Highlights
  • Saigon - Visit the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels by bike and explore bustling Saigon on foot
  • Cycle the Mekong Delta - Boats and bikes along the mighty Mekong
  • Phnom Penh - Explore Cambodia's enigmatic capital. Visit the emotive Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
  • Kompong Thom - 100's of pre-Angkorian temples at Sambor Prei Kuk
  • Siem Reap - The fabulous Angkor Temples. See Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom and view the stunning bas-reliefs of the Bayon and Banteay Srei

Join us on this classic cycle journey through the cities and rural landscapes of Vietnam and Cambodia. We travel past paddy fields and fruit orchards to remote villages where we experience the warm hospitality of local families. We cycle into the jungle to explore the ancient temple city of Angkor and swap our bicycles for traditional boats to cruise the mighty Mekong River.

Trip Description

Old Saigon and the Mekong Delta
Arriving in the Vietnamese capital we discover the city on foot before taking to our bikes in the countryside near the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels – an underground base that hid 10,000 Viet Cong troops during the war. Our meanderings take us south to the stunning Mekong Delta for the chance to discover more about village life at a homestay and explore the floating markets and stilt houses that line the waterways.

Cambodia by Boat and Bike
From Chau Doc we board speedboats to journey along the Mekong into Cambodia and on to the fascinating capital Phnom Penh. As well as sightseeing in the city we cycle out of town to make a thought provoking visit to the horrific “Killing Fields” of Choeung Ek. Following the river north we pass through the country of the Chams, a Muslim minority people with their own language and cultural identity. At Kompong Thom we ride along an old logging trail to the pre-Angkorian temple site at Sambor Prei Kuk.

Lost Cities of Angkor
Our journey ends in Siem Reap, the base for our discovery of the vast ruins of the fabled royal city of Angkor, which lay lost and forgotten for over 500 years in the Cambodian jungle. Some 150 square kilometres are scattered with walled cities and magnificent stone temples, sculptures, reservoirs and causeways and an exploration by bike is probably the best way to investigate both the main highlights and some of the lesser known and newly opened sites.

 
Travel Theme
Destinations
Cities & Attractions

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Explore! Travel Reviews & Ratings
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96% Recommend

4.6 out of 5
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Value
4.5 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.6 Lodging
4.3 Transportation
4.5 Meals
4.4
Mekong Delta and Angkor

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Explore!.

R

Recommends

Very memorable holiday for adults and children. January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
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  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Just arrived home from a week in Morocco on the family "Rock the Kasbah" adventure. I would like to say not only how great the activities were but also how good the the tour guide Fouad, the two drivers and cook were.
Engaged with the kids well, informative, fun and interested in the groups wellbeing and enjoyment.
As a benchmark it doesn't get much better when sleeping in the Sahara.
And as a pointer, if in Marrakech the attached images show information for an Explore owned Restaurant that is a must for food, hospitality and setting.
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N

Recommends

Great tour guide and very helpful. January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Just returned from the indochina encounter tour and had an amazing time. Tour guides in Cambodia and Vietnam were great and explore were very helpful when I missed my connecting flight! Thank you I'm already looking for my next one.
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R

Recommends

Fantastic holiday in Turkey Lycian Way January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Very hot during the time I traveled even if it was October. Great tour guide, superb scenery , varied accommodation and lovely crowd of fellow trekkers. Traveled with friends but there were quite a few single people too and everyone mixed in well.
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Y

Recommends

Great guide for out trip! January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
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Thanks to the brilliant organization, humuor and kindness of our wonderful guide, Haymar Aung, Explore should give her the highest award. None of us were disappointed with our 'Burma Highlights' holiday.
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G

Recommends

Fantastic! October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
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  • Activities 5.0
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I did the cycling tour mont ventoux and provence. Fantastic. Recommend this trip to anyone who likes a challenge. Andrew our tour leader made the whole week perfect for us. He went out of his way to make sure everything was just right for us. We made some new friends too. Great place with lots of sight seeing too. Great company,great cycling,and great feeling conquering ventoux.
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Itinerary

