Life Changing Adventures
Cambodia is an amazing country to cycle across. From the chaos of the Phnom Penh to the calm of the countryside, Cambodia is easy to fall in love with. The days are long, the country is hot and the people are super friendly. From the constant and random “HELLO!!” from the children on the side of the road, to the Community Development programs set up by the truly selfless and unsung heroes of this world.
We cycle five days out of eleven to cover the 450km between Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, with optional additional cycling in and around the cities we stop at in between.
Social Cycles will take you on a journey to interact and connect with local grassroot Non Government Organisations (NGOs) and the beneficiaries of a funded project of your choosing. Research what really happens on the ground and out in the villages with Social Cycles in a tour that carefully balances ethical research and local impact with cycling and site seeing.
Next Available Travel Dates
2017: June 22- July 1
2017: November 2-11
2018: Jan 23- Feb 1
Features & inclusions
- Social Impact
- NGO Partners
- Support Van
- Cycling Distances
- Group Size
- Tour Inclusions
- All hotel accommodation
- Bicycle hire
- One Australian guide & one local guide
- Full support vehicle for the ride with water and fruit
- Four NGO presentations with local staff across Cambodia
- Multiple field trips to villages and communities
- Entry to The Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh & Angkor Wat in Siem Reap,
- 4 dinners in Social Enterprise based training restaurants
- Cooking class and much more.
Arrival day and welcome dinner
We arrive and stay in the heart of the cosmopolitan lifestyle that has been thrust on Phnom Penh since the country has opened up to the outside world. Love it or hate it, Phnom Penh is going through rapid change and tourism is opening new markets, opportunities, revenue streams and challenges. After we pick you up from the airport and take you to your hotel, take some time to relax or explore the city before we meet for a welcome dinner. It’s a feast of tarantula’s and silk works at the famous Romdeng restaurant, a social enterprise restaurant from the friends International team.
Meals: Dinner. Accommodation: Hotel. Transport: Airport transfer
Friends International, S-21 Genocide Museum & Khmer BBQ
We’ll start the day by meeting the incredible people at Friends International and learning about all the wonderful work they do within the community and how they’re spreading their strategies across the world. This is a great insight into REAL local everyday issues, from real local everyday heroes. From the office, we venture towards the Russian market and then move to Tuol Sleng, also known as S-21 Genocide Museum. This devastating chapter of the Khmer Rouge and Cambodian history is emotionally challenging but strongly recommended. There is some free time in the afternoon to process your day, whilst we’ll meet again for a local Khmer BBQ dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, dinner. Accommodation: Hotel. Transport: 15km local city cycling (optional)
River riding, local villages and coffee stops
Our first day on the road and just shy of 100km in the saddle. Nothing but rest for us in the evening at a local family run guest house (air conditioned). It is a free choice night for dinner but there are quite a few local eateries. We will be with a Khmer national to help with some of those unidentified meats!! This will be our first day with our support vehicle so if you get tired or the sun gets too strong, you just need to wave the van over and take a break!
Meals: Breakfast Accommodation: Local guesthouse Transport: 92km cycle (reduce as necessary)
Adventure cycling, red dirt & rural villages
After an early breakfast, we’ll make our way along the dusty red back roads. This is a big day on the bikes but a common favourite, although not always at the time. The last 30km is turns into a bit of single track riding and passes through the most remote rural locations. It is these challenges that are remembered the most fondly and set the scenery foor some of the most epic photography. We’ll get to the town of Pursat by late afternoon and into our hotel to enjoy the swimming pool and on site massage spa. We’ll dine on a well deserved pizza, made by local talent in one of our favourite Cambodian restaurants!
