The tour starts with a late afternoon briefing followed by dinner. You can arrive any time before 4 pm in Siem Reap. You will be met from your flight by our driver. If this is your first visit to Siem Reap we highly recommend arriving a day or two earlier so you have a chance to explore the Angkor Temples.
The riding starts today with an early rise to catch the cool of the day. Our ride route takes us on brilliant back trails and secondary roads through coconut and palm trees and into a dry zone leading up to just near the Kulen Range. Here we find Beng Melea, a pre-Angkorian temple that now sits in an amazing moss-covered, ruined state. After exploring the temple, a drive will bring us to Kampong Thom, the provincial capital, and a low-key evening stop.
A short drive gets us through some busy traffic then onto the bikes we ride an open, secondary road, passing through plantation country. Cassava, rubber, and various other crops grow here due to the fertile soil and stable climate brought by the Mekong River that sits just over the next couple of low hills. On the approach to Kampong Cham, we ride more of the fantastic village trails and pass a US-era airstrip, now disused. Kampong Cham is a pleasant, small city, set on the banks of the Mekong in the shadow of a long bridge, linking North Eastern Cambodia with the central plain.
Today is a ride like no other as you follow the course of the Mekong River, at first on well-used roads then onto smaller dirt tracks where village life takes a noticeable downshift in pace. As the day rolls on we take a ferry and cross to the eastern bank. We then drive into Kratie, a charming little town that has only recently seen travelers coming through. In the late afternoon, we take a gentle pedal around Koh Trong, a river island just off Kratie where village life is uninterrupted by cars, and horses and bicycles are the best transport option.
More island hopping and ferry riding starts us off on a great ride today. We continue alongside the river on small trails, crossing rickety bridges and stopping to snack at home-style food stalls. A drive forwards us to Stung Treng, a town of little notoriety, placed at the confluence of the Susan and Mekong Rivers. The afternoon is free to explore on foot or just kick back and take stock of the adventure so far.
It’s time to trade our bikes for floating craft as we paddle instead of pedal. We first drive north towards the Lao border where our kayaks await. This is a highly enjoyable and memorable experience. Paddling downstream, pass through the flooded forests that are made possible by the riverÕs passage overfalls to the north that oxygenate the water and make a range of plant, bird, and fish life possible in this area. We paddle for around three hours, but thanks to the currents of the Mekong, you can take it easy on the paddle and just enjoy maneuvering the craft through the forest. We finish up around lunchtime and then take a drive away from the flatlands into the hills of Ratanakiri Province and to our comfortable home for the night at Terres Rouge Lodge.
Ban Lung, whilst the capital of Ratanakiri, is little more than a sleepy country town. There are trekking opportunities for those with the energy and the town offers some sites, such as the crater lake or market. Otherwise, the hotel is an oasis in which to relax and enjoy the slightly cooler weather.
We have a very different ride today on a well-sealed surface as we ride up further into the highlands to the Vietnamese border. We are now in the neighborhood of the Ho Chi Minh Trail and while we wonÕt get to ride the trail due to its challenging terrain, we will get a feel for the kinds of conditions that it takes in. A sleepy border post sits in wait for us to enter Vietnam. After farewelling the Cambodian support crew, we continue in the vehicle to reach Kon Tum. This area is home to several ethnic minorities with their traditional farming techniques. We take an afternoon ride to get a feel for the area which is also known for coffee production.
This morning is a lazy start as we have a relatively short distance to cover. It is then a pleasant ride on a secondary road to reach the tiny settlement of Mang Den. Accommodation here is simple, but it sets us up nicely for the next day of riding.
Today is a ride to remember. After a few rolling hills, we get into a thrilling descent, taking us down out of the hills onto the flatlands. Some amazing views can be seen over the side of the mountains and on a clear day, you may even see the ocean. After our descent, we are in a very different country with rice becoming the main crop and the density of villages increasing. We roll into the bustling regional capital of Quang Ngai in the late afternoon.
As Quang NgaiÕs working populace heads on their commute by motor-scooter, we will be heading for the coast. Along the way, we encounter a point of tragic history at the My Lai Massacre site. It was here that one of the most barbaric incidents of the US-Vietnam war took place and when uncovered by the media had a profound effect on US public opinion over the war. After learning a little about this, we continue on a ride along the coast, a very different feel to our previous days. Tam Ky is a smaller town with a pleasant hotel and great local food.
Saving the best for last! This is a great ride to finish with. We first ride quiet roads right along the coast, passing tiny fishing communities and village markets and schools. Late morning, we arrive at a river where a boat is waiting to take us to our destination. We arrive by boat in the UNESCO listed Hoi An Old Town, an introduction that few people have the pleasure of experiencing. A short pedal has us at our hotel and the end of our ride.
Whilst the tour concludes after breakfast, we can highly recommend spending some additional time in this lovely location. There is lots to see and a nice beach nearby.
8:00 Am. Our guide pick you up at the hotel. Transfer out of the town and start the bike ride on the country roads to My Son former Champa Kingdom. Time to visit the world heritage. Picnic lunch en route. Afternoon cycling back to Hoi An and around the ancient town to visit Thanh Tra pottery village. Experience the rural life of Vietnamese in central Vietnam. Break and swim on the Hoi An beach. Cycling back to the hotel for overnight in Hoi An.
Breakfast at the hotel, check out and leave Hue Imperial city, on the way near Da Nang visits Marble Mountain and marble stone sculptures in Ngu Hanh Son. Bike ride along the coast and up to Hai Van Pass (20km up and down).
Stop for lunch at Lang Co beach. Afternoon ride to Cau Hai lagoon and cross the lagoon to Thuan An village. Transfer the rest way to Hue overnight. Dinner and enjoy the traditional music on a boat in the Perfume river(option)
Day 16: Hue city – Departure (30km+ cycling)
Along the Perfume river, cycling to visit Hue Old Citadel, Thien Mu pagoda, Tu Duc tomb, and Khai Dinh tomb. Back to the city for lunch. Transfer to the airport for your next destination. For those who need to get home, the nearest airport is Hue ( Phu Bai Airport ) where there are limited international flights and many connections to Hanoi or Saigon for a greater range of options. End of services.
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