Bike From Hoi An To Angkor Wat

in Hoi An

This 12-day adventure takes you by bike from the World Heritage Site of Hoi An, on the coast of Vietnam, to the World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the largest Hindu temple site in the world. 

(Hoi An – My Son – My Lai – Quang Ngai – Mangden – Kon Tum – Pleiku – Cambodian Border – Banlung – Stung Treng – Kratie – Kompong Cham – Kompong Thom – Siem Reap – Angkor Wat)

 

Day 1: Hoi An (D)

We meet in the ancient town of Hoi An, which was one of Southeast Asia’s major trading ports during the 17th and 18th centuries. This merchant town was an important port of call for Chinese, Japanese and Portuguese traders. More than anywhere in Vietnam, Hoi An retains the feel of the past and is now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site with more than 844 structures of historical significance. It is a fantastic place to spend the day wandering the narrow streets. We meet for a welcome dinner and trip briefing at 6 pm after all riders have arrived in Hoi An.

 * Overnight in small boutique hotel in Hoi An **

 Day 2: Hoi An – My Son – Hoi An (45km ride - B,L)

 We have an easy start to our riding with a visit to another World Heritage Site. After a short transfer, we ride to see the My Son Temple Complex, the ancient centre of the Cham Civilization. We cycle along scenic backcountry roads, past rice paddy fields, through a eucalyptus forest, and many scenic villages. The road eventually climbs away from the coast, offering stunning views as we move into an increasingly more remote region. This 14 km road cuts through the lush jungle alongside the Tranh River and eventually leads us to My Son, which was once Champa’s greatest city. Although many of the temples were destroyed during the war, there is still enough of the archaeological site to impress most visitors. We have a pic nic lunch and then spend the afternoon visiting the site. In the afternoon we transfer by bus back to Hoi An. Dinner is on your own. A great chance to choose from Hoi An's many fantastic restaurants.

 ** Overnight in small boutique hotel in Hoi An **

 Day 3: Hoi An – My Lai – Quang Ngai (46km ride - B,L,D)

 This morning we transfer from Hoi An and begin our ride from a small village. The road is shaded by arching palm trees and surrounded by tended rice paddies. By lunch we arrive at My Lai, the site of one of the worst massacres of the American/Vietnam War. The cycling continues out into the Vietnamese countryside and through Sa Ky Fishing Harbor. We continue on to visit Thien An Pagoda before transferring 5 minutes by vehicle to our hotel in town.

 ** Overnight in Central Hotel in Quang Ngai **

 Day 4: Quang Ngai – Mangden (70km ride - B,L,D)

 Today we head into cooler climate as we leave the coast and head into the central highlands towards Quang Nam and on to Mangden (over 1,000 meters elevation). We will cycle only part of the route and take in the stunning scenery as we rise up into the highlands.

 We will transfer about 2 hours to just past the town of Bato. From here we cycle for 20 km through terraced rice paddies, villages, and rivers to the bottom of Violak Pass. The vehicle picks us up and transfers us to the top of the pass (16 km @ 15% grade and 1,300m elevation) stopping for pictures on the way. After Violak pass the ride is rolling through thick jungles and minority villages all the way to Mangden. Enjoy the quiet back roads and fresh air from the jungle. Accommodation is simple but in a great location for the next days’ ride.

 ** Overnight in Doi Thong Hotel in Mangden **

 Day 5: Mangden – Kon Tum – Pleiku (60km ride - B,L,D)

 After breakfast, we check out of the hotel and vehicle transfer for 5 km to visit Pa Sy Waterfall, then return to Mangden. We start riding from Mangden and down a fantastic 12-kilometer pass and onward to Kon Tum. We have a chance to visit some local villages of the Jarai and Bhanar ethnic minorities. These tribes still practice animist beliefs, that demons inhabit all of the creation. The area is well known for their communal houses with very steep and tall roofs. Each village takes great pride in these unique designs as they define the regional landscape. We stop cycling at an old wooden church. After Kon Tum we transfer to the town of Pleiku, which has some of the best coffee in Vietnam.

 ** Overnight in Tre Xanh Plaza Hotel in Pleiku **

Day 6: Pleiku – Cambodia Border – Banlung (70km ride - B,L,D)

Two hour transfer by car after breakfast takes you to the border with Cambodia. At this point, it is time to say goodbye to the Vietnamese team. After the immigration formalities at the Le Thanh border checkpoint, you will be met by your Cambodian cycling crew. We start our ride from the border to the Banlung town of Ratanakiri. Banlung is one of the most far-flung of the Khmer provincial capitals. You continue your riding along a recently paved, winding road with some ups and a few less downs as we climb into the highlands that are home to the former Ho Chi Minh Trail. While the exact location of the trail is hard to pinpoint, it is obvious from the surrounding terrain and dense forest that it was no easy feat for the North Vietnamese to use this as their main supply route between north and south during their war with the US. We spend the night in the surroundings of Terres Rouge a traditional style Khmer house oozing with old world charm in this remote part of Cambodia.

