SpiceRoads Cycle Tours has been a leading cycling tour operator in Asia for more than a decade and now has launched a customisable private 9-day adventure from Saigon to Siem Reap. This cross-country tour gives a great insight into Southeast Asia, it’s culture, its scenery and its wonderfully friendly people.
Commencing in Saigon the tour heads into Vietnam’s rice bowl and the Mekong Delta. The landscape is flat and lush and has many interesting Hindu and Buddhist temples and shrines to see on route.
It’s a little different for a cycling tour as you enter into Cambodia as it is by boat! You travel along one of Asia’s great rivers, the Mekong, to Phnom Penh. After enjoying the French colonial charms of the city, the tour then cycles towards Cambodia’s former capital, Oudong, and on to Kampong Thom. This part of the ride provides a look into rural Cambodia life – stilted houses, rice paddies, ox carts and the friendly Khmer people.
Highlights of the tour
• Cycling through the heart of the Mekong Delta, down narrow roads and lanes, past banana plantations, fields of sugarcane, and hamlets, across rivers and through verdant vegetation
• Biking back in time through 1,000 years of Khmer history in its current and former capitals
• Learning how to identify the wares of boats by sighting samples hanging poles at the Cai Rang floating market
• Paying respect at the Killing Fields of Vietnam at Ba Chuc, where Pol Pot’s regime massacred over 3,000 Vietnamese and ethnic Khmers in 1978
• Cruising up the Mekong River to Phnom Penh from Chau Doc, relaxing while admiring the local daily life along one of Asia’s great rivers
• Enjoying views of rural Cambodia, with its stilted houses, rice paddies, ox carts and playing children, after a 400-step climb to the top of the former capital, Oudong
• Visiting the ancient pre-Angkorian temple site of Sambor Prey Kuk, built in the 7th century and one of the oldest temple sites in Cambodia
• Enjoying a local picnic lunch prepared by the local community in small wooden huts along the Stung Sen River
• Venturing through the entrance of the Angkor Wat complex to Ta Prohm, famous from the film Tomb Raider, overgrown by strangler fig and silk-cotton trees
• Imagining life in the 14th century Khmer empire while feasting on views of Angkor Thom, Bayon temple and the Terrace of the Elephants.
• Exploring the biggest religious Hindu edifice in the world – Angkor Wat, considered the masterpiece of Khmer architecture, and marvel at the carvings and bas-reliefs along its walls depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign
The tour ends at one of the great wonders of the world – Angkor Wat. Touring around the UNESCO World Heritage cultural site by bicycle is the perfect way to explore the splendid complexes and soak in the ambiance.
But how hard is the cycling you may be asking yourself?
The Trip profile
There are 4 full and 2 half days in the saddle on this cycling tour travelling around 338km. The road surfaces on this tour are mixed with a combination of good quality tarmac, wide dirt tracks and broken roads that are sometimes badly potholed but easily navigable by bike. The terrain is predominantly flat. There are some long stretches of riding, up to 92km, but there will be a support vehicle following the group throughout the tour.