Cycling holiday to Indochina and Angkor Wat
Description of Cycling holiday to Indochina and Angkor Wat
Cycling Indochina is much more than just stretching your legs on two wheels; its about cycling in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand; learning as you explore against an eternally changing background thats 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.
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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.
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.
PeopleAccommodation & 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.
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.
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.