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14 Day Guided Moderate Cycling Holiday in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand

Saigon - Tra Vinh - Can Tho - Chau Doc, Vietnam; Phnom Penh - Kampong Thom - Siem Reap - Banteay Srei, Battambang - Pailin, Cambodia; Chantaburi - Laem Mae Phim, Thailand

Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand Cycling Holiday

Want to experience three of South East Asia's most fascinating countries? You will love the way SpiceRoads' Saigon to Bangkok tour uses local guides to introduce the very best of these extraordinary cultures! Journey from the iconic Mekong Delta to the spiritual temples of Angkor Wat, ride along quiet backroads and cross mighty rivers. From shining capitals and colonial relics to tribal trails and humble homesteads, your next incredible journey awaits.

Key Information

  • Trip type: Guided
  • Lodging: Point to Point
  • Terrain: Combination of good quality tarmac, wide dirt tracks, and broken roads that are sometimes badly potholed but easily navigable by bike; the terrain is predominantly flat.
  • Starts in: Saigon
  • Ends in: Bangkok
  • Difficulty level: Moderate (Cyclist needs to have a good level of fitness, the terrain is mostly hilly or unpaved but you will ride on flat terrain sometime, 31 to 45 miles per day)
  • Total Distance: 377 Miles / 607 Kilometers
  • Type of bike: Mountain bike
  • Minimum of 2 participants

Highlights

  • 10 days of cycling
  • Services of Englis-speaking guide/s
  • Receive a SpiceRoads jersey and a water bottle
  • Most meals, snacks, and drinks are included
  • A support vehicle is available
  • 13 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


13 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 12 participants
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Accommodation

SpiceRoads does not require you to pay a surcharge for traveling alone. They will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveler of the same gender and if they cannot match you up, they will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share, a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room.

Program

With the vibrant culture, friendly people, and the hustle and bustle of Saigon, there is no better way to begin an Asian odyssey than by immersing yourself in one of Asia's busiest capitals. Leaving the city streets behind, traveling by bike through the serene plantations will let you glimpse a different side of Vietnamese life. Eat at the floating market or shoot the breeze with a local fisherman; get a true taste of village life!

From what is now Cambodia, the Khmer empire once dominated Southeast Asia, with Angkor at its heart. Its fascinating and sometimes bloody tales are the fabric of the regions rich tapestry. Phnom Penh's colonial buildings are just the start of the story as you wind your way through the road, river, and lake to the amazing Angkor and temples that defy belief. At journeys end, Thailand's beautiful beaches and smiling Buddhist monks offer a welcome sight for weary travelers.

Trip profile

The road surfaces on this tour are mixed. You will ride a combination of good quality tarmac, wide dirt tracks, and broken roads that are sometimes badly potholed but easily navigable by bike. The terrain is predominantly flat. Only on a few days will you cover longer distances (90 to 95 kilometers) so experienced riders will find the distances long enough to challenge them, while less experienced riders are easily able to travel at a more relaxed pace.

On this trip, there is a lot to see as you will ride alongside rivers, villages, orchards, and rice fields. You will have three days where you will have to travel by boat, adding variety and a chance for weary legs to recover.

Itinerary

Day 1: Meet in Ho Chi Minh City

You will meet with SpiceRoads at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. You will spend the day unboxing and testing bikes and give you some time to explore the city. In the evening, the will dine at the enchanting Temple Club Restaurant.

  • Accommodation: Northern Hotel
  • Meals: Dinner

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh - Tra Vinh

After breakfast, you will transfer a couple of hours out of Ho Chi Minh to Ben Tre, the gateway to the Mekong Delta. Today’s ride will lead you right into the heart of rural Mekong, as you pedal down narrow roads and lanes, past banana plantations and fields of sugarcane. A section of biking takes you off the road onto gravel and dirt lanes, weaving through hamlets, across rivers, and through quite thick vegetation; this makes for superb biking. A final ferry crossing will take you to Tra Vinh, a pretty tree-lined town home to many ethnic Khmers.

  • Accommodation: Cuu Long Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Ride: 65 kilometers
  • Elevation: +249 meters / -254 meters

Day 3: Tra Vinh - Can Tho

The route today is peaceful and the road is scenic all the way to your destination of Can Tho. There is plenty to see along the way from contrasting architectural styles of Khmer homes and temples, to the rich and colorful river scenes when crossing many small bridges.

  • Accommodation: Ninh Kieu 2 Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Ride: 92 kilometers
  • Elevation: +341 meters / -339 meters

Day 4: Can Tho - Chau Doc

A morning visit to Cai Rang Floating Market sets the mood for your cycle through the Mekong Delta. You will ride through the quaint countryside, under useful Thot Not or toddy palms. All parts of the Thot Not can be used, from the stem to leaves and the fruit. Once reaching Thoi Lai, you will transfer to lunch.

