Svay Sisophon Market ផ្សារស្វាយសីុសុផុន
Sisophon, also "Serei-sophon" or "Svay", is a small town in North-western Cambodia. It is the capital of Banteay Meanchey Province. Stueng Sisophon is a medium sized river that meanders round the southern circumference of the town.
Control of Sisophon has often passed between the various regional powers. It is now part of Cambodia thanks to the French, whose sabre rattling forced the Siamese into relinquishing it (along with Siem Reap, Battambang and much of North-western Cambodia) in 1907. The town had been Siamese since 1867, thanks again to the French who gave it (and Siem Reap, Battambang and much of North-western Cambodia) to Siam in exchange for unobstructed French control over the remainder of Cambodia. Before then, a nominally independent Cambodia existed as a vassel state of Siam and Vietnam.
Sisophon is a transport hub that almost every overland visitor to Cambodia will unknowingly visit for at least 15 minutes. It is located at the junction of two main routes: National Highway 5 (running south to Battambang and west to Poipet) and National Highway 6 (running east to Siem Reap).
The town's main tourist draw is the Banteay Chhmar temple complex, which offers a more remote and atmospheric alternative to the Angkor Archaeological Park.
The town is sufficiently large to benefit from modern technological advancements not found in the countryside but is largely untouched by foreign influences, which makes it an interesting representation of modern Cambodia. There's a smattering of aspiring English speaking students, mentally unsound Khmer Rouge survivors, peasants and provincial townsfolk which give those who care to spend any time in Sisophon a glimpse of folk that are not found in the more visited, more urbane cities.