In 2018,we entered Cambodia from Southern Laos (Don Det) and then followed the Mekong to Kompang Cham, then to Ankor Wat (Siem Reap), back to Phnom Penh to Kampot and into Vietnam.  In 2017, we basically did this in reverse but through Battambong.

In 2010, we returned to Phnom Penh and rode to Southern Laos repeating our previous trip.
Comments from 2009.Other than along the Mekong and of course Angkor Wat, the country side is down right dull and flat. Phnom Penh creates a problem in that its bad biking into and out. Winds are unpredictable but the driving is safer now. Its not very good value compared to the rest of S. E. Asia. Lots of tourists have created a kind of rip off mentality. You have to be prepared to negotiate. Comments from 2002. The biking can be downright miserable. There are dusty dirt roads in many places. When the roads allow it, the biking can be very good. Information on the roads is key. The beaches around Sihanoukville (Komong Som) are surprisingly good. Kampot is a nice town. Phnom Penh is a very nice place especially the river front area. The highlight of highlights is the temple complex of Angkor Watt out side the town of Siem Reap. It’s worth all the hassle to get there. The complex is spread out with good paved roads and riding a bicycle is the best way to enjoy it. It’s one of the great places on the planet! Plus Siem Reap, for now, is a nice town. Comments: Lonely Planet, Bicycling in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam Lonely Planet, Cambodia Silkworm Books, Adventure Cambodia, An Explorer’s Guide, By Matt Jacobson and Frank Visakay (Now out of print) See below 2009 trip in RED, 2002 trip in Blue.

How We Rate This Trip

Total Score: 81

Roads: 7

Update 2/18:  There have been continuous upgrades to the main highway system.  Often, there are cycle shoulders on the newer sections.  Still lacking in quality in 2018, is the road north of Kartie  to the border and from Kampong Chhnong to Sisophon (Hwy 5) because its narrow with no shoulder.  Along the Mekong, the secondary roads are improved, interesting and quiet.


In 2009, much improved, new bridges and new highways. Road to Siem Reap is now all paved but not all the way to Thailand (now paved, 2018). Tough to determine if secondary roads are bike able.

Previous trip comments from 2002 (was a 3)

There are the paved roads, the dirt roads, the crumbly rock roads and the non-existent roads. You will encounter them all. The main road to Sihanoukville is excellent. The roads out of Phnom Penh start good, and then deteriorate. Around Siem Reap, the main road east is first class then deteriorates to dusty gravel. It’s under construction and eventually will be good. Again, to the Thai border it’s good for 15 km then it’s a dusty, crumbly dirt road. Ride able but miserable. In the dry season the issue is the dust. The Germans have assisted by improving some of the back roads (good quality dirt roads) The problem is to get the information as to where these good quality dirt roads are.

Traffic: 6

Update 2/18:  Traffic levels are increasing.  We have downgraded this from 8 in 2009 to 6 in 2018.  Over the years, the drivers have become a bit more careful but still travel too fast.  Around Phnom Penh, the traffic is very heavy including trucks toward Sihanaukville.

In 2009, only in cities is traffic heavy. Otherwise the roads are still quiet.

Comments from 2002, rating was a 3.

Even if the traffic is light on a dirt road, you will suffer through dust. We wore facemasks. On good roads, the light traffic moves fast. (As one NGO guy told me they don’t realize the consequences yet). Out of and into Phnom Penh for 20Ks, the traffic is heavy. Generally , more traffic.  Toward Sihanoukville/Kampong Som, there are a lot of trucks going to the port. The worst roads are out of Siem Reap when the traffic is moderate and the road turns to dust. Between Phnom Penh and Kampong Cham, there are so many aid worker ATVs there is morning rush hour. It’s a wide road through.

Weather: 7


April was hot but bearable to sit outside at night. There was some rain which cleared the air. No haze problems then.

In the dry season, November to March, the land really heats up. Dust is always in the air. The nights are delightful. In the wet season, the unpaved roads turn to impossible rutted mud quagmires. Then they have to be improved again.

Winds: 4

The winds are unpredictable. Even from Am to PM the direction switched so it’s hard to know your travel times.

In the dry season, in any one area the winds are predictable. It’s flat so they get ripping. Toward the coast, the winds will be from different directions. For example, the winds vary around Sihanoukville/Kampong Som. It’s better to have a crosswind on the dusty roads. The winds are generally from the North East so it’s better to go from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap to the Thai Border than the other direction.

Scenery: 2


There’s a lot of very dull scenery. Anytime we could follow the Mekong the scenery improved.

