Cycle Indochina & Angkor – Premium

Resort:Cycle Indochina & Angkor - Premium
Operator: Exodus
Destination: Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam
Price From: £3129.00


Cycle through 3 countries from Thailand to Vietnam

This journey takes us through three countries with divergent histories and
subtly different cultures. From the bustling streets of Bangkok, to the
serene tranquility of the shimmering paddy fields, to the magnificence of
Angkors temples, we see a little piece of everything these amazing
countries have to offer. In Vietnam we enter the Mekong Delta, a spectacular
patchwork of rice paddies and waterways. Our journey ends in Saigon where the
frenetic pace and vibrant street life contrasts starkly with the rural areas
we have cycled through, and will leave a lasting impression.


* Cycle through 3 countries
* Discover awe-inspiring ancient monuments
* Explore incredible Angkor by bike
* Wander the streets of Cambodia’s Phnom Penh, an exciting capital city with
a frontier feel
* The fertile Mekong Delta and Saigon, Vietnam’s most vibrant city
* Experience a taste sensation with mouth-watering cuisine


Day 1
Depart London

Depart London

Day 2
Arrive Bangkok

There will be a group meeting and briefing with your leader in the evening
followed by an optional group dinner for those that would like to join. Your
main luggage will be transported ahead of you to the start point early in the
morning so please bring this with you to the meeting; just hang on to what
you need for the night/morning – you will be with your luggage again
mid-morning tomorrow.
*Ramada Plaza Bangkok Mae Nam Riverside Hotel or similar*

Day 3
Early transfer to the old kingdom of Ayuttaya; warm-up ride on trail

An early start this morning as we venture out of Bangkok to the ancient town
of Ayuttaya. Our two hour transfer takes us into the heart of this
fascinating site and we start cycling by the huge reclining Buddha. Much of
the old town was destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th Century and we will
cycle through the remaining shrine towers and enormous temples to appreciate
the past magnificence. We will finish todays warm-up ride at Aranyik
village, famed for traditional knife making, and will pause to learn a little
about this age old tradition that has been passed through generations.

*Royal Hill Resort or similar*

Day 4
Cycle to Sa Keaw

Today we follow minor roads through rural Thai landscapes including rubber
and eucalyptus plantations as well as tapioca and rice fields. There are a
few easy rolling hills but the route is mostly flat.The ride ends when we
join a busier road before driving the final short distance to the town of Sa
Keaw by bus.
*Kantary Kabinburi Hotel or similar*

Day 5
Ride to Aranyaprathet

Leaving our hotel early in the morning we ride towards Tha Krabak where we
can stop by a reservoir for a swim and a view of the untouched jungle on the
other side. We will break for lunch before carrying on cycling on quiet but
well-maintained scenic roads on the way to Aranyaprathet, 10km from the
Cambodian border.
*The VELO’s Hotel & Pumptrack or similar*

Day 6
Into Cambodia and on to Siem Reap

After breakfast we drive to the busy border and complete customs formalities
as we cross into Cambodia at Poipet. We then drive to Siem Reap. Due to years
of civil war the country is poorer and less developed than its neighbours.
Apart from growth in the capital and around Siem Reap, the way of life in the
countryside is still very much the same as it has been for centuries. This
afternoon’s ride from Siem Reap takes us past Wat Athvea, a modern temple in
the grounds of the ruins of an Angkorian temple, and ends at a market and
picnic area outside of Siem Reap.
*Steung Siem Reap Hotel or similar*

Day 7
First of two full days to explore the temple complex of Angkor by bus and
bike, including Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, the Bayon and Banteay Srei

Today we may choose to have an early start to avoid the inevitable crowds
drawn to the wonders of Angkor. The various temples are spread over a wide
area and are linked by shady avenues; meandering our way between them by bike
gives us a unique perspective. Our cycle tour will include the jungle-covered
Ta Prohm, with the amazing roots of the Fromagier trees clinging to the
ancient stones, Angkor Thom with the famous Bayon temple of 37 towers
(originally there were 49) topped with the four faces of the king, and of
course the incredible Angkor Wat, with its huge moat, long causeway and
massive towers – it is the largest temple complex in Asia.
*Steung Siem Reap Hotel or similar*

Day 8
Second day at Angkor temple complex

Today we cycle outside the main Angkor complex to the outlying temple of
Banteay Srei, 35km from Siem Reap town. Our route takes us past paddy fields,
and through pretty villages. Banteay Srei was built in the 10th Century and
contains some of the finest examples of Khmer sculpture. Although much
smaller than the later temples, here all of the buildings are covered in
exquisite carvings. In the afternoon as we cycle back to Siem Reap we can
stop and visit a few of the less visited Angkor temples. Siem Reap town is
pleasant to wander around; the market has plenty of interest and excellent
shopping and there is a vibrant nightlife scene. This afternoon there should
also be time to visit the Tonle Sap Lake, which is a branch of the Mekong
River. This optional trip includes a boat ride to see the floating fishing
villages. Anyone wanting to do this visit may need to miss part or all of the
ride back to Siem Reap, depending on timings. Cycle approx. 70 km. if riding
the full distance to and from Banteay Srei.
*Steung Siem Reap Hotel or similar*

