This off-road motorcycle tour of Cambodia kicks off in Siem Reap with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angkor Wat. Piloting…
Our motorbike tours in Cambodia focus on the incredible off-road riding, allowing us to break away from the tourist trail and experience the real Cambodia. Riding dirt bikes in Cambodia is beautifully varied – from fast sweeping dirt roads that scythe through the landscape where you can really hang out the back wheel, to tight and twisty jungle trails where you’ll have to dodge trailing vines and weave through the wild undergrowth. The riding in Cambodia is only suitable for experienced riders. You do not need to be an enduro pro by any means, but you’ll need to be comfortable on the dirt and have at least 2 years of active motorbike riding experience under your belt. The riding terrain in Cambodia includes everything from smooth tarmac roads to rough rocky tracks, sand and mud.
Cambodia is a very warm country, no matter what time of year you come to visit. The dry season runs from November – May & November to March tends to be the cooler & least humid months. April & May are hot and very humid which is why we tend to schedule our Cambodia motorbike tours from November to March. The wet season runs from June – October. Don’t let the phrase ‘wet season’ put you off though – some of the best riding is had during the wetter months! There is no dust, the muddy conditions are incredibly fun and the scenery transforms into bright greens and the full rice paddies look fantastic. To join one of our Cambodian motorbike tours in the wet season you must have a great sense of adventure as plans and itineraries can change fast!
Without a doubt one of our favourite things about Cambodia are the immensely friendly and welcoming locals. From the kids waving to us from the roadside, to the locals inviting us to their weddings, never a day goes by that we don’t feel extremely welcomed into their country. Their sense of humour is infectious and the simple experience of having a laugh and a joke with them in the villages will keep you smiling all day long!
Many of the locals in the countryside had never seen dirt bikes until motorbike tours came along! The excited children will run out to wave and when we stop for drinks and refreshments we’re always the centre of attention, dressed head to toe in strange motorbike riding kit!
Whether you are knowledgeable about Cambodia’s history or not, you will be hard pushed not to find it extremely interesting when you are here. Whether you are walking around the ancient temples surrounding Angkor Wat, visiting the genocide museum or simply chatting to locals, it’s always good to learn a little about a county’s background and Cambodia has plenty of stories that will blow you away!
Sadly, when one thinks of Cambodia, one of the first subjects that springs to mind is that of the Khmer Rouge and the infamous Killing Fields.
The Khmer Rouge was a Cambodian communist movement, which, led by Pol Pot, took control of Cambodia in 1975 and ruled for four years until they were overthrown in 1979 when the Vietnamese took control of Phnom Penh. During those four years, Cambodia was turned into a mass detention centre and roughly a quarter of the population lost their lives. Approximately 2-3 million innocent citizens died due to lack of access to medication, exhaustion, starvation and execution. It’s a brutal story and a very sobering experience to learn more about the history while visiting the Killing Fields or S21 Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh.
The ancient Angkorian temples are also mind-boggling. From the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat (the largest religious monument in the world), to the lesser known smaller temples still hidden in the jungle, the archaeological achievements of roughly one thousand years ago still stand tall today. It’s believed that the city of Angkor in Cambodia was once home to roughly one million people and was the largest city in the world! While Angkor Wat is undoubtedly the most impressive, we enjoy taking our motorbike tours in Cambodia to the more remote temples, still hidden away in the forests. To witness these ancient monuments with no other tourist sight and nothing but the sound of the jungle is quite a special experience.
Cambodia has an incredibly rich culture, from the Apsara dancers to water festivals and street weddings that last for days. Steeped in tradition and old superstitions it’s an extremely interesting place to visit and learn about the locals’ beliefs and way of life.
The main religion of Cambodia is Buddhism which constitutes roughly 90% of the population and has existed since at least the 5th century AD. Barely will an hour go by when one doesn’t see a brightly dressed in orange monk going about his day.
Beef loklak (beef in a kind of peppery gravy), fish amok (a mild coconutty fish curry), fried pork & ginger and sticky ribs… the list goes on. The food in Cambodia is phenomenal and never fails to impress. The ingredients and flavours are typically Asian, yet unlike most of the Asian food you’ll be used to. It’s not like Thai food. It’s not like Vietnamese food, or Indian. It’s… well, it’s Cambodian.
The majority of the dishes are grilled over hot coals, or wok-fried using fresh ingredients and almost all dishes are served with rice. In fact, the literal translation of ‘Nyam Bai?’ (have you eaten?) is “Eat rice?”. They really love rice. Fried noodles are also very common and usually served with a fried egg on top.
The Khmer red chicken curry is always a crowd pleaser, but our no.1 recommendation would have to be the ‘Khmer Muslim Beef Curry’. The rich & fragrant sauce in this dish is like nothing you’ll have tried before. We’ve served this to countless riders on our Cambodian motorbike tours over the years and it’s impressed every single time!
Seafood is also plentiful and our tours will often pay a visit to a local seafood market at the ocean’s edge. It’s our favourite food market in Cambodia, where the locals wade out into the water to bring in crates of live crab. We then stop for lunch at a restaurant down the road where fried rice with mixed seafood and Kampot black pepper sauce is just incredible!
Well we wouldn’t be running motorbike tours here if the riding wasn’t absolutely epic! River crossings, single track trails through jungles, steep rocky hill climbs, rickety bridges… Cambodia is home to some of the best in off-road riding in Asia and our tours bring you the perfect mix.