13 Days
Duration
Moderate
Physicality
Hoi An , My Son,Quang Ngai , Kontum,Pleiku , Banlung,Stung Treng , Kratie,Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom,Angkor Temples by bike
Location
Year-round
Dates

Hoi An to Siem Reap Cycle Tour 13 Days

This 13-day tour allows you to cycle two of the most fascinating destinations in South-East Asia. Start your cycling adventure in Hoi An, pedal through the Mekong Basin before crossing into Cambodia and finishing off in Siem Reap.

In the spirit of pioneering overland expeditions IET Adventures created a couple of brand new adventure tours for you. With the recent opening of a border checkpoint in the North East of Cambodia, you now can bicycle from the capital city of Hanoi to the ancient city of Hoi An and end in the world heritage site of the Angkor Temples. Experiencing a holiday in Vietnam and Cambodia and you will discover the allure of an unspoilt and little explored countries which for many travelers with a sense of adventure is irresistible.

Holiday Overview

Highlights

Siem Reap and the UNESCO-listed temples at Angkor Wat
Meet the Bahnar and Jarai ethnic minorities of the Vietnamese highlands
Free day and market visit at Banlung, a remote Khmer provincial town
Take a boat trip on the River Mekong in search of rare Irrawaddy dolphins

On this mountain biking holiday from Vietnam into Cambodia, you’ll feel like a time traveller journeying through history, from the 4th Century ruins at My Son and the 9th Century temples at Angkor, all the way through to the present day. As well as the several UNESCO World Heritage sites on our route, expect to be amazed by the unforgettable scenery, from Vietnam’s coastline on the South China Sea, to rice paddies and rustic villages, coffee plantations and golden sunsets over the Mekong River. We start cycling in Hoi An, once the largest harbour in South-East Asia and nowadays famous for its tailoring and colourful lantern-lit bridges. Our introductory ride takes us out to the Champa site at My Son and then, on the following day, we quickly move forward to the 20th Century as we cycle to Mai Lai, where there is a Vietnam War memorial. Then, climbing up into the highlands, we find ourselves in the homeland of the Bahnar and Jarai ethnic minorities who still practice animism and a subsistence lifestyle. Crossing the border into Cambodia and the lands of the former Khmer Empire, we encounter more ethnic tribes in a remote region where foreigners on bicycles are still very much a novelty. A day off the bikes at Banlung gives us the chance to do some exploring, including the chance to take a dip in a mysterious crater lake. Then, it’s on to the mighty Mekong River, where we will be hoping to catch a glimpse of endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. Continuing our ride through the Cambodian countryside, we see more ancient sites, such as the 1000 year old bridge at Kampong Kdei. But, these are just tasters ahead of one of the major highlights of the holiday; our full-day visit on our bikes to the Angkor Wat temple complex at Siem Reap. This is a brilliant cycle journey through one of the most culturally fascinating parts of South-East Asia.

This cultural journey by mountain bike takes us from the coast of Vietnam, through the central highlands to the heart of Cambodia. We cycle approximately 790 kilometres in 11 cycling days, with lots of time spent sightseeing and exploring the countryside. The cycling is non-technical on a mixture of well-surfaced roads and good quality dirt tracks. The terrain varies from flat days to hilly and undulating days. Ride at your own pace after consulting the guides about the route ahead, stop to take photographs and to soak up the magnificent sites we visit. Starting out with a couple of shorter rides, the itinerary does also have several days with approximately 100 kilometre rides. To get the most out of this road cycling tour you should be a regular weekend rider with a good level of physical fitness. However, the bus is always close at hand for those who need to take a break

At A glance

11 days biking
790 kilometres
90% surfaced road – 100% vehicle supported
Max altitude – 1200 metres
Join in Hoi An, Siem Reap

Additional information

DestinationVietnam, Cambodia
Day 1: Arrive in Hoi An

Our team will meet you in the ancient town of Hoi An. This merchant town was an important port of call for Chinese, Japanese and Portuguese traders during the 17th and 18th centuries. 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. At night there will be a welcome dinner and trip briefing.

Meals included: D
Distance cycled: n.a.
Level of difficulty: n.a.
Accommodation: Hoian Venus Hotel & Spa(4****)

Day 2: Cycle from Hoi An to My Son

Have an easy start to your bike riding with a visit to another World Heritage Site. After a short transfer you ride to see the My Son Temple Complex, the ancient centre of the Cham Civilization. Bicycle 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 you move into an increasingly more remote region. This 14 kilometers (9 miles) road cuts through the lush jungle alongside the Song 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. Enjoy your picnic lunch and spend the afternoon visiting the site. In the afternoon return to Hoi An by bus. This evening dinner is on your own account. A great chance to choose from Hoi An’s many fantastic restaurants.