** Overnight in Terres Rouges Lodge in Banlung **

Day 7: Banlung – Stung Treng (B,L,D)                          

After breakfast you will be transferred 3 hours to the border of Laos PDR and then meet the Mekong River at a point just below a series of falls and rapids. These falls re-oxidize the water and make an amazing area of bio-diversity possible. We take to our kayaks and gently drift down the Mekong River, through a flooded forest that is home to a wide range of bird-life. After a few hours of kayaking, we enjoy a picnic lunch, and then meet our van again for the drive down to Stung Treng Province. Check into Gold River Hotel. Tonight you experience a special dinner at Le Tonle Tourism Training Centre where young poor locals are being trained in hospitality and tourism skills to ensure a better future. Having dinner here means you will get real Khmer food with personalized service from the students. 

** Overnight in Gold River Hotel in Stung Treng ** 

Day 8: Stung Treng – Kratie (85km ride max - B,L,D) 

Today you will get up early to have breakfast in the town. We have a long day of riding today as we head to Kratie Province, a small provincial capital located on the bank of Mekong River. You stop at Kampi to take a one hour boat ride to see the Irrawaddy dolphins. You then cycle to Kratie Town and board a ferry to Koh Trong where you will spend a night with a Home stay Family. Enjoy tasty Cambodian food with your hosted family. 

** Overnight at a Home Stay in Kratie ** 

Day 9: Kratie – Kompong Cham (85km ride max - B,L) 

You transfer south through the town of Chhlong and take a ferry to the western bank of the Mekong to start riding from Phnom Han Chhey on quiet roads along the river, through small rural villages and scenic countryside. We stop for a drink and snack at the tiny town of Chhlong. The many French colonial houses in this town are amongst the most beautiful in Cambodia. It is a scenic ride as we pass many Cham communities which are predominantly Muslim. Buddhist pagodas form a pretty contrast with small mosques and the particularly friendly locals will welcome you warmly in each village you pass. We cycle up to Wat Han Chhey, a small hilltop pagoda that houses an 8th century pre-Angkorian temple and offers spectacular views over the Mekong. Here we can enjoy a well-deserved picnic lunch complimented by sweeping views of the Mekong. From here we will cycle the last 22 km to Kampong Cham, where you can relax at the hotel’s swimming pool. Check into Makara Hotel. 

** Overnight in Monorom VIP Hotel in Kompong Cham **  

Day 10: Kompong Cham – Kompong Thom (80km ride max - B,L) 

We leave Kampong Cham over dirt and tarmac roads along the Mekong and eventually head for a quiet secondary highway towards Kampong Thom. You will be flanked by rubber plantations, paddy fields and typical Khmer Villages on today’s ride. Kampong Thom is a picturesque town on the banks of the Stung Sen River, which hosts the magnificent Khmer temple site Sambo Prei Kuk. Check into Sambor Village Hotel (boutique). 

** Overnight in Sambor Village Hotel in Kompong Thom ** 

Day 11: Kompong Thom – Siem Reap (95km ride max - B,L)  

After breakfast you drive about one hour to the town of Kompong Kdei where you will start cycling. You pedal pass quiet villages, rice paddies and palm trees in the area. You stop at Makak Dam for a rest. This man made dam was built during the Khmer Rouges regime and it is still in use today. After another 20km you will arrive at Kvao Village where we are treated to a ride down a 700 year old ancient road to Beng Mealea. After a quick look into this temple ruin you do a final shoot to Dam Dek then transfer to Siem Reap for the night. Check into Royal Crown Hotel. 

** Overnight in Somadevi Angkor Hotel in Siem Reap ** 

Day 12: Cycle Angkor Wat Temples (40 km ride - B,L,D) 

This morning you will meet your specialist temple guide once you are ready and begin your cycle exploration of these incredible temples. Today you will focus on the Small Circuit which features temple greats such as; the pyramid of Takeo; the jungle-clad Ta Prohm made famous by the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Tomb Raider’; Sras Srang known as the King's bathing pond; and the impressive Royal City of Angkor Thom, where you will find Bayon, a temple famed for its many gigantic carved faces smiling beguilingly down at you. You will also visit other important sites in this immense walled city. After lunch it is time to take on the majestic Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious building. After being initially inspired by its overall size you will explore in more detail, getting up close and personal to fully appreciate its architecture and intricately detailed bas-reliefs. After returning to the hotel you are free until we pick you up for a farewell celebratory dinner.

** Overnight in Somadevi Angkor Hotel in Siem Reap **

At a Glance


Depart From:
80 Le Hong Phong Street, Hoi An we’ll pick you up at your hotel in Hoi An
End At:
Somadevi Angkor Hotel in Siem Reap (Angkor Wat)
Start Time:
7:30 or 8:30 am
Finish Time:
Varies on Day 12
Durations:
12 Days
Departure days:
Daily
Activities:
Cycling, kayaking, sight seeing
Adventure Grade:
Customizable between 6 and 8
Transportation:
High end mountain Bike, Air conditioned mini bus
Meals:
Fruit snacks, purified drinking water, picnic lunch, and hot meals in local restaurants with mostly Vietnamese and Cambodian food (rice, vegetables, meat). Simple but good. Please note one day in advance if you have special dietary requirements
What to bring:
Hat, sunscreen, repellent, camera, rain jacket, biking shorts, good shoes for walking and biking
What is included:
English speaking guide, all necessary forest and tourist permits, first aid kit, bike, helmet, and gloves.
What is excluded:
Soft drinks, alcohol drink. Personal major medical including evacuation insurance coverage is recommended