Countryside Exploration Cycles

Countryside Exploration Cycle

The Siem Reap countryside is changing all the time as the town spreads but its not long before the hard road becomes a track and the houses are raised on stilts.

A line of trees shades a canal as it crosses the landscape. Dug to control the flooding lake as it advanced across the countryside then channel the receding water to rice fields surrounding the small villages that dot the floodplain.

Mountain bikes are the ideal way to explore this varied landscape, cycling along avenues of bamboo through the backyard of farms shaded by beetlenut, sugar and coconut palm.

We’ll stop at a smallholding for a coconut, which our more agile guides can climb the palm tree to pick. And meet the family, cows, pigs, chickens, ducks and the farmer to learn a little about how most Khmers live in the countryside.

Taylor getting to know a cow & Water-buffalo feeding on paddy field stubble (below)

We’re cycling through the Angkorian metropolis. A millennia ago this land was feeding the armies of Jayavarman VII as he conquered South East Asia.

Despite the ravages of time, agriculture, war and weather there are many signs of a sophisticated civilization, none more so than the West Baray. It was the largest completely man made reservoir in the world until the 19th century and that’s where we’re going to finish our countryside exploration cycle.

Cold beers and Khmer snacks await as we lean up our bikes and sit beside the water watching fishermen in simple wooden canoes out on the Baray.

We have many routes, which we vary according to the season and how far and long you want to cycle. We can focus on a rural way of life or search out the secrets of Angkor hidden in the countryside. Morning cycle rides with picnic lunches beside the water or sunset beers / cocktails at the Baray watching the sun sink in the West.

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