Cycle Through Cambodia (11 Days)

Cycle from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh in Cambodia via Kampot, whilst being connected to grass-root NGO's that are doing life-changing work in the local community. 11 Days.

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REF: 09436

Cycle Through Cambodia (11 Days)

Cycle from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh in Cambodia via Kampot, whilst being connected to grass-root NGO's that are doing life-changing work in the local community. 11 Days.

  • Cambodia
  • November—February
  • Phnom Penh International Airport, Phnom-penh (PNH)

An epic Cambodian cycling adventure from the bright lights to the back of beyond. Nothing beats local knowledge when you’re planning the perfect biking adventure. Your local guides will avoid the traffic, plotting a course through Cambodia’s quiet backroads, showing you the best that country has to offer along the way.

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 9 nights accommodation
  • 4 dinners in social enterprise restaurants
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Expert local guide, mechanic and driver
  • Support van
  • Bike hire
  • Airport transfers
  • Entry to S-21 Museum and Angkor Wat

Perfect for: Socially minded adventurers looking to experience the real Cambodia. You need to be fit and healthy and you must be able to ride a bike.

Adventures for Good: Your host’s mission is to offer cycling adventures with a positive impact. Along the way, you will visit NGO’s striving to make a difference, learn about the social issues, challenges and strategies in country, and dine at social enterprise restaurants, all while having a cycling adventure. See all of our ‘Adventures for Good’ here.

What to Expect

Day 1: Arrive in Siam Reap

Your adventure kicks off in the hustle and bustle of Siam Reap. When you touch down at the airport your local host will be ready and waiting to whisk you off to your hotel.

Until the evening welcome dinner the day is free time. You can kick back and relax in preparation for the days ahead. Or, head off into the city and explore the markets, temples and museums.

At the welcome meal, you will meet your team of local hosts and fellow travellers. The meal is at the Marum restaurant, a social enterprise that trains marginalized youth with new skills.

Day 2: Sunrise cycle at Angkor Wat and NGO visit

It’s an early 04:30 start for your first day on the bike, but it’s oh so worth it. Cycling round Angkor Wat as the sun rises is an ethereal experience not to be missed. It’s a new perspective on this famous UNESCO World Heritage Site that not many people get to see.

After Angkor you’ll continue on to visit a few of Siam Reaps other temples. There are many Hindu and Buddhist temples surrounding the city dating back to the 12th century. Many of them are arguably more impressive the Angkor Wat.

In the afternoon you’ll visit your first NGO project. These trips are a great insight into the issues in Cambodia and the fantastic individuals and organisations working hard to deal with them.

Day 3: Riding the River and Remote Villages

Today the journey proper begins. You’ll head away from Siam Reap navigating through wetlands alongside the Tonle Sap River. From here, single-track paths weave their way through small remote villages.

When the road runs out you’ll hop aboard a long tail boat and cruise 16km down the river. Another 18km of dirt roads brings you to the evening’s destination in the town of Battambang.

Battambang is a vibrant town full of cafes, culture and art. It’s hidden back streets are filled with enticing local wares, making it a great spot for souvenirs. Dinner is at another top-notch social enterprise restaurant.

Day 4: Riding the Red Roads and Visit a Sustainable NGO

Your journey continues pedalling 50km through expansive farmers fields broken by clumps of forest and trees. The next night’s accommodation in Pursat is reached by early afternoon.

After a brief pause, it’s off to another great NGO project. Sustainable Cambodia’s mission is to help rural Cambodian villages live self sufficiently and sustainably. You will have a tour of their facilities and a presentation from their executives.

Your accommodation in Pursat has a pool and spa facilities so it’s the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate tired legs.

Day 5: Riding into Phnom Phen

Today is an exciting one, a 75km ride to the capital city, Phnom Phen. Making the most of local knowledge you’ll ride along peaceful backstreets right up to the city limits. From here it’s 2km into the heart of the city to your hotel door. If the TukTuk slalom isn’t your cup of tea a transfer is also available for the last 2km.

Along the way, you’ll pause to grab a coffee and soak in the atmosphere at the waterside villages on the Tonle Sap Lake. This huge seasonal lake that feeds into the mighty Mekong River is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Dinner is served at the Romdeng restaurant, another great social enterprise. For an authentic taste of Cambodia try the beef fillet with ants. Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, how about some tarantula?

Day 6: Friends International NGO and S21 Museum

The day starts with a visit to Friends International. This a superb NGO stepping in to support vulnerable individuals with vital social services. They also go a step further offering retraining and opportunities – like last nights Romdeng restaurant!