You can relax after lunch as you will have a one-hour transfer to Ba Chuc, where you will have a somber visit to the Killing Fields of Vietnam, where Pol Pot’s regime massacred over 3,000 Vietnamese in 1978. You will then loop around Ba Chuc along the Cambodian border and ride the rest of the way to Chau Doc, along incredible country roads. You will cycle directly to Sam Mountain, which is more of a hill, where you arrive in time for sundowners and take in the setting sun over the rice fields. A very short transfer will take you to the hotel.

  • Accommodation: Chau Po Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Ride: 70 kilometers
  • Elevation: +365 meters / -367 meters

Day 5: Chau Doc - Phnom Penh

Cruise up the Mekong River to Phnom Penh from your overnight stop at Chau Doc. You will get a chance to rest your legs as you see many scenes of local daily life along one of Asia’s great rivers. As you head into Cambodia, you will stop at the capital, Phnom Penh, before heading north to cycle among 1,000 years of Khmer history. In the afternoon, you will visit Tuol Sleng Prison (S21) and the Killing Fields to learn about Cambodia's turbulent past under the Khmer Rouge regime.

  • Accommodation: Frangipani Royal Palace Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Phnom Penh - Oudong - Kampong Thom

You will have a late start to give you time to explore Phnom Penh. You will then transfer out of Cambodia's capital, stopping for lunch. Afterward, you will start cycling toward Phnom Pra Reach, or Oudong Mountain, the former capital of Cambodia. The 400-plus steps to the top will get the legs working over-time, but the view is worth it! This ride will give you a chance to see rural Cambodia, stilted houses, ox carts, waving children, and, of course, the friendly Khmer people. After the visit, you will transfer for three to four hours to Kampong Thom, where you will spend the night.

  • Accommodation: Sambor Village
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Ride: 25 kilometers
  • Elevation: +83 meters / -77 meters

Day 7: Kampong Thom - Siem Reap

You will start the day with a short transfer to the ancient temple site of Sambor Prey Kuk. This temple site was constructed in the 7th century and functioned as the capital of the Chenla Empire. After your guided tour through the temples, you will have a short transfer to the small town of Damdek, where you offload the bikes and begin cycling toward Siem Reap for 65 kilometers.

  • Accommodation: Steung Siem Reap Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Ride: 65 kilometers
  • Elevation: +197 meters / -194 meters

Day 8: Angkor Temples

This morning, you will start your bike ride to the entrance of Angkor Wat and head to Ta Prohm, famous from the film “Tomb Raider”, deliberately left by French conservationists in the same condition as it was discovered, overgrown by strangler fig and silk-cotton trees, giving it a mystical and romantic appeal.

You will continue to Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, and the Terrace of the Elephants, then enjoy lunch at Angkor Café before you explore the biggest religious Hindu edifice in the world - Angkor Wat. Considered the masterpiece of Khmer architecture, this Vishnuite temple is the king’s funerary temple, which is why the temple faces west.

Inside the temple, the walls are covered with carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. After the visit to these magnificent temples, you will cycle back the 7 kilometers to Siem Reap.

  • Accommodation: Steung Siem Reap Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Ride: 30 kilometers
  • Elevation: +190 meters / -190 meters

Day 9: Banteay Srei

After breakfast, you will head onwards to Banteay Srei. You will cycle through rural countryside to this famous temple which has the best-preserved bas-reliefs and stone carvings in Cambodia. The temple is small in size but of huge significance in understanding the Angkor Era. From here, you will continue cycling on rural roads, taking a break for a restaurant lunch before you reach Kbal Spean, also known as the Valley of 1,000 Lingas.

You will put the bikes aside for a moderate three-kilometer trek uphill through the jungle to a river bed with submersed carvings and a beautiful waterfall (during rainy season only). After the visit, you will return to Siem Reap by vehicle. Dinner will be at your own leisure.

  • Accommodation: Steung Siem Reap Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Ride: 56 kilometers
  • Elevation: +239 meters / -184 meters

Day 10: Siem Reap - Battambang

You will take a rest from cycling and transfer across Tonle Sap by boat. Along the way, you’ll see the local people going about their daily lives, and if you’re lucky, you can spot some wildlife on the banks. During the end of the dry season, lake levels may be too low to allow boat passage to Battambang; in this case, you’ll transfer by van to Battambang but don’t worry, once you arrive, you’ll have some time to explore the city and surrounding countryside.

  • Accommodation: Steung Sangke Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 Battambang - Pailin

You will depart for Pailin, cycling directly from the hotel. This is the toughest day as some sections of the road is in poor condition and bumpy (during the dry season, it can get dusty) but the scenery is the most impressive as you head towards Thailand. The road undulates as you get closer to Pailin but there is nothing too steep or long.

