|Type of tour:||Guided|
|Distance:||39 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Daily, 2015 (minimum 2 participants)|
|Start city:||Bangkok, Thailand|
|End city:||Siem Reap, Cambodia|
Start your 9-days cycling adventure in Thailand pedaling along the coast line and beautiful beaches. Head to the Cardamom Mountains and cross into Cambodia following dirt roads to Battambang. Cruise along floating villages and discover the ancient Angkor Wat temples.
A cycle tour is undoubtedly the best way to really connect with a country, its people, to experience the tempo of village life, and escape the well trodden tourist trail. This Bangkok to Siem Reap cycle tour is fully supported and fully guided, and it keeps you away from the main roads which many similar tours follow.
Your cycle tour of Thailand begins by hugging the coast and passing some beautiful beaches, before heading inland towards the Cardamom Mountains. You cross into Cambodia at a remote border crossing and follow dirt roads to colonial Battambang.
After a relaxing cruise passing fascinating floating villages you arrive in Siem Reap and discover the spectacular ancient temples of the mighty Khmer Empire. For anyone wanting to discover the real Thailand and Cambodia, this is the tour for you!
Learn more about guided tours.
Day 1: Arrive Bangkok and transfer to Laem Mae Pim Beach (19 miles/30km)
On arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, you will be transferred south away from the busy streets of Bangkok to the laidback and beautiful Laem Mae Phim Beach. Here you will have some free time to relax, have lunch and maybe even take a dip in the clear warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand. In the afternoon you will spend some time preparing your bikes and going on a gentle warm up cycle ride through the surrounding countryside, nearby villages and fruit plantations (this region of Thailand is renowned for its exotic fruit). This short bike ride allows you to get to know your fellow cyclists as well as ensuring your bike is working properly. Back at the resort you will enjoy your traditional Thai 'Welcome' dinner. Dinner included.
Overnight in Laem Mae Pim
Day 2: Laem Mae Pim to Chaolao Beach (50 miles/80km)
Get up early as you acclimatize to the weather. The bike ride hugs the coastline as you pass from beach to beach on small local roads that are very quiet to traffic, the seascapes are marvelous. This is an interesting bike route that lets you see the local Thai way of life, as you cycle through local fishing villages, sea food markets and plenty of temples where you can stop for a well earned rest and refreshments. The mangrove swamps and fruit plantations add a diversity to the scenery on this very picturesque of rides. You also take some short ferry crossings which help to save some distance by taking you directly across the estuaries. You finish the bike ride right on the quiet beach of Chaolao. From here it is so easy to take a refreshing dip in the sea before dinner. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Overnight in Chaolao Beach.
Day 3: Chaolao Beach to Pong Nam Ron (68 miles/110km)
Today is a big day as you cycle through 110km with some steady climbs near the end. Initially you bike inland and notice the scenery changing from coastline to forests and distant mountains. Again this bicycle ride is on small paved roads that have little traffic and are a joy to cycle on. You are now in Chantaburi Province which is well known for its fruit and you will see and taste plenty as you pass by plantations, forests and lots of small local villages. The last 12km of the ride is on a busier road and this is where the small climbs begin. However, on arrival in Pong Nam Ron the reward is the hotel's pool where you can relax with a well earned beer, overlooking the adjacent golf course with a backdrop of forested mountains. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Overnight in Pong Nam Ron.
Day 4: Pong Nam Ron to Pailin, Cambodia (40 miles/65km)
This morning you head east on less travelled roads, cycling towards the quiet Thai / Cambodian border crossing, nestled in the foothills of the scenic Cardamom mountains. Immediately on crossing the border you will notice the difference in the fortunes of these neighboring countries as you leave the tarmac of Thailand and cycle on the bumpy red dirt roads of Cambodia! It is also very obvious how the concrete homes of Thailand give way to the wood and thatch shacks of Cambodia. After 20km of Cambodian cycling you arrive at the small, dusty town of Pailin, which was once home to both a thriving semi-precious stone mining industry and some former high ranking officials of the expired brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Overnight in Pallin.
Day 5: Pailin to Battambang (53 miles/85km)
Bike on the tarmac road all the way to the outskirts of Battambang. After a few early climbs the majority of the day is downhill, not that you will obviously notice it as you weave around the large potholes! Initially you cycle through cash-crop plantations such as corn, cassava, and cashew nut, however getting closer to Battambang this changes to the emerald green of endless rice paddies. You cycle through various pleasant small villages made up of wooden shacks and shady trees. Excellent places to stop for a rest and get some real interaction with the curious and friendly locals. About 15km from Battambang you cannot fail to miss the imposing limestone outcrop of Phnom Sampeau with its hilltop pagoda. If you still have excess energy you may choose to climb the 700+ steps and be rewarded with great views of the surrounding countryside. Battambang is a relaxed and laid back town sitting on the banks of the Sangker River and a pleasant place to explore before having dinner. Breakfast and lunch included.