Day 1 - Join tour Ho Chi Minh City; afternoon orientation walk

Description

Arrive Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and check-in to our hotel. In the afternoon we will take a short orientation walk in the city. Still unofficially referred to as 'Saigon', the city is the largest in Vietnam with a population of around 8 million. You will find an eclectic mix of the traditional and the new, where pagodas and markets compete alongside the trappings of Vietnam's newly discovered entrepreneurial spirit. Our walking tour takes in some of the central sights of the city, including the National Assembly, Hotel de Ville, Notre Dame Cathedral and the impressive French style edifice that is the GPO building. Later there will be time for you to explore at your leisure, perhaps to visit the Presidential Palace, or the War Crimes Museum, or even just take a gentle walk around this charming city. In the evening you have the option to see a water puppet show.

Included Meals : None

Day 2 - Visit the Cu Chi tunnels, cycling around the countryside

Description

This morning after a chance to get properly acquainted with our two wheeled transport for the coming journey, we drive out of the city to Trang Bang (2 hrs) where we start our days cycling to the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels at Ben Duoc. En-route we will travel through Vietnamese countryside passing local farms and paddy fields. We may see people working in the fields or perhaps driving cattle along the road.

We finish cycling at Cu Chi. Originally started during the French occupation of the country, the tunnels went on to achieve notoriety during the Vietnam War, when they formed an amazing underground command base for 10,000 Viet Cong troops and played a major part of the Tet Offensive. This area was the centre of intense fighting during the war, much of it falling prey to the incessant carpet bombing, napalm and defoliants utilised by the Americans in an attempt to dislodge the Viet Cong from their underground shelters. There is little evidence of any of that now and the landscape has returned to something of its pre war beauty. Be warned, while only short distances, the tunnels are low and narrow and can be claustrophobic, so anyone wishing to opt out may do so.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 33 kilometres.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 3 - Bike to the Mekong Delta then boat trip to islands

Description

In order to avoid the Saigon city traffic we drive to Tan An this morning (2 hrs), from where we cycle towards My Tho, following a network of quiet roads and narrow riverside dirt tracks. Originally founded in the 17th Century by Chinese immigrants, My Tho is the launching site for our private boat trip out onto the mighty Mekong river. Taking our bikes with us on the boat we cruise to Qui Island where we stop for a lunch of local produce, before returning to our boat and cruising to the other side of the river. We transfer to small sampans to explore up a tributary creek through the mangroves, before visiting a local community centre. Here we should be able to try honey tea and local fruits whilst listening to traditional rural singing and music. We should also have the chance to see local coconut candy production and try out the finished sweets. We then continue by bike through the flat, lush landscape of the Mekong Delta to our rural Homestay at Ben Tre. The rich soil of the Mekong provides an abundant harvest, including coconut, fruits, rice and of course fish.

Our homestay is simple but comfortable, with communal sleeping arrangements in a barn with a few large rooms, next to the family home. Camp beds are provided with individual mosquito nets and blankets. There is electric lighting and shower facilities (cool water only) and the owners will provide a home cooked evening meal made with local produce for us to enjoy. A small selection of drinks is also available (pay locally). Please note due to the language barrier there is limited interaction with the homeowners and they do not host the group at dinner.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 43 kilometres (approx. 27 km in the morning and 16 km in the afternoon).

