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Cycle through picturesque rural landscapes dotted with ruins of ancient civilisations and small towns where Buddhist temples nestle amongst French colonial buildings and ramshackle houses.
Our challenge takes us from Vietnamese Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, through the rice-paddies and waterways of the beautiful Mekong Delta into Cambodia. We pedal on through this friendly country towards one of the most impressive sights in Southeast Asia, the Royal Temples of Angkor Wat.
The facinating insights into the region’s ancient and modern cultures are a real highlight of this challenge.
Day 1: Depart London
Day 2: Arrive Ho Chi Minh City
Transfer to hotel for trip briefing before getting a good night’s sleep, ready for the start of our challenge!
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City – Tra Vinh (Cycle approx. 42km - 50km)
We drive out of the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, before heading south towards the Mekong Delta where our cycling begins! We cycle on narrow lanes, passing banana plantations, sugar cane fields and the lush rural landscape of the Delta. A short ferry crossing takes us to Tra Vinh.
Day 4 Tra Vinh – Cau Ke – Can Tho (Cycle approx. 90km -95km)
Follow quiet backroads to Can Tho, the largest city in the Mekong Delta. En route we pass numerous Khmer temples and pagodas, and cross several waterways – some on footbridges, some by ferry. We start to get a great feel for the friendly Vietnamese culture, and the traditional rural scenes are fascinating.
Day 5: Can Tho – Long Xuyen (Cycle approx. 75km)
Start the day by boating through the Can Tho floating market. We then cycle along the banks of the busy river to Sa Dec and towards Long Xuyen. We end our ride at a bird sanctuary, home to thousands of storks. A short transfer takes us to the Long Xuyen hotel.
Day 6: Long Xuyen - Tri Tron - Chau Doc (Cycle approx. 90km - 100km)
A short transfer allows us to avoid the traffic, and we set off. Our route starts to gently undulate as we near Chau Doc. We cycle via the Killing Fields at Ba Chuc, before continuing to the busy town of Chau Doc.
Day 7: Chau Doc - Takeo - Phnom Pehn (Cycle approx. 50km)
We head north until we reach the border with Cambodia.We then head off through the lovely rural landscapes to the small town of Takeo, where buses take us the remaining distance to Phnom Penh; once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Orient. We stop en route to visit the infamous Cambodian Killing Fields, which are harrowing but compelling at the same time.
Day 8: Phnom Pehn - Kampong Chhang (Cycle approx. 75km)
We visit the Tuol Sleung Museum, or School 21, a former school which was turned into the notorious Khmer Rouge interrogation camp. We then ride to Udong, passing rice paddies stretching out for miles. We ride through Udong, once the ancient capital, and pass by a hill temple with stunning views of many old Royal Palaces. Continuing on, we cycle towards Kampong Chhang and the enormous Tonlé Sap Lake.
Day 9: Kampong Chhnang – Siem Reap (Boat ride approx. 5 hours; Cycle approx. 30km - 40km)
A beautiful boat ride takes us accross the immense Tonlé Sap to Kampong Khlaeng. We ride on small roads through beautiful landscapes and villages towards Siem Reap; the closest town to the temples.
Day 10: Angkor Wat (Cycle approx. 30km)
We ride to the famous World Heritage site of Angkor Wat. We circuit around some of the temples, including Ta Prohm, the best-known of the temples overgrown by trees. Our ride also takes in the Bayon in Angkor Thom, the old city central to the area. It is a fascinating ruin, featuring many mysterious giant carved faces and some incredible wall carvings. Our ride ends at Angkor Wat itself, one of the most impressive and best-preserved temples of the complex. We should have some free time this afternoon to spend as you wish - we meet again in the evening to celebrate our achievements.
Day 11: Free time; flight departs
We will have some time free for further exploration of the incredible temples and ruins that make up the Angkor complex; or simply relax or haggle in the markets if you prefer.
Day 12: Arrive UK