Cycle from Siem Reap to Saigon 16 Days

Cycle from Siem Reap in Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, whilst being connected to grass-root NGO's that are doing life-changing work in the local community. 16 days.

  • Cambodia & Vietnam
  • May—July, November—February

A South East Asian cycling adventure from the iconic temples of Angkor Wat in Siam Reap to the bright lights of Ho Chi Minh City. Making the most of expert local knowledge this tour charts a course through the back roads, along rivers and around paddy fields whilst taking in the best of Vietnam and Cambodia.

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 15 night’s accommodation
  • 4 NGO social impact engagements
  • 7 dinners, 4 at social enterprises
  • 12 breakfasts
  • Expert local guide, mechanic and driver
  • Support van
  • Bike hire
  • Airport transfers
  • Visits to range of NGO’s
  • Entry to S-21 Museum and Angkor Wat
  • Sunrise tour Mekong floating market
  • Cocoa plantation, noodle factory and pepper farm tours

Perfect for: Socially minded adventurers looking to see South East Asia from a new perspective. 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.

Need To Know

The following are not included in your tour price: - Flights - All meals except those 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.

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 and Vietnam are 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 3 NGO’s on this tour featuring:

  • 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.

  • In Kampot, you may visit the ethical clothing manufacturer, Dorsu. You will have the chance to learn more about the real story behind the garment factory workers by visiting them directly. Chumkriel Language School is an incredible organization that go so far beyond teaching language.

  • In Vietnam, you may have the chance to visit some of the bigger organisations and see how their system helps the community. Heifer International pioneered the agricultural pay it forward program, adopted by NGOs and communities all over the world. Habitat for Humanity focus on building shelters for the disadvantaged with a help up, not hand out philosophy.

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’ll visit no less than three 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.

The two tours are exactly the same, except the 16 day option adds an amazing experience in Siem Reap, includes a ride around the temples of Angkor, a visit to Battambang and a back roads cycle into Phnom Penh. This extended option meets up with the 12 day tour in Phnom Penh.

Location

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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.

Vietnam is yet another country looking to the future after a troubled past. The country has changed dramatically since the horrors of the American War and it is now a thriving economy filled with entrepreneurial spirit. Despite its rapid development, Vietnam has not lost its character and charm and it is still a wonderful place to visit.

One thing that is sure to impress on any visitor to Vietnam or Cambodia is the warmth and resilience of the people. Despite their difficult histories, both well within living memory, the people are friendly, welcoming and full of joy. Perhaps nowhere is this spirit more apparent than at the NGOs that you will visit along the way.

Start Point? Your adventure starts in Siam Reap. You will be collected from the airport 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 Ho Chi Minh City on the morning of your last day. Your local hosts can transfer you to the airport for your onward journey.

Getting there and away? By air:

Siam Reap Angkor International Airport (REP) is a small airport served by around 20 airline carriers. Whilst it is an international airport most flights are from Asian hub airports with no flights from Western destinations.

Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) is a busy international airport with over 40 airline carries offering services to destines around the world

One option is to book a return flight Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) and then book an individual flight with Lanmei Airlines or Vietnam Airlines to Siam Reap Angkor International Airport (REP) for the start if your journey.

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. We 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. It may not be that far, but it feels a world away from the bright lights of the city.

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 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 pool and spa facilities so it’s the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate tired legs.

Day 5: Riding into Phnom Penh

Today is an exciting one, a 75km ride to the capital city, Phnom Penh. 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 idea of fun, you can hop in the support van 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 a tarantula starter?

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 night’s Romdeng restaurant!

After that, you’ll visit the Russian Market and then 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. Today’s 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 Preah Monivong National Park.

From the summit, it’s 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

Today’s cycle is all about 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 hosts 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 it’s on too country number two as you enter Vietnam at Ha Tien. From here a welcome lift in the support van gets you too the thriving port of Rach Gia for more great seafood.

Day 11: Cycling the Mekong Delta

Your journey continues with an 82km cycle into the heart of the Mekong Delta. The route makes the most of your guides local knowledge cutting along back roads through a mosaic of paddy fields and farmers huts.

The day’s destination is Can Tho. After the remote countryside of Cambodia, this thriving city is all the more impressive. The city is filled with bustling markets, gleaming temples and peaceful parks.

Can Tho’s night market is a great place to experience the famous street food of South East Asia. The hardest part of your day may well be deciding exactly which delicious looking dish to choose for dinner.

Day 12: Explore the Floating Markets

Its position on the Mekong Delta defines Can Tho and its people. Canals and floating markets are a part of daily life and the locals are as at home on the water as they are on the land.

It’s worth the early start to experience the floating market at its best, at sunrise. From the water, you can enjoy the novel experience of ordering breakfast and having it delivered by boat as you float on by.

Following the market, you’ll visit a noodle farm to try your hand at making your own and visit a local cocoa farm. After lunch, the day is yours to explore the city at your leisure.

Day 13: Cycling the Mekong

Another day of exploring the Mekong is in store with a 95km cycle. If that sounds a little too rich for your taste there is always the option to hop in the support van a little early.

The Mekong Delta is a really important area for Vietnam’s agriculture. A quarter of Vietnam’s agricultural land can be found in these fertile floodplains. The expansive network of paddy fields really is a sight to behold.

The day’s destination is Ben Tre which offers quite a different experience away from the tourist crowds of Can Tho. The area is famous for coconut candy and a visit to the local factories is worthwhile.

Day 14: Cycling into Ho Chi Minh

It’s an early start to make the most of the cooler morning temperatures. Today is your last day on the bike and you will be heading into the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, 86 km away.

Cycling into the city is an experience with thousands of two-wheeled companions to keep you company. You’ll hop aboard the support van to ride to last 12kms to your hotel.

Your boutique hotel is located in the heart of the city. It’s just a short walk away from the local street food market, the ideal place for dinner.

Day 15: Ho Chi Minh, Mekong Plus and KOTO

We’ll visit our third and final NGO of the trip in Mekong Plus. With a presence in Cambodia and Vietnam, this grass roots local NGO focus on a hand up, not hand out policy. The social enterprise part of this NGO trains beneficiaries to make quilts, handicrafts and bamboo bicycles.

The rest of the day is yours to explore Ho Chi Minh. It’s a vibrant city full of busy markets, old colonial architecture, dramatic boulevards and museums. The Chinatown in district 5 is well worth a visit.

In the evening meet up for a final dinner at Koto, with your travelling compadres and local hosts. Share a drink, swap stories and enjoy reliving the last 14 days of epic adventure.

Day 16: Leaving

After many hours in the saddle, hundreds of kilometres and two countries, your journey is now complete.

Enjoy one final breakfast together before you go your separate ways.

Whether you’re heading home or on your way to adventures new, your hosts will see you on your way with an airport transfer.

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.

Accommodation

All of your accommodation is included in 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.

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Dates & Prices

Prices include

  • Accommodation
  • Airport Transfers
  • Equipment
  • Guide
  • Local Transport
  • Meals As Described

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

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Your host will confirm your booking subject to availability. There may be a minimum number of guests required to guarantee that a trip will go ahead.

Special requirements? Get a quote for a custom trip

Sorry, no private trips are currently available for this product. Try a group trip or ask for a quote.

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 Saigon Payable Before Departure
Additional night in Saigon AU$50.00 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 (16 day trip) Payable Before Departure
Single Room Supplement (16 day trip) AU$450.00 Per Person

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