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Cycling Cambodia Tour: 9-Day Itinerary from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh

An unforgettable 9-Day Cambodia Cycling Tour from the heart of the former Khmer Kingdom of Angkor, through the capital Phnom Penh, to the charming coastal towns of Kep and Kampot. Experience all of Cambodia's highlights from north to south and immerse yourself in the rich culture, history and warm smiles of ‘The Kingdom of Wonder’.

HIGHLIGHTS

Various activities on sites

  • Cycling through dense jungles of the magnificent temples of Angkor
  • Pedaling through villages and to important landmarks.  
  • Experience Cambodia’s contrasts of old and new with an adventurous bike ride from the buzzing capital to the sleepy coast.
  • Bike along Kampot’s riverside to the town’s outskirts to explore pepper plantations, caves and mountains.  

Unforgettable moments

  • Have a delicious, traditional and homemade Khmer dinner in a locals’ home for an authentic experience.
  • See the Angkor Temples and the bustling street life in Phnom Penh from a different perspective
  • Visit the 'Killing Fields' of Choeung Ek which are a gruesome reminder of life under the Khmer Rouge
  • Explore the southern coastal towns of Kep and Kampot

Nature exploration

  • The beauty of the hidden temples of the ancient city of Siem Reap
  • The amazing and peaceful scenery of the countryside of Cambodia
  • The magical beauty of the forested mountains, waterfalls and hills

Culture experience

  • Learn about Khmer history through tours that explore the glorious ancient Khmer empire
  • Learn about Khmer cuisine while enjoying good food in Cambodia
  • Experience local culture & the life of Cambodian people

Map

Detailed schedule

Day 1 - Welcome to Siem Reap

Welcome to Siem Reap, the gem of Cambodia known for its charming small city and the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat. We’ll meet today after lunch at 2:30 pm in our hotel for a quick bike fitting and our inaugural ride through the countryside. Our ride takes us out to the flat, red dirt roads of the Siem Reap countryside, where we’ll cycle past bright green rice paddies and through small villages. You are sure to receive a wave, enthusiastic greetings, and a genuine smile from local children or townspeople. At the end of the ride, we’ll enjoy our first traditional Khmer meal together at a village home. This is a foodies’ dream and always delicious, you will not find more authentic Khmer cuisine and you get to dive right in on your first night!

Notes

Riding: 10km

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Day 2 - Cycle the temples

Rise and shine! We’ll make our way in darkness to Angkor National Park for the mystical experience of witnessing the sunrise over Angkor Wat. If we’re lucky, the brilliant pinks and oranges of the sky will illuminate the towers of the main temple spectacularly. Once the sun is in the sky and the crowds of tourists have dispersed, we’ll make our way through the Angkor Wat temple complex by foot and on two wheels, stopping along the way for a private breakfast. We’ll cycle hidden dirt tracks through the jungle of this national park to well-known temples such as Bayon and Ta Prohm, as well as some lesser known structures. After some time to rest from the day’s excursion in the afternoon, we’ll make our way to a show put on by the Phare Circus. This talented troupe of acrobatic performers always put on an entertaining show, complete with impressive stunts and an interesting backstory.

Notes

Riding: 35km

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Day 3 - Cycle to Banteay Srei - Kbal Spean & ACCB

This morning we’ll set off on our bikes to the Woman’s Temple, Banteay Srei. This 10th-century place of worship is known for the intricate carvings found in its ruins, and the ride out of town to this remote structure will provide an interesting day of cycling. Once we’ve explored the temple’s grounds, we'll take a look at Kbal Spean and it's ancient carvings etched out of the riverbed. The waterway is referred to as the 'River of a thousand Lingas' and the water is said to be made holy as it passes over these sacred artworks.
Following our river trek, we'll ride to the nearby ACCB Wildlife Conservation Centre and tour the facility. Here we'll see enormous birds, cheeky langur monkeys, gibbons and more, and you can often hear hornbills overhead. After a full day of exploring we'll spare your legs from the long return journey with a transfer back into town.

