Biking in Indochina to visit the 3 countries is one of the great experience in life as you will be able to see alot. From Thailand to Cambodia where you will see the different. Entering to the former Khmer Rouge stronghold in Pailin reminds the past bad experience of Cambodia and seeing the change they have now and the Angkor historical complex on the back road. The bustling Phom Penh capital, then head south to the less visited town and cross the quiet border to cycle along Mekong Delta to Saigon.
Day 1: Bangkok-Rayong (cycling 50 km). Meet with our guide to brief on the tour and check the bike. Then transfer to Pattaya. It used to be US marine base, now boom with night life activities. Start cycling by taking coastline road by the sea around 50 km. Stop for lunch. Late afternoon, we arrive in Rayong. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Rayong at the beach hotel. Includes: (L), (D).
Day 2: Rayong-Chantaburi (Cycling 60 km). Breakfast at the hotel. Start biking to mangrove study center around 60 km. On the way we stop and pay visits and talk to local people, see how they earn their livings. At the mangrove, we can walk around and visit one of the most successful forest restoration project of Thailand. Then check in and spend the night in Chantaburi. Dinner at local restaurant. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Chantaburi-Pailin (Cycling 47 km). Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Pongnamron and start cycling to the border 27 km. After the immigration, lunch at local restaurant. Then cycling 20 km to the Pailin town located on the foothills of the scenic Cardamom mountains. Pailin used to be Khmer Rouge Strong-hold survived by trading gem stones. Until 1998, Khmer Rouge has demobilized their forces into the government army, then the town had got completely peace.
The town is now home to some of the former Khmer Rouge leaders who are - now in jail awaiting for international tribunal. After cycling on the dirt red bumpy road, we arrive in the small dusty town of Pailin. View sunset at Phnom Yat to overlook Pailin. This temple of on Phnom Yat hill is more for Kula Muslim minority who earn their living with gem stone business. The Muslim minority made up 5% of the whole population in Cambodia. Return back to the hotel for shower and welcome dinner. Overnight in Pailin.
Day 4: Pailin-Battambang (85 km). Breakfast at the hotel. Fill the water and briefing on the road condition and water stop. After the town, there are a few climbs and then down hill. Watch for large potholes, and cows might be crossing the road with the string so there might a trap. We cycle along this Cadarmom mountain range passing the rice field and we won't be tired as the kids like to say hello and waving from their houses. Recently, the road from Pailin to Battambang has been improved. We stop for water, snack and drink under a big shad of a tree. Then continue cycling another 20 km before stopping for lunch in Sneung overlooked a nearby a temple near the road. A little rest on the mat would be good.
After lunch we cycle another 20 km to Phnom Sampov, overlook the hilltop pagoda and the cave. Just 15 km to Battambang, we do a bit of transfer as to avoid the busy traffic in town. Battambang used to be second biggest city but now become a relaxed town where Siem Reap is getting more boom. Situated on the bank of Sangker River, Battambang has many French colonial building and traditional Cambodian house. It is worth to take the Bamboo train as the local railway is running only twice a week for passenger train and cargo train is running more often. So local people enjoy taking more bamboo train. Overnight in Battambang. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Battambang-Siem Reap (18 km). An early breakfast before cycling for 15 minutes to board on the boat to Siem Reap. The boat has toilet and life jacket and takes about 6 - 7 hours. It is one of the best boat trip in Cambodia to cross the Sangker river viewing the fishermen and all their activities on the river. Then crossing Tonle Sap lake (South East Asia’s largest freshwater lake). It is the main reserve for water when the Mekong is flooded, without the lake, Cambodia will be flooded every year. In rainy season, the water reaches 10,000 square Km when it is only 5,000 square Km in dry season. The lake is as important as for the human-being and the fish, birds and other wild animals.
One hour before reaching the dock, the boat passes Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary home and breeding area for some thousands of water birds. After crossing Tonle Sap lake, we arrive at Chong Kneas floating village. The village combines of Cambodian, Muslim and Vietnamese and they move up and down depends on the season. All the houses are floating with support of the bamboo. After arrival at the dock, get off and prepare to ride bicycle 15 km to our hotel. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 6: Siem Reap-Angkor Complex (25 km by bicycle). Depart from the hotel on the main road and cycling through Angkor pass check point. Cycling through the shady road with a little pumping because of the a few pot-holes. There you will begin to see Kravan temple, Banteay Kdei, and stop at the famous Ta Phrom, embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers. Visit Ta Phrom (45 minutes-1 hour). It was built in 12th century by the famous King Jayavarvan VII indicated to his mother. While clearing back the forest archaeologists decided to leave the vegetation of Ta Phrom in place to serve as a reminder of how the original discoverers found it and the other Angkor temples.
