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Cambodia Bike, Hike & Kayak Tour

Home > Cambodia

Cambodia Bike, Hike & Kayak Tour

Scheduled Tour

Price from

2290 USD

Duration

8 Days | 7 Nights

Level

2

Tour Code

APKK21

VIEW TOUR DATES

Immerse yourself in the real Cambodia by bike, kayak and on foot

The essential Cambodia cycle tour, taking you beyond well-worn tourist highlights. Enjoy a laugh with some of Asia's most welcoming, friendly people, and see what makes this little country tick. You'll venture by bike into villages where the pace of life is laid-back and satisfaction hinges on a good crop, a good catch of fish, and good neighbors. Kayak down the Mekong with the famous freshwater dolphins. Explore both natural and man-made wonders along the northern borders with Laos and Thailand. Then top it all off by exploring Angkor by bike and foot, one of the most breathtaking archeological sites in the world.

Discover the real Cambodia, touring the country by bicycle, kayak, and two feet with your expert local guide. Connect with communities and see highlights few get to enjoy, on an active adventure tour through the ever-charming Kingdom of Cambodia.

Quality Bikes
Cannondale: Quick CX3 or Trail Neo E-Bike

Your Guide
Expert Local Guide

Group Size
6 to 14

Accommodation
Comfortable Accommodation

Activities
Bike/Hike/Kayak

Minimum Age
14+

Overview

This tour is all about leaving the cities and well worn tourist trails behind and delving into the heart, soul and essence of Cambodia. That essence is found in the villages where people have lived in harmony with the natural elements for centuries, and the way to best absorb it is with a bike, a paddle or just your own two feet, all three of which we enjoy throughout this trip. 

Your tour starts out from the rapidly growing, vibrant city of Phnom Penh and works its way up the Mekong River. We spend time in a lovingly restored and extended colonial villa set on the eastern banks of the river, and ride the narrow but easily navigable trails in the shade of palm trees, with farmers bathing their cattle or tending to small crops, and fisherfolk casting nets from narrow wooden boats.

Along the journey, you'll experience two outstanding kayaking expeditions to sight the freshwater dolphins and the flooded forests that sit below the rapids at the Laos border. We hike to visit the imposing and highly impressive temple Preah Vihear temple complex that sits atop the Dangrek Mountains overlooking Thailand, and later explore the Kulen ranges on foot, where an ancient city that pre-dated and outsized Angkor once stood.

Your pedal-powered adventure concludes unforgettably with a bike exploration through the ruins of Angkor archeological site. We'll ride trails through the forest with remnants of that ancient civilization at every turn and only the occasional tourist crowds to break the spell.

We've poured years of experience touring Cambodia into this 8-day itinerary, which we believe is our most quintessential tour here to date.

Cycling: 180km / 112mi

The riding on this tour is a mix of paved minor roads, hard packed dirt roads through villages, and dedicated bike trails through forested areas. The degree of technical difficulty is low on the dirt sections and these are usually quite flat with a firm surface. There are very few hills in Cambodia and we have not managed to include any to ride on this tour, so if you are not into hilly rides, then this terrain is for you.

Highlights

  • Pedal quiet, palm shaded trails along Asia's most famous river, the Mekong
  • Kayak among the rare and inquisitive, freshwater, Irrawaddy Dolphins
  • Explore the flooded forests of the Mekong near Laos
  • Hike the ancient staircase to the clifftop ruins of Preah Vihear temple overlooking Thailand & Cambodia
  • Dine in a family home where three generations share a proud collection of recipes
  • Feel free to join the cooking or help around the farm before your family dinner.
  • Bike the enchanting forest trails through the imposing remnants of Angkor Wat and its ancient city

What's Included

  • 7x Breakfasts, 8x Lunches, 7x Dinners (all meals)
  • 7 nights in comfortable, specially selected accommodation
  • Healthy snacks, local treats, fruit, and water while riding
  • Quality well-maintained bike and helmet for riding
  • Knowledgable and charming local guide
  • Full vehicle support
  • All ticket and entry costs included in the itinerary
  • Custom country-themed jersey and water bottle as mementos

Day to Day


Expand All
Riding:
45km
28mi
Meal:
L,D

Leaving Phnom Penh in the morning is quite a sight for the uninitiated. Thousands of motor scooters, vying for space among larger vehicles with all manner of cargo, often with a few passengers sitting on, or hanging off the cargo. Next thing you know you are in flat, open plains with brilliant green rice fields as far as the eye can see, punctuated by a Cambodian arboreal favorite, the Sugar Palm.

