An epic multi-country journey, that is achievable for bike riders of all ages and abilities. Starting and finishing in significant cities, while getting well and truly off the beaten path in between. This trip runs Bangkok to Saigon.
The essential discovery trip of Thailand, Cambodia and the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. This dynamic region, which was once almost entirely ruled by the Angkor kings, now comprises Vietnam's most fertile food producing land, the majority of the modern Cambodia and the eastern extreme of Thailand. For the budding historian, a goldmine of material. For the cyclist, a variety of riding from single lane bike trails to remote back roads through the countryside; something to satisfy all riders' appetites. For the gourmet traveller, some real treats of three different cuisines with an emphasis on fresh vegetables, fish and seafood, but with all tastes catered for. For those who wish to connect with village life in Southeast Asia, there could not be a better trip.
The ride may be epic in terms of its scope, but it is an achievable and enjoyable one with a high degree of comfort at our overnight stops. It is sure to be both a humbling, rewarding and exciting experience.
Peak Season Surcharge
For tours commencing from Dec 18 to Jan 4 there is a peak season surcharge of 10% on the price of this tour due to hotel rate increases at this time of year.
15 days duration
475 km distance
Trip Features & Tour Inclusions
What makes Grasshopper so special?
Find out how your next ride goes the extra mile.
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Top quality, well maintained GT (Cambodia) and Merida (Thailand & 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.
The hotels we use are a great, and sometimes unexpected, part of this tour. In the larger cities and established tourist centres we use stylish and supremely 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.
For groups of 5+ people a bike mechanic will join the group. 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 in case you want a break from riding, 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.
Take It Home
A beautiful souvenir Grasshopper cycling jersey is yours to wear and take home. We also provide a Grasshopper drink bottle as an extra memento.
2 to 10
This tour is guaranteed for a minimum of just 2 travellers. And we limit the group size to only 10 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 made entirely from recycled cooking oil.
for The Bangkok to Saigon Explorer
Arrival Day in Bangkok
You can arrive any time today into Bangkok, provided you are there for our briefing at 5pm. After this, we will head out for dinner, an adventure in itself in a city famous for its cuisine. Meals: D
Transfer & Cycle to Chanthaburi
After picking you up from your hotel in Bangkok it is a 3 hour drive to reach the starting point of the ride. On a sleepy beach far from the bustle of Bangkok we unload and set up the bikes before embarking on a lovely ride along the coast of Thailand’s Gulf. At times a few small hills provide nice views out over the water and just as your mind starts to drift into communication with your stomach, we discover our lunch stop where the first of many great meals awaits you. We ride into the regional town of Chanthaburi in the mid afternoon where our friendly host awaits to introduce you to his cosy guesthouse and his vegetable garden, two things he is very passionate about. Meals: BLD
Cycle & Transfer to Pailin
Leaving Chantaburi we pass through the old town area and the Catholic quarter and then into the orchards surrounding the town. We are on well made, back roads today with hardly a car in sight. A little before lunch time, we pack up and drive a busier section to our next stop on the food adventure. It's then just another thirty minutes in the car to the Cambodian border. After completing formalities, we ride on to the hotel, set among the gem studded hills of Pailin, a town famous not only for gems, but also for harbouring a number of senior members of the Khmer Rouge for many years after the fall of the tyrannous regime. With these characters now long gone, Pailin is now hoping to put itself on the tourist map a little by providing hospitality to those passing through. Meals: BLD
Cycle & Transfer to Battambang
Today we leave the paved surface and ride on some fun dirt roads and trails through the villages up behind Pailin town. Despite a steady trickle of foreign travellers through this area, you will still be the centre of much attention in the villages as friendly locals want to know what it is you are doing. We rejoin the main road after an hour and a half or so and then enjoy some rolling hills down out of the highlands onto the plains. As the day heats up, we drive to Phnom Sampou where a tasty meal awaits and a great view can be seen from the hilltop temple. Once the sun gets a little lower in the sky, we take to the bikes again and ride to the most famous of Battambang peculiarities, the Bamboo Train. After a ride on this rickety, but highly enjoyable Cambodian invention, we check into our centrally located accommodation and have some time to explore this charming town. Meals: BLD
Village Industries Tour & Transfer to Siem Reap
Soksabike is a program created by a local vocational training NGO named Kinyei. This morning we will enjoy this tour led by students of Kinyei. This pedal around the suburbs and villages of Battambang introduces us to the many village products that are made here. These are predominantly food, so any hopes of losing weight on this tour will be firmly extinguished by this stage. We get a great insight into how people here live and survive. We see how rice wine, dried bananas and a tasty snack called Kralanh are made before we return to town for lunch. We have a three hour drive to Siem Reap this afternoon. Upon arrival, there will be an option to see the sun set over the largest lake in South East Asia, Tonle Sap, from a small mountain on the shore. Meals: BLD
Angkor Sunrise Discovery
As the roosters crow, you will be out at the most important religious monument in Cambodia, watching the sun rise over the triple towers of Angkor Wat. Even in the wet season, this is a magical time to see Angkor. As the crowds thin, take an unforgettable walk through the temple, where the soft light and cool temperatures present Angkor at its best. A short pedal away a delicious breakfast spread awaits. After breakfast we ride around the hidden trails of the Angkor complex to visit some of the best kept secrets and the iconic temples of the Bayon, Tha Prom and The Elephant Terrace. As the day heats up we lunch with a view of Sra Srang Lake and then return to your hotel by vehicle around 2pm. This tour is the essential introduction to the Angkor park and will give you not only a great historical overview, but also a geographic initiation so if you plan to visit the temples again tomorrow you can explore on your own with confidence. Meals: BL
Please note: Appropriate dress (knees and shoulders fully covered) is compulsory for entry into certain sections of Angkor Wat, and should also be observed throughout all temple areas for reasons of cultural sensitivity.