Meals included: B, L
Distance cycled: 54km (34 miles)
Level of difficulty: Beginner
Accommodation: Hoian Venus Hotel & Spa

Day 3: Cycle from Hoi An to Quang Nghai & My Lai

This morning you transfer from Hoi An and begin your bike ride from a small village. The road is shaded by arching palm trees and surrounded by tended rice paddies. Around lunchtime you arrive at My Lai, the site of one of the worst massacres of the American/Vietnam War. Take a sobering guided tour of the site and museum. The cycling continues out into the Vietnamese countryside where you stop to visit a traditional pagoda before heading to your hotel in town.

Meals included: B, L, D
Distance cycled: 46km (29 miles)
Level of difficulty: Beginner
Accommodation: Central Hotel(4***)

Day 4: Cycle from Quang Ngai to Kontum

Today is a more challenging day as you leave the coast and head into the central highlands towards Quang Nam and on to Kontum. You bicycle only part of the route, along undulating roads through thick pine forests and with stunning photo opportunities. Drive about 2 hours to the town of Bato in the highlands and cycle 15 kilometers (9 miles) uphill to the top of Viloluk Pass which is located 1000m above sea level. This is followed by a fantastic 20 kilometers (12 miles) descent to the bottom of the pass. From here the route undulates past many remote villages, tropical forests, over bridges and along quiet and scenic roads.

Meals included: B, L, D
Distance cycled: 90km (56 miles)
Level of difficulty: Intermediate
Accommodation: Indochine Hotel(3***)

Day 5: Cycle from Kontum to Pleiku

After breakfast, you bike ride out into the countryside to visit some local villages of the Jarai and Bhanar ethnic minorities. These tribes still practice animist beliefs, that demons inhabit all of 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. After a local lunch you cycle to the town of Pleiku, which has some of the best coffee in Vietnam. This is an easier day and you will notice the change in scenery as you bicycle through a wide valley surrounded by mountains punctuated by tea and coffee plantations along the route.

Meals included: B, L, D
Distance cycled: 60km (37 miles)
Level of difficulty: Beginner
Accommodation: Hoang Anh Hotel(4****)

Day 6: Cycle from Pleiku to Banlung via Cambodian Border

After breakfast you will be transferred to the Cambodian border by car which takes approximately 2 hours. At this point it is time to say goodbye to the Vietnamese team. After the immigration formalities at the Le Thanh border check point, you meet your Cambodian cycling crew. Start your 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 biking adventure along a recently paved, winding road with some ups and a few less downs as you climb into the highlands that are home to the former Ho Chi Minh Trail. You 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.

Meals included: B, L, D
Distance cycled: 70km (44 miles)
Level of difficulty: Intermediate
Accommodation: Ratanak Resort(3***)

Day 7: Banlung to Stung Treng

After breakfast you will be transferred for 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. You take your kayak 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, you can enjoy a picnic lunch, and then meet your van again for the drive down to Stung Treng Province. 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 personalize service from the students.

Meals included: B, L, D
Distance kayaking: 18km (11 miles)
Level of difficulty: Beginner
Accommodation: Mekong Bird Resort(2**)

Day 8: Cycle from Stung Treng to Kratie

Today you will get up early to have breakfast in the town as your hotel does not have a restaurant. You have a long day bike riding ahead of you as you take off to Kratie Province, a small provincial capital located on the bank of Mekog River. You stop at Kampi to take a 1 hour boat trip to see Irrawaddy dolphins. You then cycle to Kratie Town and board a ferry to Koh Trong, where you will spend a night at a local home-stay. You should only bring your backpack and keep the rest of your luggage in the bus. Enjoy tasty Cambodian food with your host family.

Meals included: B, L, D
Distance cycled: 85km (53 miles)
Level of difficulty: Intermediate
Accommodation: Oudom Sambath Hotel(2**)

Day 9: Cycle from Kratie to Kampong Cham

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. 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 you pass many Cham communities which are predominantly Muslim. Marvel at the diversity of Buddhist pagodas and Muslim mosques, all with friendly locals who will welcome you warmly in each village you pass. You bike 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 you can enjoy a well deserved picnic lunch complimented by sweeping views of the Mekong. From here you cycle the last 22 kilometers (14 miles) to Kampong Cham, where you can relax at the hotel’s swimming pool.

Meals included: B, L, D
Distance cycled: 85km (53 miles)
Level of difficulty: Intermediate
Accommodation: 7 Makara Hotel(3***)

Day 10: Cycle from Kampong Cham to Kampong Thom

You leave Kampong Cham on 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.

