The provincial capital of Battambang is the second largest city in Cambodia (2007 estimated population around 1/4 million people).
It is located in one of the biggest rice-growing areas in Southeast Asia. The average altitude of the province is around 50m. The province is bordering to the North with Banteay Meanchey, to the West with Thailand, to the East and South with Pursat and the great lake Tonle Sap. The country’s total surface is about 11,702 sq/km with around 67.7 inh/sqkm.
The city is on both the highway and railroad linking Phnom Penh with Thailand; after the outbreak (1970) of civil war in Cambodia, the Battambang–Phnom Penh road was a prime target of the Khmer Rouge insurgents, who, by capturing it, severed Phnom Penh from its major source of rice.
Battambang was acquired by Thailand in 1809 and returned to Cambodia in 1907. The city has also a technical university.