Ride Saigon to Bangkok, 14 Days, Bike Tour South East Asia
Ride Saigon to Bangkok across three of South East Asia’s most iconic countries, Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand. An epic cultural tour as well as a bike tour.
Ride Saigon to Bangkok
Ride across and experience the magic of three of South East Asia’s most iconic and fascinating countries. This is not just a cycling tour but a cultural tour as well. Local guides will take you through the very bets of these beautiful and extraordinary cultures. An active tour that takes you from the iconic Mekong Delta to the spritiual temples of Angkor Wat. Cycle charming backroads, and cross mighty rivers. From shining capitals and colonial relics to tribal trails and humble homesteads. Your next adventure holiday awaits.
Saigon is the perfect destination to begin this asian bike tour. With it’s vibrant and bustling culture, incredibly friendly people and endless energy, you’ll be invigorated and inspired to begin your exploration. Leaving the city behind, touring by bike through the serene plantations will let you experience a different side of Vietnamese life. Eat at the floating market, or chat with a local fisherman, and get a true taste of local village life.
From what is now Cambodia, the Khmer empire once dominated South East Asia, with Angkor at its heart. Its fascinating and sometimes bloody tales are the fabric of the regions rich tapestry. Phnom Penh’s colonial buildings are just the start of the story, as we wind our way through road, river and lake to amazing Angkor and temples that defy belief. At journeys end, Thailand’s beautiful beaches and smiling Buddhist monks offer a welcome sight for weary travellers.
The road conditions on this cycle tour are mixed. We ride on a combination of good quality sealed roads, wide dirt tracks, and broken roads that are sometimes badly pot-holed but easily ridden by bike. The terrain is mostly flat. Only on a few days do we cover longer distances (90-95 km), so experienced riders will find the distances long enough to challenge them, while less experienced riders are easily able to travel at a more relaxed pace.
On this adventure holiday, there is an incredible amount to see as we ride alongside rivers, villages, orchards, and rice fields. We also have three days when we travel by boat, adding a change and a chance for weary legs to recover.
Is This Trip Suitable For Me?
This trip is suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. This trip is not too arduous, and so riders with less experience are more than welcome, although the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy it.
This tour follows a mixture of good condition tarmac road to pot-holed or broken ones and vehicle-width dirt paths. No off-road riding experience required. A support truck is almost always available to help when required, except on some parts of the very narrow paths of the Vietnam Delta. But you will always have your guides with you at all times.
Because some people can’t imagine going on a trip without their own beloved bicycle, we do not provide them as part of this tour. However, you can hire bikes locally for the price listed in the FAQ section. The bikes are well-known makes of mountain bikes with lightweight alloy frames, 24 to 27 gears, v-brakes, and Shimano components and front suspension. If you bring your own bike, please make sure it is a mountain bike, preferably with front suspension, in good mechanical order.
Basic spares and tools are carried by the guide and on the support vehicle, though we cannot guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carrying a basic tool kit, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.
Wearing a helmet is required on all our biking adventures and is non negotiable. If you do not wear a helmet you will not be allowed to cycle. Your tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue, but to a large degree you must be responsible for your own safety while riding. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a mountain biking tour.
You will be led by a local English-speaking guide and if the group is 9 people or more we will add another guide to the tour. All our guides are well informed in the history, culture and religions of the area where you are biking and are skilled at passing that knowledge on to you. Your guide is also medically trained and an experienced cyclist, able to handle most minor repairs en route.
We recommend that you visit a travel medical doctor and ask about the following vaccinations: typhoid, polio, tetanus and hepatitis A. A certificate for Yellow Fever is required when arriving from an infected area within six days.
Keeping you completely hydrated is a job we take very seriously. Cold water, some energy-restoring local fruit, and soft drinks are included in the tour price while riding. Soft drinks and other beverages during meals are not included. Beer is freely available everywhere but is NOT included in the price.
