Exploring Angkor Wat by Bike

Yesterday we visited Angkor Wat, a complex of Hindu and Buddhist temples in Cambodia and the largest religious site in the World.

Tourists from all over the world travel to Cambodia to see these temples, and there are a number of different ways to explore the area.  

Because we know we like activities that go off the beaten path a bit, we decided to visit Angkor Wat with a bike tour.

We were picked up in a minivan bright and early at 4:40 a.m. to head out of Siem Reap.  After a 20 minute drive, we stopped to purchase tickets to enter the complex.  Day tickets were $20, and three-day tickets (which we got) were $40.

The ticket office for Angkor Wat.

The ticket office for Angkor Wat.

After, we headed into the complex and set off on foot in the dark to watch the sunrise over the largest temple.

With the sun in the sky, we headed in to explore the temple on foot.

Afterwards we headed to eat a quick breakfast, and we got our mountain bikes and helmets for the day.

Me and Amanda (Nate's sister) biking through a temple entrance.

Me and Amanda (Nate's sister) biking through a temple entrance.

We headed off to two more temples on our bikes, stopping along the way to take lots of photos and explore the crumbling temples.

The view from the top of Angkor Wat.

The view from the top of Angkor Wat.

Composed of over 1,000 temples spread across 400 kms, it's impossible to explore the entire complex in one day, but we did enjoy seeing some of the most beautiful temples, which date back to the 1100's.  

Me, Nate, his sister Amanda and Dad Fran.

Me, Nate, his sister Amanda and Dad Fran.

Our tour included a bike along the wall surrounding one of the temples.  Not only was the view nice, we enjoyed being away from the crowds of tourists that flock to the site.

In total, we biked between 15 and 20 kms, but it was spaced nicely over the day and didn't feel too exertive, even with the heat and humidity.

Stopping to listen to some history with our guide, Som.

Stopping to listen to some history with our guide, Som.

Our tour was with Grasshopper Adventures, and our guide, Som, was friendly and very knowledgeable.  For two people, we paid $170 for the tour, which included breakfast, lunch, guided tours of each temple and lots of great information about what it's like to live and work in Cambodia today.  In addition to the tour cost, we paid $40 each for our three-day entrance passes to the complex.

If you find yourself in Cambodia to explore Angkor Wat, I highly recommend doing it by bike.