An important religious site known throughout all Cambodia Phnom Sampov is a striking limestone mountain located on the road to Pailin about 12 km from Battambang. Like Wat Banan there are a series of steps leading up the mountain although an easier route up is on the back of a motorbike via a new road. On the top of the hill is a Wat and many stupas along with various shrines and grottos. During the Khmer Rouge period the mountain was used as a place to kill "enemies" of the regime and in what are known as the "killing caves" there is a memorial to these victims. Also on the mountain are two rusting artillery pieces which were used by the Cambodian government and their Vietnamese allies in the fight against the Khmer Rouge which ended in 1996.
Although Phnom Sampov has a tragic past it is also a pleasant place to visit. The panoramic views from the top are truly breathtaking and there are a variety of food and drink stalls at the base of the mountain making it a great place to while away the hours. Every evening at nightfall thousands of bats make their way out of caves in the hillside to feed before returning at dawn. This natural phenomenon really is a "must see" for the visitor.