The path through the civilization, tradition, and history of Cambodia has been well established since the founding of the Khmer Kingdom in 802 Anno Domini until today. Khmer men are emotionally and physically powerful, increasing their by birth talents from their markets, crops, and architecture. In Siem Reap, form a relationship with Cambodia on a bike tour. Explore the mysteries of the ancient civilization of Angkor by riding secret pathways through Angkor Archeological Park to gaze at Angkor Wat’s rainforest-swallowed temples, or feel the warm energy of the Khmer citizens on a cycling journey of country valleys and paddle a kayak along Tonle Sap’s floating communities.
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Cycling in Siem Reap
Paddle Through the Streets of Siem Reap
Siem Reap became truly the ideal place for riders. Initially, utilizing pedal power simply, all the big sights can be visited within the area. Secondly, critically considering Siem Reap’s tropical climate, cyclists get lucky for the whole year because the land is mostly flat as a pancake. Most hotels and guesthouses like Rosy Guesthouse and Soria Moria Hotels offer complimentary use of bicycles within their room rates, and the charitable leasing company The White Bicycles offers bikes for hire throughout numerous affiliated hotels across the city at just US$2 a day.
In just an unlikely scenario, if your hotel has no bikes at fingertips, do not worry, as most facilities are not far from rental shops. There are at least two rental places for an old-fashioned “town cycle” within five minutes of commuting route from the hotels with a standard rate from just US$1 and a pretty decent-looking racing bike for just US $3.
If you are passionate about riding, then you should go to Grasshopper Adventures located on Street 26, which is just west of the Wat Bo Avenue, to rent a high-quality touring bike for $12 per day. The package contains a solid safety jacket as well as a cycle lock. The staff knows how to communicate in English and can organize excursions including some off-track landmarks that you would not really manage to find on your own successfully.
‘Templing’ through Cycle Ride
While pottery is a fun enough place to put your money throughout Siem Reap, but to still fully utilize your wheel and trip, you can go a little further with a cycle. The great news would be that Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, and Angkor Thom’s top three temple structures are still within easy ride distance from town.
Besides being able to resist when you see something which needs a closer look, the key advantage of ride ‘templing’ is you can continue going for as long as your limbs allow you to. Within such a short cycle drive from the main monuments there are dozens of smaller and far less populated sites, but to do so by bike, ensure you are able to see as much as you want without contributing precious bucks to tuk-tuk meters, and just really get the most of all your $20 temple daily card.
The trip to south from town across Tonle Sap Lake is around 12 kilometers either way, for the moderately more active people. You may choose the newly resurfaced route 63, or a more popular, though somewhat less straight— dirt road running along the opposite side of the Siem Reap River parallel to the main road. Thoughtfully there are plenty of bridges, helping you to swap sides everywhere easily.
Each way, the trip will take you across traditional Cambodian towns, through markets & beautiful lotus fields, as well as very close to the few Angkorian train yard at Wat Atwea that provide free entrance. You can even visit Phnom Krom, which is one of the peaks for miles away but you need a complete access temple to pass them. You may take a boat ride to the popular floating islands and turn around to drive back to Siem Reap once at the very drab lakeside community of Chong Khneas.
A Few Concerns
Wherever you drive, it is going to let you know that Cambodian streets may be very risky. Roads intended for tourists, motorcycles and oxcarts have now become a total arena for mid-run tour buses or four-wheel drive rates. Accepted driving standards are unorthodox at best so be ready for anything to happen.
If the bike shop gives you a helmet use it, always ride with care, and always test your cycle carefully before taking it to the street. Do not skip your sunscreen and bring drinking water because you cannot access a convenient or hygienic beverage stand in just the middle of the highways. Front baskets could be an easier target for burglars. So, to protect anything you bring, tie belts between your handlebars & try to keep your belongings safe.
Saigon Bike Tour
Few bicycle touring includes as much versatility as this one which runs from Siem Reap through Saigon: historic temples, friendly communities, two fast-modernizing cities evolving from a violent past are all waiting to be encountered. In the classic sense, this is indeed a ride. From Cambodia’s most significant historical site to Vietnam’s most popular commercial area, the contrasts across the way resemble this as an interesting, fun, and attainable journey for anyone traveling through Southeast Asia.
The cycling is immediately followed by a boat ride across the Mekong River which finishes off with 2 straight days of biking through the fascinating Mekong Delta, with hardly a peak in reach, but enough variation of landscape and nature to make the journey exciting. If you really want to remove yourself from just the monotony or reinvent yourself in Indochina, then this is your journey.
Finally, if you happen to be stuck away from home when the sun falls below another line of pine trees, it is quite great to know that dual push bikes including two riders can be transported with ease by a Cambodian tuk-tuk.