It’s flat. You don’t see many vistas. Around Angkor Wat (Siem Reap) the scenery is interesting. Some of the back roads, especially along the rivers are interesting. Sometimes it’s downright boring.

Information: 2

Still tough to get accurate road information. Conditions are changing very fast and few locals speak English.

The maps don’t differentiate the dirt roads from the newly improved. Local information is best especially from the local aide workers. Roads can vary greatly. We found previously our best road information in Adventure Cambodia by Matt Jacobson and Frank Visakay who motorcycled through Cambodia (This is now very out dated.) The tourist office in Phnom Penh was awful: telling us false information with authority.

Road Safety:


Update:2/18:  The latest improved highways often have cycle shoulders which help alot.  Where still narrow, the roads are dicey.  Off of the main highways, the narrow paved roads are quieter and safer.

Light traffic makes for pretty safe biking The drivers have slowed down a bit.

This comment – no longer true – was from 2009, just shows  progress.  The Taxis are dangerous, especially around the borders. They are inexperienced drivers who careen down the highways at unsafe speeds. These kind polite people turn into maniacs behind the wheel. Potholes and rough roads slow down everything else.

General Safety: 8

There are so many more tourists there and their money is appreciated so crime is way down even in the cities.

Our comments from 2009.  It’s amazing to me that the places in this world that were supposed to be dangerous are so safe. The long-standing ex-pats still warn of the dangers especially about Phnom Penh but we never felt threatened. Theft is much less of a risk here than in Vietnam, but our camera was nipped at the Poipet border crossing. Off of the river front area of Phnom Penh, it’s still reputed to be dangerous. We didn’t test this at night. Outside of Phnom Penh, we were seldom warned of any risks. In certain areas in the North, where it was considered dangerous, it has been pacified.

Value: 3

In 2018, it’s more expensive. The dollar is used as currency. The big tourist areas offer better value for hotels but worse value for food.

In 2002, Cambodia is more expensive than Vietnam, Thailand and Laos. US dollars are the currency. Everything costs more.

Fluids: 5

Water is always available and usully cooled.  Beer is sometimes warm but served with usually clean ice.   Coffee is so-so.

In the tourist areas, cold drinks are always available. “Cold drink, Sir” is a mantra at every temple at Anchor Watt. Water is delivered in 1 liter plastic bottles at a reasonable price. Outside the tourist routes, the drinks are available but sometimes warm. Soda and beer is available. Occasionally, you can get the good Vietnamese coffee.

Food: 4

Pales in comparison to the rest of South East Asia. But Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have international standards.

They say Cambodian cuisine is a combination of Thai and Vietnamese but we usually had to choose one or the other, especially in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. These two towns have many choices of excellent restaurants from Western to Indian.  When offered, we often enjoyed the AMOK.  In the provinces the food was ok, fresh and basic.

Accommodations: 5


Varies greatly from place to place. In the tourist centers you can get any standard. In the smaller less visited places, the quality can drop greatly or can be very good.

Every Provincial capital has a hotel, which is of reasonable quality but a little pricey. There are usually guesthouses at lower prices. Sihanoukville/Kampong Som, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap offer a wide variety and better value hotels than other cities.

People: 4

Everyone smiles but aggressive greetings (Hello, Hello) are screamed at you and this gets old.

The Cambodians are friendly, helpful and naturally polite. The country has been isolated so long that the jaded tourist infrastructure has not developed. They smile and mean it. Another aspect of this is the huge population of NGO’s and Aid workers. These are interesting insightful people who don’t mind exchanging ideas with you. We had great contacts in all the provincial capitals off the beaten path. Lastly, the bribe system applies to all matters. It’s endemic.

Culture: 9


There’s Angkor Wat which is one of the great Cultural Centers of the world. There are some nice Wats elsewhere but only OK. Phnom Penh has fixed up it’s old palace and city center.

History: 6

Recent history is hard to conceptualize. So violent and nihilistic but it’s something that did happen. Few colonial period buildings are left in tact.

The Khmer recent history is something you would like to forget. There are places however where you can see evidence of these atrocities in Phnom Penh. There are occasional colonial era buildings especially in Phnom Penh. Anghor Wat represents the ancient history and is spectacular.


Route Descriptions & Maps

Enter from Southern Laos to Siem Reap and  vice versa   (Green)

1/17  Siem Reap to Lao Border.

