The introduction of the environmentally friendly transportation is part of the government's efforts to reduce noise and pollution in and around the country's majestic former capital, said Seung Kong, deputy director-general of Apsara authority, a government agency managing the centuries-old site in the northwestern province of Siem Reap.
He said bicycles are rented out during daylight hours for US$4 (euro3.4) per visit to the sprawling 12th century complex. There are 14 repair stations within the park where tourists can have bicycles fixed or their batteries recharged.
"Our main objective is to reduce the use of automobiles that produce smoke," he said, adding that an inaugural ceremony for the service was held Tuesday.
He noted that his agency has already taken other steps to safeguard the temples and their environment. Trucks with a load capacity higher than 20 tons and buses with more than 24 seats have been banned from traveling across the complex, he said.
Drivers have also been urged to turn off the engines of their vehicles while waiting for guests to finish their tours, he said.
Tens of thousands of tourists every year visit the temples at Angkor, which have suffered from exposure to the elements, pillaging and neglect.
Conservationists have warned that the monuments are becoming even more vulnerable to damage, especially from the noise and vibrations coming from passing vehicles and planes taking off and landing at a nearby airport.
Seung Kong said his agency bought the bicycles for US$190 (euro162) each from China and will order more if the current project proves popular.
Source: Environment News Network