Our path through Cambodia was far from straight, bearing a more than passing resemblance to the signature sword stroke of Zorro. Our route was defined by a combination of wanting to visit a few temple sites and the desire to enter Thailand as close to Bangkok as possible. Between the temple visits we spent a very social few days in the capital Phnom Penh and relaxed in the quiet riverside town of Kampot with a visit to the beach thrown in for good measure. Cambodia is perhaps the flattest (and hottest) country we have cycled in seeing us set our trip distance record on the stretch from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, but we still left with broad smiles and good memories.
Here are some facts and figures from our time cycle touring in Cambodia:
- 1334 km cycled (longest day 151km, shortest 18km to Angkor Wat)
- 27 nights in hotel beds
- 500 grams of crabs inexpertly shelled (with one cut finger along the way)
- 360 shouts of hello replied to each day (based on average per hour calculation)
- 17 temples visited including Angkor Wat, Koh Ker and Beng Mealea
- 10 international cycle tourists met (just one cycled with)
- 7 Fresh coconuts drunk
- 5 instant noodle meals consumed
- 4 Cambodian dishes added to Emma’s culinary expertise
- 4 troops of monkeys spotted (3 in Angkor Wat complex)
- 2 tuk-tuk rides (squeezing 6 travellers in Cambodian style)
- 1 sea waded in
- 1 Chinese New Year celebrated
- 1 domestic elephant spotted carrying cement down a national highway
- 1 bottom bracket replaced (Justin)
- 1 headset re-greased (Emma)
- 0 punctures (even Em’s cheap Chinese tire still holding up!)
Justin’s most adventurous temple exploration: Following a stream of children clambering over, under and between the ruins of Beng Mealea.
Emma’s fondest memory: A troupe of children all dressed in brightly coloured pyjama sets starting an impromptu conga line outside a restaurant we were eating breakfast in. On reflection, they were probably copying the dragon dances which saw in the New Year along the Cambodian coast.