Wat Banan, located about 15 km south of Battambang town, is a smaller version of the Illustrious Angkor Wat. Begun in 1057 under the reign of Udayadityavarman II (1050 – 1066) and completed a century later by Jayavarman VII (1181 – 1218), it is built atop a hill about 400 meters. When Henri Mouhot, the French explorer who also rediscovered Angkor Wat, visited the site in 1858, he found numerous sculptures of Buddha and other deities.
On top of the hill, reached by a staircase of 358 laterite steps, we can admire the view over the Sangker River meandering between palm trees, rice paddies, and traditional villages. It is a very popular place for Khmer families who like to picnic there and admire the beautiful landscape.