|Type of tour:||Guided|
|Distance:||45 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Daily: Groups of 2 or more, 2014|
|Start city:||Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam|
|End city:||Bangkok, Thailand|
Bike through three of South East Asia's most exotic countries. Explore the Mekong Delta, visit Phnom Penh, discover the magical Angkor Wat temples, and relax on white sandy beaches in Thailand before traveling to Bangkok for your final stop.
A cycle tour is without a doubt the best way to really connect with a country and its local people in order to experience the village life and escape the well trodden tourist trails.
This Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) to Bangkok cycle tour is fully supported, entirely guided and it keeps you away from the main roads which many similar tours follow. You will start your tour in the hustle and bustle of dynamic Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Then you will explore the unique and wonderful watery world and traditional lifestyles of the Mekong Delta.
You cross the border to Cambodia and cycle along endless rice paddies and take breaks in everyday villages, before reaching quiet colonial coastal towns. After resting in charming Phnom Penh, you will transfer directly to Siem Reap and explore the spectacular ancient Angkor temples of the mighty Khmer Empire.
A relaxing cruise passing gives you the opportunity to visit the fascinating floating villages before arriving in the laid- back town of Battambang. Your last cycling destination will be the coast and you will stop at some beautiful white sandy beaches, before traveling to Bangkok. For anyone who wants to discover the real Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, this is the tour you should book!
Learn more about guided tours.
Day 1: Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
On arrival in Ho Chi Minh City, you will be picked up from the airport and transferred to your hotel. After check-in, you are free to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh to Can Tho (34 miles/55 km)
Meet your cycle guides and get your bicycles before traveling to the river market of Cai Be. Enjoy a cruise along the Mekong Delta and visit the colorful floating market and Dong Phu Island. Explore the shady surroundings, witness the daily life of the farmers, and have lunch on the island. Afterwards, head to Vinh Long and continue cycling through the heart of the Mekong Delta, crossing countless canals and rivers. After a few ferry crossings, arrive in Can Tho, the unofficial capital of the Mekong Delta, where you will check-in to your hotel. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Overnight in Can Tho.
Day 3: Can Tho to Chau Doc (78 miles/125 km)
Take an early morning boat trip along the Hau River to the Cai Rang floating market, one of the largest in Vietnam. Witness a mass of wooden boats of all sizes converging to sell their wares. Take great pictures and buy some of the local products. Afterwards, head deeper into the delta and cycle on less crowded roads. At Thot Not you will stop at a stork sanctuary and have lunch in Long Xuyen. Bike along the gentle coast, through one of the most scenic parts of the delta, as you cycle along the Mekong through traditional villages, past fish farms and over small bridges. On arrival in Chau Doc, you will check-in to your hotel. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Overnight in Chau Doc.
Day 4: Chau Doc to Ha Tien (50 miles/80 km)
Explore the amazing riverside market at Chau Doc, with all its bustling activity and smorgasbord of sounds, colors and smells. The boat continues through fish farm villages to an ethnic Cham village with its famous Mubarak Mosque. Witness women weaving, using traditional methods. Cycle along pleasant roads, passing green rice fields and limestone formations, looking out for the Khmer influenced pagodas as you get closer to Cambodia. By late afternoon you will arrive in Ha Tien for your hotel check-in. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Overnight in Ha Tien.
Day 5: Ha Tien to Kampot, Cambodia (40 miles/65 km)
Bike the short distance to the border crossing of Vietnam and Cambodia. After completing the customs formalities, meet your Cambodian cycling crew. Cycle along quiet coastal dirt roads, passing through salt flats and small villages. Your first port of call will be the coastal resort of Kep, where you will stop for lunch. Afterwards, bike the final 35 kilometers (22 miles) to Kampot, where you will check-in to your hotel. Breakfast and lunch included.
Overnight in Kampot.
Day 6: Kampot to Takeo (56 miles/90 km)
Depart from Kampot and cycle through inspiring limestone karst scenery. See picturesque villages, including some ethnic Cham settlements, and endless rice fields. On arrival in Takeo you will check-in to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure. You can walk along the waterfront promenade, ideal for a pleasant late afternoon sunset stroll. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Overnight in Takeo.
