Bangkok Cycling To Riem ReapThe trip will start in Bangkok with a transfer to Pattaya beach city where mountain bikes are prepared and the guide will brief on the cycling tour. From the border to Pailin, the road is dirt with some potholes as well as from Pailin to Battambang. From Battambang to Siem Reap, we will cross Tonle Sap lake by boat.
We ride about 375 km mostly on asphalt roads and sometimes broken road or vehicle-width dirt roads, which may be smooth, gritty, stony, rocky, rutted, loose or hard-packed. The 85km from Pailin to Battambang is probably the worst road but still interesting things to see along the road.
Day 1: Bangkok-Rayong (Cycling 50km) ( L , D )
Meet with our guide in your hotel lobby to brief on the tour and check the bike. Then transfer to Pattaya. It used to be US marine base, now boom with night life activities. Start cycling by taking coastline road by the sea around 50km. Stop for lunch. Late afternoon, we arrive in Rayong. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Rayong at the beach hotel.
Day 2: Rayong-Chantaburi (Cycling 60km) (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Start biking to mangrove study center around 60km. On the way we stop and pay visits and talk to local people, see how they earn their livings. At the mangrove, we can walk around and visit one of the most successful forest restoration project of Thailand. Then check in and spend the night in Chantaburi. Dinner at local restaurant.
Day 3: Chantaburi-Pailin (Cycling 47km) (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Pongnamron and start cycling to the border 27km. After the immigration, lunch at local restaurant. Then cycling 20km to the Pailin town located on the foothills of the scenic Cardamom mountains. Pailin used to be Khmer Rouge Strong-hold survived by trading gem stones. Until 1998, Khmer Rouge has demobilized their forces into the government army, then the town had got completely peace. The town is now home to some of the former Khmer Rouge leaders who are – now in jail awaiting for international tribunal. After cycling on the dirt red bumpy road, we arrive in the small dusty town of Pailin. View sunset at Phnom Yat to overlook Pailin. This temple of on Phnom Yat hill is more for Kula Muslim minority who earn their living with gem stone business. The Muslim minority made up 5% of the whole population in Cambodia. Return back to the hotel for shower and welcome dinner. Overnight in Pailin.
Day 4: Pailin-Battambang (85km) (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Fill the water and briefing on the road condition and water stop. After the town, there are a few climbs and then down hill. Watch for large potholes, and cows might be crossing the road with the string so there might a trap. We cycle along this Cadarmom mountain range passing the rice field and we won’t be tired as the kids like to say hello and waving from their houses. Recently, the road from Pailin to Battambang has been improved. We stop for water, snack and drink under a big shad of a tree. Then continue cycling another 20km before stopping for lunch in Sneung overlooked a nearby a temple near the road. A little rest on the mat would be good. After lunch we cycle another 20km to Phnom Sampov, overlook the hilltop pagoda and the cave. Just 15km to Battambang, we do a bit of transfer as to avoid the busy traffic in town. Battambang used to be second biggest city but now become a relaxed town where Siem Reap is getting more boom. Situated on the bank of Sangker River, Battambang has many French colonial building and traditional Cambodian house. It is worth to take the Bamboo train as the local railway is running only twice a week for passenger train and cargo train is running more often. So local people enjoy taking more bamboo train. Overnight in Battambang.
Day 5: Battambang-Siem Reap (18km) (B,L,D)
An early breakfast before cycling for 15 minutes to board on the boat to Siem Reap. The boat has toilet and life jacket and takes about 6 – 7 hours. It is one of the best boat trip in Cambodia to cross the Sangker river viewing the fishermen and all their activities on the river. Then crossing Tonle Sap lake (South East Asia’s largest freshwater lake). It is the main reserve for water when the Mekong is flooded, without the lake, Cambodia will be flooded every year. In rainy season, the water reaches 10,000 square Km when it is only 5,000 square Km in dry season. The lake is as important as for the human-being and the fish, birds and other wild animals. One hour before reaching the dock, the boat passes Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary home and breeding area for some thousands of water birds.
After crossing Tonle Sap lake, we arrive at Chong Kneas floating village. The village combines of Cambodian, Muslim and Vietnamese and they move up and down depends on the season. All the houses are floating with support of the bamboo. After arrival at the dock, get off and prepare to ride bicycle 15km to our hotel. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 6: Siem Reap-Angkor Complex (25km by bicycle) (B,L,D)
Depart from the hotel on the main road and cycling through Angkor pass check point. Cycling through the shady road with a little pumping because of the a few pot-holes. There you will begin to see Kravan temple, Banteay Kdei, and stop at the famous Ta Phrom, embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers. Visit Ta Phrom (45 minutes-1 hour). It was built in 12th century by the famous King Jayavarvan VII indicated to his mother. While clearing back the forest archaeologists decided to leave the vegetation of Ta Phrom in place to serve as a reminder of how the original discoverers found it and the other Angkor temples.
Many of the trees have grown around and through the remains and soar high above the temples. Continue the cycling through small circuit passing Ta Keo temple, Chao Say Tevoda, Tommanon before reaching to Angkor Thom city. There you will see, Terrace of Leper King, Terrace of Elephant, Baphoun, Phimean Akas. Stop at Bayon temple and start the visit (45 minutes-1 hour). Angkor Thom built by Cambodia’s great king, Jayavarman VII. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 7: Banteay Srei and River of Thousand Lingas (90km)(B,L,D)
Depart from the hotel on the main road. Arrive at Angkor Wat and turn left to the west. Continue to cycle 2km before turn right to the rural road. The road is good for cycling as you can avoid the busy traffic but you can see rice field, village, pagoda. Arrive in Banteay Srei before lunch. Visit (45 minutes) Banteay Srei temple known as women citadel (built in 967 A.D dedicated to Brahma). While some of temple are impressive because of their sheer size, Banteay Srei stands alone in the quality of its construction and decoration. Its pink sandstone walls are decorated with what some consider the best carving of all, and still an excellent state of preservation.
Continue cycling to visit Kbal Spean, the River of Thousands Lingas, lying under the river bed, people believe it brings fertility and blessing Angkor area as the river flows to Siem Reap. Walk 1,200meters to visit the Lingas and enjoy lunch and the water fall. On the way back, cycle on the main road to visit Landmine Museum of Mr. Akira. Mr. Ra is dedicated to clearing the Cambodian countryside of landmines laid during the years of conflict and relies entirely on visitors’ donation to fund his work. Overnight in Siem Reap
Day 8: Depart Siem Reap (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Free until transfer to the airport for departure flight.