Our bikes crunch across wet gravel as we turn off the Siem Reap to Phnom Penh highway. While we amble down one of the many dirt roads that snake their way out of Siem Reap towards the countless small villages dotting the flat landscape, monks collect morning alms from makeshift food stalls. With a squeeze of his brakes, our guide, Samnang, slows to a halt, pointing to four uniformed men in an adjacent field, trailing a huge device that looks like a metal detector near a white, UN marked Land Rover. ''Training to clear landmines,'' he says. ''They've already cleared many temple sites, but there's much work left to do.''
WELCOMING COMMITTEE: Cyclists in rural Cambodia are a major attraction for children in the area who rush out to shout ‘hello’ and ‘barang’ (foreigner).
It's a stark reminder that this country, and this area in particular, still suffers the horrific after-effects of the Khmer Rouge's brief but brutal rule.
This article is older than 60 days, which we reserve for our premium members only.You can subscribe to our premium member subscription, here.