Project Bike rolls through Phnom Penh

Project Bike rolls through Phnom Penh

AFTER nine months, 19 countries and about 18,000 kilometres, Matthew Blake cycled into Phnom Penh on Friday on a mission known as Project Bike.

In an effort to raise money to build a primary school and orphanage in Lusaka, Zambia, for the global charity SOS Children's Villages, the 22-year-old set out from his home in Banbury, England, on a route that has taken him through Europe, former Soviet states, China and now Southeast Asia.

"I had never really cycled before but I wanted to travel, and cycling is a much cheaper and more interesting way to do it," Blake said.

Besides some necessary boat trips and one forced train ride in Kazakhstan due to visa time constraints, Blake says he plans to cycle the whole way, camping roadside in rural areas and staying in hotels or with generous locals in the cities and villages.

He said the response has been overwhelming, particularly in Turkey and Kazakhstan, where local hospitality surprised and inspired him,  and Blake cited numerous examples of families welcoming him into their homes.

"I met this family at a truck-stop in Kazakstan," he said, displaying a photo of five smiling faces. "They were on their way to a wedding and couldn't stay to eat with me but insisted on buying me a meal."

Blake says the response in Cambodia has also been friendly, particularly in rural areas where families have offered meals and a bed for the night despite being obviously poor. For more information about Project Bike, visit


  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • Chinese living in Kingdom more than doubles since ’17

    The number of Chinese nationals living in Cambodia this year has increased to more than 210,000. The figure rose from last year’s 100,000, the newly appointed Secretary of State Sok Phal confirmed yesterday. He said: “Of the 210,000, more than 78,000 are living in Preah Sihanouk [province], but