8 Days 7 Nights
A cycling tour is the perfect way to explore Cambodia. Get to know the Khmer people and experience their culture first hand. Soak up beautiful sceneries, discover hidden treasures and interact with the friendly locals as you cycle along idyllic country roads, explore pristine riverscapes and stay in small villages on this remarkable journey.
All stages of this tour are designed in such a way that they can easily be completed by persons with average fitness, as we cover a maximum of 80 km per day in mainly flat terrain. In addition, our luggage, spare parts and tools are taken along in our escort vehicle.
After a rich breakfast in our hotel we cross the Mekong by ferry to Silk Island whose inhabitants still weave silk using traditional Khmer methods. After a short tour of the island a ferry brings us to the other bank of the Mekong from where we cycle along mostly quiet roads towards Kampong Cham. We travel the last part of today’s stage by car. After a short tour of the city we explore the countryside around Kampong Cham. We cycle along paddy fields and through plantations, learn more about traditional farming and visit a local school before we climb one the sacred hills of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei (men’s and women’s hill) from where we enjoy the beautiful view over the countryside. Towards the evening we meet our host family. We enjoy a typical Cambodian dinner together before it is time for an early night’s sleep.
After breakfast we say goodbye to our host family and transfer by car to Stung Treng. After checking into our hotel we cycle to the quay from where a small ferry brings us to Thala Barivat on the opposite bank of the Mekong, passing the confluence of the rivers Sekong and Mekong on the way. From Thala Barivat we cycle to the temple of Preah Ko which dates back to the ancient empire of Chenla. These 6th and 7th century structures are among the best preserved Chenla ruins in Cambodia together with Sambor Prei Kuk in kampong Thom.
We continue to a nearby pagoda where we meet monks who run a community project for disadvantaged children and learn more about their work. If time allows we join an English class and introduce ourselves to the children and answer some of their many questions.
We cycle back to the ferry which brings us back to Stung Treng, from where we continue to a scenic spot to enjoy the sunset. In the evening we visit the Tonle Training Centre and enjoy a Khmer dinner served by the students of this local NGO.
We leave early in the morning for Ou Svay, the starting point of our excursion into the nearby wetlands which are protected under the Ramsar Convention. We board a boat and cruise through the pristine riverscape to Anlong Cheuteal Dolphin Pool, where with a bit of luck we encounter Mekong dolphins in one of the natural river pools. We have time for a swim and to relax. On the boat journey back to Ou Svay we may spot rare birds and other wild animals. In Ou Svay we enjoy a guided tour of the village and enjoy lunch which has been prepared by the locals. We continue by boat through the flooded forest and wetland of the Ramsar Site. On our boat journey back to Stung Treng we pass countless small islands. We have a break on one of them and enjoy a refreshing swim before we continue to Stung Treng.
Today we leave Stung Treng and travel south to the Mekong town of Kratie. We cycle the last stretch along the riverbank to Srea Krasang, where we board a boat which brings us downriver to the scenic island of Koh Rougniv. We cycle to the southernmost tip of the island where we are welcomed by our homestay hosts. We get a true taste of rural life and experience Khmer hospitality as we enjoy a delicious Mekong fish dinner prepared by our host family and learn more about life on this secluded island.
After breakfast we say goodbye to our host family, cycle back to the boat which brings us back to the mainland. We cycle along the riverbank to the village of Sambour. We visit Wat Sarsar Mouy Roy or One Hundred Pillar Pagoda, where local children are trained in traditional performing arts. We enjoy a short performance before we are served a locally prepared lunch after which we continue to Kratie. On the way we may stop at the dolphin pool of Kampi for another chance to encounter the critically endangered Mekong dolphins in case we were unlucky in Stung Treng. We check into our hotel and have time to explore the quaint town at our own leisure.
Today we embark on the longest stage of this journey. We travel along the Mekong to the small town of Chhlong, where we have a break to look at some of the best examples of colonial architecture in Cambodia. Further downstream we cross the Mekong by ferry. We look for a nice spot to have our picnic lunch before we visit one of the numerous rubber plantations in the region and learn more about how rubber is produced and harvested. We complete the last stretch of today’s stage by car. If time allows we make a small detour to climb the sacred hill of Phnom Santuk. There are over 800 steps to the top of the hill, which is dotted with a number of pagodas, shrines and reclining Buddhas. We enjoy the magnificent view of the vast plains below before we continue to Kompong Thom, where we arrive in the early evening.
After yesterday’s long stage we take time to enjoy breakfast. On the last stage of this journey we cycle to the forest temples of Sambor Prei Kuk, the pre-angkorian capital of the kingdom of Chenla, then known as Isanapura. We explore the three main temples, Prasat Tao or Lion Temple, Prasat Sambor, the main temple group, and Prasat Yeay Peau, perhaps the most atmospheric structure. After our picnic lunch in the forest we continue to Siem Reap, where we arrive in the late afternoon.
Time free at leisure until your check out and transfer or the beginning of your onward programme