CYCLING TREKKING SINCE 1999
 
 
 
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Ancient temples, empty beaches, mighty rivers, remote forests ... and (outside Angkor) only a handful of tourists. But the word is out - Cambodia has emerged from the decades of war and isolation that made it a byword for atrocities, refugees, poverty and political instability. Those magical Angkor temples are drawing gaping travellers by the busload once more, and Cambodia is well and truly back on the South-East Asian travel map.

The successor-state of the mighty Khmer Empire - which ruled much of what is now Vietnam, Laos and Thailand - Cambodia boasts a rich culture, French-era (albeit a little weathered) capital and impressive natural scenery. The peace is young but relatively stable, and the country is slowly attracting the tourism currently sweeping neighbouring Vietnam. However, the proliferation of land mines and banditry in remote areas means the picture isn't all rosy, and for now the beaten path remains by far the one best travelled.


SAFTY

Cambodia has been opened up for tourists since 1998 after Khmer Rouge has demobilized their forces with the government.  It has ended the long decade civil war. It is safe now to travel around followed our suggested itinerary. There are some excellent English & French publications which allow you to do this: Lonely Planet guide book.

The other major information sources are from guest-houses & people, both long-term resident  ex-pats & travellers themselves. In Phnom Penh, Capitol GH is a renowned place for info, but now any friendly guest-house area is good for finding out what you need to know.

Cambodia with support from many international NGOs has cleared landmines most of the tourist areas and other developing area. There are many demining projects running since 1990s by MAG (Mines Advisory Group), Halo Trust, Janpan Demining Assistance, Cambodia Mines Action Center (CMAC). Early 1990s, the first face of demining was for providing land for Cambodian refugees returning from Thailand border. Now it has come to 3rd phase demining for development. Cambodia has also sent their skillful demining team to participate in UN peace keeping demining programs in Sudan and Iraq also. It is safe now to do cycling and trekking trips in Cambodia followed our suggested itineraries.


LOCAL TRANSPORT

In Phnom Penh & Siem Reap, moto taxis are the main option.

Bus : Newly erected bus shelters have been spotted in Phnom Penh!! As yet no information on services.

Taxi : Phnom Penh Un-metered easily found around Central Market. One company ( Vantha Travel) does operate a couple of metered taxis. 24 hour service.

Car Hire : Car hire US$20+/day incl. Driver. Bargain

Cyclo : Cycle rickshaw. Phnom Penh. The most stylish way to see Phnom Penh. Single journey 1500 riel, must bargain !! usually $1/hour

Moto-Motorbike Taxi : Motos are everywhere. Typically 1000 riel per journey. Bargain. One word of caution about moto drivers. The moto drivers at the GH's have good English. 95% of moto drivers in Phnom Penh have no English beyond .."you need moto?".

It helps to know your way back from town to your hotel or navigate by landmarks obvious to locals (Psah Central, Wat Phnom). On the upside, these guys are usually cheaper!!! In Siem Reap $5-6/day

Bicycle : Indochina Adventures offer good mountain bike Trek 4300-4500 year 2008-2009 for $10+/day. There are some good road and back road to get you dirt. So Trek is durable and suitable for both kinds of roads.


CUSTOMS

These customs are common throughout South East Asia.

Toilet :
Squat toilets are usual. Toilet paper is rare - cleaning by left hand is the custom. Flush with hand bucket. Most Guesthouses have western style toilets, some even have toilet paper.

Bathing :
take water from a water pool with a bucket and pour over your head. Most hotel have showers.

Left hand :
Do not touch others with your left hand as it is considered dirty - see above for explanation.

Touching the head of others :
It is quite insulting to Cambodians. Never ever touch with your left hand.

Clothing :
Casual dress is generally acceptable . However religious sites require that arms and legs be covered.

Footware (indoor) :
Locals don't wear shoes inside houses or temples. Remove your shoes before entry.

Bargaining :
Common practice in markets, street stalls, taxis, cyclos.

 
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Thailand and Cambodia Tours (IND02)
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