You will cycle through the stunning countryside, where farms and local villages can be seen along the way and really get a feeling of riding into unchartered territory. This used to be a bandit country but don’t worry, the area is now completely safe!

  • Accommodation: Memoria Palace
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Ride: 95 kilometers
  • Elevation: +625 meters / -433 meters

Day 12: Pailin - Chantaburi

A short pleasant ride on the quiet scenic roads to the border crossing; this quiet rural crossing used mainly by local traders makes for a pleasant stop while you complete all the immigration formalities. Once these have been completed, you will ride through the Thai countryside until you reach the main road and transfer with a change of guides, vehicle, and bikes to the beach, with lunch in Chantaburi.

  • Accommodation: Chanchalao Beach Resort
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Ride: 44 kilometers
  • Elevation: +376 meters / -365 meters

Day 13: Chantaburi - Laem Mae Phim

You will have a flat and easy ride through mangroves, shrimp farms, and along the coast. You will spend the night at a very local Thai beach and have the afternoon free to go for a swim or a walk on the sand.

  • Accommodation: Aksorn Rayong
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Ride: 65 kilometers
  • Elevation: +251 meters / -245 meters

Day 14: Laem Mae Phim - Bangkok

You will have the morning to enjoy the beach before you head back to Bangkok. You will arrive in the city around 3 p.m. If you'd like to extend your time in Thailand, SpiceRoads can help you to plan extra days at the beach or a nearby island.

  • Meals: Breakfast

Bikes

Because some people can't imagine going on a trip without their own beloved bicycle, SpiceRoads does not provide them as part of this tour. However, you can hire bikes locally for 195 USD. The bikes are well-known makes of mountain bikes with lightweight alloy frames, 24 to 27-speed gearing, v-brakes, and Shimano components and front suspension. If you bring your own bike, please make sure it is a mountain bike, preferably with front suspension, in good mechanical order.

Bike Repairs

Basic spares and tools are carried by the guide and on the support vehicle, though SpiceRoads cannot guarantee to have spares for every conceivable problem. Carrying a basic tool kit, a spare tube, and a pump while riding is recommended.

Safety

Wearing a helmet is required on all SpiceRoads' biking adventures and is non-negotiable. If you do not wear a helmet you will not be allowed to cycle. Your tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue but to a large degree, you must be responsible for your own safety while riding. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a mountain biking tour.

Guides

You will be led by a local English-speaking guide and if the group is made up of nine people or more, SpiceRoads will add another guide to the tour. All guides are well informed in the history, culture, and religions of the area where you are biking and are skilled at passing that knowledge on to you. Your guide is also medically trained and an experienced cyclist, able to handle most minor repairs en route.

Skill level

This trip is suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. This trip is not too arduous so riders with less experience are more than welcome, although the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy it.

Intermediate:

  • can cycle for 3-4 hours
  • average riding experience
  • little assistance required
  • comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • steep ascents and descents

Location

Food

Meals

Meals are included as per the itinerary. Most meals are local and feature noodles, rice, curries, and soups. Cambodian cuisine is a mixture of Thai, French, and Chinese dishes and SpiceRoads makes sure you can sample a wide variety. Most meals in Vietnam will be Vietnamese food and features noodles, rice curries, and soups. Vietnamese cuisine is world famous and SpiceRoads will make sure you that you will sample as much variety as possible. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let them know at the time of booking.

Drink

Keeping you completely hydrated is a job SpiceRoads takes very seriously. Cold water, some energy-restoring local fruit, and soft drinks are included in the tour price while riding. Soft drinks and other beverages during meals are not included. Beer is freely available everywhere but is not included in the price.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water

What's included

  • 10-day cycling program
  • Services of guide/s
  • Most meals (as indicated in the itinerary)
  • 13 nights accommodation
  • Snacks and drinks
  • A SpiceRoads jersey
  • Water bottle
  • Support vehicle

What's not included

  • International flights
  • Domestic flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Visa fees
  • Alcohol
  • Tips

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please arrange your flight to arrive at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) and your departure flight to leave at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). No airport transfer is included.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
14 days / 13 nights
from --

Availability

Arrival: Sunday December 13, 2020
Departure: Saturday December 26, 2020

Special discount

For those who have been on several long tours with SpiceRoads, you are offered a special discount off the tour price (excludes single supplement and bike rental). If this is your fourth scheduled tour or more, you will receive a 5% discount. If this is your eighth scheduled tour or more, SpiceRoads will extend a 10% discount. For more information, please send SpiceRoads an inquiry.

Tour information

The dates November 10 to 23, 2019 and January 19 to February 1, 2020 are only open for solo travelers.

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