Siem Reap is a small city which serves as Cambodia’s gate to the world due to its strategic location near Angkor Archaeological Park, which contains well-known temples such as Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm. The entire Angkor complex is comfortably accessible from Siem Reap by various means of transportation. You can take a tuk-tuk (which most tourists do), drive a car, or ride a bicycle to get to the temples from the city. When I was in Siem Reap, I chose the later as my means of transportation, mainly because it is so cheap (typically, bikes can be rented for USD 1/day) and also I love cycling a lot (the last time I rode a bicycle was in June 2011).
Angkor Wat is approximately 8 km away from Siem Reap, so going back and forth by bicycle means you will have to go 16 km or so. In the meantime, the entire Angkor complex itself offers a great experience for bicycle-riding visitors. There are two most famous tracks to go around the complex. The first is called the Small Circuit, which covers well-known temples, such as Angkor Wat, Bayon (and the Angkor Thom) and Ta Prohm. While the other one is called the Grand Circuit, which covers other sites on the outer rim of the Angkor complex (yes, it means greater distance).
I decided to take the Small Circuit even though the word ‘small’ here is not supposed to be underestimated. Approximately (according to my own calculation and estimation) the Small Circuit’s perimeter is about 15 to 20 km. So, going from Siem Reap and taking the Small Circuit means you will likely cover a total of 30 km or so in distance. Under the scorching sunlight (fortunately some areas are very leafy), 30 km is not that easy to go (or does that mean that I need to work out more?). However, circling the complex in the Small Circuit was truly an enoyable experience for me. I went clockwise from Angkor Wat, therefore my route was: Angkor Wat – Gate of Angkor Thom – Bayon – Small temples east of Bayon – Ta Keo Temple – Ta Prohm – Angkor Wat again. You can go to the opposite direction anyway.
After going around the Small Circuit and exploring all the temples which I found along the way, I rode back to Siem Reap and spent the night in the city. Night Market is the place to go if you want to buy some nice stuffs. Go to any street nearby afterwards, where you can find lots of restaurants serving Khmer foods as well as Western delicacies. Then you will call it a wrap to the day!
Related Posts: Angkor Wat: The Khmer Jewel and Pride, The Enigmatic Faces of Bayon, Ta Promh: A Temple Amidst The Woods
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i just wanted to tell you that i love your blog so much! i found you on freshly pressed and have since subscribed and looked through your archives. I have so much wanderlust, I hope to someday get to do what you are doing! 🙂 thank you so much for sharing your adventures!!!
Thank you and I’m really glad that you like my blog 🙂
What a majestic place! Want to go there Bam (alone like you!) hehehe…
I like the roots on the temple… so sophisticated!
Hey, you don’t remembered bicycling with me last month?? 😦
Ha! Short-term memory loss!!! I stand corrected then. My last time was in July 🙂
-Dory a.k.a. Bama-
wow this is amazing i would love to go
Enjoyed your blog.. would love travel like you do once:)
What a brilliant idea to cycle around the Angkor Park, I love riding bikes too! It sounds exhausting but I’m sure you had a really unique experience by doing it. I’m currently planning a trip around SE Asia, so when I make it to Siem Reap I’ll definitely be checking out hiring a bike to explore further.
Hi Tali! It was truly a great experience exploring the Angkor Park by bike. I could set my own pace, stop at anytime and anyplace I wanted, and feel the serenity of the entire place. Once the motorized tuktuks and tourists-loaded buses were away, it was so tranquil and peaceful. Occasionally I met locals doing their daily routines along the way. I rented the bike from the place where I stayed for merely US$ 1 per day. It won’t hurt to check if they have lock that comes with the bike so that you would feel safer leaving your bike outside the temples. I didn’t have any lock though and no one stole my bike. 🙂
Reblogged this on Just Go Places.
Reblogged this on Siem Reap Life and commented:
Great blog about Siem Reap and Angkor Wat