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Cycling from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh

  • natsjh

    Joined Travelfish
    7th June, 2013
    Location Singapore
    Posts: 4

    Hi does anyone know if it is possible to rent a mountain bike from Siem Reap and return it to Phnom Penh? I have a few more days in Cambodia now and was thinking I could spend them by cycling down there... (however will be there 1st week of August so may not be feasable because of the weather anyway!)

    #1 Posted: 7/6/2013 - 01:20

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  • Duxnuts

    Joined Travelfish
    1st July, 2013
    Posts: 10

    There are bike hire places in Siem Reap but I don't know if they will let you ride to Phnom Penh. You could maybe do what I did, I bought a Motorbike to ride around Cambodia and then sold it again when I was finished. Only lost about $150 on it for 6 weeks riding.

    Just a word of caution though, the trip from SR to PP is about 350km and the road can be pretty terrible and the drivers will not even notice you. There also aren't many nice places to stay at along the way. I had to stay in Kampong Thom, was not the best place I have ever stayed in and that is basically right in the middle of your trip.

    If will be awesome if you do it but it is not just a simple ride down the highway is all I'm saying.

    #2 Posted: 1/7/2013 - 03:19

  • natsjh

    Joined Travelfish
    7th June, 2013
    Location Singapore
    Posts: 4

    Thanks for the reply!

    I'll have a look around when I get there, as think the only option will be to buy a bike and the sell it when I get to PP. I've done abit of research and found several blogs which give pretty good info on the distance and also accomodation recommendations along the way- I don't mind 'roughing' it so to speak for a few days, and plan to chill out afterwards in Koh Rang - afterall finding accomodation will be half the adventure! Anyway will see how the weather and roads are when I get there as may be too rainy, not sure I fancy it if the roads are no good!

    #3 Posted: 1/7/2013 - 03:44

  • Duxnuts

    Joined Travelfish
    1st July, 2013
    Posts: 10

    Excellent! If you don't mind roughing it a bit then you will love it. There are lots of gas stations and pubs along the way to buy water and food. The road isn't too bad but you will be doing a decent portion of the trip on the dirt on the side of the road is all. There are lots of temples and nice little 'spots' down dirt roads off the highway too, can't recommend the trip enough. When are you going? I went in November and it didn't rain too much. Any earlier though and it could get pretty wet..

    #4 Posted: 1/7/2013 - 03:59

  • natsjh

    Joined Travelfish
    7th June, 2013
    Location Singapore
    Posts: 4

    I'm going at the start of August (only time I could get off work) so am thinking its not really going to be the best of time to be riding a bike! Will make the decision when I arrive, and if there has been alot of rain I'll simply bus it to PP and spend the extra days going somewhere else. I'm there for 2 weeks and pretty open about the iteneray, will probably just wing it when I get there! I'm so excited I can't wait - one month today!

    #5 Posted: 1/7/2013 - 04:24

  • Snookieboi

    Click here to learn more about Snookieboi
    Joined Travelfish
    14th April, 2013
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 61

    Not reccomended if you value your life. Cambodian drivers are terrible. You have been warned.

    #6 Posted: 1/7/2013 - 06:21

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6037
    Total reviews: 10

    Snookie - if you want to be safe, stay in Europe or the US or Australia... one of those kind of controlled places. Nothing is as safe here as it is there. You know that.

    #7 Posted: 1/7/2013 - 11:58

  • Nisseyaklom

    Joined Travelfish
    2nd December, 2007
    Posts: 35

    August is an excellent month for travel around Cambodia, start early morning and try to reach your destination early afternoon, less risk of rain. About 30 km south of Kampong Thom you cross a bridge and the main road turns right after the bridge, go straight and that road goes to Kampong Cham, small paved road with hardly any traffic, about 40 km in to that road there is a town (sort of) where you can spend the night in a very basic guest house.

    #8 Posted: 1/7/2013 - 20:30

  • Duxnuts

    Joined Travelfish
    1st July, 2013
    Posts: 10

    I rode around all of Cambodia, albeit on a Motorbike, and never had any problems. Sure, you have to be careful but so long as you look out for yourself it is fine. I broke down in the nature reserve at Bokor mountain and some locals helped me push my bike for 20mins to get it fixed! Dropped my phone out of a tuk-tuk in peak hour traffic and a random guy on a scooter came and gave it back to me!

    I love Cambodia, the people are get. Nothing in SEA is as 'safe' as western countries but that is why it's an adventure! I would vote to do the ride but if you decide not to don't take the bus from SR to PP. There is a ferry, it costs more but it is a much better way to travel because you get to see some of the riverside villages etc.

    #9 Posted: 1/7/2013 - 23:03

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6037
    Total reviews: 10

    Duxnuts - I'm with you man.

    I had this old, beat up Virago, heavy thing. 400ccs trying to move too much weight. I broke down on a side road at ten at night going back to the village where I have my farm. Dark, lonely road. House was ten km away. Two village kids about 18 or 19 riding tandem on a crappy little old Honda wave stopped to help me out. They pushed my bike with that Honda wave 10 km! They didn't want to do that, but they helped me out anyway. When we got to the house I was so grateful I gave them both 200 baht and brought them in for some food and drink. They were rough kids, but they did help me out when I needed it. I run into people like that all the time here.

    Another time I stupidly left my card in the ATM. This guy comes running after me, card in hand! And he was not some rich guy. I could tell from his dress, he was a working class kind of guy (as in contruction or something). Hands me the card and when I tried to give him some money to reward him for helping me out, he refused it.

    There are plenty of good people out here too. Everyone isn't trying to rip you off.

    #10 Posted: 2/7/2013 - 00:13

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  • natsjh

    Joined Travelfish
    7th June, 2013
    Location Singapore
    Posts: 4

    Thanks guys! Great to hear the nice stories about how helpful the people were to you, I'm sure majority of the locals will be friendly and helpful and as in any country there will be the odd few that are not so, and as you say as long as you are careful and don't take any silly risks all should be fine.

    Thanks Dux - will def opt for the boat if the cycling doesn't work out - I am now super keen to do it, and just hope I can find a bike - any recomendations on the best place to look for one? - newspaper or go to a bike shop? I can probably ask around the hostels there also.

    Nisseyaklom good advice about setting of early, and thanks for the accomodation advice - had a look on the map and that seems like an alternative route to PP than I had been looking at - was going to follow highway 6 all the way down, but see how the roads are (if its been raining might be better for me to stick to the main one).

    #11 Posted: 2/7/2013 - 00:42

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