Banteay Meanchey province is situated on the Thai border in north-western Cambodia and its capital province’s named Sisophon. The charming and quiet town of Sisophorn is today a place that only gives hints to its turbulent past upon closer examination recent past. Like Siem Reap and Battambang Provinces, The province is poor and there are still many unexploded mines in the provinces fields and forests. Nearly all of Banteay Meanchey’s 840000 residents are farmers although the improving economy has led to investment in Serei Sophoan, the provincial capital and Poipet.
With the final demise of the Khmer Rouge (locals, however, firmly believe the Present national reconciliation only the Khmer Rouge trick), the province and towns are striving to rebuild their culture and economy.
It’s very friendly place with the locals genuinely happy to see foreign faces and the stability that it implies. Normally just a passing-through spot on the way to the border, or between Battambang and Siem Reap, the area has a few sights that warrant a visit, such the Banteay Chhmar temple ruins, the only other Khmer temple ruins besides the Bayon (Angkor) and Preah Khan ( Preah Vihear Province ) that features the famous four-faced monuments.
This area was part of the extensive Khmer empire, with its most notable remains the Banteay Chhmar temple (built in 12th and 13th century) in the north of the province. In the 17th century the Siam took control over Cambodia, and made the area of the modern province part of Sisophon Province. In the year 1907 the Siam had to cede control to the French, and the area was then included into Battambang Province. In 1988 the province Banteay Meanchey was split off from Battambang.