Located in the northwest of the country, Banteay Meanchey is one of Cambodia's newest provinces, created in the 1980s from the northern chunk of Battambang. The name means "Fortress of Victory" and may refer to the fact that it was one area of Battambang Province that the government was able to control during the long civil war, as there are few mountains in the province. Traditionally, rice and staple fruit and vegetables have been grown in Banteay Meanchey. However, thanks to a shared border with Thailand, new opportunities are emerging for trade and several locals-only borders are fast developing as centers of commerce. Poipet has found the best niche of all as the gambling center of Cambodia and there are now six major casinos and counting.
The trip in the province is improving fast. The nightmare road from Poipet through Sisophon to Siem Reap has been rebuilt, while NH5 south to Battambang is in reasonable shape within the provincial borders, but not thereafter. Several secondary roads have been upgraded, including the one from Sisophon north to the massive Angkorian era complex of Banteay Chhmar, Banteay Meanchey's leading attraction.