There is no doubt that Angkor Wat is a must-see for anyone visiting Cambodia. In fact, Cambodians are so proud of this ancient UNESCO World Heritage site that it even features on their country’s flag! For many tourists, the Angkor Archeological Park can be daunting. Which temples should you visit, and in what order? Where do you go to first? How can you avoid the crowds? Discover 3 ways to bike Angkor Wat.
Of course, our very first recommendation is to experience the temples by bicycle. Exploring these incredible sites by bike allows you the freedom to travel on hidden pathways through the jungle, visiting both the main temples and the secret ruins few tourists bother to see. This could be done independently, but on a guided trip you have all the historical knowledge, intriguing facts and the best routes provided by an expertly trained guide. Grasshopper Adventures offers three distinct and unique options for your Angkor Wat cycling tour, that can be chosen individually or combined, for a more in-depth exploration.
Read on and you’re guaranteed an unforgettable visit to this magical park.
Watching the sun rise over the five towers of Angkor Wat is an iconic, and often once-in-a-lifetime, experience. This tour features a hotel pickup and van transfer outside of the temple, so your early morning doesn’t have to be that early. With an intimate group of only 2-6 participants, you’ll wait in eager anticipation from a quiet spot outside of the temple walls for the sun to appear.
Once you’ve snapped some photos and the crowds of tourists have dispersed, you will head over the moat into the temple for a tour of this incredible structure in the glowing morning light. It is hard to believe when you see the sophistication of the temple’s architecture and the intricacy of its carvings that this sacred place was constructed nearly a thousand years ago! This is the perfect setting to learn all about the significance of what you are seeing as you make your way through the temple grounds.
Just as your stomach starts to grumble, you’ll make your way to a serene and private breakfast stop in the jungle for a delicious spread, prepared by our own chef, that includes everything from locally-grown coffee to yogurt and muesli, toast and peanut butter, or eggs made to order! From here the cycling begins, and it’s immediately a lot of fun as you pedal dirt tracks through the jungle and hear birds chirping, cicadas whistling, and plenty of other lively jungle sounds.
Full van support is on-hand all day in case you need a break from the riding, a special premium feature of this classic tour. With your friendly expert guide in the lead, you’ll pedal the jungles of this mystical park through small villages to visit the temples. After exploring the famous Bayon and Ta Prohm temples, you’ll be grateful to jump back on the bike and leave the tourist crowds behind as you cycle into the forest.
After an exciting morning cycling and visiting various ruins scattered throughout the jungle, you’ll arrive at the peaceful Sra Srang reservoir ready to eat. The second meal of this tour is a tasty local lunch with a wonderful view. With a fantastic day of exploration behind you, you’ll transfer out of the park by van just as the heat sets in, so you have your afternoon free to relax by the pool or explore town. What a special day at Angkor Wat!
For those just as excited about the cycling as the temple-hopping, this tour provides a great ride and a more comprehensive visit of the Angkor Archeological Park. Cycling along the Siem Reap river through town offers a good warm-up for the legs as you head towards the park on two wheels.
You’ll start with a walk around the main temple, Angkor Wat, with an extremely knowledgeable guide in order to better understand the masterpiece you are looking at and how it came to be. Imagine yourself back in the time of ancient Angkorian kings and their grand empire as you wander these sacred halls…
Pedal past the tour buses and tuk-tuks into the Angkor Thom area, where you’ll diverge from the well-traveled path and hit the narrow jungle tracks where your group of up to 10 cyclists will likely only be accompanied by birds and bugs. Check out the many faces of Bayon and then explore the grand Elephant Terrace while your appetite grows.
Following a hearty lunch, you’ll walk through Ta Prohm temple, famous for the many trees that have grown into the building’s stones over the centuries. You may have to compete for a photo by the famous Tomb Raider background! Once you’ve completed this small circuit tour of the temples, you’ll ride back into town on an interesting back-route of red dirt roads and small paths.
For those who have explored the temples to their heart's content, here is an opportunity to see a different side of the Angkor Archeological Park. This tour complements the other two options, so it is ideal to pair with them over a two-day visit. It offers a unique ride through Siem Reap past local villages and farmlands into the beautiful countryside surrounding the temples at a quieter time of day.
Following your pleasant dusk cycle, we’ll board a Dragon boat for a cruise down the moat of Angkor Thom at sunset. Taking in the silhouettes of the ancient ruins at twilight gives them a completely new feeling, more mystical and mysterious than they may have looked during the daytime.
Once the park has officially closed, tourists are all long gone and you can enjoy cooler temperatures in the light of dusk as you pedal the park trails before boarding the boat for a relaxing finish to the day. You’ll have the unique chance to enjoy refreshments and snacks as you look out at the now-still facade of the park that seemed so different in your previous explorations.
It is not just the temple of Bayon that features many faces - Angkor Archeological park itself is a multi-faceted wonder that often takes a few days and modes of exploration to fully appreciate. Whether you take in the morning light over Angkor as you rub the last traces of sleep from your eyes, or you cycle the small circuit of must-see temples or pedal around the park in the tranquil quiet of twilight, your two-wheeled exploration is guaranteed to be a highlight of your time in Cambodia.