Cycle from Bangkok to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). The essential discovery trip of Thailand, Cambodia and the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. This fertile region, which was once almost entirely ruled by the Angkor kings, now is comprised of Vietnam’s food-producing land, the majority of modern Cambodia, and the eastern extreme of Thailand. A goldmine of material for the budding historian. For the cyclist, a variety of dynamic riding that includes everything from single-lane bike trails to remote back roads through the countryside; something to satisfy the appetite of any rider. For the gourmet traveler, this tour showcases the highlights of three different cuisines with an emphasis on fresh vegetables, fish, and seafood, but with all tastes catered for. For those who wish to connect with village life in Southeast Asia, there could not be a better trip.
The ride may be epic in terms of its scope, but it is an achievable and enjoyable one with a high degree of comfort at our overnight stops. It is sure to be a humbling, rewarding and exciting experience discovering the heart and soul of Southeast Asia.
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Day 1: Arrival Day in Bangkok
You can arrive in Bangkok any time today before our briefing at 5pm. After this, we will head out for our first dinner together- an adventure in a city famous for its cuisine.
Day 2: Transfer & Cycle to Chanthaburi
Riding: 50km cycling – After picking you up from your hotel in Bangkok, we drive 3 hours to reach the starting point of the ride. On a sleepy beach far from the bustle of Bangkok, we unload and set up the bikes before embarking on a lovely ride along the dramatic coast of Thailand’s Gulf. At times a few small hills will provide nice views out over the water, and just as our stomachs begin to grumble we discover our lunch stop where the first of many great meals awaits. We pedal into the regional town of Chanthaburi in the mid-afternoon where our friendly host awaits to introduce us to the cozy guesthouse and vegetable garden that he is very passionate about.
Day 3: Cycle & Transfer to Pailin
Riding: 60km cycling – As we leave Chanthaburi, we will pedal through the old town area and the Catholic quarter before we reach the surrounding orchards. We are on well-made, back roads today with hardly a car in sight. A little before lunchtime, we will pack up and drive a busier section to our next stop on the food adventure. From there we spend 30 minutes in the car to reach the Cambodian border. After completing border formalities, we ride on to the hotel that is set among the gem-studded hills of Pailin. This town is famous not only for its gems but also for harboring a number of senior members of the Khmer Rouge for many years after the fall of the tyrannous regime. With these characters now long gone, the historic town of Pailin is now hoping to put itself on the tourist map a little by providing hospitality to those passing through.
Day 4: Cycle & Transfer to Battambang
Riding: 55km cycling – Today we leave the paved surface and cycle on some fun red dirt roads and trails through the villages behind Pailin town. Despite a steady trickle of foreign travelers through this area, you will still be the center of much attention in the villages as friendly locals curiously watch you pedal by. We rejoin the main road after an hour and a half or so and then enjoy some rolling hills down out of the highlands onto the plains. The final stretch of riding is through the outskirts of Battambang City, as the day heats up and the population increases. We reach the heart of the quiet city in time for a delicious local-style lunch. Once the sun gets a little lower in the sky, we take to the bikes again and ride to see one of the province’s most stunning 11th-century temples at Phnom Banan. We check into our centrally located accommodation and have some time to explore this charming town.
Day 5: Village Industries Tour & Transfer to Siem Reap
Riding: 25km cycling – Soksabike is a program created by a local vocational training NGO called Kinyei. This morning we will enjoy a tour led by students of Kinyei. Our cycling tour around the suburbs and villages of Battambang introduces us to the many village products that are made here. Most of these are food products, so any hopes of losing weight on this tour will be firmly extinguished by this stage. We will, however, get a great insight into how people here live and survive. We see how rice wine, dried bananas and a tasty snack called Kralanh are made before we return to town for lunch. This afternoon you can rest during our 3-hour drive to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, there will be an option to see the sunset over the largest lake in South East Asia- Tonle Sap- from a small mountain on the shore.
Day 6: Angkor Sunrise Discovery
Riding: 25km cycling – In the quiet and cool darkness, you will be out at the most important religious monument in Cambodia, anticipating the sunrise over the imposing towers of Angkor Wat. Even in the wet season, this is a magical time to see Angkor. As the crowds thin, we’ll take an unforgettable walk through the temple, where the soft light and cool temperatures present this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site at its best. A short pedal away, a delicious breakfast spread awaits. After breakfast, we ride around the hidden trails of the Angkor complex to visit some of its best-kept secrets and the iconic temples of the Bayon, Tha Prom and The Elephant Terrace. As the day heats up, we enjoy lunch with a view of Sra Srang Lake and then return to our hotel by vehicle around 2pm. This tour is the essential introduction to the Angkor park and will give you not only a great historical overview, but also a geographic orientation, so if you plan to visit the temples again tomorrow you can explore on your own with confidence.
Please note: Appropriate dress (knees and shoulders fully covered) is compulsory for entry into certain sections of Angkor Wat, and should also be observed throughout all temple areas for reasons of cultural sensitivity.
