In Siem Reap, locals take to two wheels to escape virus monotony

As the trails of Temple Town are freed from hoards of tourists, out-of-work and exercise-starved locals are reclaiming Siem Reap's once-crowded tarmac and taking to two wheels to escape the virus monotony.

As the sun begins to set in Siem Reap, cyclists across town strap on their helmets, hop in their saddles and head for Angkor, the ancient capital of the Khmer Empire.

From downtown, it’s a five kilometre cruise on smooth tarmac flanked by lush forest to the southern edge of the moat surrounding Angkor Wat – the most famous of the temple complexes housed within Angkor Archaeological Park, emblazoned on Cambodia’s flag.

Normally, the park would be filled with tourists attempting to capture the perfect sunset picture, but since the coronavirus swept through Siem Reap, the ancient monument has fallen silent. According to Angkor Enterprise, this May the park welcomed 1,776 foreign visitors, a 99% decrease on May 2019.

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