Siem Reap to Kampong Kdei 61Ks

Avoiding Hwy 6, take city road on east side of canal to the east.  It worked for us but its risky for bad roads and dead ends.  The most interesting road is the one that goes straight into Bakong Temple.  Exit opposite then bear left to Hwy 6. Hwy 6 is wide, smooth and busy.  Kampong Kedei at 66Ks.  All on Hwy 6.

Kampong Kdei to Kompog Thom 83Ks

Excellent Hwy wide, smooth, busy and dull.

Kompong Thom to Chamka Leu 65Ks

Hwy 6 to Kampong Thnor.  Left at 36Ks into town.  Straight onto Hwy 71.  2-lanes quiet.  Away from the Highway sprawl.  Fun.  Rubber trees and vegetables.

Chamka Leu to Kompong Cham 45Ks

Continue on Hwy 71.  Narrow and a bit bumpy.  At 30Ks, T junction.  Hwy 7, left. 2-lane busy with a cycle shoulder.  At 43Ks, (before bridge) left onto river front at 45Ks.

Kompong Cham to Stung Trang 34Ks

Out along river. Quiet.  3 options for parallel roads closer to the river for 2-3Ks at a time.  now all paved.  This is one of our favorite rides.

Stung Trang to Kratie 86Ks

Ferry across the river to Hwy 308.  All Paved.  Busier as you go.  Cross winds.

Kratie to Stung Treng 125Ks

Old Highway along river is now rough, patched and bumpy.  To Hwy which now is older and rougher in parts.

Stung Treng to Lao Border 62Ks

Lao Border to Stung Treng, 62Ks

Update 2/18:  To 34Ks, road is seriously deteriorated. 75% gravel.  Then to 53Ks, good road.  Up to bridge at 59Ks, 50% gravel.  At 60Ks, into town at 62Ks.

Hwy #7, good tar 2-lane road with a cycle shoulder. Very light traffic. Mostly head winds but variable. Dull scenery. Mostly flat with some easy hills. At 55Ks, the bridge over river. At 57Ks, right into Stung Treng at 62Ks.

Stung Treng to Kartie 125Ks

Update 2/18:  Hwy 7, rough paved to 50Ks then improved new road.  Then construction and dusty gravel to 80Ks.  Good new surface to turn into Sandan (on river).  Somewhat rough pavement into Karatie.

Out to Hwy #7 at 3Ks then right. 2-lanes with shoulder. The road is deteriorating and being repaired. Flat or mildly rolling. Dull scenery, light traffic, more population. Today north winds (tail). At 101Ks, right on old highway. Narrow 2-lane older tar road, a little bumpy but more interesting. At 115Ks, junction (Sandan). From Sandan along river on narrow 2-lane tar road. A little bumpy. Nice river scenery. Little traffic. Surprisingly straight. Often shady. At 125, Dolphin watching. At 138Ks, circle. To river front at 139Ks.*

*New highway is about the same distance.

Side trip from Sandan to Sambour and Wat 12Ks (24Ks round trip)
Junction in Sandan to north along river. Interesting and picturesque. Good tar road for 6Ks then rougher. Badly patched older road. 100 Pillar Wat at 12Ks.

Kartie – day trip, 57Ks (Great Ride)*

South along the Mekong on good paved road across bridge to 6Ks. Right to ferry (regular service). On other side north (right) on good gravel road, quiet, picturesque, and interesting basic country living. Bridges are small but passable on bike. At 31Ks, the road becomes a bumpy cycle path to 35Ks to river ferry back across the Mekong. (How often they go is the question.) Off ferry up to road to Kartie. Paved (this is the old Hwy #7 which we took into Kratie previously. Into Kratie at 57Ks, completing the circle route.

*This route is part of the “Mekong Discovery Trail” from a slick brochure. The problem is that there are no distances or descriptions or differentiations of road conditions.

Kratie to Chhlong 34Ks

Update 2/18:  Smooth tar road.  Moderate traffic.  The hateful vans moving fast.  Light head (w) wind.

Along river on paved highway* over bridge then right to ferry at 6Ks. Off ferry across the Mekong to gravel river road. Left. Good gravel/dirt road. Often along the river. Always interesting. At 33Ks, right to ferry. Ferry to town at 34Ks.

*April 2009 , the road on the Karatie side of the Mekong is under construction and should be finished soon.

Chhlong to Kampong Cham 86Ks

Update 2/18:  Good tar road to Stung Trong (52Ks).  Follow winds, light traffic.  Then another good tar road.  Some traffic to Kampong Cham.

