Weighing up the options to help you decide between two or three wheels for the sake of exploring a brilliant historical site!
Angkor Wat is to Cambodian tourism like the Pyramids are to Egypt. Millions flock here to see the ancient site, but before they can explore it up close and personal, there’s one question they need to answer…
To Tuk-Tuk or to Cycle?
Well, we did a little investigation of our own, and you may be surprised to find out which landed the first place spot!
The Deal With Tuk-Tuks
Siem Reap is where most travellers will be greeted by the locals, well not necessarily greeted, but they’ll offer you a three-wheeled ride to go see Angkor Watt as soon as they spot you! Don’t be overwhelmed by the flock of Tuk-Tuk drivers, it is just the way things are!
We don’t have an issue with the Tuk-Tuk ride, but hopping on one of the most popular transports in the area to go see the most popular tourist attraction will only lead to one thing: you’ll be part of the group exploring the ancient site, and that’s not necessarily the best way to see what you need to.
If you’re simply heading to Angkor Wat to see the main sites and you’re geared up with a good pair of hiking shoes, we’re pretty sure that you’d have the experience you’re after with a Tuk-Tuk tour. The sad reality is that thousands of folks never get to discover some real gems because they never got on a bike and took the path less travelled.
Exploring Angkor Wat by Bike
There’s a Non-Profit that supports the educational needs of the Khmer children of Cambodia by operating the Off-Road Angkor Bicycle Tour, and you can choose between a one or three-day park pass, but since the latter is a lot more affordable, it makes perfect sense to explore the sacred site over a span of three days.
Tuk-Tuks are parked everywhere along the main road of the archaeological park (since that’s as far as they’re allowed to go), but with a bicycle, you’ll be able to enter the more remote spots where few travellers tread. Here you might be able to see some villagers that still live in the Angkor Wat Park, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a close encounter with Khmer culture and get to see some of the smaller temples.
As you travel out of Siem Reap and into Angkor Park, you’ll stumble upon Angkor Wat itself, oh and you’ll also probably gaze upon the masses of tourists getting in and out of busses like clockwork!
The Pros of Traveling By Tuk-Tuk
- They’re budget friendly
- They’re kind on your behind
- They’ll take you to the most popular spots
- They offer a leisurely pace of exploring the temples
- Some drivers are absolutely hilarious
The Pros of Traveling By Bicycle
- You’ll be in control of what you see
- You won’t be part of the crowd
- You’ll have a unique experience
- You’ll keep in shape (it’s hard work cycling all the way)
- You’ll be able to see things you can’t via Tuk-Tuk
Sure, the idea of seeing Angkor Wat in all its glory by means of a three-wheeled Tuk-Tuk is an entertaining thought…if you’re just another tourist. Cycling the park might not be the most leisurely activity and it might just make you wish you had opted for the darn Tuk-Tuk once you feel your butt aching after cycling roughly 100km, but it offers you an experience that has no equal. If you’re really up for discovering all the magic and mystery that lies tucked away in Angkor Park, we reckon that a bicycle is one of the very best options you can possibly consider!
About The Author
I’m Dan, and I’m the Editor in Chief of True North Athletics. I’m also an avid adventurer, digital nomad and traveler. I enjoy all types of outdoor sports, a good golf tan, and spontaneous weekend trips. I currently live in Brazil where I can be found frequently hiking the rain forest around my city!