Travel from Angkor to Saigon, the bustling southern capital of Vietnam, the slow way, by Bike & Boat. Spend your mornings bike touring temple ruins and quiet paths through villages full of friendly people and activity, then spend your afternoons cruising the iconic Mekong River.
This bike & boat tour travels from Siem Reap to Saigon
Pricing: Standard Cabin - $4,900 | Upper Cabin - $5,400 (p/person)
July 29 - August 8, 2018 - sold out
January 2 - 12, 2019
February 1 - 11, 2019
July 30 - August 9, 2019
January 19 - 30, 2020
A truly enjoyable way to journey between Siem Reap and Saigon by bike and riverboat. Start out in the Ancient temple town of Siem Reap exploring the ruins of Angkor, before boarding a boat for a cruise down the Mekong, finishing up in the glistening, bustling and vibrant southern city of Saigon, Vietnam. In between, cycle and cruise down the Tonle Sap River in Cambodia then through the lush canal network that is the Mekong Delta. Biking or hiking through the backroads and paths each morning, you will have the opportunity to meet local people, learn about their lives and traditions, and see first hand the agricultural miracle that is the Mekong Delta, while enjoying some delicious local cuisine along the way.
We specifically welcome non-cycling partners or friends on this trip and will have special activities planned for them each morning while the riders are cycling.
11 days duration
272-349 km distance
Price p/person (USD)
Standard Cabin: $4,900
Upper Cabin: $5,400
Trip Features & Tour Inclusions
What makes Grasshopper so special?
Find out how your bike & boat tour goes the extra mile.
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Top quality, well maintained Cannondale (Cambodia) and GT (Vietnam) mountain bikes in a full range of sizes are included in your tour, fitted with hybrid tyres for touring. Handlebar bags for your personal possessions and a comfortable saddle are also provided, with a women's specific version available.
Toum Tiou - Luxury Mekong Riverboat
On this special cycling tour we sail aboard the Toum Tiou, a classic, 10-cabin Mekong Riverboat. Each cabin comes fully-equipped with air conditioning, lights, fans, comfy beds and of course an en-suite bathroom and shower. The ship is large enough for you to find a quite spot to relax, but small enough to navigate the narrower waterways and canals of the Mekong.
On this tour, we are welcoming non cycling partners as there will be plenty of exciting tours for you to do. Visit local village and produce markets, meet with Artisans and stop to explore a few historically important locations. These activities will be available to you each morning while the riders are out on the road. Groups will reunite aboard the Toum Tiou for lunch, and will spend the hot afternoons relaxing and cruising up the river together.
The hotels we use are a great part of this tour. In the larger cities and established tourist centres we use stylish and comfortable hotels and resorts, while in the smaller and more out of the way areas we stay in the best available accommodation, which is often simple yet always well run, clean and comes with air-conditioning and a private bathroom.
Experienced English speaking, local leaders will host you on this trip who are well spoken, very well informed, and charming. Our leaders are often cited as being the main highlight of the tour. We use local leaders who have a passion for their countries and are always well informed on topics ranging from history, politics, cuisine and importantly local customs and cultures. Our leaders will take pride in introducing you to every aspect of their country and will help you to connect with the villagers you meet along the way.
A bike mechanic will join the group an whilst not a master of linguistics, our technical team always make an effort to form a bond with the group and provide not just mechanical support, but additional encouragement to those who may find themselves at the back of the group. Our drivers support the group by ensuring that the freshest fruit and tastiest snacks are picked up along the way.
An air conditioned backup support vehicle is always available for tired riders and to carry your luggage. In the Mekong Delta, we are on narrow bike and pedestrian style paths and trails where the support vehicle cannot follow. It will however, meet us at intervals of 10km or so and can meet us at closer intervals if there is an urgent need.
This is as much a food adventure as it is a bike one. Whilst Cambodian cuisine may not be as famous as Vietnamese, it offers some subtle, understated flavors. There is a strong emphasis on fish and fresh vegetables in the traditional diet, but contemporary Cambodian cuisine offers a wide range of options and surely has something for everyone. Vietnamese food is now known around the world, but what may not be so well known is that there is a great deal of variety within the national menu. In the southern area where we will be, a lot of seafood is available and also freshwater fish. In reality though, the Delta produces such a mind boggling amount of food that the range of choice may endanger any hopes you had of losing weight on this bike tour. Our guides are experts at introducing you to the finest food on both sides of the border. Included meals are listed in the day by day itinerary, and drinking water is always included with meals. Any soft or alcoholic drinks are not included and will be at your own expense.
Energy bars and local snacks are provided to keep your energy levels up for the riding, and clean water and electrolyte drinks are always available to keep you well hydrated.
