For most the legacy of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge has marred the image of Cambodia as the unstable, poorest country in Indochina. Recent years however, have proven Cambodia to be a dynamic country full of natural beauty, untouched beaches, archaeological wonders, and some of the most genuine people in the world. Most of Cambodia is a time capsule of the way things were in Southeast Asia before all the tourists and the urban development. Cambodia is still primarily a rural country where things have gone unchanged for generations, which can be a refreshing change of pace when compared to its neighbors Thailand and Vietnam.
Cambodia is a safe cycling destination with plenty of tour operators to help guide you along your way. From the mighty Mekong River, to the globally recognized temples in Angkor Wat, and the beachy destinations in the south, Cambodia packs a lot into its small borders. Angkor Wat in Siem Reap is the most popular tourist destination in Cambodia by far and will be featured in almost every kind of tour in the country. Its unique beauty and history make it a worthwhile destination for most travelers. The French influence in the capital of Phnom Penh can be felt in both the architecture and the food where streetside vendors sell fresh baguettes. The capital is rife with optimism and has seen some significant development over recent years, yet maintains its cultural charms.
Most tours start in Phnom Penh and head outward, varying in distances and destinations. There is plenty to do and see in the general vicinity of Phnom Penh, but the real experience is found out in rural Cambodia. The 300km journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap will provide you the opportunity to go back in time and witness the way life was hundreds of years ago. The coastal regions of Cambodia have some level of commercial resort development but they are far less crowded than the beach resorts of Thailand and Vietnam. Sihanoukville is the main coastal destination; from there you can catch a short ferry ride to empty islands where you can feel free to cruise from beach to beach soaking up every bit of sun.
Cambodia is a rapidly changing country where the ancient east is just starting to show signs of progression. The roadways are less busy, the value is high and the people are inconceivably hospitable to tourists. Riding your bike through Cambodia is a dream adventure.