Day 9
Drive to Phnom Penh, stopping at Sambor Prei Kuk and Skuon

Today we take a bus journey of approximately 7 hours along National Road 6 to
Phnom Penh, with a couple of stops along the way. We visit Sambor Prei Kuk,
Cambodia’s most impressive group of pre-Angkorian monuments with some of the
oldest structures in the country. We’ll also pause for a traditional Khmer
lunch at a community restaurant before stopping in the town Skuon, which is
known for its local delicacy of fried spiders. The road is currently
undergoing some resurfacing so some sections will be a bit of a bumpy ride!
We should arrive in Phnom Penh for late afternoon, the perfect time for a
sundowner on the Mekong.

*Patio Hotel or similar*

Day 10
Sightseeing including Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and Tuol Sleng Genocide
Museum and the ‘Killing Fields’

The fortunes of Phnom Penh have shifted dramatically during its history and
the terrible years of the Khmer Rouge and subsequent civil war through the
1970s and 1980s have scarred the country. During our stay we visit two sites
which give us a vivid impression of some of the horrors. There is the
Genocide Museum, which is the former Khmer Rouge prison known as S-21 or Tuol
Sleng, in the centre of the city. And 15kms of out of town is the area known
as the ‘Killing Fields,’ a mass grave and execution site for the former
inmates of S-21. While visiting Tuol Sleng and the Killing Fields may not
appeal to everyone, we feel they give us an important understanding of what
the country and its people had to endure just a few decades ago.
On a more positive note, the city is very much on the rise again and is a
fascinating place with fine examples of French colonial architecture. We tour
the Royal Palace with its Silver Pagoda. There is also excellent shopping at
the ‘Russian’ market, and the lively Mekong waterfront area.
*Patio Hotel or similar*

Day 11
Transfer to Takeo then cycle to Vietnam border and Chau Doc

This morning we transfer south out of Phnom Penh to the town of Takeo. Here
the road becomes quieter and we mount our bikes for the 50km ride to the
Phnom Den / Tinh Bien border. Once border formalities have been completed, we
cycle approximately 30km to Chau Doc.
*Victoria Chau Doc Hotel or similar*

Day 12
Cycle/drive through the Mekong Delta to Vinh Long; catch boat to homestay

This morning we ride from our hotel along a lovely quiet backroad, lined with
small villages and dwellings before stopping for lunch and transferring the
rest of the way to Vinh Long by bus. Leaving the bikes on the mainland, we
take another boat (20 minutes) to reach our homestay guesthouse on an island
in the Mekong Delta, known as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam. After settling in
we can explore the area on foot. The rivers and canals of the Mekong Delta
form an amazing network of waterways. The area is famous for its abundant
rice production but in many areas farmers are now moving to more profitable
fish-farming and fruit and vegetable growing. The evening is tranquil as we
have dinner at the homestay and enjoy some ‘Delta’ hospitality. We spend the
night sleeping at a simple guesthouse built in the style of a local house.
Bedding, a mosquito net and a small towel are provided.
*Homestay Guesthouse Mekong Delta*

Day 13
Transfer to Cai Be for floating market; scenic cycle along Mekong riverbank;
transfer to Saigon

We leave by boat, stopping en route for a look at the Cai Be floating market.
Here large boats moor up in the Mekong River, weighed down with fruit and
vegetable produce. Local traders and shop owners buy in bulk in this strictly
‘wholesale’ market.Recently, Cai Be floating market is becoming less
crowded and smaller as fruit trading is mostly now done by trucks due to the
bridge being built. However, this is still a great opportunity to see a local
market and trade being conducted traditionally on a smaller scale.

A little further on we make a short stop to see cottage industries producing
such items as popped rice, pancakes, wine and other homemade products. We
start our ride towards Cai Lay where we take a scenic route through fruit
orchards and along the Mekong riverbank. Back on the bus in My Tho, we drive
on to the heat, hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, still usually known as
Saigon. This is an exciting and absorbing city where scooters pack the
streets and temples stand defiantly alongside modern developments. Devastated
by the Vietnam War, it is now a free market city where anything goes.

*Millennium Boutique Hotel or similar*

Day 14
Free day in Saigon

The whole day is free to explore Saigon, do some shopping and to relax. There
are a number of interesting things to see – the Saigon River, Ben Thanh
Market, Reunification Palace and Notre Dame Cathedral are all within easy
walking distance. Alternatively a short cyclo (cycle taxi) ride will take you
to the War Remnants Museum with an interesting (if a little gruesome)
photographic record of the Vietnam/American War.

For those that are interested your leader can arrange an optional visit to
the Cu Chi Tunnels, located 2 hours outside the city. Used by the Viet Cong
during the war, the network covers 3 levels and approximately 240km of
tunnels. Originally these were very narrow but some areas have been widened
to allow tourists to explore the system. Claustrophobes may prefer to stay
outside in the sunshine!
*Millennium Boutique Hotel or similar*

Day 15
Fly to London

Fly to London

Day 16
Arrive London

Arrive London