Top 10 Must-Ride Gravel Cycling Routes in Cambodia
Cambodia, with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and relatively undiscovered paths, offers gravel cycling enthusiasts a unique adventure. Whether you’re drawn to the serene beauty of ancient ruins, the challenges of remote hill trails, or the charm of rural countryside, Cambodia’s diverse terrain has something to offer every rider. Here’s a curated list of the top 10 must-ride gravel cycling routes across the kingdom, each promising an unforgettable journey through the heart of Southeast Asia.

1. Angkor Wat Loop

Distance: Approximately 40km

Start/End: Siem Reap

Highlights: This iconic loop around the Angkor Wat temple complex combines historical exploration with the thrill of off-road cycling. Riding at dawn to catch the sunrise over Angkor Wat is an experience like no other.

2. Phnom Kulen National Park

Distance: About 50km

Start/End: Siem Reap

Highlights: A challenging climb to the sacred mountain of Phnom Kulen rewards cyclists with stunning waterfalls, ancient carvings, and a panoramic view of the surrounding jungle.

3. Cardamom Mountains Trail

Distance: Variable, up to 180km

Start/End: Battambang to Koh Kong

Highlights: One for the more adventurous, this route takes you through one of Southeast Asia’s last great rainforests, offering breathtaking views, challenging terrain, and the chance to spot rare wildlife.

4. Tonle Sap Lake Circuit

Distance: Approximately 100km

Start/End: Siem Reap

Highlights: Circumnavigate the vast expanse of Tonle Sap Lake, experiencing authentic floating villages, abundant birdlife, and the vibrant local culture along the lake's shores.

5. Kampot Pepper Route

Distance: About 30-60km

Start/End: Kampot

Highlights: Explore the famed pepper plantations of Kampot on routes that offer scenic views of lush fields backdropped by Elephant Mountains and the opportunity to learn about pepper cultivation from local farmers.

6. Mekong Discovery Trail

Distance: Various sections, up to 180km in total

Start/End: Kratié to the Lao border

Highlights: Follow alongside the mighty Mekong River, visiting remote islands, traditional villages, and possibly spotting the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins.

7. Preah Vihear Temple Route

Distance: Approximately 100km

Start/End: Sra Em

Highlights: A more remote adventure leads to the spectacular Preah Vihear Temple, perched atop a 525-meter cliff in the Dangrek Mountains, offering extraordinary views and an insight into Cambodia's ancient grandeur.

8. Bokor Mountain Challenge

Distance: About 25km (one way)

Start/End: Kampot

Highlights: A steady climb up the old French hill station of Bokor Mountain provides not just a physical challenge but also eerie encounters with colonial ruins and sweeping views of the Cambodian coastline.

9. Chi Phat Community Eco-Tourism Circuit

Distance: Various, up to 50km

Start/End: Chi Phat

Highlights: Immerse yourself in conservation efforts and untouched wilderness in the heart of the Cardamom Mountains, engaging with local community projects and exploring pristine trails.

10. Banlung Jungle Loop

Distance: About 60-80km

Start/End: Banlung

Highlights: This rugged loop through Ratanakiri Province takes riders deep into Cambodia’s “red dirt” country, offering up close encounters with remote tribal villages, hidden waterfalls, and volcanic lakes.


Cambodia’s gravel cycling routes offer more than just physical challenges; they are pathways to understanding the country’s soul, from the echoes of ancient civilizations to the rhythm of rural life. Each route promises a unique blend of adventure, culture, and natural beauty, making Cambodia a must-visit destination for gravel cycling enthusiasts seeking authentic, off-the-beaten-path experiences. Remember, the best adventures are those approached with respect for local communities and ecosystems, ensuring these trails remain vibrant for generations to come.

Cycling Indochina: Vietnam to Cambodia Adventure Trip

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