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 - Cycle and drive via Vinh Long to Can Tho

Description

Leaving Phu Tuc after breakfast we cycle, crossing the river and riding along quiet backroads via the old church at Cai Mon. After lunch we continue by bike through this stunningly beautiful and incredibly fertile region to its largest city, Can Tho. Can Tho province is famous for its abundant rice fields and floating markets, which seem to take place at the intersections of most rivers and canals. Rice is an important cash crop for Vietnam and something like 70% of the population is involved in its production. We will likely see locals working in the rice paddies, or perhaps have the opportunity to visit a small business such as a fish factory or a market en-route. Please note, should anyone wish to complete this last 22km section of the journey by means of the support vehicle, then that is an option.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 60 kilometres of which the last 22 kilometres are optional.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5 - Cruise the floating markets and explore villages

Description

This morning we take to our bikes again, to meander our way down narrow lanes following the river, to experience a little more of rural Vietnam. One of the most colourful attractions of the Mekong are the floating markets and this morning we will visit Cai Rang, the biggest in the Mekong Delta. We travel by small private ferry up river to the market and spend some time exploring the floating stalls, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the friendly attentions of the locals, before continuing along the river. Travelling by boat is by far the best way to see the delta, passing villages of stilted houses, abundant rice fields and a variety of cottage industries as we go gives us the opportunity to examine this timeless landscape at a relaxed pace, viewing river life in all its traditional and colourful glory. After the boat trip we will enjoy a cyle ride along narrow footpaths meandering alongside the river bank behind local homes, catching a glimpse of everyday life, perhaps seeing people catching fish from the river, or mending baskets and repairing tools by the river bank. The Vietnamese are renowned for their ingenuity and can create all sorts of new items from recycled products.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 16 kilometres.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 6 - Drive and cycle to Chau Doc

Description

Today we drive (1.5 hrs) northeast, towards Chau Doc on the Cambodian border. Once past Long Xuyen we turn onto quieter back roads and begin cycling along a trail that loops around to Chau Doc. With a rich ethnic mix of Chinese, Cham and Khmer communities, Chau Doc is an interesting city, dotted with temples, churches and mosques. On arrival anyone may like to pay for an optional excursion to Sam Mountain, just a few kilometres south-west of the city. This involves travelling by rickshaw and then boat up the Mekong to visit a floating fishery and local Cham village, before continuing on foot to Sam Mountain (actually no more than a hill) riddled with stunning colourful temples and pagodas with a strong Chinese influence and great views from the top on a clear day across into neighbouring Cambodia.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 30 kilometres.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 7 - Speedboat to Phnom Penh; afternoon city tour

Description

This morning we drive the short way to the Mekong river dock and journey to Phnom Penh by speedboat ferry, crossing the border at Vinh Xuong (Vietnam) and Kaam Samnor (Cambodia) before continuing along the Mekong, as we head for the Cambodian capital. The boat journey will take the whole morning (4 hrs) and allows us a relaxed and fascinating view of riverside life, businesses and countryside as we pass by. On arrival at Phnom Penh we transfer to our hotel and have some time to relax before an afternoon city tour. The capital is a pleasant and fascinating city with many French colonial buildings and plenty to see. Our tour includes the National Museum of Arts with its impressive collection of Angkor sculptures, the Royal Palace where we visit the Silver Pagoda, named because of the 5000 silver tiles that cover its floor and Wat Phnom where we can pray for good luck. According to legend the original pagoda was built on this site in the 14th Century, to house four statues of Buddha that had been washed up on the shores of the Mekong. The legend goes on to say that the statues were then found by a woman named Penh, after whom the city is supposedly named. Phnom means hill in Cambodian.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 8 - Morning cycle; visit Tuol Sleng and the 'Killing Fields'

Description

After a short drive up river we cycle to catch a Mekong ferry across to the peaceful Koh Dach Island which we will explore by bike. Our route takes us through weaving villages and past stilted houses. This charming, secluded and sleepy island is small at just 30 square kilometres in size and offers a peaceful contrast to the bustle of Phnom Penh. Known locally as 'Silk Island' the ladies here weave silk scarves on wooden looms in their homes, for sale in the markets on the mainland. We will likely hear the clatter of looms and see children and animals by the side of these quiet roads as we cycle. We later return to the capital in time for lunch. Our afternoon excursion is a stark reminder of the horrors endured by the Cambodian people under the tyranny of Pol Pot. The Tuol Sleng genocide museum and the 'Killing Fields' of Choeung Ek are a gruesome testament to life under the Khmer Rouge and you should be aware that many people find their visit quite distressing. Tuol Sleng genocide museum was once a high school which became the Khmer Rouge's main torture and interrogation centre, detaining and processing the unfortunate souls who were to end their days in the 'Killing Fields' of Choeung Ek. During the years 1975 to 1978 something in the region of 17,000 men, women and children were murdered here and the memorial stupa is a huge glass tower filled with human skulls - a sombre reminder of the scale of Pol Pot's atrocities.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 20 kilometres.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 9 - Cycle along Mekong River then drive to Kampong Thom

