This 12-day adventure takes you by bike from the World Heritage Site of Hoi An, on the coast of Vietnam, to the World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the largest Hindu temple site in the world.
(Hoi An – My Son – My Lai – Quang Ngai – Mangden – Kon Tum – Pleiku – Cambodian Border – Banlung – Stung Treng – Kratie – Kompong Cham – Kompong Thom – Siem Reap – Angkor Wat)
Day 1: Hoi An (D)
We meet in the ancient town of Hoi An, which was one of Southeast Asia’s major trading ports during the 17th and 18th centuries. This merchant town was an important port of call for Chinese, Japanese and Portuguese traders. More than anywhere in Vietnam, Hoi An retains the feel of the past and is now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site with more than 844 structures of historical significance. It is a fantastic place to spend the day wandering the narrow streets. We meet for a welcome dinner and trip briefing at 6 pm after all riders have arrived in Hoi An.
Day 6: Pleiku – Cambodia Border – Banlung (70km ride - B,L,D)
Two hour transfer by car after breakfast takes you to the border with Cambodia. At this point, it is time to say goodbye to the Vietnamese team. After the immigration formalities at the Le Thanh border checkpoint, you will be met by your Cambodian cycling crew. We start our ride from the border to the Banlung town of Ratanakiri. Banlung is one of the most far-flung of the Khmer provincial capitals. You continue your riding along a recently paved, winding road with some ups and a few less downs as we climb into the highlands that are home to the former Ho Chi Minh Trail. While the exact location of the trail is hard to pinpoint, it is obvious from the surrounding terrain and dense forest that it was no easy feat for the North Vietnamese to use this as their main supply route between north and south during their war with the US. We spend the night in the surroundings of Terres Rouge a traditional style Khmer house oozing with old world charm in this remote part of Cambodia.
** Overnight in Terres Rouges Lodge in Banlung **
Day 7: Banlung – Stung Treng (B,L,D)
After breakfast you will be transferred 3 hours to the border of Laos PDR and then meet the Mekong River at a point just below a series of falls and rapids. These falls re-oxidize the water and make an amazing area of bio-diversity possible. We take to our kayaks and gently drift down the Mekong River, through a flooded forest that is home to a wide range of bird-life. After a few hours of kayaking, we enjoy a picnic lunch, and then meet our van again for the drive down to Stung Treng Province. Check into Gold River Hotel. Tonight you experience a special dinner at Le Tonle Tourism Training Centre where young poor locals are being trained in hospitality and tourism skills to ensure a better future. Having dinner here means you will get real Khmer food with personalized service from the students.
** Overnight in Gold River Hotel in Stung Treng **
Day 8: Stung Treng – Kratie (85km ride max - B,L,D)
Today you will get up early to have breakfast in the town. We have a long day of riding today as we head to Kratie Province, a small provincial capital located on the bank of Mekong River. You stop at Kampi to take a one hour boat ride to see the Irrawaddy dolphins. You then cycle to Kratie Town and board a ferry to Koh Trong where you will spend a night with a Home stay Family. Enjoy tasty Cambodian food with your hosted family.
** Overnight at a Home Stay in Kratie **
Day 9: Kratie – Kompong Cham (85km ride max - B,L)
You transfer south through the town of Chhlong and take a ferry to the western bank of the Mekong to start riding from Phnom Han Chhey on quiet roads along the river, through small rural villages and scenic countryside. We stop for a drink and snack at the tiny town of Chhlong. The many French colonial houses in this town are amongst the most beautiful in Cambodia. It is a scenic ride as we pass many Cham communities which are predominantly Muslim. Buddhist pagodas form a pretty contrast with small mosques and the particularly friendly locals will welcome you warmly in each village you pass. We cycle up to Wat Han Chhey, a small hilltop pagoda that houses an 8th century pre-Angkorian temple and offers spectacular views over the Mekong. Here we can enjoy a well-deserved picnic lunch complimented by sweeping views of the Mekong. From here we will cycle the last 22 km to Kampong Cham, where you can relax at the hotel’s swimming pool. Check into Makara Hotel.
** Overnight in Monorom VIP Hotel in Kompong Cham **
Day 10: Kompong Cham – Kompong Thom (80km ride max - B,L)
We leave Kampong Cham over dirt and tarmac roads along the Mekong and eventually head for a quiet secondary highway towards Kampong Thom. You will be flanked by rubber plantations, paddy fields and typical Khmer Villages on today’s ride. Kampong Thom is a picturesque town on the banks of the Stung Sen River, which hosts the magnificent Khmer temple site Sambo Prei Kuk. Check into Sambor Village Hotel (boutique).
** Overnight in Sambor Village Hotel in Kompong Thom **
Day 11: Kompong Thom – Siem Reap (95km ride max - B,L)
After breakfast you drive about one hour to the town of Kompong Kdei where you will start cycling. You pedal pass quiet villages, rice paddies and palm trees in the area. You stop at Makak Dam for a rest. This man made dam was built during the Khmer Rouges regime and it is still in use today. After another 20km you will arrive at Kvao Village where we are treated to a ride down a 700 year old ancient road to Beng Mealea. After a quick look into this temple ruin you do a final shoot to Dam Dek then transfer to Siem Reap for the night. Check into Royal Crown Hotel.
** Overnight in Somadevi Angkor Hotel in Siem Reap **
Day 12: Cycle Angkor Wat Temples (40 km ride - B,L,D)
This morning you will meet your specialist temple guide once you are ready and begin your cycle exploration of these incredible 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’; Sras Srang known as the King's bathing pond; and the impressive Royal City of Angkor Thom, where you will find Bayon, a temple famed for its many gigantic carved faces smiling beguilingly down at you. You will also visit other important sites in this immense walled city. After lunch it is time to take on the majestic Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious building. After being initially inspired by its overall size you will explore in more detail, getting up close and personal to fully appreciate its architecture and intricately detailed bas-reliefs. After returning to the hotel you are free until we pick you up for a farewell celebratory dinner.
** Overnight in Somadevi Angkor Hotel in Siem Reap **