3 Days of Biking Around the Angkor Complex

by - 5:39 AM

One of the most incredible experiences I have had during my South East Asian backpacking trip was to bike around the Angkor Complex for three days, I didn't have a clue that it's really huge and that it will take me days to visit all of the temples.

I rented a bicycle for only 1$ a day. I can take the bicycle wherever I want to as long as it will still look like a bicycle after I return it. The sights around the Angkor Wat got me excited and made me paddle my bike more longer than i thought I could. My legs felt like jelly after 3 days of biking but it was totally a rewarding and priceless experience.

You can ask your friendly hotel staff for a free map.

1st Day 

The gateway of the Angkor Complex is the famous Angkor Wat - the largest Hindu temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world, it took me around 45 mins to bike my way there from the town of Siem Reap.

A lady approached me outside the Angkor Wat and offered a spot where I can leave my bike, she promised she will look after it in an exchange of buying a drink from her. A can of Coke costs me ($5) 20.000 Riel! It was a major rip off but I didn't mind the price because I was too excited to enter the Angkor Wat. I was shocked when two more girls came to me and forced me buy a hat which costs around $25. I felt harassed and really annoyed so I scrammed and ignored them. Luckily they didn't do anything crazy with my bike. 

The temples are picture perfect, you don't need any photography tricks to get a good shot.  I think I took tons of pictures in Angkor Wat alone. They said visiting the temples are best enjoyed at sunset, when there are not too many tourists around to spoil the spell and when the sun rays give a dramatic effect on the temples.

I got dizzy coz I was unprepared, I was hungry and was not prepared for the extreme heat so I decided to call it a day and got a good rest for my 2nd day.

2nd Day

Bottled Water, Sunscreen, Towel, Ipod, Camera, Bike - all set! On my third day around the tempes I bought an ice cream for only a dollar and ask the vendor to look after my bike. I already knew the trick, Its not like I've been scammed with huge money but we need to avoid unnecessary expenses here and there.

I got a chance to study the map and got a better idea on which route I should take and what are the temples I wanna visit. I visited Angkor Thom, Bayon, Phrea Khan and other amazing structures. Just like the first day it was really hot and sunny and the road is really dusty, good thing I got a good rest and was prepared enough.

I found some monkeys roaming around the temples! 

Awe-inspiring views of rice paddy countryside, lakes and temples will keep your eyes distracted. Stay focused and keep your eyes on the road for safety! 

I went back to Angkor wat and stayed there longer. I didn't know what he was chanting while putting the bracelet but I hope it's a good luck charm for love or money lol.

I invited my new friend to join me and had an amazing time with him. We were like kids, we sang crazy songs while biking, we got so caught up that he didn't notice a small bump on the road and you know what happened next. He got some minor scratches but was good enough to continue biking. 

3rd Day

I was really exhausted but the thought of witnessing more spectacular things pushed me forward. I woke up early and planned to be back at the hotel before 10am to avoid the heat of the sun. Again I was wrong, there are around 5 more temples to visit and the road going to the famous Angelina Jolie Tree in Ta Prohm was really far, around 15km I think. 

The famous Angelina Jolie tree, probably the 2nd most photographed spot in Siem Reap. You need to get in line to get a picture with this celebrity.

Tips and Suggestions

-Want a bird's-eye view of the magnificent Angkor temples? try the Hot-air balloon ride for only $15 p/adult, children under 12 US $7.50. 

-Bring enough water, aside from getting dehydrated the refreshments sold around the complex are overpriced.

-Bring extra clothes for changing, because you will no doubt sweat like you never have before. 

-Do not buy your souvenirs around the Complex as it is more pricey. You can find the cheaper ones in Siem Reap.

-Angkor Wat lies 5.5 kilometers north of Siem Reap, If you think you are not fit enough to ride a bike then catching a Tuk-tuk is your best alternative.

-You get access to all of the Angkor temples by buying the pass, the prices are: 1 day - $20, 3 days - $40, 7 days - $60. The temple passes must be used on consecutive days. 

Lesson learned: If you’re too tired to pedal and still have 15 kilometers more to go, you’re going to start ignoring the temples and start focusing on how to survive the day. Biking around the complex was physically challenging. My butt felt like hell and I probably wont be riding a bike for the next 10 years.

No words can express the fascination I felt when seeing my childhood dream come alive. I wanna post tons of beautiful pictures here but the space won't be enough. You can check out more pictures of my Angkor Wat Trip here: Siem Reap/Angkor Wat, Cambodia or watch out for my upcoming posts.

Breakaway! :)

Jan Ashlee

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