A beautiful souvenir cycling jersey is yours to wear and take home. We also provide a custom drink bottle as an extra memento.
8 to 16
This tour is guaranteed for a minimum of 8 travellers. And we limit the group size to only 16 travellers so that you get all the attention you want in an intimate group.
There is no surcharge for single travellers - we will match you with another same sex single traveller. If you want a single room there is a an optional upgrade that you can book.
Travel by any means results in some impact to the countries, communities and environments we travel. On this tour we aim to make a positive impact through our Book Donation Program and we seek to minimise our environmental impact through running our Cambodian support vehicles on 100% Bio-Diesel from Naga Biofuels. This is not a crop based product, the fuel is made entirely from recycled cooking oil.
for Mekong Boat & Bike Adventure - Downstream
Siem Reap - Arrival Day
Welcome to Siem Reap. Today check in to your comfortable and well located hotel along the river in a quiet area near the centre of town. In the late afternoon we will meet for a briefing, sundowners by the pool and then an early dinner.
Our adventure begins with a spectacular start, sunrise over Angkor Wat. This necessitates a very early start to the day, but the reward is well worth it. All guests will transfer by van into Angkor Park and thus for the first few hours the riders and non riders will follow a similar program, meaning that you will all get to explore key temple together.
A private breakfast will be served in the forest behind the main temple. Afterwards those not on bike will travel by an open air vehicle called a 'Tuk Tuk', a nice, relaxed way to move. The cyclists will follow hidden forest trails, passing the walls and moat of the ancient city and hopefully sighting birds and other wildlife that are starting to repopulate the park.
The early start means that we are done by lunchtime, leaving the afternoon for you to enjoy the pool. Tonight enjoy dinner at a local restaurant known for sophisticated Khmer cuisine.
Board Ship at port of Siem Reap
This morning we cycle away from Siem Reap to visit remote temple sites. We pedal down small dirt roads past 800-year-old temple ruins, interspersed by tiny villages with houses often made out of palm leaves and bamboo. The non-riders will linger at some of these sites, including the Royal Baths area and a lovely shaded temple nearby. We arrive at our ship after lunch afternoon and are welcomed aboard with a cool refreshing drink
Now aboard our ship we'll cruise on the Tonle Sap Lake towards Phnom Penh. Cycling today on roads that are mostly hard-packed dirt and still with minimal traffic. The people we encounter are very keen for a chat and will always call out words of encouragement for your efforts. Due to timing today, the riders and non-riders won't re-join until the mid-afternoon. We anchor today just by a small village community who are no doubt keen to invite you in for a rice wine tasting session, oh and it helps if you can sing.
Having cruised quite late into the night before, we have just a short distance into Phnom Penh this morning. We moor near the cargo port just north of the city centre and then can make our way onto dry land.
The capital of Cambodia is an interesting place. Little more than a collection of shacks along the river when the French arrived, it was quickly designed as a grid style layout and many beautiful colonial buildings were constructed, such as the Central Market which has recently been restored. The city was forcibly evacuated when it fell to the Khmer Rouge and thus ensued a period of decay that continued through the early years of re-population. In the late nineties and early 2000's as the country started to get back on its feet, the city had a shattered charm to it with many still vacant buildings and creaking infrastructure.
These days it is a city on the move, with construction everywhere, some of it tasteful, some of it not. In any case, it's a great city to explore and you can do this either with our guides or under your own steam. We even have an audio tour on our app that you can use to explore by cycle rickshaw. The day is completely free, so only breakfast is provided. We will offer lunch and dinner recommendations all easily reached by Tuk Tuk from the ship.
The ship sets sail early today from Phnom Penh, so we'll be enjoying pastries as we cruise along the busy waterway towards the border with Vietnam. Once we reach the border, customs and immigration formalities take place on the ship before we continue our cruise down the Mekong.
The non-riders have an interesting day visiting the Fish Sauce factories for which the area is famous, but also learning a little about this frontier area. During the conflict ridden years of the US/Vietnam conflict and then the Khmer Rouge years, Chau Doc and surrounding areas along the border endured incursions, raids and attacks by the various sides. There is a memorial to those lost during the Khmer Rouge years just outside town and you can see quite a lot of people in the area who are ethnically Cambodian. In fact, the Mekong Delta was at one point part of the Khmer Empire, so the border has been quite fluid over the years.
For the riders, we'll be having a more open ride today with less turns, so we can stretch out a bit and enjoy the distance. We meet the non-riders at Sam Mountain in the late morning, then it's back to town where we enjoy a great local lunch by the river.
