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Exploring the Countryside of Cambodia by Cycling

Article by GVI


Posted: February 18, 2023

Cambodia’s countryside is a paradise of stunning beauty and simplicity, providing a perfect opportunity for those looking to take a cycling tour. The terrain is incredibly diverse and complicated, with magnificent temples and storied villages beckoning those looking to explore. With the right approach and preparation, a cycling excursion can be a rewarding and memorable experience.

Advantages of Cycling in Cambodia

Cycling in Cambodia can provide adventure and insight into places you could never otherwise access. With no public transportation, tourists are limited to destinations accessible by taxis and tuk-tuks. Cycling broadens this vastly and allows for the exploration of quiet villages and rural countryside. Cycling is also an amazing way to exercise, with the exercise allowing for a healthy body and mind throughout the journey.

Cycling in Cambodia is also a great way to meet locals and learn about the culture. As you explore the countryside, you will come across many friendly people who are more than happy to share their stories and experiences. You can also learn about the local cuisine, as many small villages have roadside stalls selling delicious snacks and meals.

What to Pack for a Cycling Trip

When preparing for a cycling trip in Cambodia, there are essential items which must be packed. A bicycle, of course, repaired and made ready for your journey. Also necessary are lights, water, food and snacks for long rides, cyclist-friendly clothing and shoes, repair kits, and maps. Don’t forget sunscreen, insect repellent, sunglasses, a raincoat or umbrella in case of inclement weather, protective gear such as helmets and knee pads, a mobile phone, identification and important documents.

It is also important to bring a first aid kit with basic medical supplies, such as bandages, antiseptic, and pain relievers. Additionally, it is wise to bring a few spare parts for your bike, such as a spare tire, chain, and brake pads. Finally, it is important to bring a camera to capture the beautiful sights and memories of your cycling trip.

Discovering the Culture of Rural Cambodia

Travelling by bicycle allows you to explore rural Cambodia in a deeper way than many other forms of transport. As you move through the rolling hills and expansive plains, you will come across remote villages filled with unusual sights and customs. Locals will most likely stop and stare at the sight of a foreigner on a bicycle; if you have the knowledge, it can be an engaging experience to engage with them.

Must-See Sites on a Cycling Tour

A cycling tour of Cambodia provides ample opportunities to witness some of the country’s amazing sights. Of particular note is Angkor Wat, a world-renowned temple complex now declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests must take advantage of its size by cycling through it; this ensures time to appreciate its ancient architecture and designs. Other sites to visit include the Kampuon Market, Kampong Chhnang Floating Village, Sambor Prei Kuk Historical Park, Pailin Emerald Mines and Bayon Tower.

Essential Safety Precautions for Cyclists

When travelling through Cambodia, it’s important to be mindful of the region’s laws and customary practices. This is especially true for cyclists; you must take into consideration the country’s roads as well as traffic regulations. Before setting out, it helps to research areas ahead of time so that you won’t get lost or end up in a hazardous area. Adhering to the speed limit is especially important; overtaking other drivers could be dangerous on narrow or badly-maintained roads.

Tips for Finding Accommodation During Your Trip

Accommodations in Cambodia can range greatly in price depending on your location and budget. If you plan on spending time in rural Cambodia during your cycling trip, camping is an ideal way to save money while enjoying nature’s beauty. However, safety comes first; it is recommended that travellers stay away from secluded spots and travel in groups instead.

The Benefits of Hiring a Guide

Hiring a local guide can be an invaluable resource for cyclists looking to maximize their experience of travelling through the Cambodian countryside. A guide can provide valuable information about local customs, culture, food and popular points of interest. They can also secure accommodations ahead of time and provide directions as needed

Advice on Choosing the Right Bike

Choosing the appropriate type of bicycle is vital for any long-distance cycling trip. Bikes should be chosen according to the terrain they will be riding on; those who opt for mountain bikes should bear in mind that roads in Cambodia may not be well-maintained in certain areas. It’s also important to consider comfort when picking out your bike; be sure to test ride before investing in any model.

Rusty old bicycle with hanging plastic pockets of food and box against city seashore, Cambodia

Finding Local Food and Drink

Visitors will quickly find that Cambodian cuisine is incredibly varied, with local delicacies offering tantalizing flavours that should not be missed. Enjoy the warmth of freshly-picked durians during summertime or sip on some exotic juices for refreshment on your travels. Smaller villages may not have supermarkets or convenience stores; however, eateries catering to locals are often available where tourists can sample their different offerings.

Cycling Routes Through the Cambodian Countryside

Cambodia offers an array of amazing scenery for cyclists to explore – dusty dirt trails through jungles or tracks traversing river banks – providing quite the challenge as well as a satisfying reward from conquering these routes. Travellers can also use websites such as ‘Find Cycling Tracks’ that provide mapped biking trails which you can follow.

Ideal Time of Year to Visit Cambodia by Bike

Cambodia’s weather follows two distinct seasons: wet and dry. The dry season runs from late October to April; temperatures remain relatively constant throughout this time. However, temperatures rise significantly from May through September when the wet season begins; bicycle tours should generally avoid this period unless necessary.

Exploring Cambodia by bicycle is an adventure that should not be missed – unforgettable sights, insight into local culture, as well as physical exercise all make it essential for enthusiasts around the world. With the right preparation and safety precautions, visitors can indulge their sense of wanderlust with a unique experience that could stay carved in their minds for many years to come.

Travelling ethically and responsibly

GVI offers immersive cultural programs in Siem Reap, where you get the chance to not only experience adventurous activities like cycling but also make an ethical impact in the communities in Cambodia. Keen to explore your options? Take a look at a selection of inspiring community development volunteering and internship programs here.

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