Cycling holiday to Indochina and Angkor Wat

“The fact that you’re on two wheels is just the tip of this tour’s iceberg; it’s a tour of history, vibrant street life, and of exploring the different cultures across three remarkable countries”

Highlights

Bangkok | Khao Yai National Park | Sa Keaw | Aranyaprathet | Siem Reap | Angkor | Angkor Wat | Phnom Penh | Skuon | Tuoi Genocide Museum | Killing Fields | Takeo | Chau Doc | Mekong Delta | Homestay at Vinh Long | Floating market at Cai Be | Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Description of Cycling holiday to Indochina and Angkor Wat

Cycling Indochina is much more than just stretching your legs on two wheels; it’s about cycling in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand; learning as you explore against an eternally changing background that’s ripe with cultural adventures as each country morphs into the next.

Firstly, cycling Thailand takes you from the street food stalls and neon lights of Bangkok before aiming for Angkor Wat, across the border, where cycling Cambodia features jungle-draped ruined temples and the historically significant cities of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

As this 16 day tour reaches a climax you'll be cycling Vietnam and pedalling past Vinh Long and onwards to Ho Chi Minh City where the Cu Cui Tunnels provide an all too recent history lesson against a patchwork of paddy fields, bamboo forests and the industrious banks of the mighty Mekong.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Our top tip:
Take a gel seat and chamois cream – saddles plus humidity do not a comfortable bottom make.
Trip type:
Small group tour. 4-16 adults (min. age 16) with a tour leader.
Activity level:
Moderate. 11 days cycling for an average of 29 miles/3 hours daily.
Accomm:
12 nights hotel, 1 night guesthouse.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms available at hotel only.
Included:
All transport, all accommodation, activities, tour leader, flights and transfers (if booking with flights).
Meals:
All breakfasts, 1 dinner.
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cycling holiday to Indochina and Angkor Wat

Environment

Activity:
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a cycling trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints (or tyre tracks!) although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants, use markets to purchase traditional gifts and crafts. Also in visiting landmarks, cultural sites and National Parks, our fees contribute to the upkeep of these places e.g. Pang Sida N.P., Angkor Wat and the Genocide Museum.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Accommodation & Meals:
We use predominantly locally owned and run accommodation, including a village home stay in the Mekong Delta, where clients will get a real taste of authentic ‘Mekong hospitality’ and a homemade meal. This contributes directly to the local community as local staff are employed and locally produced and sourced goods are bought for the accommodation benefiting the wider community. Where meals are not provided, clients are encouraged to buy locally grown produce and try the abundance of fresh food being made. For example, your tour leader will point out the best markets in Siem Reap and Saigon and you will stop at local cottage industry villages producing popped rice and popcorn.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. During the trip we use 3 separate leaders so that clients have a Thai leader in Thailand, Cambodian leader in Cambodia and so on. This ensures that leadership skills and pay are not retained exclusively by one country and provides clients with first- hand knowledge of the culture, customs and history of the places they visit. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from your visit. They have also completed Child Safe training which enables them to take positive action should they encounter children at risk as well as educating clients re child protection within tourism.

Charity:
During the trip, we stop at the ‘Friends’ restaurant in Phnom Penh. The restaurant is a fully functional social enterprise run by local NGO Mith Samlanh, which works with street children from the area. Behind the restaurant, the organisation offers food, water, shelter, medical care, training and educational facilities for over 1,800 homeless, vulnerable or abandoned children every day. By visiting, our business goes towards changing the lives of these young people and giving them the right direction towards schooling, employment or back to their families…they also do a legendary frozen shake.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Reviews of Cycling holiday to Indochina and Angkor Wat

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 04 May 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Songkran, meeting the group, interacting with the locals and having a
fantastic tour guide to help us get the most out of fantastic places.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take a gel seat, water bottle a two pairs of cycle shorts

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


yes - all provisions and services were provided by locals and the
relationship the guide had with them was obviously due to good relationships
in place.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent - thank you very much

Reviewed on 19 Feb 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


I think the most memorable was the killing fields and the prison we visited in Phnom Penh for the memory of the horror perpetrated on such a beautiful and peace loving people. Also memorable were the days cycling around Angkor, stopping in a temples and roadside craft shops. Hard to compare in some ways since we had so many different experiences along the way

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be pretty fit. Some of the cycles were long and in hot and humid conditions. I would also suggest getting to Bangkok aat least a day before the group to get over the jet lag

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Well, it benefited local people in the sense that we spent our money in parts of the country which were not pasrticularly tourist traps. The fact that we rode on bikes and ate local produce most of the time also made a contribution

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I really enjoyed the experince. Getting to see three countries off the beaten track was an experience and we were all the time active on the holiday

Reviewed on 26 Sep 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Cycling in Thailand.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


As a person of African origin, I personally will NOT be returning to Cambodia or Vietnam in the near future. I was the only black person in my group. In fact I did not see any other blacks in these countries. I was made to feel very uncomfortable by the locals. I don’t know if it was just curiosity at seeing a black person but I was always pointed out be them to their friends/family. They would look at me, mutter something in their language then laugh at my expense I can only assume. At first I thought I was being paranoid and just imagining things but It happened with such frequency that I could not ignore it. This really put a damper on the holiday to the point that I was reluctant to leave the hotel after the cycling. Obviously this is not a complaint against the operator, I just want to alert any potential customers of African origin to be aware of this

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I suppose so

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


8/10.

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