Above: The view from the top of Phnom Sampeau.
Phnom Sampeau (Mount Sampeau) is 25 km south out of Battambang down Highway 10. The road is dirt most of the way but flat and relatively smooth. You will see the mountain in the distance on your left as you cycle down the road.
The turn off is 22 km from Battambang, just past a row of shops (check out the Sporting Goods Store!). Turn left, and head down the dirt track for 3 kilometres to the base of the mountain. There's a couple of makeshift cafes at the base of the mountain where you can lock your bike and take off up to the summit on foot. The cafe owners are friendly and will look after your bike.
There's a 360 degree panoramic view from the top.
It might be worth forking over a dollar and hiring one of the young boys at the cafes as guides. The young lad Mr Pumpy hired was a real card and a wealth of information. He may have been bullshitting all afternoon as far as Mr Pumpy knew, but it was entertaining.
"As long as you've got style, Feely" said Mr Pumpy, "who gives a damn about the truth!"
At the top of the mountain is a Buddhist Wat and a network of very deep caves. The mountain was used by the Khmer Rouge as a fire base in the late 70's and early 80's, and the howitzer guns at the top are still in almost working order.
There's also the usual depressing Khmer Rouge legacy of skulls and skeletons dotted about the cave complex.