Banteay Meanchey is another part of previous extensive Khmer empire. The notable one is the Banteay Chhmar temple in the north of the province, built in 12th -13th century. Local Cambodian people call this temples are the Banteay Neang and Banteay Torp temples.
In the 1795 Siam took control over Western Cambodia, and made the area into Siamese province of Inner Cambodia with the administration capital in Phra Tabong (Battambang). This province lasted until 1907 when Siam traded Inner Cambodia for the return of Trat and Dan Sai. In the same year, King Sisowath decided to split the return Inner Cambodian Province into Battambang Province (which included Sisophon) and Siem Reap Province. When Thailand re annexed western Cambodia 1941, Sisophon was split off Battambang Province and was an administration capital of Phibunsongkram Province which lasted until 1946 when the whole region was return to the French control.
Banteay Meanchey is located 359km from Phnom Penh via national road number 5 in the Northwest of Cambodia. It covered by extensive lowlands, with a few uplands to the north and east. The main rivers are the Mongkol Borei and the Sisophon Rivers. It borders with Thailand to the west and North, with Oddar Meancheay to the North, with Siem Reap to the East and with Battambang to the South. The town of Sisophorn is about .
One of the most known places in that province is Poipet, a town on the Thailand/Cambodia border. It’s the key crossing point between the two countries, and also extremely popular as a gambling destination with lot’s of casinos (gambling is popular, but illegal in Thailand). There is a strip of casinos, guesthouses and hotels between the Thai and Cambodian passport control counters, enabling Thais to gamble in Cambodia without needing to go through Cambodian immigration. Poipet is adjacent to the city of Aranya Pratet on the Thai side of the border. The province is mostly covered by extensive lowlands, with a few uplands to the North and East (all in all around 6,679 sq/km surface). The main rivers are the Mongkol Borei River and the Sisophon River
The total population is 816,382 or (5.242%) of the total population 14,363,519 in Cambodia (2007, provincial government data).
Banteay Meanchey is one of Cambodia’s busiest border checkpoints known as Poipet International Border Checkpoint for both people and goods. The checkpoint oversees approximately 2,000 tourists (50,000 tourists or 14% of nation’s tourists annually in 2015) and 300 trucks carrying goods every day. In response to the increase of trade between Cambodia and Thailand, a new border checkpoint, Stueng Bot which is only 7 km from Poipet Checkpoint, is being constructed and slated to be completed by 2018.
Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and Industry
O’Neang Special Economic Zone was officially approved in 2006. In 2014, the zone hosted 5 factories includings CAMPAC Co. Ltd, a Thai company which produces package for jewelry, Hi-Tech Apparel (Cambodia) Co., Ltd., ML Intermate Apparel (Cambodia) Co., Ltd., SIMMER Inter Co., Ltd., and Wireform Precision Parts Co., Ltd. O’Neang employed 1,200 workers. Another Japanese and Cambodian investors jointly established a new Special Economic Zone, Sanco. The 66.5 hectare zone has already attracted NHK Spring, a Japanese car-seat manufacturer and Toyota supplier.
Agriculture, particularly rice paddy, plays very important role in the province’s economy.
Within in propical area, Banteay Meanchey province enjoy tropical climate – warm and humid. In the monsoon season following the temperature:
- Hot season: March- May (27c -35c)
- Rainy season: May – October (24c-32c.)
- Cool season: November- March (22c-28c)