Phnom Penh , Kompong Thom , Siem Riep
Siem Riep City
Highlight: Angkor Wat (or Angkor Vat) (Khmer: អង្គរវត្ត), is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation—first Hindu, dedicated to Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is the epitome of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors.
Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early South Indian architecture, with key features such as the Jagati. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, copy at www.easyindochinatravel.com, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs and for the numerous devatas (guardian spirits) adorning its walls.
The modern name, Angkor Wat, in use by the 16th century, means "City Temple": Angkor is a vernacular form of the word nokor which comes from the Sanskrit word nagara (capital), while wat is the Khmer word for temple. Prior to this time the temple was known as Preah Pisnulok, after the posthumous title of its founder, Suryavarman II.
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Our guide will be at the airport to welcome and transfer you to your hotel for check in. Once settled, your bike will be aligned to your preferences and we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant in the city. You will stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh.
We’ll rendezvous at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City and have a quick transfer to Cailay. Then, we’ll take back roads to Cai Be, where we’ll board a boat to Can Tho Island. We’ll spend some time visiting artisans; we’ll watch coconut candy making, rice paper making, and popcorn/ popped rice making. Then, we’ll enjoy lunch on the island before continuing on to our local home stay run by a lovely retired couple, Mr. & Mrs. Bay. The Bay’s live in a typical Mekong delta Vietnamese house, with airy rooms and an outdoor kitchen. The rest of the afternoon you’re free to bike around the home stay.
After breakfast with the Bays, we’ll have a short boat trip to Vinh Long, one of the famous fruit towns in the Mekong. In Vinh Long, we’ll bike along narrow country lanes through tiny orchards; you’ll witness the colorful life along the riverside. You will stay overnight in Tra Vinh.
After breakfast, we’ll start the day with a ride through the pretty tree lined town on Travinh. We’ll off-road onto gravel and dirt lanes, weaving around villages, across water channels, and through quiet dense vegetation. The route to Can Tho is special, as Khmer people populate much of the area. The regional architecture is interesting, and there are many Khmer temples to stop and admire along the way. You will stay overnight in Can Tho.
On the fifth day, the ride is split into two sections and is a contrast to the previous day's ride. After a very early breakfast, you will take a boat trip to the famous Cai Rang floating market. Then, we’ll ride on a narrow, paved road to Phong Dien, where we’ll have a short transfer to Long Xuyen. You will stay overnight in Long Xuyen.
After breakfast, we’ll have a quick transfer to Triton. Afterward, we’ll begin cycling towards Chau Doc. The road is quite hilly, but the path is unique. The presence of Thot Not trees indicates proximity to Cambodia and the local people speak Vietnamese as their second language. We’ll arrive in the afternoon. Those with energy to spare can climb Sam Mountain for a great view of the sunset! You will enjoy dinner and stay overnight in Chau Doc.
We’ll depart early for a boat journey up the Mekong River to Phnom Penh. Upon arrival at the pier at Chau Doc, you will prepare to cruise up the Bassac River for approximately 1.5 hours to the Cambodian border. Your guide will assist with immigration. You will stay overnight in Phnom Penh.
In the morning we’ll head north on the national road N5 (past the ancient Japanese bridge) and start traveling through the Cambodian countryside. After 12km, we’ll arrive at Prek Phnov and begin to take unpaved roads past local villages and rice fields. We’ll encounter the ancient capital of Udong, where Udong Mountain is still home to many of the old royal palaces. You will stay overnight in a basic Cambodian accommodation in Kompong Thom.
After transferring a short leg in the direction of Siem Reap, we’ll begin the day’s cycle. We’ll head to the small town of Stoung (45km from Kompong Thom) and bike approximately 100km toward the city of the temples. You will have some shade as you cycle beneath roadside palms past Preah Pros Lake and Kompong Svay district. We’ll stay overnight in Siem Reap.
You’ll have an entire day to explore the temple complex of Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat itself is just one of the many temples in the region but is one of the best preserved and most impressive. It is worth climbing the remarkably steep and narrow steps of the central spire for a view of the whole temple surrounded by jungle. You will stay overnight in Siem Reap.
You’ll have some leisure time in Siem Reap until your transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
- Air-conditioned bus
- Support vehicle to carry gear, luggage, first aid
- English speaking tour guide
- Entrance fees, boat trips, ferry & speedboat tickets
- Airport transfer in/out
- Pick up & drop off at your hotel
- Meals as mentioned (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
- All biking gear (bike, helmet, tool kit, water cage)
- Water, snacks, soft drinks, and fresh fruit on cycling days
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses