Cambodia Cycle Tour
Cycle the magical Kingdom of Cambodia
Let the Kingdom of Cambodia, with its history, culture and stunning landscapes cast its spell over you.
Sandwiched between Thailand and Vietnam, Cambodia is a melting pot of South East Asian culture, scenery and cuisine. The local people are friendly, happy and gentle. Having struggled through years of bloodshed, poverty and political instability they have a seemingly unbreakable spirit, infectious optimism and they have prevailed with their smiles intact. Cambodia is one of those places that you come away from full of admiration and affection for the people.
In Cambodia we set out to create a ‘laid-back’ cycle tour with predominantly flat riding, laced with loads of interesting things to see and do and finishing each day with tasty food and great accommodation. Our tour begins in Siem Reap in the north and as we wind our way south we get all that and more. We explore the famous Angkor Wat temples by bike, check out floating villages, ride a bamboo train on abandoned train tracks and bike through a time-less landscape of dazzling rice paddies and swaying palms.
"One of life's great experiences"
"Firstly thanks for the trip. It was fabulous. John talks about type two fun…..and there was plenty of that but there was also lots and lots of type one fun too. We were the lucky recipients of the incredible work that you put in to finding the little interesting byways for us to ride and explore. It was a never ending marvel as we would ride along a reasonably major road and then turn off into a little track full of interest. I would be wondering “How the hell did John discover this?
Every bit of it was interesting. The team was all fantastic. The bikes were up to standard and magically appeared clean every day. The vehicles were better than I would have hoped for. The combination of the catered and self catered nights were just right. The luxury hotels came at just the right moment. I admire how you stayed true to your mission of supporting locals and protecting the environment. Your integrity in this shines through. Thanks again for one of life’s great experiences."
Bill Day - Wanaka, New Zealand
Alex Blais, Canada
Kenya & Tanzania-2008 / Sichuan-2011 / Cambodia-2014
"Thank you Escape for a fabulous trip. With you, we experience the heart and soul of Cambodia. Seen it, smelt it, tasted it." Alex and Gayleen
Kay Ayson, New Zealand
"Thank you for giving us the opportunity of a life time. It must have been a gamble for you to include two 70+ Blenheimites on your tour! It was challenging for me, just the heat if we cycled after lunch, but I had Fish and Chi encouraging me all the way they were super. John you are a great leader, we thought you were so skilled and passionate about it all, gave a great atmosphere for every one. We felt safe and supported and cared for, by you all. The group gelled really well, the Canadians were so welcoming into their group, I'm sure we have made life long friends. The route was so well thought out and interesting, and fascinating."
Chris Whitfield, UK
Kenya & Tanzania-2005 / Uganda-2007 / Cambodia-2013
"Call it enlightenment. Tell us travel broadens the mind. Encourage us to believe that a fortnight’s bike ride in ever so friendly Cambodia will be flat, for oldies and softies, and with no camping. Some people will believe almost anything. Even from John Etherington and Mandy. Well actually, most of all this was surprisingly true.
The whole Cambodian experience, in bearable heat and humidity, on muddy, potholed tracks and through major roadworks ahead, from Seam Reap to Phnom Penh, via Tonle Sap Lake – by boat not bike – floating villages, silk and pepper farms, not to mention a picnic on Rabbit Island, a 509-step climb before sunrise – on foot not bike – a bone-rattling “bamboo train” journey, oh, and a few temples… one was both broadened and enlightened, and probably a tiny bit fitter by Day 12.
Everyone in Cambodia rides gently and calmly on their bicycles, motor-cycles or tuk-tuks. And to be among them, pedalling through towns and markets carefully avoiding dogs, cattle, bustling stalls, is both friendly and delightful indeed. Being in the midst of it all, experiencing Cambodian daily life, is an unforgettable experience. Awesome!
Advice to anyone else considering a Cambodian trip? Wear old, mud-resistant clothes. Like rice, both in the field and on the plate, and coconut ditto. Be prepared for toe-nibbling fish, not to mention frequent massages, manicures, pedicures, haircuts – all part of the very hidden agenda. And note Cambodia’s two basic rules of the road: 1. Drive on the right, at least some of the time; 2. Just go (what’s in front will politely give way and what’s behind doesn’t matter)."
Janice & Jay Pritchard, Canada
Kenya & Tanzania-2003 / Uganda & Rwanda-2005 / Sichuan & Tibet-2008 / Chile & Argentina-2010 / Laos-2011 / Cambodia-2013
"My husband and myself are planning our 6th trip with Escape Adventures this fall: the debut of their Cambodia Trip. After our first bike trip ever in Kenya a dozen years ago we learned that this is the way we want to travel. Not only do you come home in better shape than when you left but you will have actively engaged with the culture and people of a new land. Instead of passing by in a bus you may play an impromptu game of Simon Says with several hundred elementary students who have run out to cheer you on in Kenya, or you may try your hand at threshing rice in China, or meet an elderly widow in Laos who desperately wants to have you stay and visit. Then again an ostrich may wander through your picnic spot in Africa, followed by several giraffes. The trips are not regimented, events unfold differently every day as you have the opportunity to stop and interact with people you meet, there is no schedule that must be met. And if a day isn’t unfolding as it should there is always the option of catching a ride with the driver and enjoying the scenery for a while. Another important part of Escape’s trips is that they make sure that you stay in locally owned hotels and eat at locally owned restaurants, in this way the local people benefit from our tourism. I can’t imagine any other way to see the world than from a bike, exploring with Escape Adventures."
