Cycle Indochina

Cambodia, Thailand, Viet Nam,

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12 people
13 days
Code: TTXC
Activity and Adventure, Cycling, Tours
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Overview of Cycle Indochina

What’s the best way to explore Southeast Asia? From a bicycle, of course, with the wind in your (helmet-covered) hair and tropical breeze on your face. Cycle out of busy Ho Chi Minh, through the Mekong Delta, past riverside villages and alongside paddy fields, and see life from a different perspective as we meet locals, experience their culture and eat lots of great food (you’ll certainly work up an appetite for it!). Riding around sixty kilometres each day, this is an energising and rewarding way to see the beauty and majesty of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

Trip Summary for Cycle Indochina

Start Location: Ho Chi Minh City,   End Location: Bangkok

Countries Visited: Cambodia, Thailand, Viet Nam, 
Meals Included: Breakfast: 11   Lunches: 0   Dinners: 1
Highlights:

    • Explore Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand in just 13 days on this speedy but comprehensive adventure
    • See Indochina as you’ve never seen it before – from the seat of a bicycle. Cycling is the ultimate way get off the beaten track
    • Work up an appetite for Southeast Asia’s famously delicious local and regional food
    • Get among nature, wildlife, small villages and ancient ruins, as well as the region’s most lively cities
    • We cover approx. 440km/270 miles on this itinerary, averaging around 50km/30 miles each riding day, with 4 non-riding days

 

Day 1 - Ho Chi Minh City
Xin chao! Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please check with hotel reception or look on the reception noticeboard for where and when the meeting will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. Because this trip doesn’t spend much time in Ho Chi Minh City, why not arrive a day or two early to see the sights? Ho Chi Minh City has a dynamic atmosphere and a French influence. Perhaps head to Pham Ngu Lao Street to see the local open-aired market, visit Vinh Nghiem Pagoda or one of the amusements parks.

Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel in time for the meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Riding distance: none

Day 2 - Mekong Delta
Take a three-hour bus ride to the Mekong Delta. Known as the ‘Rice Bowl of Vietnam’, the fertile delta is famous for its harvest of tropical fruit, flowers and rice, as well as the views over the canals. When you arrive in the region, get on your bike for the first full day of cycling. Ride along quiet backroads, past farms and villages and make a stop for lunch. You’ll also get to visit orchards and some local cottage industries. You'll cycle for around 40 kilometres in total today. Around sunset, make your way up one of the canals by boat and reach your homestay. Stay with a family for the night and enjoy a wonderful meal of local specialties.

Notes: At your homestay, you’ll be sleeping on simple camp beds in a dorm-style arrangement. You’ll share a toilet and bathroom facilities with cold water only. Bedding and mosquito nets will be provided.

Riding distance: approx. 40 kms

Day 3 - Chau Doc
Start the day by shaking out your sea legs with a cycle through the bustling settlements along the river. Here you’ll see more of local life dependent on this vital and beautiful river. Take a bus and then a ferry to Long Xuyen, and from here, travel to Chau Doc which is right next to the Cambodian border. Head out in search of the city’s famous hot noodles and cold beer, then stay the night in your hotel.

Riding distance: approx. 40 kms

Day 4 - Phnom Penh
Cycle to your last destination within Vietnam, the border town of Tinh Bien (about 30 kilometres) and stop for lunch. You’ll then go through visa formalities and cross into Phnom Den, Cambodia. Meet your new support team and hop on your bike again on your way to Phnom Penh (about 27 kilometres). You’ll be cycling along dusty and bumpy roads for a while, and then along a paved highway which leads to Cambodia’s capital. Once you arrive, you’ll have a free evening to enjoy your first delicious Cambodian meal for the trip. Phnom Penh is quickly becoming a hot destination among foodies, so load up on grilled seafood, fish curry and green mango salad.

