Cambodia & Vietnam community cycling holiday
Description of Cambodia & Vietnam community cycling holiday
On this small-group cycling tour, you’ll get full support and bike hire for your 12 day adventure. Cycling across these countries is hot work, so be prepared for a rewarding challenge.
This 'Cycle Cambodia to Vietnam' tour carefully balances cycling, sight-seeing, NGO research and free rest time to create a truly unique, epic and incredible experience. By engaging with local NGOs along the way, you’ll be able to change your holiday into a life-changing adventure – and make a real difference.
You'll visit four different grass-root NGOs in four different provinces across the 12 days. You'll cycle almost 500km through rural communities and visit Cambodia’s famous sights. What's more, you'll be empowered to make a difference.
Riders on these tours are asked to contribute a minimum donation of US$150pp – and the group together get to decide the benefactor. On the last evening together, you’ll debate whether it's better to pool the money together for a bigger impact in one community, or share it across several NGOs. Is it better to purchase bicycles for children to get to school or to purchase water tanks and filters to facilitate clean water?
Learn from the local experts and ask any and all questions you want to help make your decision.
You begin in Phnom Penh where you'll have the chance to taste tarantula (optional!), understand what it may be like to be vision impaired by eating in a pitch black restaurant, learn what 'orphanage tourism' is and of course, visit The Killing Fields. From there, head south towards Kampot along the back roads and tracks. On the way, 'discover' a secret temple, some 200 years older than Angkor Wat!
In Kampot you’ll learn about fast fashion from a local, ethical and sustainable garment factory. Kampot is also home to some of the best food in Cambodia. Next, you’ll visit salt lakes, pepper farms and crab markets on the coast in Kep.
Once you head over to Vietnam, feast on the freshest seafood as you cycle through the Mekong Delta along local canals; it’s an experience that will stay with you forever. In Can Tho you'll visit floating markets, cycle through coconut candy factories and cocoa farms, and visit NGO that focuses on agricultural programs.
Arriving in Ho Chi Minh and you'll have enough time to visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, plus visit a fourth and final NGO to learn about housing and the local community.
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5 Reviews of Cambodia & Vietnam community cycling holiday
Reviewed on 03 Sep 2019 by Fiona BrenninkmeijerFantastic exploratory trip through Cambodia and the south of Vietnam. Read full review
Reviewed on 01 Jul 2019 by Mark WoolnerPerhaps my most memorable moment was seeking refuge in a humble home during torrential rain, lighting and thunder. The family was very welcoming and the first occasion when I had Vietnamese coffee followed by green tea. Read full review
Reviewed on 10 Oct 2018 by Susie DeucharsThe most amazing experience for us all, whether we were young adults in their twenties or in our fifties! Read full review
Reviewed on 13 Feb 2017 by Charlie StockfordVisiting the NGOs, cycling out of Phnom pehn, fighting through sand in the midday sun, cycling through rice fields, conquering a 20k mountain climb or cycling into the chaos of Saigon/ hoi chi mihn? Too many to mention wonderful memories.... Read full review
Reviewed on 02 Feb 2017 by Ali KennyVery hard to pick just one element of the trip, it was all memorable. Cycling through Vietnam and Cambodia gives you a chance to immerse yourself in local life in a way that travelling by any other means would have been impossible. We cycled well off the beaten track, through villages and paddy fields, along dirt tracks and local paths. We ate incredible local, fresh food and visited some fascinating places on the rest days. Read full review
PlanetAs we supply water for the riders from the support van during transit days, we provide the riders with their own water bottle and purchase water in the form of a 50L drum in an effort to reduce the vast amount of plastic from the many 330ml bottles.
WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene)
We partner with NGOs who are actively involved in the WASH program, manufacturing and distributing various water filters and tanks to people in need. From these NGOs, we engage with, learn from and at times, sponsor WASH program based projects.
Being a cycle based operation, we are conscious of our carbon footprint and aspire to have a low impact on the environment. Our internal environmental policy ensures we only ever leave footprints (and cycle tracks) and only ever take photos.
We support, engage with and introduce you to NGO partners that are actively involved in many agricultural pass-on programs to enable positive animal welfare with people empowerment and resources. We also avoid all tourist orientated animal experiences where wildlife is taken out of it's natural surrounding for tourist interactions ie- Angkor elephant rides etc. Previous projects the groups on our tours have undertaken is the purchase of cows and buffalo's for families to assist with local farming. These assets have a pay it forward program where offspring of the animal is then donated to similar socio-economic status families within the village, in consultation with the village chief and local NGOs.
The garment industry is one of the largest in Cambodia and provides employment to thousands of people. However, with international brands taking advantage of cheap labour, the end result is inexpensive fashion items for the international consumer. The questions we explore are the controversy around the wages and how it has evolved, the conditions of the factories and the roles and responsibilities of the international brands involved. We are actively engaged in activities that encourage the riders to be aware of the ‘fast fashion’ industry.
PeopleWe have recently become an official supporter of Child Safe, where we have pledged to support the practices to keep children safe. From this, we take all our riders to Friends International (or an official partner of) for the riders to witness a presentation as to what responsible tourism is all about. We engage in a healthy debate as to the current ‘orphanage crisis’ in Cambodia and other developing countries and the influence of tourists that have created this market. This incredibly powerful eye opening is a great introduction for the riders experience.
As part of our child protection policy, we do NOT interact or engage with any children at schools or nurseries. We do NOT offer or promote any short term unskilled volunteer opportunities, nor do we allow any photography of, or interaction with, children during any NGO visits.
We actively promote and support the ‘Children are not tourists attractions’ campaign from Child Safe.
Donations to charities:
For every tour, all riders are requested to contribute a nominal sum for the purpose of donation. Usually A$200 per rider. During the course of the tours, the riders are given the chance to engage with, and learn from, local NGOs. We visit no less than four NGOs during every tour and spend some time learning about their projects, strategies and challenges. At the end of the tour, the riders are then empowered with new found knowledge and have the opportunity to combine the allotted donation money and make an impact towards a project of their choosing. Of the four tours completed so far, we have already donated over A$5000 to various NGOs within Cambodia.
Some of these projects include going towards the salaries of local teachers, we have funded the construction of breakfast gardens (to feed the children from the local NGO supported pre-school), invested in vocational training for imprisoned youths in order to enhance the chance of rehabilitation, funded gender based violence awareness campaigns in rural areas and funded youth centers in order to reduce dependency on institutions for children.
Contributions to charities as partners:
In addition to promoting and marketing our partnered NGOs, we also pay each NGO for their time and resources of the tours interactions. This time usually lasts no longer than 1-2 hours and all NGOs are renumerated regardless as to whether or not there is a follow up donation from the group.
Local institutions and employment
We hire locally for transport assistance and support van. We also support local businesses as opposed to international franchises in all restaurant and hotel choices. In addition, we actively seek out social enterprise based restaurants to include in tour packages. These restaurants are often connected to local NGOs and use the restaurants as training facilities for empowering disadvantaged youth.
Places we visit:
In this particular tour, we visit three NGO supported social enterprise based training restaurants. These places not only offer exceptional food, but also work with the local community in providing vocational skills to disadvantaged youth. These thorough training programs form a fantastic grounding for a career in the hospitality industry upon completion of the program.