Updated April 19th, 2018.
Cambodia is an amazing country for a two-wheeled adventure! From the craziness of the Phnom Penh tranquillity of the rural areas, Cambodia is easy to fall in love with. The days are long, the country is hot and the people are incredibly friendly. From the constant and random “HELLO!” (Susaday in Khmer) from children at the side of the road to the Community Development programs set up by the truly selfless and unsung heroes of this world. Travelling Cambodia by bike is an incredible adventure!
Cambodia Cycling Tour – 7-Day Itinerary
Day 1: Siem Reap
Arrival day and welcome dinner
We arrive and stay in the heart of the cosmopolitan lifestyle that has been thrust on Siem Reap since the country opened up to the outside world not so many years ago. Tourism is opening new markets, opportunities, revenue streams and challenges for the local area. After we pick you up from the airport and take you to your hotel, we take some time to relax or explore the city before we meet for a welcome dinner with the rest of the group. Dinner is at one of Siem Reap’s best restaurants, Marum. It’s part of the Friends International social enterprise projects, providing vocational training for marginalized youth.
Day 2: Siem Reap
Sunrise cycling around the temples of Angkor
Sunrise is from 4.30am as we hit the bikes for the first time. An early start – but it is so worth it! Seeing the sunrise over Angkor Wat is a bucket list achievement for good reason. From here we’ll venture on to other, and arguably more impressive, temples in the area for the remainder of the morning. In the early afternoon, we’ll have the chance to visit our first NGO of the trip. We’ll spend some time with these incredibly inspirational people that have dedicated their lives to helping others. Hear their stories and understand what the real issues of the country are.
Day 3: Siem Reap to Battambang
River riding, local villages and coffee stops
Travelling across the wetlands and navigating our way around Tonle Sap river is an experience you will never forget. The road soon turns to single track as we get more and more remote into the countryside. We farewell our support van for a little while and venture on into the rural and barren lands of Cambodia.
A few villages exist out here, supporting themselves through sustainable fishing methods via the river. The track can only go so far, as we arrange a long tail boat ride for you and take the bikes a further 16km into the wetlands. When we come out the other side, we cross another 18km of dirt road before eventually arriving into Battambang.
Battambang is a common favourite on the trip. Packed with cafes proudly displaying local art, the town is considered an emergence of young talent in a field that was virtually wiped out by the Khmer Rouge. Battambang is also great for shopping, with colonial style streets and hidden secrets where bric-a-brac abounds. Dinner is in another social enterprise based restaurant with some of the best food in Cambodia!
Day 4: Battambang to Pursat
Adventure cycling, red dirt & Sustainable Cambodia
After an early breakfast, we’ll make our way along the dusty red back roads. We’ll get to the town of Pursat by early afternoon and into our hotel to enjoy the swimming pool and on-site massage spa. We’ll then meet with the amazing NGO, Sustainable Cambodia. We’ll receive a full presentation by the executives in their office and a tour of their facilities. Shortly after we will be guided to see their projects in action. See the difference the NGO makes first hand and be inspired by these people making a difference.
Day 5: Pursat to Phnom Penh
Cycling into Phnom Penh, Tonle Sap and riverside villages
Today, we will be cycling 75km to Phnom Penh along some amazing back roads. The back roads bring in some of the most spectacular scenery in the country as we pass through villages living right on Tonle Sap lake. The ride takes in great coffee stops, endless photo opportunities and a couple of ferries. It’s almost entirely on back streets with minimal traffic. The final 2km within the heart of the city can be transferred via van as an option.
For dinner, it’s a feast of tarantula’s and silk works at the famous Romdeng restaurant, a social enterprise restaurant from the Friends International team.
Day 6: Phnom Penh
Friends International, S-21 genocide museum and Khmer BBQ
We’ll start the day by meeting the incredible people at Friends International and learning about all the wonderful work they do within the community and how they’re spreading their strategies across the world. This is a great insight into REAL local everyday issues, from real local everyday heroes.
From the office, we venture towards the interesting Russian market and then move to Tuol Sleng, also known as S-21 Genocide Museum. This devastating chapter of the Khmer Rouge and Cambodian history is emotionally challenging but strongly recommended in order to understand the country in which we travel. There is some free time in the afternoon to process your day, whilst we’ll meet again for a local Khmer BBQ dinner.
Day 7: Phnom Penh
Time to say goodbye
All good things must come to an end! We’ll help you get your way to the airport, or assist in your travel plans any way we can. Enjoy your breakfast, squeeze in one more massage or just find a great cafe to watch the world go by before your onward destination!