Day 7: Takeo to Phnom Penh (56 miles/90 km)
Visit a local orphanage managed by 'New Futures' and learn more about their great educational work in the surrounding villages, and how Asia Adventures is working with them. Visit Tonle Bati on the banks of the river, where you will have time to explore the small Angkorian temples of Ta Prohm and Yeay Peau. Your next stop is the infamous 'Killing Fields', where Khmer Rouge prisoners were forcibly marched from Toul Sleng Prison in the city center and then executed. Nowadays it is a haunting memorial site, located in a beautiful and tranquil setting. Check-in to your riverside Cambodiana Hotel in Phnom Penh and enjoy dinner in a local restaurant. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 8: Phnom Penh City Cyclo Tour
Today it is someone else's turn to do the cycling! Rest your legs as you are treated to a fun cyclo tour of Phnom Penh. See the city via this traditional mode of transport, and stop at the National Museum, which offers a charming setting for a comprehensive collection of Khmer artifacts. Continue to the nearby Royal Palace and the neighboring Silver Pagoda. Your cyclo driver will then take you to a local restaurant for lunch. Afterwards it is back in the cyclos as you are pedaled through Phnom Penh to the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, the infamous Khmer Rouge prison. Next stop is the Russian Market, an excellent place to buy some souvenirs. Later you will be taken back to your hotel, where you are free at leisure for the rest of the evening. Breakfast and lunch included.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 9: Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
Drive 320km from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and discover the everyday lives of Cambodians. Visit the stone carving village of Suntok and see its massive half finished sculptures. If you like you can stop at Skoun, also known as 'Spiderville' and try a deep fried tarantula which is a local delicacy in this area. Closer to Siem Reap you'll also visit Kompong Kdei to look at an ancient Angkorian bridge. Breakfast and lunch included.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 10: Angkor Temples (25 miles/40 km)
This morning, begin your bicycle exploration of the incredible Angkor temples. Today you 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," and Sras Srang, known as the King's Bathing Pond. See the impressive Royal City of Angkor Thom. After lunch, it is time to bike to the majestic Angkor Wat, the world's largest religious building. Return to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure to experience Siem Reap's lively nightlife and fine restaurants. Breakfast and lunch included.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Day 11: Siem Reap-Banteay Srei Temple-Siem Reap (50 miles/80 km)
Bicycle north towards Banteay Srei. During the trip you will see pleasant Cambodian countryside and friendly villagers. Stop off at a couple of villages to get a closer look at the wooden stilted homes and local life. On arrival at Banteay Srei, be struck by the delicate beauty of the elaborately-decorated temple, embellished with floral motifs and scenes from the Ramayana. Enjoy lunch at a local village nearby, after which you will cycle back towards Siem Reap. If there is still time left you can explore some of the temples on the Grand Circuit, such as Preah Khan, one of the largest temples at Angkor, and Neak Pean, surrounded by fountains and ponds; and Banteay Kdei. This evening, you will enjoy a hosted farewell dinner and mesmerizing Apsara dance performance. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 12: Siem Reap to Battambang (12 miles/ 20 km)
You cycle 15 kilometers (9 miles) to the port of Tonle Sap Lake to board the boat to Battambang Province. Pass through the floating village of Chong Khneas where you witness an entire bamboo village complete with homes, gas stations, schools, hair dressers, and even karaoke bars floating on water. Traveling by boat from Siem Reap to Battambang is arguably the most fascinating river trip in Cambodia and takes around 6 - 7 hours. After arrival in Battambang you cycle the last 5 kilometers (3 miles) to your hotel. The rest of the day is free. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Overnight in Battambang.
Day 13: Battambang to Pailin (53 miles/85 km)
Leave Battambang Town and cycle to Pailin. See the imposing limestone outcrop of Phnom Sampeau with its hilltop pagoda. Then continue bicycling along endless rice paddies, small villages and shady trees. You pass 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. In the evening you are free to explore and buy your own meal. Breakfast and lunch included.
Overnight in Pallin.
Day 14: Pailin to Pong Nam Ron (40 miles/65 km)
Cycle to the quiet Cambodian/Thai border crossing into 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 dirt roads of Cambodia and cycle on the tarmac roads of Thailand. On arrival in Pong Nam Ron enjoy a dip in the hotel pool and 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 15: Pong Nam Ron to Chaolao Beach (62 miles/100 km)
You bike 110 kilometers (68 miles) to the coast and Chantaburi province. As the day progresses you head to the coast and notice the scenery changing from forests and distant mountains to coastline. Pass by plantations, forests, many small local villages and taste plenty of fresh fruit in Chantaburi province. Finish the ride right on the quiet beach of Chaolao for a refreshing dip in the sea before dinner. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Overnight in Chaolao Beach.