Rest Day in Siem Reap
Siem Reap, once a dusty little town, has now blossomed into an intriguing destination with an amazing array of food options and a good variety of activities. From zip-lining to an acrobatic circus performance and an emerging arts scene, this is one location you won't be lost for things to do in. There is always a good massage and the pool for those who fancy some relaxation. Meals: B
Transfer to Kampong Thom & Cycle Sambor Prei Kuk
Starting with an early pickup from your hotel, we have a 2.5 hour drive to reach Kampong Thom, the neighbouring province to Siem Reap. After a bike fitting, we set off on a ride north of the town to find the sprawling complex of pre-Angkorian temples known as Sambor Prei Kuk. These ruins date back as far as the 7th century and are remarkably intact for their age. The leafy surrounds and absence of tourists makes this a really special experience. After we see out the heat of the day in the shade, we return to Kampong Thom by a different route and enjoy a tasty, authentic meal. Meals: BLD
Transfer & Cycle to Phnom Penh
Following a laid back start in order to time our day correctly, we drive around three hours to Oudong Mountain, the former capital of Cambodia, and today a hilltop temple with fine views. We enjoy a Cambodian style picnic and then take an afternoon ride on lovely village roads and trails, mostly unpaved. We zig zag our way through rice fields and farmland, passing Oudong's smaller brother, Basset Mountain. Crossing a recently refurbished but as yet un-operational railway line, the scenery changes rapidly. For those comfortable cycling in traffic you can ride right up to the hotel door. For those that are not game, the support vehicle awaits. Dinner tonight will be had by the Tonle Sap River, not far from where the three main rivers of Cambodia converge.
Rest Day in Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh has a turbulent history. Little more than a collection of wooden shacks when the French first arrived, the colonials transformed it into a beautiful city. With the evacuation of the city by the Khmer Rouge in 1975 its decay and decline began, with regeneration and rapid economic development only a recent trend. Your guide can dispense a great deal of advice on how the city can be explored and will offer a late afternoon walk to introduce you to some of the lesser known aspects of this eccentric city.
Cycle the Islands of the Mekong & Boat to Chau Doc
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. After lunch we board the international boat down the Mekong River into Vietnam and to Chau Doc, a bustling Delta town with a specialisation in fish sauce. Meals: BLD
Cycle to Long Xuyen
Our Delta adventure starts in earnest today. The first of many short ferry rides comes after about 15km and the rest of the day will involve crossing numerous canals by bridge and boat and following a path through the maze of waterways. You will likely be struck by the fertility of the land as every square inch is cultivated for food production and each person in sight works hard to grow, harvest, process or transport these products. The riding is predominantly on small, paved canal paths with only bicycles and motor scooters. We roll into the substantial town of Long Xuyen in the late afternoon. Meals: BLD
Cycle & Boat to Can Tho
Our final ride of the trip continues on canal paths which become even more interesting as we go. The countryside is just as scenic as yesterday, but with an even higher concentration of canals and the farm produce now includes large hanging fruit such as jackfruit. We encounter mat weaving and wooden boat building today as well as yet another amazing lunch. We finish up with a boat ride and arrive into the pleasant, bustling town of Can Tho in the late afternoon. Meals: BLD
Floating Markets & Transfer to Saigon
An early morning visit to the floating markets is on offer today. It's an impressive site with boats of varying sizes and all manner of fruit and vegetables being bought and sold. After breakfast, we pack up and board the van for a 3 hour drive into Saigon. After seeing out the heat of the day, we explore the city on foot, including the former French Quarter, the former Presidential Palace and the Ben Tanh Market. It's then time for our final meal together. Meals: BLD
Tour Concludes in Saigon
The tour concludes after breakfast this morning. Your guide will be on hand to assist you with your travel arrangements as required. Meals: B
What's the Riding Like?
Mostly flat terrain
Some sandy trails
10 days riding
The terrain is a mix of sealed and unsealed roads, tracks and trails. It is our aim to deliver as much traffic-free track and trail as possible, but at times we do need to resort to secondary roads. We spend no more than 5km over the whole tour on anything resembling a highway. The riding is easily achievable for those who are comfortable controlling a bike. There are hardly any hills and there are no distances over 80km on any day. You must be comfortable riding in quite hot conditions and it is highly recommended to get some practice on unsealed surfaces with a little loose sand and gravel as this will help you feel more confident at times on this ride. The support vehicle is always on hand should you require a break from riding, and in the Mekong Delta, where we are on narrow bike and pedestrian style paths and trails (where the support vehicle cannot follow), it will meet us at intervals of 10km or so - and can meet us at closer intervals if there is an urgent need.
Coolest time: Nov-Feb
Wettest time: Jun-Oct
Our favourite: Jul-Aug
In this region 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 Southeast Asia.
Extend Your Stay
If you are arriving early into Bangkok think about joining us for one of our number 1 rated half or full day rides. Since 2010 we have been rated the number 1 bike tour in Bangkok on tripadvisor.com. It's a reputation that we are proud of and working hard to maintain. You can see and book any of our Bangkok tours on this website.
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 on request. Agoda.com is a good place to start when looking for accommodation.
What our guests tell us...
Just a selection of our great reviews!
It seemed expensive at first but after the experience I must say it was worth every dollar, not only the rides but also the planning, the arrangements, the hotels, the restaurants, the guides, and the gifts of course.
The tour totally exceeded my expectations and I am very grateful to all staff at Grasshopper who made a journey like this possible.
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