After that, you’ll visit the Russian Market and Tuol Sleng, the S-21 Genocide Museum. The museum bears witness to the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge and honours its victims. It is a difficult but incredibly important place to experience.

For the rest of the afternoon, you have some free time, either to explore more of this thriving city or reflect and take in the day’s visits. In the evening you’ll meet back up with the group for a local style Khmer BBQ dinner.

Day 7: Rural Riding and Chisaur Temple

After a day out of the saddle, your legs will be refreshed and raring to go. Todays 63km cycle wanders along narrow dirt tracks, through villages and along waterways in rural Cambodia.

The ride ends at Chisaur Mountain Temple – a slight misnomer at just 130m above sea level! The ancient ruins of the temple are 200 years older than Angkor Wat and you will have plenty of time to explore them at your leisure.

When you have had your fill of the temple it’s time to hop in the support van for a ride down to your accommodation in the laid-back riverside city of Kampot.

Day 8: The Bokor Mountain Challenge

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is 40km with 1000m of ascent to the top of Bokor Mountain! Of course, if that doesn’t sound like fun to you there is always the option of a lift to the top and ride down.

The mountain is the site of a former French Colonial hill station with an eerie abandoned casino at its summit. Your efforts are rewarded with a commanding view over the surrounding national Preah Monivong National Park.

From the summit its a joyous decent back to town making a total ride of 80km. Dinner is at the Rusty Keyhole which may or may not serve the best ribs in the world - you be the judge!

Day 9: NGO Visit, Rest and Relaxation

In the morning you will be visiting Mr Suthy, founder of the Chumkriel Language School. This is a wonderful local NGO set up to serve the salt field community.

The rest of the day is yours to do as you please. It’s a great opportunity to just sit and relax by the pool and give those legs a well-deserved rest. If that’s not your idea of fun then the local markets are a delight to explore.

One great option is to take a sunset cruise down the river. If you’re lucky you may just get to see the fireflies come to life, dancing through the night sky along the river.

Day 10: Coast, Crabs and Cycling

Your last days cycling is in the coastal province of Kep. It’s a 62km ride through coastal towns and past salt lakes. Once again, you’ll reap the benefits of your host’s local knowledge and enjoy a quiet backroad route.

Ever wondered where your pepper came from? You can find out on a visit to a local pepper plantation. Kep is also famous for its seafood, especially crab. A visit wouldn’t be complete without a quick taste.

After navigating the outskirts of Kep National Park your epic pedalathon ends at the Vietnamese border. From here you’ll hop in the support van for a transfer back to Phnom Penh. You should be back in your hotel by dinner.

Day 11: Heading Home

After an epic tour of Cambodia biking the roads next travelled it’s time to bid a fond farewell to your local host team.

If you have time maybe you can squeeze in one last quick massage for weary legs in Phnom Penh.

Whether you’re hopping on a plane back home or on to your next adventure the local team will endeavour to help you on your way.

Accommodation

All of your accommodation is included on your adventure. Accommodation is based in shared twin rooms although a single supplement is available if you would prefer.

After a long day in the saddle, a nice comfortable spot to lay your head is invaluable and your local hosts have carefully chosen a hotel or guesthouse in each of your stop-offs.

All accommodations will meet a good standard of accommodation with private bathrooms, air conditioning and clean, comfortable beds. Accommodation is predominantly boutique hotels with swimming pools available. Being a cycle tour your hosts are also keen to ensure that Thai massage is always available nearby.

Dates & Prices

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

Additional night in Phnom Penh Payable Before Departure
Additional night in Phnom Penh AU$70.00 Per Person, Per Night
Additional night in Siem Reap Payable Before Departure
Additional night in Siem Reap AU$40.00 Per Person, Per Night
Single room supplement (11 day trip) Payable Before Departure
Single Room Supplement (11 day trip) AU$270.00 Per Person

Trip Photos

Location

View map

Cambodia is a colourful collision of old and new. After a troubled history, there is a real sense of the future in the hustle and bustle of the countries capital Phnom Penh. Even so, Cambodia is not yet as developed as some of it’s other South East Asian neighbours and it still offers travellers the chance to experience real adventure travel.

Along your journey, you will see some of the best that Cambodia has to offer from the grandeur of Angkor Wat to the tranquillity of Tonle Sap. The areas is predominantly flat making it the perfect location for a cycling adventure.

One thing visitors to Cambodia cannot fail to notice is the spirit and resilience of its people. After the bloody horrors of the Khmer Rouge, the people still bear the scars to this day. Yet, their open hearts and warm smiles are a testament to their strength as a people. Nowhere is this fantastic spirit more apparent than at the NGOs you will visit along your adventure.