Day 7: Rest Day in Siem Reap
Siem Reap, once a dusty little town, has now blossomed into a charming destination with an amazing array of food options and a good variety of activities. From zip-lining to an acrobatic circus performance and an emerging arts scene, this city will not disappoint. There is always a good massage and the pool for those who fancy some relaxation.
Day 8: Transfer to Kampong Thom & Cycle Sambor Prei Kuk
Riding: 55km cycling – Starting with an early pickup from your hotel, we have a 2.5 hour drive to reach Kampong Thom, the neighboring province to Siem Reap. After a bike fitting, we set off on a ride north of the town to find the sprawling complex of pre-Angkorian temples known as Sambor Prei Kuk. These ruins date back as far as the 7th century and are remarkably intact for their age. The lush green surrounds and absence of tourists make this a really special cycling exploration. After we see out the heat of the day in the shade, we return to Kampong Thom by a different route and enjoy a tasty, authentic meal.
Day 9: Transfer & Cycle to Phnom Penh
Riding: 45km cycling – Following a laid-back start in order to time our day correctly, we drive around 3 hours to Oudong Mountain. This place was the former capital of Cambodia and hosts a hilltop temple with fine views. We enjoy a Cambodian-style picnic before hopping on our bikes for an afternoon ride on lovely village roads and trails which are mostly unpaved. We pedal our way through rice fields and farmland, passing Oudong’s smaller brother; Basset Mountain. Crossing a recently refurbished but un-operational railway line, the scenery changes rapidly. For those comfortable cycling in traffic, you can ride right up to the hotel door. For those who are not game, the support vehicle awaits. Dinner tonight will be enjoyed by the Tonle Sap River, not far from where the three main rivers of Cambodia converge.
Day 10: Cycle the Islands of the Mekong, Afternoon Free to Explore
Riding: 30km cycling – This morning we take to the bikes again and explore the nearby Mekong islands. Here we pedal through charming village communities, fruit orchards, traditional silk weaving workshops and a variety of temples from a more recent time. This is a highlight ride and gives a unique perspective to Phnom Penh and its surroundings.
Phnom Penh has a turbulent history. Little more than a collection of wooden shacks when the French first arrived, the colonials transformed it into a beautiful city. With the evacuation of the city by the Khmer Rouge in 1975, its decay and decline began, with regeneration and rapid economic development only a recent trend. Your guide can dispense a great deal of advice on how the city can be explored and will offer a late afternoon walk to introduce you to some of the lesser-known aspects of this eccentric Cambodian capital.
Day 11: Free Morning & Boat to Chau Doc – Vietnam
Today we rest our legs and stay off the bikes. In the morning we can have a bit of leisure to enjoy the pool or wander around Phnom Penh. After an early lunch, we board the international boat which will take us down the Mekong River into Chau Doc, Vietnam: a bustling Delta town with a specialization in salted fish.
Day 12: Cycle to Long Xuyen
Riding: 75km cycling – Our Mekong Delta adventure begins in earnest today. The first of many short ferry rides comes after about 15km and the rest of the day will involve crossing numerous canals by bridge and boat and following a path through the maze of waterways. You will likely notice the fertility of the land, as every square inch is cultivated for food production and each person in sight works hard to grow, harvest, process or transport these products. The riding is predominantly on small, paved canal paths with only bicycles and motor scooters to accompany us. We roll into the substantial town of Long Xuyen in the late afternoon.
Day 13: ycle & Boat to Can Tho
Riding: 70km cycling – Our final ride of the trip continues on canal paths which become even more interesting as we go. The countryside is just as scenic as yesterday, but with an even higher concentration of canals and the farm produce now includes large hanging fruit such as jackfruit. We encounter mat weaving and wooden boat building today as well as yet another amazing lunch. We finish up with a boat ride and arrive into the pleasant, bustling town of Can Tho in the late afternoon.
Day 14: Floating Markets & Transfer to Saigon
An early morning visit to the floating markets is on offer today. It’s an impressive sight, with boats of varying sizes and all manner of fruit and vegetables being bought and sold, and a good insight into local Vietnamese life. After breakfast, we pack up and board the van for a 3-hour drive into Saigon. After seeing out the heat of the day, we explore the city on foot, including the former French Quarter, the former Presidential Palace and the Ben Tanh Market. It’s then time to celebrate a fantastic journey with our final meal together.
Day 15: Tour Concludes in Saigon
Your Bangkok to Saigon Explorer concludes after breakfast this morning. Your guide will be on hand to assist you with your travel arrangements as required.
2020 Dates & Prices
August: 02, 29
2021 Dates & Prices
January: 09, 27
Private Tour also Available
Price on Application
Price on Application
14 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 11 Dinners
Hotel Transfer to starting point of the ride & Cannondale (Cambodia), GT (Vietnam) and Merida (Thailand) mountain bikes
Support Vehicle :
An air-conditioned backup support vehicle is always available in case you want a break from riding, and to carry your luggage. In the Mekong Delta, we are on narrow bike and pedestrian style paths and trails where the support vehicle cannot follow. It will, however, meet us at intervals of 10km or so and can meet us at closer intervals if there is an urgent need.
14 nights accommodation
Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:
Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking. * Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.