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Motorcycle trip Cambodia

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Alex

Motorcycle tour Cambodia

A Royal Enfield trip in Cambodia plunges you into one of the most charming countries in South-East Asia. Cambodia is known in the whole world for its fabulous temples of Angkor. Calmness reigns over this small country and its treasures are scattered all over the whole territory, from the Khmer countryside to the dynamic city of Phnom Penh. Called the Pearl of Asia, the Cambodian capital seduces numerous travellers. Crossing authentic villages on the Royal Enfield is particularly well adapted to this country which follows the rhythm of the sun. The landscape will charm you instantly: long stretches of plantations, endless paddy fields, hills bathed in a hypnotic sunlight. The next stop is Siem Reap to visit the mythical temples of Angkor. It is time to get off your motorcycle and hop on to a bicycle and meander around this vast archeological site in complete freedom. From the north to the south, embark close to the Lake Tonlé Sap, before reaching the small town of Battambang. Travelling in Cambodia propels you into another world, one full of smiles and encounters. Not to forget the Cambodian cuisine which will delight everyone’s palate.

When should one leave for Cambodia?

The best season to do a motorcycle trip in Cambodia is undoubtedly between the months of November and March. Like in other South-East Asian countries, there are two seasons in Cambodia: a dry and hot winter and a very abundant summer monsoon season. Make sure you avoid travelling between April and October when the rains are abundant. The rain showers are short but heavy and occur generally at the end of the day. During this period, the temperatures are vey high. In winter, the temperatures are much more pleasant, fluctuating between 25 and 30°C. From November to February, the weather is a little bit cooler. From March onwards, the temperatures increase rapidly. Whether it is at Siem Reap at the Angkor temples, Lake Tonlé Sap, in the countryside in the centre of the country or in the capital Phnom Penh, the weather is relatively homogenous from the North to the South of the country. We have a preference for the months of November and December, when the landscapes are magnified by the recent monsoon rains.

Geography of Cambodia

Located in the heart of the Indochinese peninsula, Cambodia is surrounded by Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. A motorcycle trip in Cambodia will make you discover this country of 181 035 km², that is, a third of the size of France. With its smooth terrain, it is the ideal place for motorcycle trips. A topography marked by hills and plateaus with medium and low mountain ranges. More to the south, the terrain is distinguished by deltas, lakes, islands and marshlands. A land of lakes exuding absolute beauty. The South is surrounded by the Gulf of Siam and the region is known for its beautiful beaches of Sihanoukville and Kep. The Mekong, with its delta opening out to the south of Phnom Pehn and Lake Tonlé Sap are natural elements determining Cambodia’s geography. Their basins are connected through an artificial canal measuring several kilometers. In the rainy season, Mekong’s water levels rise in the lake whose area increases considerably. In the dry season, on the other hand, the accumulated reserves of Tonlé Sap flow into the Mekong.

History and culture in Cambodia

A motorcycle trip in Cambodia is immediately synonymous with meeting people. From the first century onwards, the Indian influence extends over Cambodia. The country was a Hindu country till the 14th century. The Angkor temples are witnesses to it. Theravada Buddhism is the main religion today. In the 12th century, Suryavarman II built Angkor Vat, dedicated to Vishnu. Consequently, under Jayavarman VII, a Buddhist king, the empire underwent its biggest extension with a capital: Angkor Thom, which can be visited even today. Late in the 13th century, the empire declined and in 1336, a Buddhist commoner came to power. This is the beginning of a long period of conflict with the neighboring Siam Kingdom and Vietnam. Each tried to conquer Cambodia and annexed a few provinces. To avoid a final sharing between Thailand and Vietnam, King Norodom the First signed a protectorate agreement with France in 1863. Khmer nationalism increased and the king proclaimed independence in 1954. The King was overthrown in 1970. The Americans invaded Cambodia and tried to drive out Vietcong soldiers from the Cambodian military bases. North Vietnamese army, aided by the Khmer Rouge, fought against the Cambodians. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge fighters invaded the capital and thus started 4 nightmarish years: the dictatorship if Pol Pot which left three million dead. It was finally in the 90s that Cambodia managed to find peace again and become a constitutional monarchy.

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