We do not require you to pay a surcharge for traveling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveler of the same gender and if we can not match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room.
We recommend that you tuck away a little, perhaps £20, for incidentals.
Cambodia has two distinct seasons – wet and dry. The dry season usually lasts from October to April. The wet season starts in May until September. Within each season there are variations in temperature. The coolest being 24C around November/December and hottest hitting 35C around April/May.
Meals are included as per the itinerary where B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner. Most meals are local and feature noodles, rice, curries, and soups. Cambodian cuisine is a mixture of Thai, French and Chinese dishes and we make sure you can sample a wide variety. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.
Thai baht and US dollars are widely used in Cambodia, especially in larger cities and towns. In smaller towns and villages, Cambodian riels are usually preferred. There are ATMs in most areas, however, machines dispense US dollars. The guides will be able to show you where the ATMs are. Spend riel before departing as no one will exchange them for you once you leave.
Thailand generally has a tropical climate with fairly high humidity. The North and Central region have a tropical climate with fairly high humidity. Northeast Thailand has a humid hot and dry weather alternatively with medium rain while the coastal areas of the east is humid and hot with intermittent rain. The South of Thailand has a tropical climate with fairly high humidity.
There are three seasons: from March to June it is hot and dry, with temperatures between 27˚C/80 F and 40˚C/104 F, with night temperatures in the 20s. The rainy season is from July to October, but temperatures are slightly lower, because of the effect of the rain. During this time it will not rain continuously, but in sharp bursts, and the sun can come out quickly. The cooler season is from October to February, with average temperatures between 20˚C/68 F and 30˚C/86 F.
Meals are included as per the itinerary where B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner. Most meals are local and feature noodles, rice, curries, and soups. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.
The Thai currency is the baht. ATMs, which are abundant, are the easiest ways to get Thai baht. Have a supply of US dollars in cash on hand, just in case your card doesn’t work. Banks or the rarer private moneychangers offer the best foreign-exchange rates. Credit cards are accepted in big cities and resort hotels but you’ll need baht for family-run guesthouses or restaurants.
Vietnam is a malarial area and you may need to take anti-malarial tablets. Please speak to your doctor for the most up to date information.
Weather in Vietnam is divided into 4 main regions – the far north, north, central and south.
The far north can get very cold in December and January while the dry season runs from October to late March and the wet season between April to September.
In Hanoi & the north, it is hot, wet and humid from May to October while November to April is cooler and dry.
Central Vietnam experiences hot, dry weather between January & August with temperatures ranging in the mid 30°C. High levels of rainfall are during September – November.
Southern Vietnam is dry and hot from November to April, and warm and wet between May & October, with the highest rainfall in June, July & August.
Meals are included as per the itinerary where B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner. Most meals are Vietnamese food and features noodles, rice curries and soups. Vietnamese cuisine is world famous and we make sure you sample as much variety as possible. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.
The official national currency is the Vietnam dong (d), but the US dollar is widely accepted in tourist centers. However, in smaller towns and villages the dong is preferred. ATMs are available in all major tourist destinations and big cities. Vietcombank has the best network with a single withdrawal limit of 2,000,000d (about US$125). Most major currencies can be exchanged at leading banks in Vietnam, but the US dollar is preferred away from the tourist centers. Changing US$100 will make you an instant millionaire! You cannot legally take the dong out of Vietnam but you can reconvert reasonable amounts of it into US dollars on departure.