To intersection of Hwy #73 (goes inland) and Hwy #308 at 2Ks. Straight on Hwy #308 along the river. Good 2-lane tar road. Light traffic. East (follow wind). Flat. Nice scenery. Roka Khnaor at 21Ks. At 32Ks, tar road ends. Now dirt/gravel. Some pot holes and bumps that slow you down. Often rough. At 53Ks, ferry across Mekong to Stung Trong. Right. A better dirt road. Hard packed. Some bumps. Along the river some nice views. Often away from the river. Flat. Variable winds, light. At 84Ks at outskirts. Into Kampong Cham at 86Ks.

Enter from Southern Laos to Phnom Penh and vice versa  (Purple)

Cambodia 2010, Feburary

Phnom Penh to Kampong Cham 111Ks.

(via main road 125Ks)
Over Japanese bridge onHwy.#7. 2-lanes, busy and fast. A dirt shoulder. Some times the road is rough. Flat. At 45Ks., (gas station) paved road to right. Along the river. Paved for 10Ks. then dirt. OK on a Mountain Bike. Some stores. Very interesting villages. At 74Ks, bear right to stay along the river. Road gets a little rougher as you go. Sometimes right along the river. Mostly no river views, slalom through bumps and pot holes. At 87Ks, cross paved highway #70 in Peam Chi Kang. The dirt road improves( it’s maintained). At 95Ks, a paved road. At 99Ks, dirt road again but in good condition. Gentle winds. Mostly paved and slightly broken near Kampong Cham. Cross Hwy.#7 at 110Ks. Into town at 111Ks.

Kampong Cham to Chhlong 88Ks

**(See description below in opposite direction from a previous trip. Notes directly below are updates from 2010 trip)
Out of town away from the river. Ask for Stung Trong.  Stung Trong at 22Ks (10Ks of construction before town in 2010.) Ferry over Mekong then unpaved dirt road to 55Ks then paved. Chhlong at 88Ks.

Chhlong to Kampong Cham 86Ks

To intersection of Hwy #73 (goes inland) and Hwy #308 at 2Ks. Straight on Hwy #308 along the river. Good 2-lane tar road. Light traffic. East (follow wind). Flat. Nice scenery. Roka Khnaor at 21Ks. At 32Ks, tar road ends. Now dirt/gravel. Some pot holes and bumps that slow you down. Often rough. At 53Ks, ferry across Mekong to Stung Trong. Right. A better dirt road. Hard packed. Some bumps. Along the river some nice views. Often away from the river. Flat. Variable winds, light. At 84Ks at outskirts. Into Kampong Cham at 86Ks.

Chhlong to Kratie 33Ks

**(See description below in opposite direction from a previous trip. Notes directly below are updates from 2010 trip)
To ferry at 2Ks (back toward Kampong Cham). Cross Mekong. Right on dirt road. Good condition. At 27Ks, right to Ferry. Off Ferry. Kartie at 33Ks.

Kratie to Chhlong 34Ks

Along river on paved highway* over bridge then right to ferry at 6Ks. Off ferry across the Mekong to gravel river road. Left. Good gravel/dirt road. Often along the river. Always interesting. At 33Ks, left to ferry. Ferry to town at 34Ks.

Stung Treng to Kartie to 138Ks

Out to Hwy #7 at 3Ks then right. 2-lanes with shoulder. The road is deteriorating and being repaired. Flat or mildly rolling. Dull scenery, light traffic, more population. Today north winds (tail). At 101Ks, right on old highway. Narrow 2-lane older tar road, a little bumpy but more interesting. At 115Ks, junction (Sandan). From Sandan along river on narrow 2-lane tar road. A little bumpy. Nice river scenery. Little traffic. Surprisingly straight. Often shady. At 125, Dolphin watching. At 138Ks, circle. To river front at 139Ks.*

Stung Treng to Laos Border 63Ks

**(See description below in opposite direction from a previous trip.)
Lao Border to Stung Treng, 60Ks

Hwy #7, good tar 2-lane road with a cycle shoulder. Very light traffic. Mostly head winds but variable. Dull scenery. Mostly flat with some easy hills. At 55Ks, the bridge over Sekong river. At 57Ks, right into Stung Treng at 60Ks.
**(See description below in opposite direction from a previous trip. Notes directly below are updates from 2010 trip)Old Highway to Sandan at 25Ks then right to junction at 39Ks. At 78Ks, good lunch place on right(the only place). At 85Ks, construction (minor) to 90Ks. At 138Ks,

Kampong Cham to Prey Veng 77Ks

Out on Hwy #7 over the Mekong River Bridge. 2-lanes with a cycle lane. Lots of traffic. Slightly rolling. NE winds (side) then follow after the turn at 16Ks. Right on Hwy #11. Good 2-lane tar road. Rolling hills through rubber plantations then the seasonal rice fields. Flat and dull. At 60Ks, cross the new highway being constructed that will connect Vietnam and Phnom Penh. Moderate traffic. Some trucks. At 77Ks, into Prey Veng.

