There are some unique contrasts in cultures, customs and communities - and you’ll get to experience them all. We begin at the huge ancient city of Angkor Wat, a well traveled attraction in Cambodia, where we’ve planned the pedaling to make sure you see each of the main temples at the right time of day, where the sunlight is at its most magical and then we’ll discover some of the hidden charms of the capital, Phnom Penh, with its fading colonial legacy and scenic river scape, before continuing into the country. The ancient ruins, mighty rivers, beautiful beaches, rice paddies, mountainous national parks and abandoned French hill stations are all on our route – and the excited welcome from village locals will be an experience you’ll never forget.
Onto Vietnam and the back lanes of the vibrant Mekong Delta, exploring the floating markets, sleepy villages, temples, pagodas, old houses and villas from French colonial times – all the while surrounded by the Delta’s flat, lush flood plains and emerald green paddy fields bordered by tropical fruit gardens, mangroves and palms. This is a real journey of discovery in a perfect environment for cycle touring - the beauty of SE Asia up close and personal. The terrain makes for easy cycling but this trip is still fully supported by air-conditioned vehicle, so you can ride as much or as little as you want. When you rest each evening, you’ll enjoy excellent local food and the very best accommodation available.
Day 1: Arrive Siem reap. We will meet at the hotel in the early afternoon and take a gentle ride around town to get our bearings. In the afternoon you will have time to enjoy a massage, shopping or the cafes. At our first Cambodian dinner, you will have the opportunity to learn some information from your guide about Cambodian history and culture. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Angkor Wat. We make an early start to see an unforgettable sunrise over Angkor Wat. After breakfast at a local restaurant we ride on small dirt roads through small villages and farmland to Banteay Srei, one for the most beautiful outlying temples. In the afternoon we will ride back to Siem Reap town via the Landmine Museum to learn about this tragic legacy and the good work being done by the mine clearance teams. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Beng Melea and Tonle Sap Lake. Today it’s off to see Beng Melea, a magical temple that there has not been left in its original unrestored state. There are few foreign visitors here and it’s a far cry from the crowds you will see at Angkor Wat. We will drive to this far-flung temple and then after we have explored, we will ride to the Tonle Sap Lake, the largest freshwater lake in SE Asia. Here we visit the small communities that call the lake home and draw their lively-hoods from it’s depths. Their houses sit high above the lake on stilts. We will then ride back to our hotel for our last night in Siem Reap. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Kampong Cham. A drive takes us around the top of the lake, through Kampong Thom Province and then into Kampong Cham Province. We ride the last section of the route today as we pass through small towns and then down to the Mekong River where we find our home for the night. Kampong Cham province is home to many of the country’s Cham Muslim population. Icludes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Kampong Cham to Phnom Penh. One of the most interesting rides of the trip, today we ride along the Mekong River on a small dirt road through small Cham Villages, who survive on fish from the Mekong and small-scale vegetable and animal farming. We finish the ride when we reach the main highway, then ride the support vehicle into the bustling city of Phnom Penh. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Phnom Penh. Today is free for you to rest up and explore the diverse city of Phnom Penh. From the leafy areas of the International workers, to popular riverfront area and the slums of the port area, Phnom Penh is not a city you will forget in a hurry. There are some tragic reminders of the Khmer rouge times here, including the infamous S21 genocide Museum. On the brighter side, the markets are a great place to rub shoulders with the friendly population of this city and a good place for some souvenirs. Includes: (B).
Day 7: Takeo province. We start our ride to the Killing Fields. These are a sobering reminder of the tragic past that Cambodia has endured. From here we will ride to an ancient temple and then onto Takeo Province. As we approach town, we ride through the small surrounding villages on red dirt roads where hundreds of children will want to say hello and give you an encouraging high five! Tonight we stay in a small, basic and clean guesthouse. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Kampot province. We continue our journey south today from the relatively poor farming province of Takeo into the slightly more prosperous Kampot Province. Famous for it’s smelly fruit produce, the Durian, Kampot is a quiet provincial town, set on the banks of the river and shadowed by the towering Bokor Mountain. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Bokor Hill station. Today we have an optional challenge. A ride to the top of Bokor and back. A tough climb takes us up through the jungle to the top of this mountain, offering amazing views over the coast. The descent will test your bike skills and all up, the adventure is a satisfying experience. In the afternoon we will take the much easier ride to Kep, a beach popular with the French Colonialists in their time. Now quite overgrown with vegetation, some of the old French buildings can still be seen. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Vietnam and the Mekong Delta. Today we cross over the border into Vietnam and begin cycling through the watery heart of the Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta is Vietnam’s breadbasket this extremely fertile, flat land is crisscrossed by various rivers and tributaries of the Mekong. This makes for very pleasant cycling as we take back roads past lush tropical scenery of fruit farms and fisheries. The main form of consultation in the Delta is by boat, and the region is crisscrossed by rivers and canals. Tonight we stay in the border town of Ha Tien. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: Ha Tien - Rach Gia. Today we will be cycling through iconic scenes of rural Vietnam with conical hatted farmers in paddy fields and orchards. The cycling is fairly easy as its on flat back roads and you can choose to cycle as much as you want to as support vehicle is there for you throughout the day. We’ll stop off at some other small farms and villages along the way and you’ll get to sample some of the delicious tropical fruits grown in this area. Food is definitely a highlight of your traveling time in Vietnam, and you’ll enjoy some of the local specialties this evening. Overnight Rach Gia. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: Long Xuyen - Can Tho. As we cycle through the Delta you will be crossing numerous small rivers and see the monkey bridges for which the area is famous. Myriad boats ply their trade up and down the major rivers and in the evenings we will also visit stork sanctuaries, where hundreds of these beautiful birds come home to roost each night. Today will be using a mixture of riding and bus transfers to brings us to the Delta’s major city of Can Tho. From here we board a boat, which will take us deeper into the Delta to our charming overnight accommodation. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 13: Floating markets, Cu Chi tunnel and Saigon. Early start this morning, as we board small boats and race along the Delta’s waterways to see the famous floating markets. After returning to our accommodation we pack up bikes and transfer by vehicle to the Cu Chi tunnels. The Tunnels are a 300 km underground bunker complex from the Vietnam war era used by the Vietcong to fight American troops. Some of the tunnels are not the claustrophobic that it is a very interesting site. That afternoon we transfer by vehicle to Saigon, where we overnight. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 14: Depart Saigon. Spend your last day exploring the city and sights which include the Saigon River waterfront, lively markets and shopping boulevards, the Presidential palace, Notre Dame cathedral and great restaurants. If you wish we can book additional lights accommodation in Saigon or you may fly out that evening. Includes: (B).
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Asia Vietnam Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Cultural Journey
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