Cycling Angkor Wat
Lucky you! You’ve arrived at Angkor Wat with a bicycle.
It’s the perfect way for getting around the temples. Taking your bike into the historical park isn’t a problem and you don’t have to pay anything for it.
Outside each temple you’ll usually see a cluster of bikes left there by other cyclists.If not, just lock your bike to a tree. It’s a fairly low-risk place with police and security guards everywhere. If you are really worried, make friends with a water seller who will keep an eye on things. Just buy a cold drink when you emerge.
Remember that you’ll be cycling at least 30km during the day and potentially much more. In the midday heat, this quickly gets tiring so plan a shady break.
If you’re not up to the challenge and want a day off the bike, get a tuk tuk driver for about $15 U.S. to the main sites. A few people can split the cost, making this a very affordable option. Some further-flung temples may cost more by tuk tuk but it’s worth it because getting to these temples on your bicycle is going to be a drawn out affair. If you’re really set on doing some intense exploring beyond the main temples, a tuk tuk is a better bet than a bicycle.
If you’re on a budget, take food and drink along because predictably these things cost more than the street stalls in town. A nice place to have a picnic is by the moat that surrounds Angkor Wat. If you go away from the front face of the temple, you’ll find some tranquil spots. Another nice option is Sras Srang, the artificial lake across from Banteay Kdei.
On the other hand, a bottle of ice cold water is so refreshing after some sightseeing and you could see the inflated price as your donation to the Khmer people living around the temples who are severely restricted in their lifestyle because of the tourist zoo going on around them.
Selling things to you is their only option to make a living. It’s interesting to note that while the food is pricey, the souvenirs are not. If you plan on buying a t-shirt or something else to take home, the stalls around the temples are as good place as any to do it.
Plenty has already been written on Angkor Wat so we won’t repeat too much of the history and typical questions about seeing the temples. A comprehensive and tell-it-like-it-is guide to Siem Reap is on the Tales of Asia website: An Angkor FAQ.
They address many issues, including that of which ticket to buy. Entry into Angkor isn’t cheap so you’ll want to make sure you use what you pay for. We bought a one-day ticket for $20 U.S. and that was enough for us but we aren’t really temple buffs. The three-day option seems the most popular.