Battambang is the rice bowl of western Cambodia, home to some spectacular rural scenery and within easy distance of both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. It is also best known for its Angkor-period ruins at Ek Phnom and Phnom Banan, but there's also Phnom Sampeau — the site of the local Killing Fields. Famous attractions aside, what often swings it for Battambang is the laid back, sleepy feel to the place. It's an attractive town in a rundown kind of way with a few colonial shopfronts and pretty tree-lined streets. Spend an evening by the riverfront munching away on fried bugs and other critters and no doubt you'll be sold.

Getting there: Battambang can be reached by national bus, boat and railway.