A full, great day of riding starts off with some relatively open road where we can use the cool of the morning to burn off some energy and put some distance behind us. Then it is into the narrow, shaded paths with lots of turns and activity in abundance. People weaving mats, people building boats, people transporting vegetables and fruit. Above all, people eating. We'll make a few good snack stops today where you'll be able to try some savory and sweet local specialties.
For the non riders, small sampans will take us on an adventure through the many canals. We'll stop in at a couple of market or hub locations where vendors exchange produce to then distribute it through the village during the day. Today we’ll visit a family home for tea and learn a little about the history of this family who have lived here for three generations.
Today there is a short and long ride option, with the shorter one concluding at lunch. For the long riders, a great afternoon awaits and again we will likely reach the destination before the ship, so a short wait. Once the last riders have boarded, we have 3 hours of cruising while we dine so as to cover some distance.
This evening the guides will be conducting a quiz to see how much we've all learned so far on our trip along the Mekong.
The riders will start cycle on what is essentially a large island on a range of concrete paths along and over canals. There is a wide variety of produce being carted in towards town on the back of motor scooters and kids will be pedaling their way into school in their blue and whites, making for quite a lot of friendly conversations as you will be asked multiple times where you come from.
The non riders will visit a few locations today, using small boats, vehicles and some walking. A stop at a home where the owner displays traditional farm tools and a visit to a fruit farm to learn about the wonderful varieties of fruit that grows in the Delta. A stop at a brick workshop shows how bricks and other products are made locally, some used here and some sent to the bigger cities.
For those doing the short ride option, you can rejoin the boat around midday for lunch, then spend the afternoon cruising towards My Tho. For the long riders, we push on and arrive a little ahead of the boat. We'll kill some time with a stop in at a local coffee shop and pick up some delicious local snacks to stave off the hunger demons.
Our last day of cycling follows another twisting, turning network of paths and roads that are typical of the Delta. This northern area of the delta has slightly less canals than the more central areas, but still we will cross plenty of water and make use of the ferries.
For the non-riders in the group, there will be a walk of the small town where the ride starts. There is a nice little coffee shop here and the quiet streets of the town make for a good morning exploration to meet a few locals in a place where not many foreigners visit. The ride concludes around midday. We'll all meet up and have lunch as we prepare head to My Tho. This vital port city busy local markets and lots of places to sample Vietnamese street food. Dinner is had aboard the ship and we anchor just a little outside town.
Saigon - City Walking Tour
Our final cruise on the ship takes us up the fascinating water transport corridor that is the Cho Gao Canal. Arriving in central Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in the afternoon, we’ll spend time on a guided walk of Saigon's former French quarter, stopping in for a look at the Opera House, the Cathedral and the former Presidential Palace, complete with pristine 70's decor. Checking in to our centrally located hotel we’ll enjoy one final farewell dinner and reminisce of our time together in Southeast Asia.
Conclusion of the Tour
The tour winds up after breakfast. There is plenty to do in Saigon if you have the time to stay on. Otherwise, we'll have a driver ready to take you to the airport for your flight.
What's the Riding Like?
Mostly flat terrain
7 days riding
The riding is entirely flat. It is on a great variety of surfaces, ranging from concrete to hard packed dirt and even a few forest trails around Angkor. At pretty much all times, traffic will be a rarity, allowing you to engage with the locals as you go, stopping for a chat or a photo opp as you wish. Riders will be provided the route on their devices so that if you wish to take your time you can. We will also have a support team in tow that you can call on if needed.
Coolest time: Nov-Feb
Wettest time: Jun-Oct
Our favourite: Jul-Aug
The coolest time of year is from November to February with temperatures rising to a peak in April and May. With the arrival of the rains in June temperatures drop, with rain falling mainly in the afternoons in short, heavy showers. September and October are the wettest months with a return to dry conditions in November.
A combination of lower numbers of tourists, sharp light and refreshing showers make July and August a great time to cycle in this part of Indochina. Aboard the Toum Tiou, we avoid the harshest heat of the afternoons in style.
Extend Your Stay
Why not add a couple of nights before and after your trip?
Siem Reap is a great place to spend a few days. We offer an exciting range of day tours here that combine very well with the Angkor to Saigon ride. These depart daily and are best booked in advance to avoid disappointment.
If you are planning to stay longer in Siem Reap, we can book you extra nights at our preferred hotel or you can find a huge range of hotels online through our friends at agoda.com:
This is an exciting and vibrant city that deserves at least a day or two of your time. There are various activities, including food tours and tours of the back alleys by motor-scooter. We also offer a one day tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels.
For hotels, Agoda is a great place to start. The range in this city is substantial.
What our guests tell us...
Don't take our word for it, listen to what guests say about our tours!
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