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Cycle from Vietnam to Cambodia's Angkor Wat

An epic backroads journey taking in ancient temples, lush rice paddies, sandy beaches and the mighty Mekong River

Duration

13 nights

Annual Leave

10 day off work

Group Size

Up to 14 people

Season

Nov-June

Location

Vietnam & Cambodia

Meeting Point

Ho Chi Minh City

Classic Accommodation

Hotel · Cabin · Homestay

Customer Reviews

This trip is brand new

Difficulty

Moderate

From

From

Pedal your way through verdant Vietnam and temple-strewn Cambodia, soaking up village life and sampling tasty street food

Cycle from the natural hot springs of Binh Chau to the UNESCO-listed Langbiang Biosphere Reserve in the remote Central Highlands

Cruise around the ancient temple city of Angkor, pausing at the many faces of the Bayon and the jungle-entwined Ta Phrom

Day 1

Welcome to Vietnam

Xin chao! Touch down in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), check into your hotel, explore, then grab some dinner with your crew and hear all about the adventure ahead.

Day 2

From the ‘burbs to the backroads

Cycling

80km · 300m up · 250m down

Take a short drive out of the city, hop on your bike and cruise along the flat roads all the way to the coastal spa town of Bin Chau. Roll through rubber plantations and dragon fruit farms, arriving early afternoon.

Day 3

Coastal cruising and sand dune surfing

Cycling

90km · 200m up · 200m down

Your destination today is Mui Ne, Vietnam’s most picturesque section of coastline. En route you'll pause at giant red sand dunes, where you’ll trade your wheels for a sandboard and attempt to surf the dunes (or barefoot hike if you'd rather). A final roll into town will take you to your hotel via a rideable section of the beach. There will be time to freshen up before taking a wander to the beach for sunset and a seafood feast.

Day 4

To the Central Highlands

Cycling

50km · 400m up · 300m down

Driving

4-5hrs

A relaxed start this morning, although extra-early risers might want to walk to the coast to catch the hoards of colourful boats and fishermen returning with their catch. Next, it's back on the bike for a morning of riding before hopping in the bus for a road trip up, up and up into the highlands to Da Lat.

Day 5

Da Lat Highlands

Cycling

40km · 500m up · 300m down

Today’s ride is a circular loop into Bidoup National Park, the central zone of the Langbiang Biosphere Reserve which was recognised as a UNESCO site in 2015. Passing through subtropical rainforest and mixed bamboo forests, this is the green lung of Vietnam and best experienced on two wheels.

Day 6

Madagui Forest City

Cycling

80km · 200m up · 200m down

More cruising through the central highlands today, rolling through minor undulations as you go. Passing through the trees, your destination is Madagui Forest City - a 25km protected area popular with domestic travellers who come for the clean forest air and to experience the mythical Da Huoai River. Enjoy some downtime at the end of the day.

Day 7

Craft beer in Binh Duong

Cycling

60km · 100m up · 200m down

Cycling down from the highlands, your next stop is Binh Duong, located on the southern slopes of the Truong Son Mountain range. This is rural Vietnam at its finest, well away from any tourist trails. The town also has a thriving craft beer scene, so be sure to pull up a plastic stall on the street and watch the world go by.

Day 8

To the border

Cycling

30km · 100m up · 100m down

Continuing your journey east, today’s destination is Lò Gò-Xa Mát National Park in the Tay Ninh Province. After a couple of hours in the bus, you’ll pass through fertile rice paddies and terraces and ride along dusty tracks, ending up at your bungalow accommodation deep in the national park. The forest was formerly home to the headquarters of the revolution in the south during resistance wars against the French, and is consequently laced with a vast network of tunnels. Today, it is a more peaceful site and a key habitat for the rare red-headed sarus crane.

Day 9

Cambodia calling

Cycling

30km · 50m up · 50m down

Cycle directly from your jungle-based bungalow all the way to the border. Time for a switch of teams as you bid farewell to your Vietnamese crew, cross the Trapang Thlong border and receive a warm welcome from your new Cambodian team. You’ll road trip the next section in order to avoid cycling alongside heavily-laden trucks and drive straight to the mellow riverside town of Kratie, home to the Irrawaddy dolphin and the best Mekong sunsets in Cambodia. Your overnight spot is the island of Koh Trong, a former favourite locale for Khmer kings and now famous for growing pomelos, a giant citrus fruit.

Day 10

The mighty Mekong

Cycling

60km · 50m up · 50m down

Get back on two wheels and begin the cycle northward, cruising along the banks of the Mekong River. This remote corner of Cambodia is especially fertile - with many people moving here to grow crops and to fish, expect some friendly chatter along the way. You’ll ride to Stung Treng, home to a number of Buddhist pagodas and of course, many monks. The town lies on the confluence of the San, Kŏng, and Mekong rivers, making it a spectacular spot for a sundowner.

Day 11

On the border of Laos

Cycling

60km · 50m up · 100m down

Today you'll head to the Sopheakmit Waterfall, aka the Mekong rapids - tiers of thundering falls crashing over limestone crags and boulders. The falls are right on the Laos border, with the famed 4000 islands just over the water. These powerful rapids are the reason the Mekong River isn’t navigable all the way to China. Today ends in the bustling town of Preah Vihear, where you'll find a temple on most corners.