Many of the trees have grown around and through the remains and soar high above the temples. Continue the cycling through small circuit passing Ta Keo temple, Chao Say Tevoda, Tommanon before reaching to Angkor Thom city. There you will see, Terrace of Leper King, Terrace of Elephant, Baphoun, Phimean Akas. Stop at Bayon temple and start the visit (45 minutes-1 hour). Angkor Thom built by Cambodia's great king, Jayavarman VII. Overnight in Siem Reap. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: Banteay Srei and River of Thousand Lingas (90 km). Depart from the hotel on the main road. Arrive at Angkor Wat and turn left to the west. Continue to cycle 2km before turn right to the rural road. The road is good for cycling as you can avoid the busy traffic but you can see rice field, village, pagoda. Arrive in Banteay Srei before lunch. Visit (45 minutes) Banteay Srei temple known as women citadel (built in 967 A.D dedicated to Brahma). While some of temple are impressive because of their sheer size, Banteay Srei stands alone in the quality of its construction and decoration. Its pink sandstone walls are decorated with what some consider the best carving of all, and still an excellent state of preservation.
Continue cycling to visit Kbal Spean, the River of Thousands Lingas, lying under the river bed, people believe it brings fertility and blessing Angkor area as the river flows to Siem Reap. Walk 1,200 meters to visit the Lingas and enjoy lunch and the water fall. On the way back, cycle on the main road to visit Landmine Museum of Mr. Akira. Mr. Ra is dedicated to clearing the Cambodian countryside of landmines laid during the years of conflict and relies entirely on visitors' donation to fund his work. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 8: Rolous Group & Tonle Sap Lake (50 km). Depart from the hotel, crossing the bridge at Old Market to cycle 15 km toward Rolous Group. The first 2 km, is on the tarmac road toward the bus station. Then, passing the rice field and the village. Rolous Group was the first capital of Angkor Empire during 800 A.D. Visit the Pre-Angkorian temples including Preak Ko, Bakong and Lo Lei. Afternoon, cycling to Tonle Sap Lake. Turn left at the crocodiles farm crossing the bridge. Then cycle on small road along the river through villages, pagodas and schools.
This road is good for cycling as to avoid the busy traffic. After cycling 8 km, turn right across the bridge to the main road as there is no further access on the small road. Continue cycling toward the hill about 3 km (July-December) where the boat stop. (Note: January-June, the water is low and the boat will stop further 3 km). Board on the boat to visit the floating village, floating school, fishing farm. After 1 hour boat drive. Return the Siem Reap on the main road to avoid cycling the same road. Overnight in Siem Reap. Meals include: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 9: Siem Reap-Phnom Penh (18 km). Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to board speedboat to Phnom Penh. This boat trip takes 6 hours; the boat has life jacket and toilet. It is one of the best boat trip to cross Tonle Sap lake, one of the biggest fresh water lake in South-East Asia. When the boat leaves the dock, immediately you will be able to view the picturesque floating village. This community comprise of Cambodian, Vietnamese and Muslim minorities. The market, gas station and school are also floating. They move up and down depends on the season. In rainy season, Tonle Sap lake reaches 10,000 squre Km, but in dry season it's got only 5,000 squre Km. Arrive in Phnom Penh port, afternoon visit Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and National Museum. Overnight in Phnom Penh. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 10: Phnom Penh (35 km). Breakfast at the hotel. Today be guided through this bustling city to explore the main sights by bike, including Wat Phnom and Cheung Ek killing field. Phnom Penh has got more than 1 million population and the traffic has become very busy now. There is another option to visit the city by van. In the afternoon, visit the Independence Monument, Tuol Sleng Museum and Russian Market. Overnight in Phnom Penh. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 11: Phnom Penh – Kirirom (70 km). Breakfast at the hotel. We transfer to Kampong Speu and start cycling from the gasoline station on the road No.4 to Kirirom National Park to visit Chombok community activities with the representative of the project to learn about the indigenous culture and the history of the area and the daily life of the people living in the community. Overnight at home-stay and experience rural Cambodia at its most authentic. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 12: Kirirom-Sihanouk Ville (75 km). Early morning to see the bird and walking 1 km to enjoy variety of different attractions including a 40 m high water fall, variety of plants and animals while discovering the breathtaking nature and landscape. Continue cycling to Sihanouk Ville. We transfer by van at the the junction road to Sre Ambel and keep the hill part for the next day when we are fresh. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 13: Sihanouk Ville – Ream National Park (50 km). Breakfast at the hotel and early morning enjoy swimming at the beach. Then cycle 25km through 3 hills to take the boat trip at Ream National Park to visit the mangrove forest. Relax at the quiet beach before hiking 45 minutes to 1 hour through the jungle to the village where lunch is prepared with local family. Relax on the boat and observe patiently to see the dolphin. Afternoon, return back to Sihanouk Ville for relaxing at the beach.