- Cycling tour jersey
- Water bottle
- Support vehicle
- Meals (as indicated)
- Snacks and drinks
- International flights
- Domestic flights
- Airport pick up
- Airport drop off
- Visa fees
- Overview Overview
Meet in Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh – Tra Vinh
Tra Vinh – Can Tho
Can Tho – Chau Doc
Chau Doc – Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh – Oudong – Kampong Thom
Kampong Thom – Siem Reap
Siem Reap – Battambang
Battambang – Pailin
Pailin – Chantaburi
Chantaburi – Laem Mae Phim
Laem Mae Phim – Bangkok
- Day 1 Meet in Ho Chi Minh City
We meet at our hotel in Ho Chi Minh City (please contact us if you need rooms or flights from Bangkok). We spend the day unboxing and testing bikes and give you some time to explore the city. In the evening, we dine at the enchanting Temple Club Restaurant.Northern HotelDinner
- Day 2 Ho Chi Minh - Tra Vinh
After breakfast, we transfer a couple of hours out of Ho Chi Minh to Ben Tre – the gateway to the Mekong Delta. Today’s ride will lead you right into the heart of rural Mekong, as you pedal down narrow roads and lanes, past banana plantations and fields of sugarcane. A section of biking takes us off road onto gravel and dirt lanes, weaving through hamlets, across rivers, and through quite thick vegetation; this makes for superb biking. A final ferry crossing takes to Tra Vinh, a pretty tree-lined town home to many ethnic Khmers.Cuu Long HotelBreakfast, Lunch, DinnerRide 65km+249m-254m
- Day 3 Tra Vinh - Can Tho
The route today is peaceful, and the road is scenic all the way to our destination of Can Tho. There is plenty to see along the way from contrasting architectural styles of Khmer homes and temples to the rich and colourful river scenes when crossing many small bridges.Ninh Kieu 2 HotelBreakfast, Lunch, DinnerRide 92km+341m-339m
- Day 4 Can Tho - Chau Doc
A morning visit to Cai Rang Floating market sets the mood for our cycle through the Mekong Delta. We ride through quaint countryside, under useful Thot Not, or toddy palms. All parts of the Thot Not can be used, from the stem to leaves and the fruit. Once reaching Thoi Lai, we transfer to lunch. We can relax after lunch as we have a one-hour transfer to Ba Chuc, where we will have a sombre visit to the Killing Fields of Vietnam, where Pol Pot’s regime massacred over 3,000 Vietnamese in 1978. We then loop around Ba Chuc along the Cambodian border and ride the rest of the way to Chau Doc, along incredible country roads. We cycle directly to Sam Mountain, which is more of a hill, where we arrive in time for sundowners and take in the setting sun over the rice fields. A very short transfer takes us to our hotel.Chau Po HotelBreakfast, Lunch, DinnerRide 70km+365m-367m
- Day 5 Chau Doc – Phnom Penh
Cruise up the Mekong River to Phnom Penh from our overnight stop at Chau Doc. We get a chance to rest our legs as we see many scenes of local daily life along one of Asia’s great rivers. As we head into Cambodia, we stop at the capital Phnom Penh before heading north to cycle among 1,000 years of Khmer history. In the afternoon, we visit Tuol Sleng Prison (S21) and the Killing Fields to learn about Cambodia’s turbulent past under the Khmer Rouge regime.Frangipani Royal Palace HotelBreakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Day 6 Phnom Penh - Oudong - Kampong Thom
We have a late start to give you time to explore Phnom Penh. We then transfer out of Cambodia’s capital, stopping for lunch. Afterwards, we start cycling toward Phnom Pra Reach, or Oudong Mountain, the former capital of Cambodia. The 400-plus steps to the top will get the legs working over-time, but the view is worth it! This ride gives us a chance to see rural Cambodia – stilted houses, ox carts, waving children, and, of course, the friendly Khmer people. After our visit, we transfer 3-4 hours to Kampong Thom, where we will overnight.Sambor VillageBreakfast, Lunch, DinnerRide 25km+83m-77m
- Day 7 Kampong Thom - Siem Reap
We start the day with a short transfer to the ancient temple site of Sambor Prey Kuk. This temple site was constructed in the 7th century and functioned as the capital of the Chenla Empire. After our guided tour through the temples, we have a short transfer to the small town of Damdek, where we offload the bikes and begin cycling toward Siem Reap for 65 km.Steung Siem Reap HotelBreakfast, Lunch, DinnerRide 65km+197m-194m