Day 12

Temple gazing

Cycling

60km · 100m up · 150m down

Cycle straight from the hotel today to the base of the Preah Vihear temple, an ancient Khmer temple and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On arrival, you’ll hop into a 4x4 for a bumpy ride up to the top of the hill - the most spectacular way to experience the temple complex. Your perch on top of the Dangrek Mountains affords a view all the way across the province. Get back on the bike for a final push to Siem Reap, the home of age-old Khmer sights (and the somewhat newer ‘Pub Street’).

Day 13

Angkor Wat in all its glory

Cycling

30km · 50m up · 50m down

Up early today for the culmination of your trip: a ride through the famous, vast ancient temple city of Angkor Wat. You’ll cycle along the wall of the ancient city of Angkor Thom with the moat on one side and thick jungle on the other. The many smiling faces of the 13th century Bayon Temples lie within and you’ll also pause at Ta Prohm, a temple almost entirely reclaimed by the jungle that surrounds it. Likely templed-out, you’ll regroup for a celebratory dinner tonight at Cambodia’s first farm-to-table restaurant, Lum Orng, a real treat where you can sample the best of modern, seasonal, local food.

Day 14

So long, Cambodia

Your South East Asia cycling adventure has come to an end - it's time to pack your bags and hop in a transfer back to the airport. That said, the option to stay for longer and spend more time at the temples is a popular one!

Included

Guides

Local, English-speaking guides plus bike mechanics

Accommodation

11 nights in hotels, 1 night in bungalow cabins, 1 night in a homestay

Meals

All breakfasts, 11 lunches, 7 dinners and traditional snacks while cycling

Transfers

Airport transfers and everything in between

Equipment

TREK Dual Sport 3 or TREK Marlin 7 hybrid bikes

Permits

All permits and entry fees to the sites

Support Vehicle

To hop into if your legs need a rest and to carry your luggage

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5 – Day 7

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Cabin · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Homestay · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 10

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 11 – Day 12

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 13

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 14

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Vietnamese breakfasts consist of a variety of bò kho soups, bún bò huế and phở noodles and some local sweet desserts, as well as bánh mì, the quintessential Vietnamese breakfast sandwich. Alongside this traditional fare, there will also be omelettes, bread, butter and cheese available, served with tea, coffee and fruit juice. For lunch and dinner, fill up on a mix of spring and gỏi cuốn rolls, bun cha noodles, bánh cuốn pancakes, and hủ tiếu soups with seasonal sautéed vegetables all served with rice.

Much like in Vietnam, rice and rice noodles feature heavily in Cambodian cuisine. Banh chok - rice noodles topped with a fish-based green curry gravy made with lemongrass, turmeric root, and kaffir lime - is popular, and sometimes called the Cambodian national dish. Street food favourites include iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk (kar-fe toek doh koh toek gok), fried noodles (mi char), chive cakes (num kachay), and paté sandwiches (num pang pâté). Fresh fruit is abundant in both countries, seek out the mangosteens for a delicious sweet treat.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request this on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Lo Go Xa Mat National Park

As you cycle towards the border, the accommodation options become few and far between, but the Lò Gò-Xa Mát National Park authorities retain a few bungalows for visitors. Each is clean with hot water, however they are basic so you should be prepared for this night to be a different experience to the other nights of the trip. What you lack in luxury, you make up for being directly inside the stunning national park, waking up to birdsong and hearing all about the park from the ranger.

Koh Trong Island

This one-night homestay experience involves staying in a large communal home on the small river island of Koh Trong and is a wonderful immersion into rural Cambodian life. It isn't possible to guarantee a single room upgrade for this night.

Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City, Siem Riep, and along the route

This is a majority hotel-based trip. All hotel overnight stays will be in twin-share rooms with en suite bathrooms. Mid-range hotels have been handpicked to fit the cycling route through both countries. In Ho Chi Minh City you'll stay at the Riverside Hotel or similar, and in Siem Riep at the Tara Angkor Hotel or similar.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. This is available for all nights except the one night spent at the homestay on Day 9. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Any time on Day 1

Ends

Siem Reap

Any time on Day 14

Transfers

Your host's local driver will meet you on arrival at Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) International Airport and transfer you to your hotel in town. There will be a team intro with the guide at 18:00 so please ensure that you arrive before then. On Day 14, your host's local driver will transfer you back to the airport in time for your onward flight.

Airport transfers are included in the main price if you arrive on Day 1 and depart on Day 14. For those arriving early or wanting to stay on longer, extra nights at the hotel and airport transfers can be arranged with your host at an additional cost.

Travel options

There are direct international flights to Ho Chi Minh City from London, as well as indirect international flights from the UK and various major hubs in Europe. From the US, there are indirect flights from various major hubs which transit via Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo, Narita, Doha, Istanbul or Dubai, dependent on whether you fly west or east.

As your trip ends in Cambodia, you can choose to fly home from Siem Reap or in many cases it may be easier to fly back to Ho Chi Minh City to catch your return from there. There are multiple direct flights between Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City daily, which take 1.5 hours.

