Cambodia cycling holidays advice

Fitness tips

Fitness tips

Brett Seychell from our supplier Social Cycles on how fit you need to be for cycling in Cambodia:
“You need to be healthy more than fit. There's always an option to jump in the van and we'd prefer to cater towards beginners over professionals. Saying that, the riding can be challenging. Especially if it's hot. It's almost all off road as we truly get off the beaten track and in some of the most remote villages.”
What to eat

What to eat

Eric Beasant from our supplier World Expeditions on what to expect from the food:
“I hope you like rice as it is the staple of the region. In fact, ‘to eat’ in Cambodian – jaan bai – literally translates as ‘eat rice’. Food tends to be fairly healthy, with a lot of fresh vegetables and smaller servings of meat and fish with rice or rice noodles. The fresh herbs and spices are what really bring the dishes to life. You’ll be introduced to local flavours at meal times and during market visits during which the guide will explain the ingredients used. Vietnam is more famous for its cuisine with an amazing range of flavours, but Cambodia has a few great dishes up its sleeve. Although fish amok is said to be the national dish, my favourite would be the sour soup – but it’s rather an acquired taste!”
Temple tips

Temple tips

Eric Beasant from our supplier World Expeditions explains the need for research before you arrive:
“We always remind our guests to dress respectfully, especially in temples, and to remove shoes when entering houses or temples. Another point people often do not realise is that monks are not supposed to talk to or interact with women. However, because they do not wish to be rude, the monks frequently will end up posing for photos and so on. Therefore, as with travelling anywhere in the world, it’s great if people can be respectful by learning a little about the culture and people they are visiting before departure.”
Responsible tourism in Cambodia

Responsible tourism in Cambodia

Brett Seychell from our supplier Social Cycles on how a cycling tour in Cambodia can make a difference:
“We like to think that by organising visits to local NGOs, as well as helping Cambodian people, we also make a huge qualitative different to the lives of the riders post-adventure. This new found understanding and appreciation of the community development world has inspired previous riders to quit their jobs and engage in long term skilled volunteering projects. Others have even changed career direction and started online course for a new career path in international development.”

Our top Cambodia cycling Holiday

Cambodia & Vietnam community cycling holiday

Cambodia & Vietnam community cycling holiday

Explore Phnom Penh to Saigon and everything in between

From £1250 to £1325 12 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2018: 21 Nov, 27 Dec
2019: 8 Jan, 22 Jan, 5 Feb, 2 Jun, 16 Jun, 7 Jul, 10 Nov
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about Cambodia cycling or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

Health & safety in Cambodia

HEALTH

You will need to be healthy, but not super-fit, for cycling in Cambodia. There will be exertion required in places, but you can take a breather or catch a ride in the support van whenever you want. Speaking of support vans – as well as carrying water and snacks, they will also be fitted with a first aid kit in case of any accidents. Cambodian public healthcare facilities are not great, especially in remote areas. Accordingly, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before departure, including emergency evacuation. Inform your tour operator about any pre-existing medical conditions. Around Phnom Penh, Tonlé Sap and Angkor Wat the risk of malaria is usually lower, but in some forested, coastal and rural areas it does sadly remain a threat. Most cycling itineraries avoid these places, however. Speak with your own GP at least four to six weeks before departure, to ensure you are up to date with any necessary vaccinations. As in many countries, there is always a risk of food-poisoning or unsafe water in Cambodia. This is where your tour leaders are worth their weight in gold. You can have confidence that you’ll only be eating in places where the hygiene can be relied upon, and there will always be clean water available in the support vehicle to refill your bottle. Get up to date health and safety advice from the FCO website.

SAFETY

The main thing to remember in this regard is that you will be accompanied by professional, experienced tour leaders, rooted in their local communities, every step of the way. Many of them will themselves cycle thousands of kilometers around their own countries every year, so their support and knowledge is invaluable. Even during the height of rainy season, most routes through remote areas will be accessible, but tour leaders will take conditions into account before departure and some flexibility may be needed. You will be provided with a good quality, well-maintained bike, but you will need to bring your own helmet, and won’t be allowed to ride without one. Pre-departure briefings will cover basic Cambodian road safety, and you will generally only be riding on quiet roads, away from any heavy traffic.

Cambodia cycling holiday advice

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travellers are often... other travellers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.
We’ve selected some of the most useful Cambodia cycling holiday tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your holiday – and the space inside your panniers.
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.
– Ali Kenny
“Do some training .. get just some saddle time in so that you are used to a few hours on the bike. Don't expect western culture or cuisine ... it’s rice and noodles and more rice and noodles. Delicious but a mental shift for breakfast.” - Charlie Stockford on a community cycling holiday through Cambodia and Vietnam

“Bloody brill ain't it. Not life changing but a shift off the norm. Opened your eyes and brought me back to reality from 10 years of corporate safety net. Do these holidays ... really open your eyes to what is going on in our world and the wonderful, friendly smiley people who are out there.” – Charlie Stockford on a community cycling holiday through Cambodia and Vietnam

“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.” – Ali Kenny on a cycling tour through Cambodia and Vietnam

Do a bit of training before you go. I didn't, and managed it, but I'd have loved to have been a bit more fit to start with.
– Louise Brealey
“Go with an open mind, a willingness to learn and be ready to enjoy all the experiences that the trip will bring you. Don't be put off if you are travelling on your own, you will be sharing this wonderful adventure with a group of great, like-minded people.” – Ali Kenny on a cycling tour through Cambodia and Vietnam

“Do a bit of training before you go. I didn't, and managed it, but I'd have loved to have been a bit more fit to start with. My thighs were like rocks by the end. Padded cycling shorts, padded saddle, gloves. Take dollars, it's basically the currency. You'll get your change in riels. Power bars in your satchel bag. Sun block. Drink the young sweet coconuts. Learn your Khmer greetings. Crickets taste like crisps. Tarantulas are surprisingly tasty. Slow worms taste like s**t.” – Louise Brealey on a Cambodia cycling holiday

“I've never had a holiday like it. I went by myself and wasn't lonely for a minute. I loved Cambodia and seeing it like that was a privilege I'll never forget.” – Louise Brealey

Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: David Stapelton] [Fitness tips: ND Strupler] [What to eat: Brian Jeffery Beggerly] [Temple tips: Staffan Scherz] [Responsible tourism: ND Strupler] [Health and safety: Kyle Taylor] [Holiday advice: David Stapleton] [Snippet 1: Kyle Taylor] [Snippet 2: Kyle Taylor]
Convert currencies