Discover the real Cambodia on this 10 day cycling adventure that will see you pedal through some of the land's most rural and scenic landscapes. Starting off in the historic capital of Phnom Penh, we first pause to learn of the country's tragic historybefore embarking on bike to uncover the many varied and beautiful layers Cambodia has to offer. Cycling through the port town of Kampong Chhang and colonial Battambang, we also ride through remote villages, across gentle rivers and along quiet rural paths that dot the countryside. Expect to be warmly welcomed by the locals as we ride before ending our rewarding journey in Siem Reap to explore the magnificent Angkor Wat by bike!
Sua s'dei! Welcome to Cambodia. Phnom Penh is set at the meeting point of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers, it was once known as the "Pearl of Asia" and considered one of the loveliest French-built cities during colonial-era in the region. And life centres around the lively river-front area where the locals come to take in the air, snack on the street hawkers food and enjoy impromptu waterside entertainment.Please note, the official check-in time is 2:00pm, early check-in will be subject to availability.There will be a group meeting and briefing in the evening with your leader followed by an optional group dinner for those that would like to join.
This morning is an early start to begin today's adventures by private transfer (approx. 30 minutes) to our cycling start point. We hop on the bikes for a short ride, crossing the river by local ferry boat, and then ride through the villages on an island in the Mekong River. The island is famous for silk weaving, agriculture and aquaculture. Stop to see locals at work in the village and enjoy cycling on quiet roads through orchards and rice paddies (depends on season). On your return, we take a scenic route along the Mekong River and have a great opportunity for local interaction as we cycle past many fishing villages and then take a ferry across the river to our finish point and transfer back to Phnom Penh.In the afternoon we take a tour by private vehicle to Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek to learn the story of the tragic legacy of the Khmer Rouge. The former school of Tuol Sleng served as a Khmer Rouge torture centre, and its estimated that more than 20,000 people were held and tortured here. The Choeung Ek Memorial is home to stupa made up of some 8,000 human skulls, marking the site of the infamous Killing Fields. This was the execution ground for the torture victims of Tuol Sleng, and standing in this peaceful setting its almost unthinkable to imagine that to date nearly 9,000 corpses have been exhumed from the area.
After breakfast, we bid farewell to Phnom Penh and transfer to Prev Phnov bridge, where the bikes will be ready for us to start our ride towards Udong Mountain. Upon arrival, there will be the opportunity to visit the Udong Mountain site (by foot) to admire the views of the surrounding region. We then continue our cycle; stopping at Kampong Luong silver smith village, riding along the Tonle sap river to Longvek before stopping for lunch and then our transfer toKampong Chhnang. We pass through some lovely countryside today and as we go, the villages become more remote and simpler. We spend some of the ride on dirt roads today.You will finish today's ride with a transfer of approximately 1 hour to our hotel. Depending on the journey time we may be able to head out on an optional afternoon walk to explore the city of Kampong Chhnang. The town of Kampong Chhnang is set on the Tonle Sap River and has a busy port and market area. Set back from the port is a quieter area with a pretty park and former colonial buildings. In many towns you will see carts loaded with terracotta pottery, (charcoal burners, pots and other items), on their long journey from their home village at Kompong Chhnang (clay pot port) to take their goods door to door. Families might be on the road for a month or more until they have sold all the items and can make their way home.
Today a flat and dusty road takes you to the town of Battambang. Depending on the condition of the road it may be quite a bumpy ride past a pottery village, rice paddies and local farms. Not many European visitors stop in Battambang so you will find there is less English spoken and locals may be very interested to see you. The region is famous for its oranges. Today is a combination of cycling and some driving of approximately a total of 3.5 to 4 hours in total.This evening enjoy a walk around this peaceful and pleasant town where we spend the next 2 nights. The main parts of the city are situated close to the Sangker River, a tranquil, small body of water that winds its way through areas of the town. It is a nice, picturesque setting and as with much of Cambodia, the French architecture is an attractive bonus of the town.
This morning youll enjoy a half-day bike trip through the beautiful surrounding countryside of Battambang. Stop along the way to discover the local rural way of life, discovering small cottage industries producing sticky rice, noodles, and fish paste.Today, we will ride the countryside roads and pass by a rural Muslim village. Here, we will visit families to learn about their everyday life, family history, and traditions. After, we will weave our way along the river roads to a village full of traditional houses. Here you'll learn about the traditional way of living and the changes happening in the Cambodian countryside before returning to Battambang for the remainder of the to relax or explore at leisure.
Once more the scenery we encounter on today's ride is completely different. We hop on the bikes directly from the hotel and start cycling through other areas of Battambang towards Banon temple and Pailin. The start of the route again is quiet, before joining back onto the main road; a great way to see the real Cambodia. Passing rice fields, we may be greeted by local children all eager to say hello as we pass by before transferring by private bus to Pailin province to check into our hotel.Upon arrival at our hotel and after checking in, there will be the option to relax or perhaps take a short ride to explore the area.
Early this morning, we start cycling from the hotel to Siem Reap province and experience more rural sights and sounds as we cycle along limitless jungle. After completing this mornings ride, we transfer (approx. 1 hour) to our lunch stop, before transferring further (approx. 2.5 hours) onto Siem Reap by minivan. Due to years of civil war, Cambodia 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.Tonight, your leader will accompany the group on a visit to the night market; a must see when visiting Siem Reap. Even if you're not looking for souvenirs; wandering through the stalls and surrounding shops the silks, cottons, silver and statues are a riot of colour and a feast for the eyes.
Today it is advisable 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 Fromager 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.
On our last ride, 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 we transfer by vehicle back to Siem Reap and can stop and visit a few of the less visited Angkor temples on the way. Siem Reap town is pleasant to wander around; the market has plenty of interest and excellent shopping if you wish to visit it again and there is a vibrant nightlife scene. This afternoon there may 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.Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner together at a special local restaurant overlooking the river where there is a passion to restore Cambodian cuisine to its former glory and put Cambodia back on the map as a culinary destination.
For land only clients, the tour ends this morning after breakfast. Please note, all clients (land only and flight inclusive) have a free late check out today (6pm) at the hotel included today. Please note, this may not apply if booking extra nights.
- Cycle through Cambodia's rural villages and countryside
- Discover Angkor Wat by bike
- Visit the sobering Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Prison in Phnom Penh
- Uncover the colonial charm of Battambang
- Vibrant Siem Reap