Description

Today is a long travelling day, by both bicycle and bus. We leave Phnom Penh this morning, following the highway for 1 hr 30 mins to an interesting insect market. After visiting this, we contunue by bus (45 mins) to Prae Toteung, where we take to the saddle again to follow the river to Kampong Cham (depending upon seasonal conditions we may have to take the highway). Cambodia's third largest city, Kampong Cham was an important French trading outpost and the colonial influence is still very much in evidence. We finish our cycle ride at Kampong Cham. After lunch we stop first to visit Wat Nokor, an 11th century Mahayana Buddhist shrine, interesting for the fact that it houses a modern working wat inside the Khmer temple ruins, we then continue by bus again (3 hrs with rest break) to Kampong Thom, close to the impressive collection of pre-Ankorian temples at Sambor Prei Kuk.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 40 kilometres.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 10 - Early cycle to Sambor Prei Kuk temple; drive to Siem Reap

Description

This morning we head off early by bike directly from our hotel to explore the quiet country roads and tracks north of Kampong Thom to Sambor Preikuk. This was the capital during the Chenla period of the early 7th Century. Today the forests of the area are dotted with more than 100 temples, some of the oldest in the country. We finish cycling at a classic ancient temple, which we spend time exploring on foot, before continuing along the road in our tour bus (3 hrs) to Siem Reap. This evening is free to explore the great shops and restaurants of this small, bustling town - the entry point to visit the spectacular temples of Angkor.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 28 kilometres.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 11 - Sunrise visit to Angkor Wat, cycle to Banteay Srei

Description

The Angkor period covers some 600 years, from the 9th through to the 15th Centuries, although many of its more famous temples date from the Classical Age, from the 11th to 13th Centuries. We start early this morning (c. 5 am) to collect our Temple passes and have a sunrise visit to the awesome spectacle that is Angkor Wat, the best known and most breathtaking of all the sights and a highlight of any visit to Angkor. Originally built as a funerary temple for Suryavarman ll, in honour of Vishnu, the temple is unique as it faces west - symbolically the direction of death. It is an immensely grand and imposing structure with its most stunning features, the extensive and intricately carved bas reliefs that stretch throughout the galleries and inner temples. After exploring the temple we take to our bikes and cycle to Banteay Srei, with its stunningly preserved bas reliefs. We spend time visiting the temple, before having lunch. In the afternoon we drive south to see Ta Phrom, a wonderfully atmospheric collection of towers and courtyards set amidst tangled tree roots and lush jungle. Then drive back to Siem Reap. This evening is free to relax and explore Siem Reap.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 25 kilometres.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 12 - Cycle to Angkor Thom

Description

We continue our exploration today with a visit to the temples of King Jayavarman Vll, reputedly Angkor's greatest king. The fortified city of Angkor Thom, built at the end of the 12th Century, is enclosed by a square wall 8 metres high with five 20 metre high monumental gates decorated with stone elephant trunks. Originally the moat surrounding the city was said to be filled with crocodiles and the huge statues of 54 different gods protected each gate. The city itself contains another of Angkor's true gems - the Bayon. Not nearly as impressive as Angkor Wat from a distance, the Bayon is nevertheless incredible for its maze of corridors, gothic style towers and magical central temples, with 1200 metres of the finest bas reliefs depicting scenes of every day life in 12th Century Cambodia. We take our bus (may be possible to cycle) from our accommodation to a market en-route to Angkor Thom and from here cycle the rest of the way to the temple. After visiting the ruins this morning we drive back to Siem Reap in time for lunch. This afternoon is free time. You may wish to make your own arrangements to take a tuc tuc back to Angkor to spend more time exploring the temples, or have the optional excursion (unguided) to visit Tonle Sap, about 30 mins drive south of Siem Reap.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 15 kilometres

