Want to get to the heart of Cambodia’s rural and cultural life? Take to the road!
In addition to its vital waterways, the life of Cambodia is lived along its ever-improving network of roads. For comfort, air-conditioned cabs may be king, but those who favour active travel will be rewarded for their efforts with a slice of gorgeous countryside and scenes of everyday life unfolding as they have done for generations, from the saddle.
Whether it’s a day’s leisurely pedalling around UNESCO Heritage sites or weeks-long full-throttle dirt bike rides down “Death Highway” and into the mountains of Cambodia’s wild east that takes your fancy, the sky’s the limit when it comes to motions with memories to last.
How to go full tilt in Cambodia
Most outfits operate out of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, but offer tours elsewhere throughout the country. The companies below were chosen for their rave reviews and years of experience.
Cambodia is fast becoming a top cycling destination. With road conditions on the up and up, there’s never been a better time to take in Cambodia on two wheels.
From their popular half day sunrise over Angkor Wat tour to their 14 day “Karma” excursion through the cultural heartlands of the Kingdom, spirited and sagely staff will hop to it to ensure tours are personal and positive in their impact.
Blaze a trail with one of the first companies to organise cycle tours in Southeast Asia. 1 day tours include off the beaten track destinations like Kirirom National Park and Oudong, while longer “Wilds” and “Adventure” tours take in Cambodia’s greatest hits- and then some.
Metamorphosing the country’s cycle touring scene, this student initiative offers peddallers the chance to encounter local Cambodian life the in lush and tranquil countryside of Siem Reap, Battambang and Kampot at a pace to suit them away from the amassing crowds.
Over a decade of expertise from Cambodia and Germany goes into making spectacular on and offroad adventures on the Kingdom’s dirt roads and jungle trails, taking riders through the glory of the Angkor, all the way to Kratie along the Mekong and everything in between.
From day-long “Beginners Luck” around Siem Reap to full-on extreme “Over the Top” endurance rides over daring bridges and slippery forest trails through the Cardamon Mountains in 11 days, if it’s high octane dirt bike riding you want, look no further.
Offering more than moto-bound tours, the company was established in 2001 and operate year-round, tours on dirt bikes to see hidden gems strewn around Siem Reap, such as Kampong Khleang fishing village, the ‘Temple in the Sky’ and the sacred mountain of Phnom Kulen.
Locals make it look like the easiest thing in the world but learning how to ride a motorcycle here is not recommended due to laissez faire attitudes towards traffic rules. If you’re determined to take to the road for the first time, some outfits will show you the ropes- enquire before booking.
Be sure that your travel and/or health insurance will cover you – some insurers may consider dirt-biking to be a high-risk activity and a significant number will not cover you if you’re on the roads without a Cambodian driving license.
Seasons have a huge role to play when it come to riding in Cambodia. While comfy saddles, suspension and heavy-duty tyres help mitigate uneven surfaces, squelchy mud and skid-provoking sand, the weather can wreak havoc with road conditions, visibility and enjoyment so think carefully before booking in wet season (May-November) or you may be in for more adventure than you bargained for.