Day 1 Ho Chi Minh City
Welcome to bustling Ho Chi Minh City, one of Vietnam's most thriving cities. Today is arrival day so there are no activities planned. You will have a scheduled group meeting in the evening around 6pm. Please check at the reception desk or look for a G Adventures notice board with details of the actual meeting time. At this meeting your CEO will ask to sight your travel insurance, double check your Vietnam visa and complete some other paper work. Please note that most nationalities requires a visa to enter Vietnam, please double check this with your travel agent or local Vietnamese Embassy. After your meeting, you may choose to head out for an optional dinner to further get to know your CEO and fellow group members. Until your meeting tonight you are free to relax and explore the sprawling metropolis that once was the capital of South Vietnam and remains the country’s commercial center. Perhaps visit the Thien Hau and Giac Vien pagodas or stroll through the immense Ben Than Market and grab a snack at one of its many food stands. Those with an interest in Vietnam's recent history may like to visit the Reunification Palace, the residence of the presidents of South Vietnam before 1974, and the fascinating nearby War Remnants Museum. Also very interesting is Cholon, Saigon’s Chinese quarter. A cyclo can take you to any of these places for a very reasonable price and is a fun way to travel around Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 2 Ben Tre (1B)
After meeting the cycling guide and the bikes, take a drive east to the Cu Chi district. Ride through the rubber plantations and sleepy villages where rice paper is produced and people tend to rice fields. The ride ends at the Cu Chi Tunnels, an example of one of the greatest advantages the Viet Cong held over the Americans in the war, extensive underground bases. After lunch its as short drive of a couple of hours into the Mekong Delta and onto Ben Tre to spend the night. Ben Tre is made up of three islands, known for its delicious coconut desserts. Approximate cycling distance: 25km Approximate cycling time - 1-2 hrs
Day 3 Tra On (1B,1D)
Breakfast this morning offers the chance to visit the local market and try some local foods. Take a boat ride to explore the surrounding area, where there are a number of islands situated in the river which are sometimes not connected to the mainland other than by a small ferry.Once on the islands, its time for some cycling. Enjoy an easy, flat ride through the shady canal paths and back roads, stopping along the way to try the fresh fruit. In the late afternoon, arrive at the homestay accommodation for the night. There is time to relax or perhaps help a little with dinner. Approximate cycling distance: 60km Approximate cycling time - 4-5 hrs
Day 4 Chau Doc (1B)
On the final day in the Mekong Delta, there's a chance to see the floating markets for which this area has become quite well known. While the majority of people head to the main market near Can Tho, instead visit local floating market where vegetables are tossed between boats and a little coffee vendor boat bounces in and out of the gaps, serving strong, iced coffee to both vendors and customers. After taking some time to experience this explosion of colour and activity, return to the mainland, then take to the bikes again to explore some more of those lovely canal paths where the only traffic is an occasional motor scooter or pedestrian. Transfer to Chau Doc City. Approximate cycling distance: 70km Approximate cycling time - 4-5 hrs
Day 5 Phnom Penh (1B)
Leaving bikes in Vietnam, cross the border into Cambodia, before driving to Phnom Penh. Theres time for an optional visit to the Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre on the way back to Phnom Penh. Here learn and understand one of the darkest points in the history of Cambodia during the Khmer Rough Regime. Arrive into Phnom Penh early in the afternoon. Phnom Penh has had a turbulent history. When the French colonialists arrived, it was little more than a collection of wooden shacks by the river, but they soon changed that and in doing so created what was once considered a very beautiful city. When the Khmer Rouge evacuated the city in 1975, they started it on its way to decay and decline, a theme that had carried through until only fairly recently when the countries economic development accelerated rapidly.
Day 6 Phnom Penh/Oudong Trail (1B)
Meeting new bikes this morning, it's another day back in the saddle today. The ride starts along the railway tracks out of the city. There's a possibility to see a great Cambodian invention, the Bamboo Train. This serves as a local railway in the absence of the real thing. Leaving the railway behind, see some of the villages populated by people relocated from some of the major project areas in the city. Leaving the shacks and railway tracks, cycle past some of the most beautiful countryside which goes through a variety of colours depending on the season. bright green rice paddies or yellow fields ready for harvest. Small villages punctuate the path with groups of curious, waving children. Ride to Oudong Mountain in time for lunch. This towering temple is perched on a mountain that was the capital of Cambodia for around 200 years until it was moved to what is now Phnom Penh. After the temple visit and enjoy the stunning view of the area from Oudong mountain, drive back to Phnom Penh city and expect to arrive around 4pm. Approximate cycling distance: 60km Approximate cycling time - 4-5 hrs
Day 7 Siem Reap (1B)
This morning we take to bikes again and explore the nearby Mekong islands where we pass through charming village communities, fruit orchards, traditional silk weaving workshops and a variety of temples from a more recent time. This is a highlight ride and gives a unique perspective to Phnom Penh and its surrounds. We finish the ride at the noon time, taking the shower and checking out the hotel. In the afternoon, we drive to the Siem Reap and arrive into Siem Reap in the evening. Approximate cycling distance: 25km Approximate cycling time - 3-4 hrs
Day 8 Siem Reap (1B)
As first light dawns and the roosters begin to crow, the day begins at the most important religious monument in the country, looking at the triple towers of Angkor Wat across a reflecting pool. After the sun hopefully rises as a giant orange ball behind the towers, the crowds will thin out as most people return to bed. Instead, make use of the cool temperatures and soft morning light to explore Angkor Wat. Monkeys and a handful of other travellers are the only others at the site. A delicious breakfast spread awaits just a short pedal away. After filling up, continue to explore the iconic Angkor temples and some hidden treasures of the Angkor area. Ride through some lovely back trails and even ride atop the wall of Angkor Thom, overlooking the moat on the way back to Siem Reap. Approximate cycling distance: 30km Approximate cycling time - 5-6 hrs
Day 9 Siem Reap (1B)
The Tonle Sap Lake is the largest in South East Asia. A huge expanse of water in the middle of Cambodia, connected to the Mekong RIver by the Tonle Sap, resulting in a natural phenomenon that must be seen to be believed. Ride on tracks and trails today to reach the lake. Along the way ride next to the Baray, a huge reservoir used by the Khmer kings for irrigation of the surrounding area. Upon arriving at the edge of the Tonle Sap, take a boat to explore the floating communities that call this area home. These are a less visited collection of villages due to their relative remoteness. If there's time,extend the boat ride to see the birdlife of this area before returning to town by a different route. Approximate cycling distance: 40km Approximate cycling time - 3-4 hrs
Day 10 Siem Reap (1B)
Free day to relax and enjoy Siem Reap. Perhaps make another visit to the Angkor Wat site or head out into the surrounding countryside again.
Day 11 Bangkok (1B)
Onwards into Thailand today, crossing the Cambodian border. Once at the border, we will disembark with our luggage and cross the border by foot. This process can take up to an hour or more so please pack your patience. After the border formalities are complete, we meet our Thai transport and continue on to Bangkok, the roads providing an immediate contrast to the country you have just departed. Once you arrive in Bangkok, your afternoon and evening is free to explore at leisure. Approx travel time: Private transport Siem Reap to Cambodian border: 2.5 hours Private bus Cambodian border to Bangkok: 4 hours by private transport.
Day 12 Bangkok (1B)
This morning there is time for a city tour by bike, one last time to take to two wheels and visit the Grand Palace and Wat Po. This afternoon your tour ends.