Day 14: Sihanouk Ville – Free Day. Breakfast at the hotel. Free day to relax at the beach and explore the town on your own. Includes: (B).
Day 15: Sihanoukville - Kampot (105 km). Breakfast at the hotel. Today, we cycle 105 km on one of the most challenging part in Cambodia. We begin with the 15 km through 3 hills from Siahnouk Ville. It is a breath taking but more down hill than up hill. So we can enjoy the ride before the first snack stop. Turn right at Veal Rinh after 43 km toward Kampot and the rest of the day is flat. We cycle passing the fishing village and the Muslim Mosque, the scenery changes from the beach area to the mountain range where we cycle along the Bokor Mountain National Park until Kampot. Kampot is a more quiet town and famous for its pepper and durian production. Dinner and overnight in Kampot. (BLD)
Day 16: Kampot – Kep – Kampot (53 km). Breakfast at the hotel. Cycle to Kep beach town, a less visited beach than Sihanouk Ville. On the way, we visit Sar Sea Cave on the hill top. Arrive in Kep, we board the board to Rabbit Island. Enjoy picnic lunch and relax on the quiet beach. Swim and snorkeling before returning back to Kampot for overnight.
Day 17: Kampot – Takeo (85 km). After breakfast, we cycle heading to Takeo, the less traveled town in Cambodia but is has much history related to the first Khmer civilization when the first Kingdom was established in the early century. It was known as Funan or Nokor Phnom, means the Kingdom of the Hill. Enjoy packed lunch overlook the scenery of the countryside. After lunch, we continue cycle to Takeo passing Ta Mok's house, the former general commander of the Khmer Rouge. Board on the boat for sunset to Phnom Da to visit the hill top temple former the capital of Khmer Empire in the early century known as Funan. Overnight in Mittapheap Guesthouse. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 18: Takeo-Chau Doc (78 km). Early breakfast. Fill in water and check visa for Vietnam one more time as Vietnam visa has to be done in advance. Cycle 53km to Phnom Den border crossing point. Take a break in half way for water stop. After immigration, say goodbye to our Cambodian driver. Lunch at the local restaurant at the border. After lunch, cycle to discover along the Mekong Delta road into the beautiful green countryside. Along the way you will see rice fields and water buffalos nearby the road. Arrive in Chau Doc, those with energy to spare can climb Sam Mountain for sunset! Dinner and overnight in Chau Doc. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 19: Chau Doc - Can Tho (50 km + cycling). After breakfast, we leave for the floating houses on upper Mekong river by boat where we can see plenty of catfishes, red snappers… breeding under right their houses. What is an amazing life! Then keep boating to visit the Cham village with about 12.000 people who those are weaving sarongs, hats…by hands as keeping their ancestral tradition. Walk to the mosques that Muslims pray and teach Cham kids in Arabic for a while.
Then we start cycling along incredible country roads from Chau Doc to Bachuc along the border, or re-trace back to triton (depending on road conditions). The cycling starts to gently undulate and mountains begin to loom as you ride out off Chau Doc. The presence of Thnot trees indicates the growing proximity to Cambodia and the local people speak Vietnamese as their second language. This afternoon, you will cycle to the killing fields of Vietnam at Bachuc, where Polpot’s regime massacred over 3,000 Vietnamese in 1978. Dinner and overnight in Can Tho. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 20: Cantho - Travinh (80 km + cycling). After breakfast, there will be time to explore side tracks and trails as the cycling distance today is not far. This gives a great first impression of the “heart of Mekong”. We take first short boat trip to Vinh Long, one of the famous fruits town in Mekong. Then you bike along narrow country lanes, easy dirt tracks and trails. This biking is at its most glorious-through tiny orchards, witness colorful life along the riverside, pedal pass picturesque delta homes, pause to chart with welcoming villagers, clack across innumerable wooden bridges. Cross narrow canals on a local sampan, before finishing at the main ferry for a refreshing boat trips across the expansive Co Chien River. Ride final few km to the very pretty Khmer town of Travinh. Overnight in Travinh. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 21: Travinh - Mytho - Ho Chi Minh (50 km + cycling). After breakfast, start with a section of biking cuts off road onto gravel and dirt lanes, and weaves around hamlets, across water channels, and through quiet dense vegetation. This makes for superb biking after a ferry across the graping expanse of Cochien river from Travinh, the pretty tree lined town with a large population of ethnic Khmer. Then another section of crossing rivers and canals by numerous, ubiquitous, fascinating ferries, we bike through the route takes us through narrow roads and lanes, past banana plantations, fields of sugar cane, through the lush green landscape of the delta. The ride lead us right into the heart of the rural Mekong before arriving at Mytho – the gateway of the Mekong delta to end our cycling trip. From Mytho, we transfer a couple of hours to Ho Chi Minh City to avoid the busy traffic. Tour ends.
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