Our Tour Development Team has been busy putting together a range of cycling tours in South East Asia that are going to showcase the very best of this part of the world, all from the saddle of your bike. Kicking this off with a range of trips in Thailand and Cambodia, we wanted to bring a different slant on some of the worlds best locations, but being able to explore them the Macs Adventure way. First up, why not get yourselves on The Slow Road to Angkor Wat.
Distance: 200km. While this is the cycling distance, there is a transfer to get you out of the road chaos of Bangkok so you can begin your cycling in a more sedate location.
Grading: This trip is graded Easy to Moderate. While there are some days of around 60km, they are reasonably easy going, with not a lot of uphill. You will also be going with a guide the whole time on this tour. Unlike our standard self guided tours, this part of the world is just trying on self guided to see how it fits. While we hope to branch this trip out to self guided in the future, we want to run it with a local, friendly guide first to make sure all goes perfectly.
The trip starts off in Bangkok, which sits proudly at the top of the Gulf of Thailand. This welcoming city has a wealth of treasures to explore, and while it is undoubtedly a highlight of the trip, the real Thailand is just a transfer away. From your hotel in Bangkok, you are transferred down onto the Gulf of Thailand where the tour proper begins. The first day is a gentle pedal through the countryside passing little villages and towns until you reach Chanthaburi. From there you travel along sleepy backroad until we cross into Cambodia and on to the gem mining capital of Pailin. Battambang is the next evening’s stop, loaded with 11th Century temples, a warmup for what is to come! Next, you are on to the wonderful French colonial town of Siem Reap. It has the faded charms of Havana and is a superb place to recharge before heading on to the main event, Angkor Wat.
It is easy to book a holiday in Thailand, spend some time in Bangkok and down in the islands and experience something wonderful. This trip, however, compounds that experience and lets you get out into the less touristy parts of Thailand and Cambodia.
Cycling along the coast, every town and village you visit are not set up for tourism, they are working communities, with friendly locals all willing to say hello. Cycling along with the guide you will have access to a wealth of local secrets, eating amazing, homecooked, fresh Cambodian food, finding out the best bar for a sunset cocktail and getting to know the country and its people in depth.
The towns that you will stay in along the route complete this feeling of discovering somewhere new. Battambang is a beautiful place for a stop, with its riverside setting and fading colonial architecture, it is a friendly little town where it feels so relaxed, so unhurried that all there is to do is relax. Oh, and visit the stunning 11th-century temples of Phnom Banan. Siem Reap is the perfect upgrade to Battambang. It is the hideaway of Cambodian chic, amongst the wilted beauty of its colonial buildings hide a rich vein of restaurants and bars, offering some of the best gastronomic experiences in Cambodia. There is a thriving cultural scene here, and it is a town where you will always find something new and exciting. It is also the gateway to Angkor Wat.
I don’t feel the need to write too much about the reasons to visit Angkor Wat; I am sure most of you are aware what it is all about. Just in case… built in the 12th Century, Angkor Wat is the earthly representation of Mt Meru, home of ancient Hindu gods. It is both vast and incredibly detailed, intricately carved with religious reliefs. It has been in almost constant use since it was built, so is incredibly well-preserved and is an experience like no other. With nature reclaiming some of the building with roots and vines, the feeling as you wander around the temple is extraordinary.
We make sure that you pedal up to Angkor Wat early enough to catch the sun rising over the central tower, before exploring the site from the saddle of your bike and on foot, deep into the temple. Our expert tour guide will be able to divulge all the detail of the temples, explaining the whys and hows of it all. Aside from the immersive cultural experience of cycling through two countries, you will also enjoy some tranquil, verdant scenery on your bike. See steam rising through the tropical rainforest as it heats up for the day, dip your feet in waters of pure turquoise, just the thing after a day in the saddle.
The Slow Road to Angkor Wat is an easy one to connect with. The tour begins in Bangkok which is accessible from all over the world. Bangkok is a major destination, and you can check the airport website to see who flies there. There are several inexpensive carriers flying from Siem Reap back to Bangkok at the end of your trip, where you can connect to your international flight.
If you have any questions about cycling in Thailand and Cambodia, don’t hesitate to contact [email protected] and one member of the team will be more than happy to get back to you.