Prey Veng to Phnom Penh 92Ks

Hwy #11, flat. Through river area. At 31Ks, Hwy #1 and the ferry across the Mekong River at Neak Loeung. North, follow winds till the turn on Hwy #1. Good wide 2-lane road with a cycle shoulder. Flat. More traffic. Dull scenery. Occasional views of the river. Cycle path as a lot going on in it. At 65Ks, a separate cycle path next to the shoulder. Then at 74Ks, narrow older road with dirt shoulder. More and more traffic. Tough riding. Over bridge at 87Ks. Then right on Preah Norodom Blvd. to Independence Monument at 91Ks, right to Riverfront at 92Ks. Better riding after the bridge on wide roads in the city.
By bus to Siem Reap. we left our bikes with Smey in Phnom Penh. This description is from looking out the window of the bus. Over bridge then busy and narrow. Not good for about 50Ks then less busy and wider. Dull scenery. Cross winds. After Kampong Thom, it’s a good wider 2-lane road. Less traffic until nearing Siem Reap then busy. Flat and dull.

Day ride #1 around Phnom Penh 50 Ks

Go 8 Ks to Takhmau and continue straight on paved road where Highway #2 head right to Takeo. Initially boring. Pavement ends and the road becomes rougher and follows the river. There are numerous small ferries that cross to a rough dirt road on the other side. There are loops away from the river into the rice fields and you see the interesting rural life.

Day ride #2 around Phnom Penh 80 Ks

The downside of these day rides is the roads in and out of PP. Leave PP on Highway #4, about 25 Ks to Highway #26. Go right (north) on a dirt road that is dusty but very very little traffic to Batt Doeng. In Batt Doeng go right (east) to Mt. Basat then take the “Dyke Road” to Highway #5, go right (south) to PP along the river. Even in the dry season, the countryside around the dyke road is verdant. It’s a good dirt road. This road must be repaired after every wet season.

An alternative shorter loop that is hard to find. Turn off Highway # 4 at about 15 Ks asking for Mt. Basat then take the Dyke Road back to PP.

Enter from Thailand to Siem Reap  (Orange)

Siem Reap to Sisaphon 103 Ks

Update: 1/17 :  Wide 2-lane smooth road with a cycle shoulder.  Moderate traffic, four lanes in and out of Siem Reap.

In 2010 the first 15 Ks are blacktop to just past the turn off for the airport on Highway #6. Then the road deteriorates to very dusty but not too rough. The winds are fairly strong from the east, but the dust just sits on the road.

Sisaphon to Poipet and the Thai Border 45 Ks

Update: 1/17:  Wide 2-lane paved road.  Moderate traffic.

In 2010 the road out of Sisophon is very good until the last 15 Ks then awful. It’s dusty and a poor surface. Through Poipet, the road is bumpy dirt and not maintained. On the Thai side the road is like silk.

Enter from Southern Vietnam to Phonom Penh and vice versa  (Pink)

Cambodia January 2009

Vietnam border near Chau Doc to Takeo, Cambodia 48Ks

Update 1/17:  On Hwy 2, with shoulder.  A bit more traffic to circle at 48Ks.

Very good, new wide 2-lanes with a wide shoulder. Views of the fields and distant mountains, flat. Very quiet. Nice ride. Peaceful. NE winds, light (head). Through a few small towns.

Takeo to Kampot 90Ks

Update 1/17:  Out 3Ks to traffic circle then straight, 2-lanes, no shoulder and rough pavement.  At 13Ks, junction with Hwy #3, better 2-lans with shoulder, quieter after 25Ks.  Strong tain wind (NE)

Out 3Ks to traffic circle then straight. 2-lanes rough asphalt. Often better (smoother) on the dirt shoulder. At 13Ks, junction with Hwy #3. Left. 2-lanes wide good road. At 20Ks, road splits. Left to Kep, right to Kampot. We go right, 2-lanes. Fairly quiet. A little rough. Road work (widening) so its dusty. Very nice scenery. More traffic and pot holes toward Kampot. Finally through the urban sprawl to the river front at 90Ks.