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 13 - Tour ends Siem Reap

Description

Our tour ends today in Siem Reap.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Dates & Pricing
Checking price

Price From

$ 2,380

Price Per Day:

$ 183 per day
 
Details
Trip Includes

Included Bike

24 gear Giant or ATXmountain bikes with front suspension. Electric bikes (e-bikes) are available for an additional cost for the duration of the holiday. You will be required to pay a refundable deposit upon collection of the e-bike in country. Please contact us for more details or to request your e-bike.

Optional Activities

Optional Excursions

Saigon - Water Puppet Show from USD 8.45 Chau Doc - Rickshaw ride and visit to Sam Mountain USD 18 Siem Reap - Scenic helicopter flight over Angkor temples, prices range from USD100 to USD542. Flights are subject to availability; Tonle Sap optional from USD 15 dependent on group size. The prices stated are based on a minimum number of participants (usually 5-6). Please be aware that the optional excursions can run with fewer people but the price may be higher. Likewise, a slightly reduced price may be applicable where the participation greater. The prices listed are generally only entrance fees and do not include the price of transport to and from the excursion, Your Explore Leader will quote this when you are on tour, as the price for transport will depend on the number of participants. These excursions are generally run via our agent in the country. Local companies may offer similar excursions at a cheaper price. Should you want to use these companies please be aware that a lower price may mean that not all costs are included (entrance fees etc.) or services will not operate at the same safety and quality standards.

Accomodations

Accommodation Notes

Standard - Our mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en-suite facilities. Simple Homestay - The homestay is basic but comfortable with guest accommodation dorm style in a barn next to the family home. Where possible sexes are separated. You sleep on three foot wide trestle style cot beds. A small pillow, blanket, towel and mosquito net is provided. The rooms also have fans and a couple of electric sockets. There are shared toilet and shower rooms with cool water only (no hot water possible). This is rural Vietnam where local people don't speak English and interaction with your hosts at the homestay is limited by this.

End City
Siem Reap
Guides

An Explore Leader is an integral part of any Explore trip and your trip will be led by one of our experienced Explore Leaders who have been handpicked and expertly trained. We believe that our Explore Leaders are the key to the success of our trips; they are passionate travellers who are bursting with first-hand local knowledge which they love to share. Your Explore Leader will also take care of all the planning and organisation throughout your journey. Their passionate approach will make this trip fun and inspiring, bringing the destination to life whether you're travelling alone or with others.

Tour Staff

Driver(s), Local Guide(s), Bike Mechanic, Explore Tour Leader / Cycle guide, Driver(s), Local Guide(s), Bike Mechanic, Explore Tour Leader / Cycle guide, Driver(s), Local Guide(s), Bike Mechanic, Explore Tour Leader / Cycle guide, Driver(s), Local Guide(s), Bike Mechanic, Explore Tour Leader / Cycle guide, Driver(s), Local Guide(s), Bike Mechanic, Explore Tour Leader / Cycle guide

Additional Information:

Cycling Information

On this tour we cycle 289 km over ten days (an average of 29 km per day). The terrain is flat and we cycle on a mixture of tarmac roads (70%) and tracks (30%). We mainly follow quiet backroads, however sometimes you have to travel on busier roads when leaving the larger towns and Vietnam is generally busier than Cambodia. A support vehicle accompanies the rides throughout the tour. We have graded the route as easy.

Tour Features

Premium Departures On certain departure dates we have upgraded the standard of hotels - carefully hand-picked for their character, comfort and location. Please refer to the website and tour notes for more details.

Trip ID#: explore-CVE

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