Battambang - Encyclopedia


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BATTAMBANG, or Battambong (locally Phratabong), the chief town of the north-western division of Cambodia, formerly capital of Monton Kmer, i.e. " The Cambodian Division," one of the eastern provinces of Siam, now included in the French protectorate of Cambodia. It is situated in 103° 6' E., 13° 6' N., in the midst of a fertile plain and on the river Sang Ke, which flows eastwards and falls into the Tonle or Tale Sap, the great lake of Cambodia. The town is a collection of bamboo houses of no importance, but there is a walled enceinte of some historical interest. Trade is small and is carried on by Chinese settlers, chiefly overland with Bangkok, but to a small extent also by water with Saigon. The population is about 5000, two-thirds Cambodian and the remainder Chinese and Siamese. The language is Cambodian.

Battambang was taken by the Siamese when they overran the kingdom of Cambodia towards the end of the 18th century, and was recognized by the French as belonging to Siam when the frontier of Cambodia was adjusted by treaty in 1867-1872. In another treaty in 1893, Siam bound herself to maintain no armed forces there other than police, but this arrangement was annulled by the treaty of 1904, by which Battambang was definitely admitted to lie within the French sphere of influence. Under a further treaty in March 1907 (see Siam), the district of Battambang was finally ceded to the French.

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