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, explore the city & adjust to the frantic pace and humid heat of Hanoi. Why not take the chance to visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu) or Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Museum. The Mausoleum houses the remains of Ho Chi Minh, the founding father of unified Vietnam (closed October-November). Don't miss taking a walk through Hanoi's Old Quarter – a maze of streets, each one traditionally devoted to a different product or industry, and the nearby Hoan Kiem Lake. Our hotel in Hanoi is located in the Old Quarter some 20 minutes walk to the Hoan Kiem Lake (the sacred and historic center of Hanoi). Make sure you grab a map and hotel card before you leave the hotel to ensure you can get back. All hotel rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Computer and free wifi are available.
This morning we visit the Cu Chi Tunnels and learn about Vietnam-American War. The Cu Chi Tunnels are a complex network of tunnels that Viet Cong forces lived in to protect themselves from the opposing forces. They stored ammunition, had underground hospitals and served as a hidden base to attack the allied forces. If you are not claustrophobic you may want to crawl through some of the tunnel network to get a feel for what it must have been like during the war. Approximate cycling distance: 25km
Making an early start, we head out of the busy Saigon traffic to some smaller, quieter roads where we cycle around the area's local villages. The people in this village are famous for their fine artistry in producing paper lamp shades as well as rice paper used to make fresh spring rolls amongst other Vietnamese delicacies. Being part of the fertile river plain, the region is also used for farming. Approximate cycling distance: 50km
We travel by public bus to Cambodia's southern coast and the beaches of Sihanoukville. You have time to relax on the white sand while perhaps enjoying a massage and eating fresh seafood, or why not join a boat trip for a day of snorkelling and lunch on an uninhabited island. You might like to enjoy your free time here by taking your bike out for a cycle along this beautiful coastline. In the evening you might like to enjoy a barbeque on the beach to relax. We spend two nights in Sihanoukville. Our Hotel is only a two minute walk to the beach. The hotel has swimming pool and free-Wifi available. Bar and pool table are also available. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Tuktuks (local motorised transport) usually costs 2-3 USD in and around town.
Back on the bikes today as you cycle the short (18km) ride to Ream National Park. One of the seven national parks in Cambodia, this is a fascinating terrain to cycle along, as the landscape takes in mangrove swamps, hills, buddhist temples, tropical jungles and impressive beaches. It is also a bird lovers paradise, with over 150 species of bird in the park. Keep your eyes peeled as you are cycling, there are a variety of rare species in the park. After cycling around the park, we return to Sihanoukville for the night. Approximate cycling distance: 20km
This morning we travel by private bus to Phnom Penh, taking in points of interest along the way. On arrival you are taken on a walking tour around the town, and then the rest of the day is free for you to explore.Sights you might choose to visit this afternoon include the National Museum and adjacent complex of the Silver Pagoda and Royal Palace. The huge Russian Market is packed with souvenirs and all the necessities of daily life. Late afternoon is a great time to visit Wat Phnom where the sanctuary for which the city is named once stood. It is a Buddhist shrine, although a Taoist goddess resides here. Numerous monkeys dwell here, also, and it is one of the pleasure spots for residents of the city. A drink in one of the many riverside café’s watching the sunset is a fitting finale to the day. Our hotel in Phnom Penh is located right next to the Central Market and a 10 minute walk to the riverfront. The hotel has twin and double share rooms with air conditioning and en suite bathrooms. Wifi is available.
Cycle out today to see a darker side of Cambodian history. Heading out of Phnom Penh, we visit some of Cambodia's recent history and recount some of the horrors of the past. After 1975, when Pol Pot and his henchmen took power, Cambodia was thrown into an abyss of unspeakable violence and mass-murder. Millions of Cambodians perished during this time. Witness to this genocide are the Killing fields of Choeung Ek and the Tuol Sleng prison. Approximate cycling distance: 40km
After a private bus trip through the Cambodian countryside we arrive in Siem Reap, our base to explore the ancient city of Angkor, the former capital of the Khmer kingdom and one of the wonders of the archeological world. Rediscovered at the end of the 19th century by French explorers this vast ruined city is becoming one of the most popular sites in Southeast Asia. Over 3 days, with our professional local guide, we visit some of the highlights of this ancient capital by bike including the enigmatic Bayon within the walled city of Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm, also known as the 'Tomb Raider' temple. Watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat is an experience not to be missed. We spend three nights in Siem Reap. Our hotel swimming pool is a great place to escape the heat of Siem Reap. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathrooms. Free wifi and a public computer are available in the lobby. Our hotel is located within a walking distance of the town centre. Approx travel time: Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by private bus is approx 6 hours.
You have two days to visit the incredible complex of Siem Reap. A short distance from Siem Reap, we cycle through the countryside, passing small villages and rice paddies before the enigmatic site of Angkor Wat comes into view. We have a day to visit the variety of temples within the complex here, before a free day which you can do what you choose. The temple complex of Angkor is vast, so you may choose to return and see more of the site, or you could cycle through the villages around the city of Siem Reap, seeing a very different side of Cambodian life. Day 9 Approximate cycling distance: 35km
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.
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.