Bicycles have long been an eco-friendly method to explore the vast complex of temples within the Angkor Archaeological Park, with e-bikes joining the mix in the past few years.

However, increasing numbers of cyclists sharing the road with growing numbers of cars, motos (motorbike taxis), remork-motos (tuk-tuks) and minivans has led to safety issues and congestion. The new cycle path is hoping to deal with both issues.

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The new cycle path will deal with congestion ©sharptoyou/Shutterstock

The route will mostly shadow the main roads around Angkor Wat, as to not infringe on the forests surrounding the Unesco World Heritage-listed site. The construction methods have also been carefully considered, with lightweight and flexible materials being used to minimise impact on soil layers and to reduce pressure on nearby tree roots.

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It's on the Unesco World Heritage list ©sharptoyou/Shutterstock

The two-metre-wide path will start behind the main temple of Angkor Wat and finish near the Hindu temple of Ta Keo.
After the International Coordinating Committee for Angkor (ICC-Angkor) gave the project the green light, the Authority for the Protection of the Site and Management of the Region of Angkor (APSAR) took charge of the construction. Some 300m have already been completed. 

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Cars were banned from the road in front of the temple in 2016 ©Jaromir Chalabala/Shutterstock

Earlier moves to combat congestion included the banning of all motor vehicles along a 300m stretch of road immediately in front of the Angkor Wat temple in 2016. That move was also instigated after fears were raised that the vibrations from the traffic could endanger the ancient stone complex.
Angkor Wat, built by the Khmer ruler Suryavarman II (r 1112-52), is Cambodia’s biggest tourist draw, attracting some 2.6 million visitors each year.

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