Riding in Cambodia


Photo by Kampu Villa

Last month I flew to Cambodia for some R&R and visa-related purposes. It was my first time there and so I didn’t know what to expect from the food, customs, language barriers, etc. The other countries in Asia I’ve been to were all former British colonies, so it was easy to fit right in, but Cambodia was a part of the French colonies. As much as I’d like to think I can speak enough French to get around, going to Paris a few months ago set me straight.

However, English is also prominent in Cambodia, so again, I didn’t have any problems. It was very strange to be using US dollars in Asia, though. Mostly you use $1’s and $5’s except for pricier restaurants, and if a bill is ripped or too crumpled up you can’t use it, because no one would take it. There is Cambodian currency, but it’s 4000 riel to one dollar. Hence, that’s used as change.

Cambodia was like Malaysia in the way that the people were always friendly, traffic was hectic and the food was good. The differences being the food was not spicy, the traffic wasn’t from cars but rather tuk-tuks and motorbikes, and it was quiet. I mean, downtown Siem Reap was noisy, but outside of town it was so quiet. This is something I’ve been missing in Malaysia, with the honking, calls to prayer and angry Chinese lady yelling.

While in Siem Reap I decided to do a bike tour, at the suggestion of my lodging’s owner. There were a few choices, such as a sunrise at Angkor Wat and a full day of riding around the temples, but I opted for a countryside tour given I was seeing the temples the following day. The ride itself was a couple of hours but we left at 8 and got back after noon. We rode a mix of paved and dirt roads, singletrack and a stretch of flooded roads that were better to ride through than walk due to the mud. I almost lost a shoe. We stopped at a few places so the guides could tell us more; a market, couple of farmer’s houses and a stall that sold fried bananas, which is probably my favorite.

If you ever get the opportunity to visit Cambodia, do it, even if it’s the only country you go to in Asia.

Here are a couple of photos from the trip.


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One Response to “ Riding in Cambodia ”

  1. Brian w on December 11, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Welcome to the Kingdom of Wonder. It is a great place to ride.


    December 2023
    M T W T F S S


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