Kampot to Sihanoukville 110Ks

Very good 2-lanes road with a wide cycle shoulder. Some big trucks. Up date of 2002 notes. We did not go to Sihanoukville in 2009. Its now paved beyond Sihanoukville to the border with Thailand.

This route is mostly flat with a few small hills and is in the LP book. Highway #3 is great biking. The road is quiet, good condition, and interesting scenery. It’s 52 Ks to the junction with Highway #4 (the main fast road PP to Sihanoukville). The last 20 Ks to Veal Rinh were under construction in 2002 and should now be improved. Highway #4 is the best road in Cambodia. There is truck traffic (going to the port). Sihanoukville is spread out but the rides to the other beaches are fun.

Kampot to Kep 25Ks

Kep road out 15Ks, 2-lanes, a little bumpy, head winds. Light traffic. So-so scenery. At the statue of the white horse, turn right. Eventually along the sea with good views. Kep at 25Ks.

Kep to Takeo 105Ks (Kampot to Takeo 110Ks)

10Ks out to Hwy then right. At 32Ks, Kampong Trach. Very good wide 2-lane road. Light traffic. So-so scenery through basic villages. At 85Ks, junction with Hwy #3. Busier and bumpier. Ang Tasorm 92Ks. (Straight on Hwy #3 to Phnom Penh 74Ks.)
We go right toward Takeo on a patched bumpy asphalt road. The last 3Ks into Takeo on a great new 2-lane Hwy with a motorcycle shoulder. Winds NE (mostly head winds) all day. Takeo at 105Ks.

Takeo to Phnom Penh 74Ks

Update 1/17:  Hwy 2, 2-lanes.  A bit rough on the edges.  Much more truck traffic and lots of dump trucks.  Not good riding.

Out to Hwy #2 at 3Ks 2-lane road that’s been widened, often bumpy and patched. N winds (head), flat and featureless. (We rode the first day of Tet so there was heavy and fast auto traffic in early AM.) Then mostly motorcycles. At 57Ks, junction. Straight on wider road. Follow this road straight to the market past the Olympic Stadium then on side streets to the river front at 74Ks. The last 7Ks are urban but its a direct route. A grind of a ride.

Sihanoukville/Kampong Som to Kaaong 85 Ks

This route is on Highway #4. Back to Veal Rinh (47 Ks). Early, the winds are light, and then there is a following north wind past Veal Rinh. After Veal Ring, the scenery is duller. The traffic is light and the following winds give out. No place to stay in Kaaong.

Kaaong to Kompong Speu 92 Ks

The route still follows Highway #4. Initially there are some hills to look at but then flat. Still a good road but toward Kampong Speu a dull ride and the road gets busier.

Kompong Speu to Phnom Penh 50 Ks

Highway #4 gets busier to PP. The road widens and you pass urban sprawl. Poor ride past the airport.

January, February 2002

Vietnam boarder to Svay Rieng 44 Ks  (Blue)

The route is flat on Highway #1. In 2002, the road was under construction. Only moderate traffic buty until the project is finished, it will be dusty.

Svay Rieng to Prey Veng 102 Ks

Highway #1 construction makes progress slow. At 20 Ks before the Neak Luang ferry in Kompong Soeung, take a right (north) on a quiet dirt road, which eventually turns west, goes on a levee past a reservoir and finally intersects with Highway #15 (the main road to Prey Veng). The Lonely Planet Bike Book outlines this route. We modified the route by taking a very interesting side route. The alternative road was good dirt surface. From the intersection with Highway #15 to Prey Veng, the road was broken blacktop. Easier riding for bikes than cars. If you go the Lonely Planet route or our alternative route, the distance is the same.

Prey Veng to Kompong Cham 78 Ks

Take Highway #15 north to Highway #7 west. The first 30 Ks are on excellent blacktop. The next 30 Ks are on bad, busted up, dusty blacktop. There are some modest hills. Traveling is tough, and there is light traffic. On Highway #7 there is more traffic. The road is just as bad. Just before the new Japanese bridge to Kompong Cham, the road becomes perfection. Construction continues so the excellent road is growing. Great views form the high bridge over the Mekong.

Kompong Cham to Phnom Penh 110 Ks

Update 2/18:  Very good road with cycle shoulder.  Two-lanes then four -lanes at 40Ks before Phnom Penh.  Light headwinds.