Notes

Riding: 60km

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Day 4 - Siem Reap - flight to Phnom Penh

This morning we’ll hop on a plane for a short ride to Cambodia’s capital: Phnom Penh. 
Welcome to Phnom Penh! Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh sits at the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers, and was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Orient. Despite its recent, turbulent history, it still retains much of its former colonial charm. Wide, tree-lined boulevards and colonial-era buildings reflect the city’s glory days and add to its allure, where Asian and Western traditions meet in a fascinating way.
Before the tour begins, enjoy lunch along the riverfront. After lunch, begin a short tour of the city via Cyclo, a favoured mode of transport in Phnom Penh.
Begin the tour with a visit to the 19th century Royal Palace and its Silver Pagoda, named for the over 5,000 heavy silver tiles that cover its floors. The temple is renowned for its marvellous collection of Buddhas cast in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze.
The National Museum, next on the list, is not far from the Royal Palace. Built in traditional Khmer style, it houses the world's foremost collection of ancient Khmer artistic, archaeological, and religious artifacts from the 4th to the 13th centuries. Displayed in its halls are over 5,000 pieces of the Kingdom’s unique archaeological heritage. The National Museum is of interest not only for its contents, but also for safe housing thousands of bats living in its Khmer style roof.
Return to the hotel to relax after this afternoon’s tour. Dinner this evening will be served at Romdeng, an NGO restaurant where former street children are taught the principles of hospitality. The restaurant is located in a restored colonial building with an atmospheric garden right in the city center.

Notes

Cyclo Tour: 4 hours

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Day 5 - Phnom Penh - Takeo

Begin the day exploring Cambodia’s recent dark history on a visit to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. The audio headset guide provided is available in 15 different languages and gives some harrowing but informative stories from survivors and liberators of the camp. Visiting the fields is a grim, but important visit that provides unique insights into the current state of Cambodia.
After the visit, transfer on to a local temple and begin riding toward Tonle Bati, a recreation area where the Khmers like to spend their leisure time. The region also houses an Angkorian-style temple, which remains largely intact.
Continue the cycle on towards Phnom Chisor. Climb to the top of the mountain to explore the well-preserved ruins of a 10th century Angkorian temple. Enjoy an amazing view over the typical Cambodian countryside.
As the day wraps up, head in to Takeo, a small town that is truly Cambodian in every sense. Enjoy a simple but tasty dinner at a local restaurant. Observing the small city life is quite interesting, as basically anything beyond imagination happens here in terms of transportation, market life and business. Prepare for the hundreds of children shouting their “hellos” as the last few kilometres of the trip come to a close.

Notes

Transfer from Hotel to the Killing Fields:1 hour; Cycling distance up to 72km; Difficulty: Easy

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Day 6 - Takeo - Kep

After breakfast, transfer about one hour into the countryside for the day’s starting point. Start the tour heading towards Kep, Cambodia’s prestigious seaside resort of the 1960s, which is quickly returning to its former fame. The small town offers reminders of the country’s past and a growing choice of activities to choose from, including island trips, a national park visit, and the famous crab market.
Upon reaching the outskirts, keep an eye out for decaying 1960s villas and the royal residence, reminders of Kep’s heyday as a high society seaside retreat abandoned during the Khmer Rouge. After arriving at the hotel, enjoy some delicious seafood and a pleasant rest.
 

Notes

Transfer from hotel to starting point:1 hour; Cycling distance up to 60 km; Difficulty: Medium

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Day 7 - Kep - Kampot

Strike an easy pace today to cover the distance between Kep and Kampot. On the way, stop and visit one of the many pepper farms in this area. Kampot is known for its premium quality pepper that used to be essential for French chefs in the 1960s.
Rising up from the low lying plains of this area is the mountain of Phnom Chhnork. Inside this cave is a 7th century temple. After visiting, cycle a bit further to the Steung Keo River, and follow it along the dusty roads to Kampot proper. This charming riverside town with magnificent surroundings is still dominated by French colonial architecture and the people are very open and friendly.
This evening, take some time to stroll through town and choose one of the many local restaurants and have a drink at one of the charming riverside bars.

