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Prasat Banan

"Banan Hill, or Phnom Banan, is a small hill about 400 meters high around 21 kilometers south of Battambang. Atop the hill is the province's best preserved Angkor era temple, Prasat Banan. A grand stone staircase leads up the side of the hill to the temple. There are 358 steps, so be prepared to sweat."

Prasat Banan is an Angkor temple ruin on top of the small mountain Phnom Banan (102m) which rises abrupt above the otherwise flat countryside outside Battambang. It was build in the 11th century and consists of five classic Angkor towers. It is a tiny temple compared to Angkor Wat standard, but the location and serenity makes up for the small size - chances are you are going to have the whole place for yourself (beside the drink sellers). Dangers signs reminds you that the ruins are crumbling and judged by the leaning angle of some of the towers, they look like they could collapse at anytime. There are also some caves which can be explored - alone or with the help of one of the local kiddie guides.

The temple is located in the Ba Nan District. About 25-kilometer distance from the provincial town Battambang. You can reach the temple by taking the provincial Road No 155, which is parallel to Sang Ke River. At the mountain's valley, there are Ku Teuk and two main natural wells, namely: Bit Meas and Chhung or Chhung Achey.

This Angkor-era mountaintop temple is definitely worth a look. At the top are beautiful views of the winding Sangker River set amidst sugar palm trees, rice fields and small villages.
To the south you will see a mountain range that features a crocodile shaped mountain.
The Prasat Banan Temple is a good example of the Khmer architecture that this region is well known for. It was built in the eleventh century and involves a long climb to the top up a steep staircase.
Itís quite small at the top but has great views of the surrounding area.

The temple itself is beautiful looking from the ground as well as the top. The structures are pretty much intact, but unfortunately like so many Khmer ruins, they have fallen victim to massive looting.
Still, there are some interesting works to see. There are five temple structures, like Angkor, with the middle being the largest. (Use caution around the entrance to the center structure-there is a large hanging block-a headache-in-waiting for some poor soul).

Combine a visit oto the Prasat Banan with a wine tasting at the Winery Phnom Banon and the temple Phnom Sampeou as it is all nearby.


Location: 25 km south of Battambang
Price: US$ 2, the ticket is also valid for Phnom Sampeau and Wat Ek Phnom Best time to visit: late afternoon
Total visiting time: 1 hour