On arrival at Wat Hanchay, a modern Buddhist temple, we meet the monks and are treated to a traditional water blessing whereby the monks conduct a series of chants and then sprinkle blessed water over us and tie red cotton thread bracelets around our wrists to protect us from evil spirits and accidents through our journey. Not that we are anticipating either, but it's nice to have some extra reassurance!

On our bikes, we follow a minor road that frequently turns into a path and weaves through the villages, sometimes Muslim villages of descendants of the Cham people, and sometimes Buddhist villages. There are always hundreds of kids who will be highly entertained by your presence, so be prepared to respond to a lot of cheerful "hello's!"

Riding:
45km
28mi
Meal:
B,L,D

Awaking in our charming and unique accommodation, a French colonial-era villa on the banks of the Mekong, enjoy a relaxed breakfast before we venture up along the Mekong River by bike to the town of Kratie. This modest town is the provincial capital and is home to a vibrant produce market with a dazzling array of weird and wonderful things for sale.

For lunch, we cross by ferry to an island in the middle of the Mekong River where cars do not exist and where only bicycles are used. This gives you a good perspective of the river's awesome size. On the island you'll enjoy lunch in a small family home and if we are lucky, we can sample the local produce, the Pomelo fruit. As well as being a tasty treat on its own, the fruit also makes a delicious salad when mixed with peanuts, shrimp and mint. After lunch, there is time for a refreshing dip in the river, then we take the van back to the hotel for a relaxed afternoon. Your colonial-style mansion, come hotel, has a fully equipped bar and a wonderful outdoor pool that overlooks the Mekong, the perfect place to enjoy a book or simply unwind.

Meal:
B,L,D

Our adventure for the day starts at the Kampi river pools just north of Kratie. After an instructional session on the kayaks, we push off into the atmospheric river where we hope to be joined by some curious, endangered, yet playful creatures, the Irrawaddy Dolphins. We take this non-invasive approach by kayak so as not to stress the Dolphins.

There are only around 90 of these creatures in this stretch of the Mekong River, but larger populations can be found in India and Bangladesh, although usually in brackish water. We are guided on our paddle route by a local who has been working with and around the dolphins most of his life and who can tell us a great deal about these intriguing creatures.

We continue to paddle downstream in the direction of Kratie, passing a couple of small islands before pulling in to shore. We'll use the van to return to the hotel for an early lunch and to pack, before moving on upstream to the town of Stung Treng. This slightly larger town sits on the confluence of the Sekong, Sesan and Mekong Rivers with glorious views out over the water. A more rustic, but comfortable, guesthouse in a prime position on the banks of the river awaits.

Meal:
B,L,D

Jump into the van as we begin the day with a drive up to the Laos border to start our adventure. This is a magical part of the country, the Mekong River has made its epic journey flowing from the Tibetan Plateau, through Yunnan in China, Myanmar, along the Thai border and through Laos, to wind up here in northern Cambodia where it will continue its journey south to Vietnam and the Mekong Delta. But it is in this unique location that the river is reoxygenated by a series of rapids and falls, resulting in a stunning area known as the flooded forests. Hundreds of small, silt islands, held together by trees with gnarled roots dot the waterway, and it is through these that we will kayak. The trees offer shade and the islands provide little channels that accelerate the current for us at times, making for a really fun paddle.

After a couple of hours kayaking downstream, spotting birds as we go, we will travel back upstream by small motor boat. We will float right up to the falls then take to the land for a walk and exploration of the area, before sitting down to a delicious meal in a local home. This area feels different from others in Cambodia, more relaxed, less urgency, lots of time spent in hammocks, and considering that is almost a national pastime they really take it to the next level! After doing a bit of unwinding ourselves, we will return to our guesthouse in Stung Treng by vehicle.

Meal:
B,L,D

We say goodbye to the Mekong today and head northwest to the Thai border, arriving in the mid-morning. This area is home to Preah Vihear, a temple complex constructed in the 11th century and remarkably intact. It differs from most other Angkorean temples in that it is orientated on a north/south axis. It is intended as a stylized representation of Mount Meru, home of the gods and in certain conditions, when the mist lingers in valleys below, you might agree that the creators succeeded.

The most impressive way to reach the temple is to hike the ancient staircase. Thankfully, a wooden staircase, complete with handrails has been constructed parallel to the original stone staircase, with a more moderate gradient. The walk itself is quite pleasant as we pass strangler figs, silk cotton trees and deciduous dipterocarp, with the birds providing an immersive soundtrack to your upward journey.

After exploring the ruins and hearing some of the ancient and more recent history of the temple (Cambodia and Thailand have exchanged gunfire over ownership of it and there is still a military presence, albeit not a very active one), we descend in SUV’s and make our way to tonight's hotel in the tiny nearby town of Sra Em.

