The legend says French naturalist Henri Mouhot was catching butterflies in the Cambodgian jungle in 1859 and bumped into the temples of Angkor Wat (city of temples), a complex of temples twice as big as current Manhattan that had been abandoned for three centuries and invaded by nature. The story is appealing, although not exactly true, Angkor’s existence had been noticed by Western Missionaries before. Mouhot just popularized it through his evocative travel notes and drawings in a time when stories from mysterious exotic countries fascinated Europeans. Since then, other writers have mesmerized their readers with accounts of this 400 square meters complex where lies the Angkor Wat temple, considered the largest religious place in the world. About five kilometers from Siem Reap town in Northern Cambodia, the site became increasingly popular a symbol of modern Cambodia where over two million visitors flock every year.
Sure, it is possible to fly there from Saigon in about one hour. You can also arm yourself with patience and spend a whole day (about twelve hours) on a tedious bus trip. But we know you are not like that. Why would you fly somewhere if you can cycle? In Vietnam Bike Tours we have an upcoming tour from Saigon to Angkor Wat from January 10 to 19. Probably January is the best time of the year to travel by bicycle in the tropics. Rain is very unlikely and the temperature is milder (still hot, but not as much). You might even need some warm clothes for the night. As usual, our professional guides will take care of all the logistics and you just have to push the pedals through the mostly flat countryside, gently crossing paddy fields and villages where few tourists get to stop, responding to kids shouting “hello” by the road, gradually discovering the country of smiles.
You will feel the peace and silence of the Cambodian countryside, cross small bridges, rest while you ride the ferry to cross the river and enjoy delicious Cambodian dishes like fish amok, Cambodian red curry, Cambodian soup or, if you dare, any kind of insect you could imagine (a lot of proteins to give you power!). If after a few days you miss seeing more people, don’t worry, you will have enough once you get to Angkor and share this stunning experience with people from all over the world. After cycling there, none of them will deserve admiring these magnificent structures as much as you!
As usual, if you don’t have your own bike, we provide one. If you need more information about this tour or any other, write us to [email protected]