Quad biking in Cambodia

When I first put to my partner that we would be spending three days exploring the temples of Angkor just outside Siem Reap in Cambodia, he was a little hesitant, worried about being ‘templed out’.

Realising therefore that we might need to mix things up a bit to ensure each of us was happy, I looked into various other activities to do on a day in the middle. Little did I know that we would end up doing what turned out to be one of the highlights of our time in Cambodia – a quad bike ride through the countryside surrounding Siem Reap with Quad Adventure Cambodia. This gave us an amazing opportunity to see that there is so much more to the area that the obvious draw of the temples of Angkor.

The beauty of the trip is that previous experience is not necessary; although I have ridden on a quad numerous times thanks my farming family roots, my partner had never sat on one. The Polaris Trail quad bikes were of good quality and were well kept, with each driver having a quick driving test to check we were safe and happy to control a quad bike ourselves. If preferred or required, participants can opt to be passenger on a quad driven by a Quad Cambodia team member. With the quads being fully automatic and feeling incredibly stable, this is a trip that could be enjoyed be the younger and older alike. In fact, for a family able to sit children on the quad with them, it could be the perfect way to see more of Cambodia in a fun and exhilarating way.

Discussing the route with our guide
Discussing the route with our guide

We opted for the Discovery tour, a 45km route supposed to take 2 hours and 15 minutes. While the torrential rain of the wet season slowed us down and turned it into a full afternoon trip, it didn’t stop us. We rode through rice paddies, drove through small villages, on main roads and along dirt tracks – the nature of the quad as an all-terrain vehicle made this easy! If you opt to do this in Cambodia, the local children will rush out to wave at you, so make sure you take the time to wave back.

Discovery Tour route, from Quad Adventure Cambodia website
Discovery Tour route, from Quad Adventure Cambodia website

Riding through the rice paddies and local village was a unique experience, made all the more memorable by being a private tour for the two of us with a brilliant local guide who was able to point out the sights an tell us the history of the area and lead us off the beaten tourist track.

Riding through the paddy fields
Riding through the paddy fields

A rest break is provided, giving you the chance to use the bathroom, stretch your legs and purchase a drink from a small local cafe. This also gave us the opportunity to talk with our very friendly guide. He was fascinated by the parts of the world that my partner and I have been lucky enough to visit, asking questions and expressing his regret that largely due to the prohibitive cost of a passport, it was unlikely he would be able to do the same. I found this particularly heartbreaking as it is a story I heard repeatedly in Cambodia. More than ever it made me realise how privileged I am to be able to share this experience with you now.

The tours offered by Quad Adventure Cambodia range in length and duration from an hour’s trip to the paddy fields at sunset at $30, through to a complete five day holiday with accommodation and meals included at just over $1000!

En route with our quads!
En route with our quads!

If you are looking for a different way to see the Cambodian countryside, I couldn’t recommend it enough!

Top tips:

  • When booking online you can arrange to be picked up directly from your hotel by tuk-tuk, saving you needing to make travel arrangements.
  • Dress appropriately with long trousers and covered shoulders – you will get very dusty/muddy/sunburnt dependent on the weather!
  • All safety equipment is provided, including a helmet with visor and a dust mask. It is advisable to wear secure shoes rather than flip flops.
  • If you are a bit squeamish, you may want to opt out of the visit to the crocodile farm offered where you can see the skin being removed and prepared to be sent to Vietnam to make shoes.
  • Bring a camera! You would regret missing out on the tremendous photo opportunities which are provided along the route.
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