Phnom Penh , Kompong Thom , Siem Reap , Battembang , Pailin , Koh Chang , Bangkok .
Bangkok City - Thailand
Highlight: Angkor Wat is the prime example of the classical style of Khmer architecture—the Angkor Wat style—to which it has given its name. By the 12th century Khmer architects had become skilled and confident in the use of sandstone (rather than brick or laterite) as the main building material. Most of the visible areas are of sandstone blocks, while laterite was used for the outer wall and for hidden structural parts. The binding agent used to join the blocks is yet to be identified, although natural resins or slaked lime have been suggested.
Angkor Wat has drawn praise above all for the harmony of its design, which has been compared to the architecture of ancient Greece or Rome. Copy at www.easyindochinatravel.com, According to Maurice Glaize, a mid-20th-century conservator of Angkor, the temple "attains a classic perfection by the restrained monumentality of its finely balanced elements and the precise arrangement of its proportions. It is a work of power, unity and style."
Architecturally, the elements characteristic of the style include: the ogival, redented towers shaped like lotus buds; half-galleries to broaden passageways; axial galleries connecting enclosures; and the cruciform terraces which appear along the main axis of the temple. Typical decorative elements are devatas (or apsaras), bas-reliefs, copy at www.easyindochinatravel.com , and on pediments extensive garlands and narrative scenes. The statuary of Angkor Wat is considered conservative, being more static and less graceful than earlier work. Other elements of the design have been destroyed by looting and the passage of time, including gilded stucco on the towers, gilding on some figures on the bas-reliefs, and wooden ceiling panels and doors.
The Angkor Wat style was followed by that of the Bayon period, in which quality was often sacrificed to quantity. Other temples in the style are Banteay Samré, Thommanon, Chao Say Tevoda and the early temples of Preah Pithu at Angkor; outside Angkor, Beng Mealea and parts of Phanom Rung and Phimai.
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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 Long An. Then, we’ll take back roads to My Tho, 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. We’ll spend the night with a local family 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 at the home stay, we’ll bike along narrow country lanes through the coconut plantations in Ben Tre. This province is not only famous for it’s millions of coconuts, but also for it’s reputation as the Viet Cong cradle during the Vietnam War. 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 Tra Vinh. 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, Vietnam Bike Tours’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.
On the eleventh day, we have another break from riding. We’ll visit the floating village before heading across the lake to Battembang, Cambodia's second capital, a sleepy city full of faded colonial charm.
We’ll saddle up and ride south to Pailin in the morning. The road, in sections, is in poor condition but the scenery is impressive as we head toward Thailand. The road undulates as we get closer to Pailin, but it’s manageable- nothing too steep or long. We’ll cross over streams and bridges and really get a feeling of riding into uncharted territory.
Our guide and driver will meet you at the Baan Pakad border. After immigration, we’ll take a break for lunch at local restaurant in the Thai countryside. Then, Vietnam Bike Tours’ll have a quick transfer to Ferry Pier in Trat province and get on board to Koh Chang , where you will stay overnight.
You’ll have a free day to relax at the beach in this quite secluded part of Thailand. Koh Chang is a must for anyone wanting to see some off the beaten track beaches!
You will stay there overnight.
In the morning, your guide will meet you back at Ferry Pier. He/she will accompany you during the transfer to Bangkok. Upon arrival in Bangkok, you will take a short city tour and have some free time to explore the bustling city on your own.
You’ll stay overnight in Bangkok .
On the last day, you will have leisure time in the morning before your transfer to Suvanabhumi Airport. Your guide will assist you with checking-in at 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, ferries & 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