover Image Credit: Eric Kilby for Wikimedia Commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Battambang Bat Caves

How many days are required in Battambang?

Battambang is a beautiful countryside escape for which 2 to 3 days are ideal to explore.

Is it necessary to take a guide for the Battambang Bat Caves tour?

A tour guide would help you understand the history of the caves. There isn’t much written in the description of the caves but with a tour guide, you would get to know the place much better.

Where should I sit for the best view of the Battambang Bat Caves Cambodia?

You can take a seat near the base of the cave and wait for the bats to emerge and cover the sky.

Is It safe to visit the Battambang Bat Caves with children?

It is completely safe to visit the cave as the bats don’t attack the humans.

Are Killing Caves and Battambang Bat Caves the same?

No, both caves are different but located on the same mountain. Each has its history and significance. Killing Cave is at the top of the hill while Battambang Bat Caves is at the base of the mountain.

People Also Read:

Category: Cambodia, Caves, Places To Visit

Best Places To Visit In India By Month

Best Places To Visit Outside India By Month