Meals included: B, L, D
Distance cycled: 80km (50 miles)
Level of difficulty: Intermediate
Accommodation: Sambor Village Hotel(3***)

Day 11: Cycle from Kampong Thom to Siem Reap

After breakfast you drive about 1 hour to the town of Kompong Kdei where you will start cycling. You bike past quiet villages, rice paddies, palm trees and some new irrigation system in the area. You stop at Makak Dam for a rest. This man made dam was built during the Khmer Rouge regime and it is useful until today. After another 20 kilometers you will arrive at Kvao Village then you turn left via 700 year old ancient road to Beng Mealea. After a short visit of this temple ruin you do a final shoot to Dam Dek and then transfer to Siem Reap for the night.

Meals included: B, L
Distance cycled: 90km (56 miles)
Level of difficulty: Intermediate
Accommodation: Central Boutique Hotel(3***)

Day 12: Explore the Angkor Temples by bike

This morning you will meet your specialist temple guide once you are ready you will begin your bicycle 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 the 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 returning to the hotel you will be taken to a local restaurant to enjoy a delicious farewell dinner.

Meals included: B, L, D
Distance cycled: 40km (25 miles)
Level of difficulty: Beginner
Accommodation: Central Boutique Hotel(3***)

Day 13: Bid farewell to Siem Reap

After breakfast you will be free till transfer to airport for your onward flight leaving hidden charm of Vietnam and the mighty Khmer Empire with many wonderful cycling memories.

We can tailor make a tour that will best match your budget – the guide below serves as a reference point for you to decide how much to spend on this trip.

Inclusions:
• All sightseeing tour and transfer services as detailed in the above itinerary
• All accommodation as detailed
• Air conditioned support vehicle. If group more than 5 people we will use minivan and truck to carry bikes and logistics
• English speaking local guide
• English speaking local cycle guide / mechanic
• All entrance fees for attractions included in the above itinerary
• Kayaking on Mekong River in Stung Treng
• Daily drinking water, cool face towels & snacks whilst cycling
• All meals as detailed in the above itinerary (B = Breakfast – L = Lunch – D = Dinner)

Exclusions:
• Services not detailed in the above itinerary
• International flights to Vietnam and from Cambodia
• Vietnam and Cambodian Visa fees
• Bicycle, however they can be hired for USD180
• Drinks with included meals
• Expenditure of a personal nature
• Discretionary tips
• Travel insurance
• Any payment / money transfer charges

AVAILABLE DEPARTURE DATES

September 3, 2017– Seats Available …
October 8, 2017– Seats Available …
November 5, 2017– Seats Available … 
November 5, 2017 Booked in Private Trip

December 17, 2017– Seats Available …
January 7, 2018– Seats Available …
February 25, 2018– Guaranteed departure  
September 2, 2018– Seats Available …
October 14, 2018  – Seats Available …
November 4, 2018 – Seats Available …
December 16, 2018 – Seats Available …

Bike Hire USD 180/person
Single Supplement USD 430/person

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 4 reviews
March 22, 2017

Great way to be totally in the environment and with the people as opposed to being sealed in a bus with tourists. Great guys (guide and driver). Became friends with both of them.

March 22, 2017

Top ten things I enjoyed: 1. Biking small back roads. 2. The small tour group (only 5 people). 3. All of the children shouting “hello” to us. 4. Learning about the local cultures. 5. The support from our drivers- always having snacks and drinks. 6. The insights from our guides. 7. Seeing places at the pace of a bicycle. 8. Visiting anchient temples. 9. The food. 10. Great location for the rest day in Banlung.

March 22, 2017

This was an amazing trip in every way – bicycling, sights, food, guides, accommodation. You name it, we loved it!

May 5, 2017

This was a once-in-a-lifetime cycling tour by IET Vietnam Bike Tours that I highly recommend. The tour began in Hoi An, a charming little tourist town, and 13 days later ended in Siem Reap, near Angkor Wat. The tour is advertised at 450 miles but we cycled closer to 400 miles and stayed in different hotels each night. We also spent a day kayaking and another day on the Mekong River watching the Irawaddy dolphoins. This was my first cycling tour and what made it special were the outstanding and knowledgeable guides (Tree, Polo, Nam, and Ting) and the amount of support provided (i.e., plenty of structured breaks, on-the-fly bike repairs, unlimited water, etc.). Day 3 seemed unending and was the toughest cycling day but also the most scenic. Our group climbed a few thousand feet through the Violac Pass to get to the Central Highlands. I was happy to have the option to ride in the support vehicles that day. On the Cambodian leg of the trip, the guides also hired local families to cook for us along the route. If you’re considering doing this as a family, I would not recommend this trip for young children (15 and younger). The guides were also dedicated to practicing safety.
Visited April 2017

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