Start: Siem Reap
Finish: Phnom Penh
Group: You will join a fun bunch of 6-12 bikers from around the world. We strive to create a relaxed, fun and intimate group dynamic that feels like a group of friends on holiday.
Leaders: All of our cycle tours are led by two of our own wonderful New Zealand based Escape Adventures leaders, and our local interpreter. We pride ourselves on the calibre and resourcefulness of these great people who you will be spending your holiday with. Our leaders are all Emergency First Aid (PHEC) trained, passionate about biking, the outdoors, and focused on making sure you have a fun and safe adventure of a life-time.
Support: Our trusty support vehicle carries all your luggage, has lunch, snacks and water at hand, and is there if you need a break from the saddle.
We ride 25-75km per day; a total distance of 550km spread over 11 days of biking. We cycle on a range of paved and unpaved roads, dirt tracks and village trails on mostly flat terrain. The surface can be rough and pot-holed at times so a mountain-bike fitted with semi-slick tyres is the perfect bike for this tour (we have mountain bikes available locally for you to hire.) The trip is suited to bikers with a good level of fitness and being competent off-road will add to the enjoyment of your tour and is enjoyed by a wide range of bikers who enjoy a tropical climate with amazing sights and scenes at every turn.
Food & Accommodation
Your tour leaders will take care of your meals and snacks throughout your journey mostly taking advantage of the delicious fare in local cafes and restaurants. This excludes four lunches and four evening meals which are at your own cost to give you the opportunity to explore local cuisine of your own choosing. We are most definitely able to cater for vegetarians and special diets. Typical meals include:
Breakfasts - Local breakfasts are often bread & eggs which we supplement with fresh fruit, and muesli.
Lunches - Local meat and vegetable dishes with plenty of rice. Sometimes picnic style lunches, with bread, cold meats, cheese & salad.
Evening Meals - There are a wonderful range of local meat and vegetable dishes with plenty of rice and noodles.
Accommodation is twin-share and ranges from local guesthouses to hotel style accommodation in the bigger towns. Most have en-suites however it is occasionally necessary to share bathroom facilities.
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh
DAY 1: Arrive in Siem Reap, meet your fellow bikers and first dinner out together. Hotel
DAY 2: Taking the time to get used to our bikes we head out on quiet dirt roads and explore floating and stilt villages by bike and boat. 50km. Hotel
DAY 3: Ride past the temples at Angkor Wat and visit a working silk farm. Transfer to hotel. 25km. Hotel
DAY 4: Ride around local villages and meet thefamilies and learn about their traditional livelihoods and businesses. Afternoon explore the town in your own time. 30km. Hotel
DAY 5: We take a morning vehicle transfer and then busy our afternoon visiting a floating village, hand made pottery and ride through endless rice fields. 35km. Hotel
DAY 6: A day to stretch out the legs and ride through ever changing farmland to Oudong. 65km. Guesthouse.
DAY 7: Catch the sunrise from the top of Oudong mountain. Cycle along canals through small villages and rice fields in an ever changing landscape. In the evening we meet with a local NGO working to protect local children. 70km. Hotel.
DAY 8: After visiting some of our NGOs projects we follow a series of small back roads and trails, cycling through villages and farm-lets to a forest park. 50km. Lodge
DAY 9: Cycling through relatively unpopulated countryside as we make our way towards the coast. 75km. Guesthouse
DAY 10: Free day to explore Kampot, an ex-French colonial town, and take a sunset cruise on the river. Guesthouse
DAY 11: Bike to the coast and take boat to an island for lunch and swim in the clean clear tropical ocean. 30km. Guesthouse
DAY 12: We cycle along village tracks and quiet back roads towards Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh. 45km. Hotel
DAY 13: Final breakfast together. Continue exploring Phnom Penh or onward travel.
US dollars: $2950 + Local Payment* US$200
Bike Hire (if required) US$250
Single supplement if requested: US$850
Convert US$ to your currency: www.xe.com.
Prices include: transport, support vehicles, meals as stated in itinerary, accommodation and activities for the duration of the trip.
Prices do NOT include: airfares, visas, airport taxes, meals as stated above, optional activities and excursions, vaccinations and personal equipment.
*Local payment is a part of your trip cost and is payable to your tour leader at the pre-departure meeting at the beginning of your cycle tour.
We hire bikes locally through a South East Asian business. The hire bikes that are available for your Cambodia cycling tour are Merida Matts. Merida Matts are a hard tail mountain bike with hydraulic disc brakes and 27-speed Shimano components. They are available in S, M, L and XL and they are perfect for the off-road touring on our Cambodia trip.