(It’s worth buying the Lonely Planet Bike Book just for this one-day trip.) Out of Kompong Cham on the good dirt road along the river on the Kompong Cham side. There is excellent biking, low traffic, flat, shady, scenic and very interesting. This road ends abruptly and is very poor, sandy dirt for 5 very tough Ks. Some walking. Then the road slowly improves until you get to Koh Kaong. Some students guided us thru here and on to Highway 6A (the main road to Phnom Penh) It’s only 3 Ks out to the highway and there’s really only one-way out. Highway 6A is a busy and very good, almost wide road. It’s busier toward Phnom Penh Finally you cross another Japanese bridge (great views) just before Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh to Takeo 75 Ks

Update 2/18:  A bit bumpy.  Dirt shoulder.  Moderate traffic.  Head winds.

We followed the route description from LP (Lonely Planet Bike Book) these are all good roads. After Takhmau, 8 Ks, go right (south) at junction. This road becomes quiet. There are a few minor hills and there are some good short side trips.

Takeo to Kampot 85 Ks

Update 2/18:  Bumpy and narrow to junction at 13Ks.  Good tar road with cycle shoulder, better riding.  Head winds, stronger toward Kampot.  Also, the road is rougher and traffic heavier into Kampot.

This route is all on good roads. Highway #3 is a little busier. 13 Ks over to Highway #3 then left (South east). The scenery is nice. Kampot is an interesting town along the river. Then go thru Tani toward Kep. Highway #16 was reported to be impassable. We even checked into taking an auto train where the road was very bad but it was too complicated and the main route is good. The LP suggests a circuit to Kep. We didn’t go there.

Kampot to Vietnam Border 52Ks (2/18)

Busy road to Kep turn off at 14Ks.  At 18Ks, the second turn to Kep.  Less traffic as you go.  Head winds.  At 36Ks, right on Hwy 33 toward border.  Quiet road, OK scenery.  At 52Ks, border.

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and vice versa  (Red)

Phnom Penh to Kampong Chnang 93Ks

Update 1/17:  Construction of 4 lane road for 20Ks.  Very tough and slow.  At 35Ks, now 2-lanes with shoulder.  Head winds.

3Ks along river past the bridge straight. Urban wide smooth road, Hwy #5. At 14Ks, past the new bridge (under construction). Industrial to 18Ks. Then more rural. OK scenery with river views. Still a wide good road. Moderate traffic. At 33Ks, another bridge under construction. Moderate traffic, wide road, dull scenery. Small hills at the end. Kampong Chnang at 93Ks.

Kampong Chnang to Pursat 95Ks

Update 1/17:  Narrow shoulder.  Cross to follow winds.

A narrower, bumpier but quieter road. Some truck traffic and fast cars. Redundant scenery. Changeable winds. At 81Ks, a wider, smoother road. At 95Ks, Pursat.

Pursat to Battambong 105Ks

Update 1/17:  Narrow shoulder.  Cross to follow winds.

Same wide road, a little older but good all the way. Same truck traffic. The usual flat scenery. Through here there was a tail wind (Easterly). Easy entry into city. Actually an OK ride (with a tail wind). Battambang at 105Ks.

Battambang to Sisaphon  70Ks  (**see below for boat from Battambang to Siem Reap)

Update: 1/17 Road is quit with narrow shoulder. Last 10Ks into Sisaphon, busy and dusty.

Sisaphon to Siem Reap 103Ks

Update: 1/17,   Wide 2-lane smooth road with a cycle shoulder.  Headwinds. Moderate traffic.  4-lanes into Siem Reap.

**Battambang to Siem Reap Port by boat

In dry season this boat trip that was supposed to be 4-6 hours took 9 hours, way too looooong.

**Siem Reap Port to Siem Reap 12Ks.

2-lanes, bumpy busy to old Market Area.

Day rides around the Temples.

We flew from Siem Reap to Hanoi, Vietnam and rode back to Cambodia via the Lao Delta

Phnom Penh to Kompong Cham 120 Ks

Leave PP along the river and take the Japanese Bridge on Highway #6A. The route is all on very good wide paved roads to Highway #6 passing Skuon. (see Kompong Cham to PP description above for alternate route on dirt road. The turn off for this alternate route is at Koh Kaong). This route is easier, longer and less interesting with some traffic compared to the alternative.

Alternate route to Laos Border from Kompong Cham
**Kompong Cham to Stung Treng or Kratie

This road is reported to be rough. You can take a boat to either form Kompong Cham.

**Stung Treng to Laos Border

This is 64 Ks of very rough road and the border is not always open. It is reported that you can cross with a “tip”. The road in Laos from this border is excellent.