Riding:
65km
40mi
Meal:
B,L,D

We leave the hotel by van and travel through the former Khmer Rouge stronghold of Anlong Ven on our way south to the pink temple, Banteay Srei. This temple is unique in a number of ways. It is the only major temple constructed not under the instigation of a monarch but of the courtiers. It is also built from red sandstone, which allowed for some absolutely stunning artwork in the intricate carvings that remain to this day. You will frequently see replicas of these sandstone carvings used in restaurants and hotels throughout nearby Siem Reap. The temple is smaller than many of the others and thus a short visit still allows us to fully appreciate it.

We will lunch and then start our ride towards Siem Reap on tree lined, minor roads, with rarely a vehicle in sight, aside from motor scooters. Farmers will be out, tending to their cattle or rice fields, and will be happily surprised to see a group of two-wheeled visitors rolling through their quiet corner of the world. The area is also renowned for its superior palm sugar and if we are lucky, we may encounter a village where they are busy cooking the nectar harvested from their trees in preparation to sell it at market.

We enter Siem Reap through the Angkor archeological park and what a way to make an entrance! While we won’t be stopping at any of the temples, they and the mature trees that are protected in this area, provide a magical backdrop in the fading temperatures of the late afternoon.

Meal:
B,L,D

We drive north of Siem Reap today to the Kulen Plateau. This is the nearest mountain range to Siem Reap and was the source of most of the stone used in the construction of the temples and ancient city. What’s more, it came to light only a few years ago that a vast city which outsized and predated Angkor once existed atop the plateau. That city is now mostly lost to nature.

We start our walk at the waterfall where Cambodian families will likely be gathering for picnics and a swim in the rock pools. We then walk a trail known as the Langur trail, named for the Dusky Langur Monkey colony that was discovered here in recent years, although they are hard to spot. The walk takes us through dry rainforest and various large sandstone boulders. We then descend the escarpment to a modern-day Pagoda where the monks maintain a swimming pool. You heard right! A tiled pool, fed by the mountain spring, has been built into the side of the escarpment and colder, fresher water you will not find elsewhere in Cambodia. After a very refreshing dip and a picnic, we return to Siem Reap by vehicle.

Riding:
25km
16mi
Meal:
B,L

Siem Reap and the Angkor Temples definitely deserve a number of days of your time, but first you need an overview, so that is what you can expect from this morning's ride. We make an early start to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat, an experience bordering on spiritual, and after exploring this most important architectural masterpiece in the soft morning light in the absence of crowds, we pause for breakfast.

Well fueled, we take to our bikes the final time, and this is one to remember! You'll ride the secret trails and dedicated bike paths to visit some of the other highlight ruins such as the Elephant Terrace and Ta Prohm, as well as a couple of hidden gems along the way. Don't forget your camera today! We conclude our ride with lunch and transfer back to the hotel where you have some time to pack before the tour concludes. The Siem Reap airport is only a short transfer from town, but you can always stay on to enjoy more of the temples and activities in town, by now you may never wish to leave.

Dates & Price


Dates Availability Price * Deposit payment: $500 USD
* Single room option: $590 USD
09 - 16 Jan 2022 Seats available

Adult 2490USD

BOOK THIS TOUR
06 - 13 Feb 2022 Seats available

Adult 2490USD

BOOK THIS TOUR
06 - 13 Mar 2022 Seats available

Adult 2490USD

BOOK THIS TOUR
03 - 10 Jul 2022 Seats available

Adult 2290USD

BOOK THIS TOUR
31 Jul - 07 Aug 2022 Seats available

Adult 2290USD

BOOK THIS TOUR
13 - 20 Nov 2022 Seats available

Adult 2490USD

BOOK THIS TOUR
18 - 25 Dec 2022 Seats available

Adult 2690USD

BOOK THIS TOUR
28 Dec 2022 - 04 Jan 2023 Seats available

Adult 2690USD

BOOK THIS TOUR
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WHAT MAKES US STAND OUT

GRASSHOPPER STYLE


Thanks to years of experience cycle touring in Cambodia, we craft original and unique itineraries that get you off the beaten path to discover the heart and soul of Cambodia. You'll still visit must-sees, like biking the Angkor Wat temples and cycling along the Mekong River, but you'll also pedal through gorgeous countryside and through villages lost in time. In addition to cycling, we've added some mixed activities with hiking and kayaking days to showcase the best of Cambodia. Most memorable though will be truly connecting with the Cambodian people, quite possibly Asia's most warm and welcoming. You'll enjoy some delicious home-cooked meals that are as authentic as it gets, and share a drink, a laugh, and experiences from your own corners of the world. If you are looking to avoid tourist crowds, leave a positive impact, and see a side of Cambodia few visitors get to experience, then we believe this is the quintessential tour for you.

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