Day 16: Chaolao Beach to Laem Mae Pim Beach (50 miles/80 km)
Cycle along the beaches and enjoy marvelous seascapes. See local fishing villages, seafood markets, and plenty of temples. The mangrove swamps and fruit plantations add a diversity to the scenery on this very picturesque of bike rides. You also take some short ferry crossings which help to save some distance by taking you directly across the estuaries. End the day at beautiful Laem Mae Phim Beach where you will have some free time to relax and take a dip in the clear warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Overnight in Laem Mae Pim Beach.
Day 17: Laem Mae Pim Beach to Bangkok (19 miles/30 km)
Today you get to relax on the beach before taking a short gentle bike ride around the area. You will then transfer to Bangkok where you will have your final night and a farewell dinner. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
***Cambodia visas are available on arrival for $20.00. You will need 2 passport-sized photos, or you may obtain it online (eVisa) from http://www.mfaic.gov.kh/e-visa/vindex.aspx ($25.00)
These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.
Saigon: Vien Dong Hotel (3-star)
Can Tho: Saigon Cantho Hotel (3-star)
Chau Doc: Chau Pho Hotel (2-star)
Ha Tien: Green Island Hotel (3-star)
Kampot: Mea Culpa Guesthouse (2-star)
Phnom Penh: The Plantation (4-star)
Siem Reap: Prince D'angkor Hotel (4-star)
Battambang: Bambu Hotel (3-star boutique hotel)
Chaolao Beach: Chanchaolao Beach Resort
Laem Mae Pim Beach: Baan Lom Talay
Bangkok: Aurum The River Palace (boutique hotel)
Bike hire is USD160. We provide Cannondale Trail SL4 mountain bikes. They have disk brake, hybrid tires fitted for touring and handlebar bags for items you may need access to while on the bike.
50% sealed roads, 50% 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. This tour is rated challenging and is for cyclists in very good physical condition.
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 a 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.
All information in these tour notes is researched with care and provided in good faith. The information subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and Asia Adventures.
Vietnam: Most nationalities require a visa for Vietnam and they can be obtained from any embassy worldwide. A tourist visa is valid for a single 30 day stay. You must specify your arrival date when applying for a visa and it is from this date that the 30 days will be calculated. When picking up your visa check to be sure the dates match your travel plans and that it is stamped directly into your passport as it will not be accepted if it is stapled in or loose. You can obtain a pre-approved entry visa online before arrival in Vietnam for a fee, however, the visa is still issued on arrival at international airports.
Cambodia: 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.
Thailand: Unless you are staying for more than 30 days, or do not have onward air tickets, a visa for Thailand is not required by European, North American, Australian and many other nationalities. Please be prepared to show evidence of an onward international ticket to Thai immigration officials upon entry to Thailand. Travellers without a visa arriving via a land border crossing can only stay in Thailand for 15 days.
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:
Nearest airport: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam
Nearest airport: Bangkok, Thailand
International flights to the starting point and from the finish point are not included in the price of this tour. We can assist with the purchase of inter-Asia flights and/or provide advice if you are considering overland travel. All domestic flights as per itinerary are included.
Southeast Asia has 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.
The official national currency is the Vietnam dong (d), but the US dollar is widely accepted in tourist centers. However, in smaller towns and villages the dong is preferred. ATMs are available in all major tourist destinations and big cities. Vietcombank has the best network with a limit a single withdrawal limit of 2,000,000d (about US$125). Most major currencies can be exchanged at leading banks in Vietnam, but the US dollar is preferred away from the tourist centers. Changing US$100 will make you an instant millionaire! You cannot legally take the dong out of Vietnam but you can reconvert reasonable amounts of it into US dollars on departure.
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.
The Thai currency is the baht. ATMs, which are abundant, are the easiest ways to get Thai baht. Have a supply of US dollars in cash on hand, just in case your card doesn’t work. Banks or the more rare private moneychangers offer the best foreign-exchange rates. Credit cards are accepted in big cities and resort hotels but you’ll need baht for family-run guesthouses or restaurants.
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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