Biking in Angkor


Member Rating 4 out of 5 by nyc_camy on April 24, 2004

I started out from Ta Keo Guest house on the road near National HW 6 (near Chenla Guest house).

I have not biked in 4 years and even back 4 years ago, I was just a wobbly beginner. Today I rented a bike for a $1/day and gathered my courage and off I headed towards the Land Mine Museum, set up by Aki Ra.

Map in hand, I pedaled. I was really scared at first of the cars, the motos, and other bikers, but I pedaled slowly and eventually I got to my destination. On the way there, there were paved roads, semi-paved (bumpy), pebble roads, sand roads and dirt roads. My butt really took a hit on the pebble roads. Dirt roads are okay as long as there are no pebbles.

It took me about an hour to get there, while a moto would probably take 15 minutes. But along the way, there were quite a few Cambodian bikers who kept on looking at me curiously (I am Chinese, so I am a lot paler compared to Cambodians). Every time I saw them, I smiled, and I truly enjoy getting in return their sheepish and genuine smile.

I felt sort of a camaraderie with all bikers. After I got to the Land Mine Museum, I spent about 45 minutes looking at real land mines! Wow... I never knew there were so many kinds!

After looking at the metal pieces and reading some of Aki Ra's stories, I left for a sunset at Angkor Wat. At first, I thought I could just use the dirt road and do a shortcut. So I rode on past the zoo, and into the villages. There, I waved and smiled at all the Cambodians sitting in their huts. So many cute little kids!

I got to a dead end, and an old Cambodian lady, who obviously did not speak English, directed me to go another way. She was a friendly grandma without teeth. She did not quite have a teeth-showing smile.

Then I headed towards Angkor Wat using the larger car road (semi-paved). After getting there, because I was afraid of having my bike stolen, I sat near the lake and enjoyed the sunset.

I decided that since it was the end of my third day pass, I would go to see Bayon again. On the map, it looked really close, but... actually it wasn't! I had to go past Phnom Bakheng (another good place for sunset - and you can see Angkor Wat pretty clearly) and go into Angkor Thom via the North Gate. I pedaled, and by this time, my ass really hurt! But I went on and I rode around Bayon once, and realized that Lonely Planet had been right. Bayon was better in the morning.

I headed back to the guest house and finally got back in about an hour. All in all, it was a great experience - although my ass did hurt for three days after that.

Angkor Thom
Siem Reap
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

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