Overnight in Battambang.
Day 6: Battambang to Siem Reap (12 miles/20km)
You have an early start as you cycle through the sleepy streets of Battambang to board the boat to Siem Reap. This is arguably the most fascinating river trip in Cambodia and takes around 6 - 7 hours (When the water levels are low it may not be possible to take the boat trip, and the journey will be made by road). As the river winds its way into the Tonle Sap Lake (South East Asia's largest freshwater lake) you pass an amazing variety of landscapes and lives, seemingly unchanged for hundreds of years. As the river joins the Tonle Sap Lake you pass the protected wetland of Prek Toal, regarded as the single most important breeding ground for globally threatened large water birds in South East Asia. After crossing the vast expanse of this inland sea and heading towards Siem Reap port you pass through the floating village of Chong Khneas where we witness an entire bamboo village complete with homes, gas stations, schools, hair dressers, and even karaoke bars floating on water! Once you arrive at the port you get a chance to shake your legs as we cycle the 9 miles/15km into Siem Reap and to your hotel. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 7: Explore the Angkor Temples (25 miles/40km)
On your first morning in Siem Reap we head out to begin our cycle exploration of these incredible temples. Today we will focus on the Small Circuit which features temple greats such as: the pyramid of Takeo, the jungle-clad Ta Prohm, made famous by the Hollywood blockbuster 'Tomb Raider'; Sras Srang, known as the King's bathing pond; and the impressive Royal City of Angkor Thom. You will also bike to other important sites in this immense walled city. After lunch it is time to cycle to the majestic Angkor Wat, the world's largest religious building. After returning to the hotel you are free at leisure to experience Siem Reap's nightlife which includes many fine restaurants and lively bars. Breakfast and lunch included.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 8: Banteay Srei Temple (50 miles/85km)
This morning you bike north towards Banteay Srei. This cycle ride is a real delight and your first introduction to the wonderful Cambodian countryside and its friendly villagers. We will stop off at a couple of villages to get a closer look at the wooden stilted homes and everyday life. One thing you will notice for sure is large black pots in people's gardens containing a thick light brown bubbling mixture - this area is famed for its sugar palm tree sweets, sure to give any cyclist a much needed energy boost! On arrival at Banteay Srei you will be struck by its delicate beauty. It is an elaborately decorated temple, embellished with floral motifs and scenes from the Ramayana, all carved from pink sandstone. You will have lunch at a local restaurant, after which you cycle back towards Siem Reap and depending on the time explore some other temples on the way. This evening you will enjoy a 'Farewell' dinner and a mesmerizing Apsara dance performance. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 9: Departure
Today you are free to continue your onward travel plans, leaving the home of the mighty Khmer Empire with many wonderful cycling memories. Breakfast included.
These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.
Laem Mae Pim Beach: Baan Lom Talay Challen (3-star)
Chaolao Beach: Chaolao Beach Resort (3-star)
Pong Nam Ron: Soi Dao Highland Resort (3-star)
Pailin: Memorial Palace Hotel
Battambang: Classy Hotel and Spa (3-star)
Siem Reap: Soria Moria (3-star)
Bikes available to rent on this tour (reserved in advance at time of booking):
Bikes are equipped with:
Helmets are not available to rent. For safety and hygeine purposes, we recommend you bring your own helmet or plan to purchase one upon arrival.
60% sealed roads, 40% dirt roads. Road conditions in Cambodia have improved considerably over the past few years. This trip is on a variety of fascinating back roads and trails. Roads are mostly in good condition, but with some pot-holes, sand and boggy sections.
We are well away from traffic for the majority of this ride which is a huge advantage as the highways of Asia are no fun. We have dedicated much time and effort to find the best cycling routes through the region that we call home. In general this is a very flat ride.
One month single entry visas can be easily obtained upon entry to Cambodia. Visas on arrival cost US$20 and require one passport photo. You can obtain a visa in your own country if you wish. Before you travel check your passport to ensure that there is room for a visa and entry/exit stamps (at least 3 pages) and that it has at least 6 months validation remaining.
We recommend vaccinations including typhoid, polio, tetanus and hepatitis A & B. A certificate for Yellow Fever is required when arriving from an infected area within six days. Please consult with your doctor for most up to date information.
Anyone travelling on a cycling holiday in Southeast Asia should go to see their doctor for a check-up prior to the trip. Some countries will require specific vaccinations and your doctor will have access to the most up to date information about this.
