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Monday, January 30, 2023

Renting a motorbike in Siem Reap

Homepage Forum Siem Reap Forum General Questions & Information Renting a motorbike in Siem Reap

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    Hi guys,

    I was wondering if it’s possible to rent a motorbike in Siem Reap. It would be cool to visit the temples and do some sightseeing by motorcycle… Any suggestions?




    Hi Robin,

    Although you will notice that some shops in Siem Reap rent out motorbikes, this is actually illegal. Unlike in most other cities in Cambodia (Phnom Penh, Battambang, Sihanoukville,…) the law prohibits local businesses to rent out motorbikes to tourists. The reason behind it, is a bit unclear. Some say that it’s because of the dangerous traffic and road conditions in Siem Reap. But then again, isn’t this the issue everywhere in Cambodia?

    Nevertheless, when visiting Siem Reap, you will notice many foreigners driving a motorbike. This gives the false idea that renting one is allowed after all. The reality is different. Usually these foreigners are expats living in Siem Reap and they bought the motorbike they’re driving. This is allowed by the law, on the condition that you have a current Cambodian driver license. (Which most expats don’t have, but that’s a whole different story. :))



    I forgot to mention that it is possible (and legal) to rent an “e-bike” or electronic bicycle in Siem Reap. Apparently these are not considered to be motorbikes and so you don’t need a driving license for them. See picture below. You will find several shops across town which rent out these little green bikes.

    Siem Reap green e-bike



    Hi, is it possible to drive with an international drivers license like in thailand? if not how can one require a cambodian drivers license for a mototbike and/or car.this is very easy in thailand , is this the same in cambodia?



    Hi. Driving in Cambodia with an international driving license is not according to the law. Most probably it will cost you a few dollars (bribe) when the traffic police stops you. It hapened to me before in PP. The traffic law states as follows:

    Except when there is a bilateral or multinational agreement or international convention recognized by two countries or more with Kingdom of Cambodia, legal immigrants who want to drive on the road of the Kingdom of Cambodia could obtain Cambodian license in two ways:      1.   Applying in the examination for driving license like Cambodians 2. Exchanging their national driving licenses with the Cambodian one by submitting the application form to Ministry of Public Works and Transportation and shall complete the following criteria:  a. Shall have passport and valid visa b. Shall have a valid driving license c. Shall have clear permanent address certified by authority d. Shall have a physical certificate and stayed in Cambodia at least six months e. In case the driving license is not in English or French, it shall be translated into English or French certified by their embassies, consuls or other competent institutions. The valid duration of driving license of foreigners exchanged to Cambodian one shall be in one year. The valid duration of driving license of the foreigners who passed the driving test would be in the same period as the Cambodian ones. And in the case that the foreigners’ driving license is invalid, the foreign drivers shall take the theoretical test and practical driving test. Foreign drivers holding driving license type C, D, and E shall not be able to exchange for those type, but shall be able to exchange for type A or B

    In practice: upon arrival. You go to one of the many driving schools in town an convert your national driving license to a Cambodian one. If you have a proof-of-residency paper (see one of my other posts) it will cost you around 40usd, if you don’t have this paper the driving school will do for you and it will cost you around 60usd. The qcambodian driving license obtained in this way will be valid for one year.

    Edit: don’t forget to take around a lot of passport pictures with you.

    Kind Regards,



    Some more questions:

    How much is the bribe in cambodia? like in thailand its somewhere between 200 and 400 bath.

    if the cambodian drivers license is valid for 1 year , a renewel is again 40 $???

    And do they keep the international one or do i just have to show it, because every two months i want to go to thailand and there i need it




    The 40USD with proof-of-residency paper (or 60USD without) is the full cost, there is no extra bribe. It’s included already. And yes, you will have to renew and pay this fee yearly as far as I know.

    They will definitely not keep your international driving license. In fact, you don’t even need it. Just your national one which you’ll receive back of course.

    If you were referring to bribes when the police stops your vehicle on the road, then I’m not sure…



    Tourists will have to rent a motorbike with driver included, because renting a motorbike is forbidden to foreign citizens in Siem Reap. It usually costs around $0.5 to $2 for a ride around town. Shops in Siem Reap also offer renting an electric motorbike, or e-bike. These green-colored motorbikes are mostly used to drive to the designated areas within the Angkor Wat site, and renting one costs around $10 per day. No license needed. However, there are definitely other ways to get around Siem Reap.


    For the licenses,

    International Driver’s License is not recognized in Cambodia. For 49-125 cc motorcycles, there is no need to get license. Tourists and visitors who are just staying for a couple of days can ignore getting a license, many expats just pay the small fine once stopped. However, for foreigners staying for a longer period might as well just get a license.

    The requirements are 5 passport photos, passport with current visa, valid driver’s license, and a 35 USD processing fee. One can apply at The Department of Public Works and Transport or at The Ministry of Public Works and Transport in Norodom Boulevard. The turnaround time is usually 24 hours for the provisional license and 1 month for the real license. There is also an online application form available online on MPWT website.



    For those who were doubting: It’s still not alowed for tourists to rent a motorbike in Siem Reap.

    Siem Reap Governor Kim Bunsong reminded business owners late last week to obey a long-standing, and often flouted, ban on motorcycle and scooter rentals to tourists.

    Source: http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/siem-reap-governor-warns-businesses-flouting-siem-reap-moto-rental-ban

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