Kompong Cham to Kompong Thom 110 Ks

Update 2/18:  Used Maps.me to find back roads to Hwy 71 at 20Ks.  Through town then dirt roads.  Mostly OK but dusty with traffic near KC then better and better.  Hwy 71, moderate traffic, tail wind into Chamkar Leu.  Mostly tail winds to Kompong Thom.

This route is not recommended. Take paved Highway #6 for 14 Ks to Traeung. Highway #21 goes north with sign posts for 97 Ks to Kompong Cham . This road starts bad (dirt, sand) and gets worse. We finally were led off this unused road through sandy paths to Highway #6 which is mostly broken but some is ok.

Day trip from Kompong Thom to Sambor Prei Kuk 56 Ks

This trip is to visit some minor temple ruins. There are some signs. 5 Ks to Thnol Bek then right on a good dirt road and right again to Prei Kuk. You can extend your ride past the ruins to see the countryside.

Kompong Thom to Skuon 90 Ks

The road is mostly broken and some ok.

Skuon to Kompong Chhnang 103 Ks

Start out for 44 Ks on excellent Highway #6 to junction for Prek Kdam Ferry. Go 7 Ks on good road to the ferry. Turn off the ferry to the right (north) on Highway #5. This is an improved road with moderate traffic but there are many fast moving taxis. There are some small hills. From Kompong Chhnang we hailed the boat to Siem Reap.

Route we did not take
Kompong Chhnang to Pursat to Battamburg to Sisaphon

It is reported that this road is variable but generally very rough. The road beyond Battamburg is reported to be very bad.

Day rides from Siem Reap around Angkor Watt

Excellent roads are as good as it can get. We used the LP Bike Book for routes. We recommend the “calm roads to Quiet Temples” ride but cut out the northern part. Simply go out and back to Bakong on the roads south of Highway #6 and south of Siem Reap. It’s even easy to ride around Siem Reap. Also it’s 15 Ks to the ferryboat to PP. The last 3 Ks are on a very rough one-lane road, which is chaos a ferryboat time.

Kompong Thom to Siem Reap 145 Ks

Update 2/18:  Alternative (dirt road) out to 11Ks per Maps.me.  Main road excellent and busy.  Tail winds to Speau Kompong Kadai.  Then main road for 42Ks.  Left per maps.me.  Mostly good dirt roads to Ba Kong Temple at 54Ks.  Then back roads (dirt) to Siem Reap at 64Ks (also per Maps.me. Better than our previous random routes.)

)(We only rode the first 5 Ks and last 16 Ks of this option) Reported as very rough and dusty. This is the bus route. 16 Ks before Siem Reap the road is excellent and it’s being constructed further. Eventually this will be a good road.

Road Stories

The boat to Siem Reap or Angkor Wat (2002 – This boat no longer runs)

We rode out of Phonom Penh to Kompon Chaang where we heard that the fast boat from Phonom Penh stopped for passengers on route to Siem Reap. No one in Kompon Chaang speaks English. We are operating on what we think they are telling us but have no real understanding.

We spend the night and arrive at the dock at 750AM for what we think is the 8:00AM boat. The locals direct us to a canoe with a small outboard motor and put our bikes with panniers attached in the front and we sit behind them. We slowly motor about 400 yards to a police houseboat. We clamor off the canoe and park our bikes next to the houseboat railing. The police officer points to seats at the other end of the porch for us to sit and act as ballast. At 9AM a little bigger canoe arrives. This time a man in a black t-shirt from the police station sits in the bow, then our bikes, then the driver and us. The wind has picked up, the river is wide here and the water is choppy. We bob and slosh to the middle of the brown river and wait. We spot a spray in the distance. A sleek fast boat materializes out of the spray. Peter says, “It’s not slowing down”, as it sprays past us. We slosh and bob back to the houseboat. Black t-shirt holds up two fingers as we are settling back on the porch, “two boat.” He disappears into the police houseboat.

Black t-shirt returns with an official brown police baseball cap and a long sleeve official gray shirt. We transfer into a still bigger canoe with a bigger motor. We bob back out to the middle of the river. Our now spiffed up and official Policeman stands in the bow with a Hail Hitler stance. Another fast boat materializes from another spray and slows – just a little. Is this going to be an instant reply? The canoe driver starts up the engine and we zoom along side the speeding boat. Four crew members are at the boat’s rail. It is split second timing. Two of the crew grab each bike while we are told to jump up. As I reach for the railing of the fast boat, a crew member grabs my wrists and swings me up so I can stand on the gunwale and hold the rail. We climb over the rail and look back, the canoe and policeman are a dot in the water. We ride the spray to Siem Reep.