Riding distance: approx. 30 kms & 27 kms

Day 5 - Phnom Penh
Spend the day enjoying a leisurely ride around Mekong Island. Visit local artisans selling quality silks, and cycle past temples and pagodas. Stop for a refreshing drink at a roadside food stall.

Riding distance: approx. 25 kms

Day 6 - Phnom Penh
Today you’ll confront Cambodia’s tragic past with visits to several historical sites. First stop is the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former school which served as a Khmer Rouge torture centre. You’ll take a guided tour of the museum where over 20,000 people were once incarcerated and tortured. Next you’ll visit the Choeung Ek Memorial, where a stupa made up of some 8,000 human skulls marks the site of the infamous Killing Fields. This was where the prisoners of Tuol Sleng were executed and nearly 9,000 corpses have been exhumed from the area. Finally, learn about a brighter period in Cambodian history with a visit to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda.

Riding distance: none

Day 7 - Siem Reap
Settle in for a long day of driving as we travel to Siem Reap. The bus ride will take about seven hours but will be full of stunning rural views of tiny towns, and it also gives you the chance to catch up on some shut-eye.

Riding distance: none

Day 8 - Siem Reap
Your day in Siem Reap will involve some leisurely cycling to some iconic sites. You’ll visit the temples of Ta Prohm and Angkor Thom and have guided tours of the sites. These ancient ruins are now overrun by trees and creepers, giving them an eerily beautiful appearance.

Riding distance: approx. 35 kms

Day 9 - Siem Reap
Today you’ll cover around 70 kilometres by bicycle on your visit to Banteay Srei, the 10th century temple dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva. The temple was rediscovered in 1914 and has some of the most intricate carvings in the world. It was restored shortly after discovery using traditional techniques and materials.

Riding distance: approx. 70 kms

Day 10 - Sa Kaew
Leave from Siem Reap early in the morning and head for the border. Our crossing at Poipet/Aranyaprathet should take around 4 hours including the driving and processing time. From the border we transfer to Chong Klam Wildlife/Bird Sanctuary (approx 1 hour). This project was built in 1983 by Queen Sirikit to protect rare and endangered wild animals and has a particularly large population of hornbills. We stop for lunch at the Sanctuary. It's 4km further to our next stop - Tha Kabark Dam. We can have a quick swim before our next cycling leg - approx 40km to Sa Kaew where we will stay for the night.

Riding distance: approx. 40 kms

Day 11 - Kabinburi
Wake up at sunrise and make your way to the local market. Here you’ll see the Buddhist monks from nearby temples who come to receive food from the villagers in exchange for blessings. Perhaps offer the monks some alms before continuing on your way. Spend the rest of the day cycling along mostly flat terrain towards the small district of Kabinburi. You’ll pass rubber tree and tapioca plantations as well as lush rice fields.

Riding distance: approx. 70 kms

Day 12 - Bangkok
Make your way to Khun Dan Dam, Thailand’s largest dam, for your last full day of cycling. You’ll ride past small villages, paddy fields, farms and shops. Stop for lunch along the way, then enjoy a quick swim. After cycling for around 60 kilometres, pack up the bikes before transferring to Bangkok, your final destination.

Riding distance: approx. 60 kms

Day 13 - Bangkok
There are no activities planned for today and you’re able to depart the accommodation at any time. However, as we don’t spend much time in Bangkok, why not stay a few days extra to make the most of your time here? We’ll be happy to assist with booking accommodation. Perhaps take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road or pay a visit to Wat Pho, home to the country's largest reclining Buddha. Explore the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, or travel by long tail boat down the Chao Phraya River to explore Bangkok’s famous khlongs (canals). Consider doing one of our day tours of Bangkok, see urbanadventures.com for more information.

Want more cycling in Thailand - check out our Cycle Southern Thailand (TTXB) trip at http://www.intrepidtravel.com/thailand/cycle-southern-thailand-100031

Riding distance: none

Accommodation, Food (as stated), Transport, Selected Activities

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