You should carry a well stocked first aid kit with you when you travel. Here is a sample list:
The official currency of Cambodia is the Riel, however, the US dollar serves as a second currency and can be used in all situations. When going to Cambodia it is best to bring small denomination US dollars cash along with travellers cheques as your main form of money. Around Siem Reap Thai Baht can also be used. Credit cards can be used in a few major centres, however, they should not be relied on as the main way you will access your money. There are now ATMs in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville which dispense US dollars, however, this should not be relied on as your sole source of money.
We recommend that you allow approximately US$20 for food and general living costs per day. Shopping money should be considered extra to this amount. It is customary to tip the guides and drivers in Asia. You should allow approximately US$30 for tips. Note: this is a guide only, feel free to tip more or less (or nothing) depending on your satisfaction. If you think your tour leader has done a good job you may also tip him/her. Again this is completely up to you.
Nearest airport: Bangkok, Thailand
Nearest airport: Siem Reap, Cambodia
An integral part of traveling is to have a positive impact on the country that you are visiting. On this trip there are a number of things you can do to have a positive impact on the communities that we visit.
Cambodia is still quite conservative country. In rural areas and temples overly revealing clothing is considered offensive. You should make an effort to dress more conservatively in these situations. Walking around a village in bike shorts is not appropriate so if you wish to cycle in just bike shorts you should have something with you on the bike to put on over the top such as long loose shorts or a skirt/sarong. A good solution to this is 'shy shorts' which combine cycling shorts with loose long shorts over the top. When visiting temples shorts are acceptable providing they cover the knee. Sleeveless tops are not acceptable in temples.
A highly memorable part of your travels will be the local people that you meet. In the tourist areas some people will speak English but away from these areas it is great to learn a few words of Khmer. We will teach you some of the basics but if you want to really interact we recommend bringing a phrase book.
Often when coming on trips overseas people like to bring items such as sweets, pens and books for children or old clothing for families. While this is a fantastic idea, if distributed in the wrong way it can actually create more problems. Giving items away to local people can create an expectation that a visiting foreigner equals free give away's. In some communities in Asia this has created whole villages where the only interaction is the locals asking for things. If you would like to donate anything to the communities that we visit we suggest that you give the items to Asia Adventures which we will then pass on to development organisations, schools or whole communities. In this way items are distributed by those working in the communities who understand better the local needs.
There is an enormous amount of poverty in Cambodia which you will see, particularly in tourist areas. If you choose to give something to a beggar you must bear in mind the value of money in the country you are visiting. Many beggars can earn more than those who work unskilled jobs. There are organizations in Cambodia who are working to alleviate this poverty issue and may be able to do more good with donations that you might like to make. Your Tour Leader will be able to provide more information about this.
Cambodia is a classic tropical climate with generally warm to hot days and warm nights. You won't need any warm clothing on this tour. The coolest months are November to January.
During the wet season (May-Oct) it does rain most days but the rain generally falls in the late afternoon or night - after we have finished our cycling. The wet season is actually a fantastic time to visit Cambodia as the rain brings the fields and country to life. Endless green rice fields are a feature of this time of year.
Weatherspark.com offers information on average weather conditions at most destinations throughout the globe. Type a destination in the search box, and select "Averages," and you'll find a range of information such as average high and low temperatures, precipitation, cloudy days, humidity and wind speed/direction.
Of course, if your tour is coming up in the next week, you can also select "Forecast" to get the most current information on upcoming conditions.
Established in 2006, Asia Adventures is owned & operated by local adventure travel experts, in cooperation with international travel professionals. Our management team has over 30 years combined experience in the tourism & hospitality industry, & we are well-traveled throughout Cambodia & the region. Moreover, we are cycling, trekking & cruise-travel enthusiasts ourselves.
Asia Adventures continues to grow & develop strong partnerships, providing our guests the best possible travel experience. We blend centuries-old Southeast Asian grace, charm, & hospitality with the best practices of international tourism management. Our attention to detail will assure you a stress-free holiday while enjoying the region’s warm, genuine traditional hospitality.
Asia Adventures is a leading Responsible Tourism operator in Cambodia. Our programs involve grass roots local participation - utilizing tourism to facilitate poverty alleviation. All revenue generated remains within the region, assisting in its social & economic development.
Attention to detail:
Asia Adventures is laser-focused on our guests’ needs, assuring every detail will be attended to. Carefully selected multi-lingual guides, drivers, tour routes & services provide an enjoyable, hassle-free, high-quality, & unforgettable vacation. We prepare itineraries & make all arrangements for a variety of tours, as well as other services as requested.
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