Are you a cycling enthusiast who values health and exploration at the same time? In this modern age, due to stressful work and high-calorie food, it is important to ease your tensions. Cycling is even more strategic to get away from a crowded, bustling city. Below tips for a nice bicycle trip around Phnom Penh.
Getting a bicycle
Firstly, a selection of bike cater for different kind of journey. A road bike is ideal for exercise and stay on the pavement while a cruiser bike is suitable for short, casual rides. In the meantime, an adventurer who does not mind cycling up a mountain or riding on bumpy roads should get a mountain bike. At the end of the day, it depends on your budget.
In Phnom Penh, many shops selling new bikes, including AEON Mall, which can cost from a few hundreds to thousands of dollars. However, if you had budget constraint, you may find cheaper second-hand bikes from those shops at Street 107 (near Orussey Market). They sell imported bikes from Japan, up from around USD 40, and give free accessories such as baskets and locks. Remember to test the bicycle before you purchase it — check on brakes, paddle etc. If you do not like any of the parts, ask the seller to change it for you.
Contrary, you may consider rent it at Phnom Penh Cycling & Tour - Street 174 or Street 360.
Carrying too much weight may cause discomfort. Items recommended are: prepare a small backpack with one outfit, a hand towel, bottle of water and raincoat, and maybe your favorite book or e-reader. Lastly yet importantly, bring some money with you for emergency.
If you are a fussy eater or have a weak stomach, pack some food and keep it in your bag.
Always keep yourself protected, with cycling gear or at least with a helmet to protect your head. Do not forget a map in case your phone does not have ‘services’. If you need spare parts when cycling in Cambodia, then you should stick to a bigger town.
Where to go
Many places near Phnom Penh has excellent sights to see and the roads are quite good. Here are some recommended places:
- Arey Ksat - a small commune in Kandal province, most popular among bike enthusiasts. The roads in the commune are quiet, even during rush hour, allowing biker to elevate the mood by moving into top gear to embrace the cool, fresh breeze of the countryside with greenery.
- About 20 km south of Phnom Penh, on the part of National Road Number 2 inline with Bassac River, you can take a ferry to several isle on the river, including Koh Anlong Chen, Koh Ksach Tonlea and Koh Kor, all of which are good places for relaxing and exploring.
- A hillside retreat in Kandal located about 25 km north-west of Phnom Penh, Phnom Baset is the most well-known place in Cambodia for mountain biking. It is also a great sightseeing landmark with historical site.
- Silk island, also known as Koh Dach, is a biker/cyclists’ paradise just a stone’s throw from the hurly-burly of Phnom Penh. Enjoy swimming, trekking and sightseeing there — not to mention a spectacular cruise across the river.
Ride on the right side of the road only. Keep yourself hydrated. Do not go to remote areas alone. Do not take out your phone or money on a road, and always stay near your bicycle. Keep a Khmer language phrase book (if you cannot speak) in case you need help. Look out for what you eat; do not accept any drink offer from anyone you do not know.