Notes

Cycling distance up to 45km; Difficulty: Easy

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Day 8 - Kampot - Bokor Mountain - Phnom Penh

Transfer this morning to the iconic Bokor Mountain, once an abandoned French hill station. Well known among locals and historians, it is home to several ruins from the French colonial days. Modern development is taking away from some of the historic parts of the park, but a fine view can be seen over the ocean and towards Vietnam amongst a cooler climate.
Begin cycling from the Yeay Mao statues toward the top of the mountain for about 11 kilometers. The destination at the top is a small waterfall, famous among the local population. Cool off a bit here before turning back once more for the best part of the day: the descent.
Turn back and enjoy a breezy way down to the Yeay Mao statues. For those who have good experience with technical descents, carry on another twenty-two kilometres to the bottom of Bokor.
After lunch at the bottom of the mountain, it’s time to transfer back to Phnom Penh

Notes

Transfer from Kampot to Yeay Mao 1 hour; Transfer from Bokor to Phnom Penh 4 hours; Cycling distance 22km/44km; Difficulty: Easy/Medium
 

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Day 9 - Phnom Penh - Departure

Take some time to enjoy Phnom Penh this morning. Guide and driver will be available to transfer to the airport for the departing flight.

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We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below our detailed tips & guide for every places to visit in Cambodia, recommendation regarding the inclusion in each theme you prefer, and what you can do based on the time frame you have.

PLACES TO VISIT IN Cambodia
Siem Reap
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Tonle Sap Lake
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One of the most fish abundant lakes in the world and supports 360 floating villages and thousands of waterbirds.

Phnom Penh
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Battambang
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Koh Rong Island
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Cambodia PLANS BY TRAVEL THEME
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Unique experience combined with top-notch services

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The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

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Explore every corners of the destination on two wheels

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Reveal off-the-beatentrack routes, least explored destinations, and unknown tribe groups

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Explore the least visited destinations and unknown experience on foot

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The combination of fun and educational activities

Cambodia PLANS BY TIME FRAME
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Cambodia BLOG ARTICLES

How long to spend in Cambodia may seem like a ridiculous question to address, but if you have plenty of time and aren’t sure how much to dedicate, this blog will definitely help you out. 

How long can you stay in Cambodia? 

Well, as long as you like! From 7 days to a month, there are various ways you can travel across Cambodia and uncover its secrets. Advising an ideal trip length for Cambodia is a bit of a complex challenge, as it depends on several factors such as the places you wish to visit, the activities you plan to join, or if you want to combine Cambodia with its neighbor countries. 

Stay tuned! We are going to sort all these things out including the step-by-step guide to create the best itinerary in Cambodia.

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After nearly two years of restricting international arrivals as part of Covid-19 prevention measures, Cambodia yesterday become the first country in Southeast Asia to drop the requirements for both pre-travel PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test and on-arrival rapid antigen test for fully vaccinated travellers into the Kingdom.

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Cambodia has abolished the need for a PCR negative test obtained 72 hours before arrival and rapid test upon arrival in Cambodia. They also enable to visa-on arrival system on the strike to facilitate the reopening process of the tourism sector as reported on March 17th, 2022.

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Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie, who is well known to Cambodians, has returned to the Kingdom for the first time since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020.

In the past, the American film star directed the film First They Killed My Father here after starring in Tomb Raider, released in 2001, which is considered the first international movie in modern times to introduce the wonder of Angkor Wat to a wider, western audience.

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The below article is written by Reece Ferguson from Khmer Night about the experience with a visit to Siem Reap recently in the "new normal". Check it out to know what to expect if you are planning to visit Cambodia in the "new normal" in 2022.

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Siem Reap has really gone through the wars lately, with lockdown’s and “Red Zones” seriously impacting the city. The lockdown is though now over, meaning this might well be your last chance to visit a truly empty Angkor Wat.

Every now and again you get a job-perk, so when Khmer Nights were invited to test out a new tourism app in Siem Reap, we jumped at the chance. Visiting the floating village on Tonle Sap and Angkor Wat were duly picked as our personal tour choices and we got ready to embark on a mini-adventure.

When the crisis is over, you need this guide to visit Angkor Wat without the crowds

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