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What do I need to bring?

CYCLE KIT
Helmet (required)
Pedals and saddle if you would rather use your own (these will be fitted to the bike for you)

CLOTHES
Padded cycling shorts
Sports top or cycling jersey
Fleece jacket or similar, for the evenings in the highlands
Rain and windproof lightweight jacket
Cycling gloves
Buff or neck scarf
T-shirts
Underwear and socks
Sunglasses and sunhat
Something to sleep in
Cycling shoes/trainers (bring your own pedals if using cleats)
Sandals

OTHER
Swimwear (for hotels/beach)
Bumbag or small handlebar bag for riding
Universal travel adapter
Passports (and visas)
Travel insurance documents
Suncream
Personal first-aid kit (including blister treatment)
Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
Alcohol hand-gel
Reusable water bottle

*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Pre trip accommodation in Hi Chi Minh (Single/Twin/Double)

Payable Before Departure

Pre trip accommodation in Hi Chi Minh (Single/Twin/Double)

Per Night

Pre trip accommodation in Siem Reap (Single/Twin/Double)

Payable Before Departure

Pre trip accommodation in Siem Reap (Single/Twin/Double)

Per Night

Optional Private Room Upgrade (excluding Day 9)

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade (excluding Day 9)

Private airport transfers - each way (up to 2 people)

Payable Before Departure

Private airport transfers - each way (up to 2 people)

Private airport transfers - each way (up to 2 people)

Payable Before Departure

Private airport transfers - each way (up to 2 people)

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 632kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This trip is designed for cyclists of average fitness able to cover around 50km (average) on back-to-back days. There are sections of smooth tarmac on quiet roads and a few small sections on paths or tracks - think weaving through a forest trail or skirting the beach edge on tightly-packed sand - this all adds to the adventure, but is flat and non-technical. There will also be a support vehicle to transport your overnight stuff, so if the going gets too tough or too hot, you can always jump in for a bit of respite.

It's no secret that we love cycling and many of us at HQ think it's the best way to see a country, however, we realise that organising your own trip can be a total faff. On our cycling trips, we've found a local guide who has put together a perfect route and will navigate for you all the way. We even send a van that transports your overnight luggage and provide high-quality bikes and delicious snacks to keep you going. Faff eliminated! All you have to do is turn up, pedal and take in the landscape with your fellow tourers. You don't need to be a lycra-clad 'roadie' although they're welcome too!

The cycling on the trip is a combination of paved roads and dirt roads going through dry forests, jungles, and cloud forests. Most of the riding is not that technical, your guide will give a heads up on the more difficult parts. Experience in riding back-to-back days is recommended but not absolutely necessary. There is always plenty of time each day to take your time riding and to stop to take pictures etc. You will regroup wherever the guides find it necessary to keep the group together and safe. There will be plenty of local snacks and some shade to keep you going. The ultimate aim of cycling on this trip is simply to be able to see more of each country.

On some days, yes, on other days there will be a transfer (usually under an hour, driving durations are stated in the itinerary above if over this amount) to get you between the cycling routes - this is to keep you away from busy roads and onto the best cycle routes. The backroads take a bit of piecing together to ensure the riding will be fun and hopefully stress-free, and the bus will provide some time to kick back and take it all in.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips for the support staff, driver, mechanic and hotel porters are all included in the cost. Tips for the lead guide however are not included. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. We suggest the below as a guideline per person, per day:

$5 USD / 115,000 VND

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

No. You'll need to have a larger bag suitable for all your belongings which will be transported for you, and then a small daysack to carry personal items during each day of hiking.

Tap water in Vietnam and Cambodia is not safe to drink; clean drinking water will be provided. Please pack your own reusable bottle, it will be well used.

Water bottles with inbuilt filters are becoming increasingly popular for travellers to use in countries without clean tap water. Please see our guide for advice on the best water filters for adventurers if you wish to bring your own filtration bottle on this trip.

South Vietnam enjoys a tropical climate all year round, with little variation throughout the year (around 28°C - 34°C degrees in the day and dropping a few degrees at night). It is mostly dry, however, May and June can be a time to experience the odd short heavy downpour - these are usually short and sharp and help to freshen up from the heat. When cycling into the highlands, you can expect some mist and temperatures in the low 20s most of the time.

Cambodia is a hot and tropical country, at its hottest in April (up to 38°C) and coolest in January (still high 20s). The climate is reliably warm - between 30°C and 35°C for much of the year. Although rainfall is at its maximum in October, the east and Siem Reap receive very little rain compared to the coastal areas, and when it does rain it tends to be in the form of sporadic mid-afternoon downpours. There is normally very little rain between December and March.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Our team of Adventure Hunters create exclusive adventures with highly vetted, specialist hosts. We only work with independent, local in-destination experts who know the very best places to explore and how to stay safe. See here for more info about the local teams we partner with.

TRIP DEPARTURE DATES

Private trip

Go private and split the bill with ease.

Forget complex logistics, we've taken care of all the details to ensure a hassle-free get together. All of the adventure, none of the faff.

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