Start Point? Your adventure starts in Siam Reap. You will be collected from the hotel or bus station and transferred to your hotel. Nothing is planned until 18:00 on arrival day so feel free to arrive any time before then

Finish point? Your adventure ends at your hotel in Phnom Penh. Checkout time is 10:00 on the last day. Your local hosts will assist with your onward plans where possible.

Getting there and away? By air: There Siam Reap International Airport (REP) is a small airport that has links with other regional airports and domestic flights. There are no direct flights from western destinations but there are plenty of options using Asian hub destinations.

Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH) is a larger more modern airport served by around 30 airline carriers but still predominantly to Asian hub destinations. One option is to book a return flight to an Asian hub such as Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur and then book individual flights to Siam Reap and from Phnom Penh

By Bus: There are also plenty of direct buses between Siam Reap and Bangkok, Siam Reap and Phnom Penh and Phnom Penh and Bangkok. As all three cities are on the regular tourist trail there are plenty of operators running services between these destinations.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are not included in your tour price: - Flights - Meals except where specified - Travel insurance - Visa (Where applicable) - NGO donation £110

You need to be fit and healthy and you must be able to ride a bike. As there is a support vehicle on hand there is always the option to hop in and skip a hill or even a complete leg if you feel yourself flagging.

Yes absolutely. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Your local host recommends:

For the cycle - Full sleeve sports top (high breathability) - Lightweight full-length top and pants - Visor/Caps for under your helmet - Closed shoes (bikes do not have clip in pedals) - Gloves & Helmet - Sports water bottle - Lightweight backpack (optional) - Removable padded seat for your bike (optional)

General Items - Cash - Passport & passport photo - Insurance copy - Camera, SD cards & chargers - Smartphone & chargers - Tropical strength insect repellant - Hand sanitizer - Gels & hydrolytes to stay hydrated - Sunscreen - Adequate prescription medication - Women’s sanitary needs - Hat for sun protection - Usual toiletries

There will be an opportunity to wash clothes on days 4, 5 and 8.

Bike hire

You’ll use Reid X-Trail 26 (and some X-Trail 29’s) mountain bikes to get through some of the tough terrain that awaits.

Between November and February rainfall is minimal with mild temperatures around the mid 20’s. As with all South East Asian countries conditions can be humid at times so it’s worth having breathable clothing.

Between June and October it is the rainy season. This is still a great time to come and there are far fewer tourists about. Temperatures are still in the mid 20’s but be prepared for a few torrential tropical downpours!

South East Asia is famous for its amazing street food and Cambodia is no exception. Typical cuisine includes creamy coconut curries, spiced BBQ meats and fried noodles.

Of course. Just let us know about your dietary requirements once you have booked your place.

You are free to book any flights that fit with the trip start and end times.

You’ll visit at least four (but not necessarily all) of the following NGOs:

  • Friends International are leading the charge in the ‘ChildSafe’ movement and the ‘Think Families, Not Orphanages’ campaign. Friends International have an office in Phnom Penh, which makes for a great introduction to Cambodia.

  • Sustainable Cambodia are a grass roots locally run NGO operating in the province of Pursat. Focusing on everything to do with education and community development. This results in the operation of pre-school centres in remote villages, supplementary schooling programs, WASH initiatives, vocational training, agricultural pass on programs, community gardens and recycling education, just to name a few!

  • In Battambang, both Cambodia Children’s Trust (CCT) and Ponleur Kumar (PK) are located. PK are also locally run and have some of the best micro-finance & community garden programs in Cambodia. CCT, established by Aussie Tara Winkler, is creating a model which could (& should) drastically reduce institutionalized residential care for children and keep them with their families.

  • In Siem Reap, you’ll find This Life Cambodia and Grace House. TLC have pioneered a program (among other things) that virtually eliminates the risk of youth re-offending after prison and Grace House is pioneering the way for the care of disabled children in Cambodia.

For every tour, all riders are requested to contribute a nominal sum for the purpose of a donation - usually approx £110 per rider. During the course of the tour, you are given the chance to engage with, and learn from, local NGOs. You visit no less than four NGOs during every tour and spend some time learning about their projects, strategies and challenges. At the end of the tour, the riders are then empowered with new found knowledge and have the opportunity to combine the allotted donation money and make an impact towards a project of their choosing.

In addition to building a profile for our NGO partners, your host also reimburses them NGO for their time and resources. You’ll spend 1-2 hours with each NGO who are then remunerated, regardless of whether or not there is a follow up donation from the group.

If at the end of the tour, you do not feel that there is a connection or the money would not be used wisely, then of course you do not have to donate. It’s important you feel a connection to where you money is going.


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