- Day 8 Angkor Temples
This morning, we start our bike ride to the entrance of Angkor Wat and head to Ta Prohm, famous from the film “Tomb Raider”, deliberately left by French conservationists in the same condition as it was discovered: overgrown by strangler fig and silk-cotton trees, giving it a mystical and romantic appeal. We continue to Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, and the Terrace of the Elephants. We enjoy lunch at Angkor Café before we explore the biggest religious Hindu edifice in the world – Angkor Wat. Considered the masterpiece of Khmer architecture, this Vishnuite temple is the king’s funerary temple, which is why the temple faces west. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. After our visit to these magnificent temples, we cycle back the 7 km to Siem Reap.Steung Siem Reap HotelBreakfast, Lunch, DinnerRide 30km+190m-190m
- Day 9 Banteay Srei
After breakfast, we head onwards to Banteay Srei. We cycle through rural countryside to this famous temple which has the best-preserved bas-reliefs and stone carvings in Cambodia. The temple is small in size, but of huge significance in understanding the Angkor Era. From here, we continue cycling on rural roads, taking a break for a restaurant lunch before we reach Kbal Spean, also known as the Valley of 1,000 Lingas. We put the bikes aside for a moderate 3-km trek uphill through jungle to a river bed with submersed carvings and a beautiful waterfall (in rainy season only). After our visit, we return to Siem Reap by vehicle. Dinner is at your leisure.Steung Siem Reap HotelBreakfast, Lunch, DinnerRide 56km+239m-184m
- Day 10 Siem Reap – Battambang
We take a rest from cycling and transfer across Tonle Sap by boat. Along the way, we’ll see the local people going about their daily lives, and if we’re lucky, we can spot some wildlife on the banks. During the end of the dry season, lake levels may be too low to allow boat passage to Battambang. In this case, we’ll transfer by van to Battambang. But don’t worry, once we arrive, we’ll have some time to explore the city and surrounding countryside.Steung Sangke HotelBreakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Day 11 Battambang - Pailin
We depart for Pailin, cycling directly from our hotel. This is the toughest day as some sections of the road is in poor condition and bumpy (in dry season, can get dusty), but the scenery is the most impressive as we head towards Thailand. The road undulates as we get closer to Pailin, but there is nothing too steep or long. We cycle through stunning countryside, where farms and local villages can be seen along the way, and really get a feeling of riding into unchartered territory. This used to be bandit country, but don’t worry, the area is now completely safe!Memoria PalaceBreakfast, Lunch, DinnerRide 95km+625m-433m
- Day 12 Pailin - Chantaburi
A short pleasant ride on the quiet scenic roads to the border crossing. This quiet rural crossing used mainly by local traders makes for a pleasant stop while we complete all the immigration formalities. Once these have been completed, we ride through the Thai countryside till we reach the main road and transfer with a change of guides, vehicle, and bikes to the beach, with lunch in Chantaburi.Chanchalao Beach ResortBreakfast, Lunch, DinnerRide 44km+376m-365m
- Day 13 Chantaburi - Laem Mae Phim
We have a flat and easy ride through mangroves, shrimp farms, and along the coast. We overnight at a very local Thai beach and have the afternoon free to go for a swim or a walk on the sand.Bandara on Sea Resort.Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerRide 65km+251m-245m
- Day 14 Laem Mae Phim – Bangkok
We have the morning to enjoy the beach before we head back to Bangkok. We arrive in the city around 3 pm. IF you’d like to extend your time in Thailand we can help you to plan extra days at the beach or a nearby island.
Activity Level: Moderate
Average fitness required, but OK for most people.
This active tour is suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. This bike tour is not too arduous, and so riders with less experience are more than welcome, although the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy it.
Total Cycling Distance
Average Distance / day
Average Climbing / day
Mountain Bike: £147