Meals:Breakfast, dinner Accommodation: Hotel Transport: 119km cycle (reduce as necessary)
Sustainable Cambodia, local communities and more massages
On our day off from the bike, we’ll get a VIP tour from an amazing NGO, Sustainable Cambodia. A full presentation by the executives in their office and a tour of their facilities. Shortly after we will be guided to see their projects working first hand. We’ll go to the villages and meet the locals. See the difference the NGO makes first hand. Be inspired by the real difference made by real people. Then think…. is this where we want to put our money? Should we fund a community development project or an education facility? Should it be with this particular NGO? We’ll watch, learn, inquire and take it all in. The evening is yours to relax as you please. Enjoy the pool, get another massage or just contemplate what you’ve seen in the last few days.
Meals:Breakfast Accommodation: Hotel Transport: 107km cycle (reduce as necessary)
Flat cycling, art cafes and Jaan Bai
Another full day to get the blood pumping and the mind wandering as we cycle another 107km to Battambang. It’s slightly bigger than Pursat and offers a larger choice in Western friendly Khmer food. Battambang is a common favourite on the trip. Packed with cafes proudly displaying local art, the town is considered an emergence of young talent in a field that was virtually wiped out by the Khmer Rouge. Battambang is also great for shopping, with colonial style streets and hidden secrets where bric-a-brac abounds. Dinner is in another social enterprise based restaurant that produces food on par with anything in any Australian city.
Meals: Dinner Accommodation: Hotel Transport: 92km cycle (reduce as necessary)
Cambodia Children’s Trust, fresh food markets and a local cooking class
In the morning we’ll meet the incredible people behind Cambodia Children’s Trust (CCT) and learn more about the work they do in tackling orphanage tourism. There’s plenty of time during the afternoon to explore Battambang. Perhaps do some more shopping, check out the Bamboo train or just relax and get a massage. In the evening, we’ll be guided through the markets and buying some fresh products to cook with at the home of a local family.
Meals: Dinner Accommodation: Hotel Transport: 92km cycle (reduce as necessary)
‘Middle of nowhere cycling’, long tail boat ride and the final chapter!
Travelling across the wetlands and navigating our way around Tonle Sap river is an experience you will never forget. The road soon turns to single track as we get more and more remote. We farewell our support van and venture on into the rural and barren lands of Cambodia. Few villages exist out here, supporting themselves through sustainable fishing methods via the river. The track can only go so far, as we arrange a long tail boat ride for you and the bikes a further 16km into the wetlands. When we come out the other side, we cross another 18km of dirt road before eventually coming to the Siem Reap highway. You can either finish here and take the van for a final 30km or cycle the rest of the way to the hotel. In the evening, we’ll group for dinner and celebrate your epic achievement, of cycling across Cambodia!
Meals: Breakfast Accommodation: Hotel Transport: 76km cycle (plus highway optional 30km)
Angkor Wat, a final NGO and the dinner debate
Sunrise is from 4.30am as we hit the bikes for one last time, but it is so worth it. Sunrise over Angkor Wat is a bucket list achievement for good reason. From here we’ll venture on to other, and arguably more impressive, temples in the area for the remainder of the morning. In the early afternoon we’ll have the chance to visit our fourth and final NGO of the trip. We will venture outside of this bubble to visit both local and Western run community centres and schools. We will spend time with these incredibly inspirational people that have dedicated their lives to helping others. Hear their stories and understand what the real issues of the country are.
Take this information and try to absorb it, while you ponder the best way to spend our money. To decide what is the best use of our donation. Over dinner, we will discuss, debate and review all the potential projects from NGOs we visit. With newly acquired knowledge and perspective, we will vote between the group as to how we can make the most significant difference with our donation money.
Meals: Breakfast, dinner Accommodation: Hotel Transport: 45km casual cycle around the temples
A relaxed morning and a chance to catch up on anything you may have missed in Siem Reap. The morning is also an opportunity to continue exploring the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat or just squeeze in one more massage, go on, you deserve it!
The hotel will take you to the airport to complete your journey.
Meals: Breakfast Accommodation: Hotel Transport: Airport transfer
Where we ride
The beauty of cycling around Cambodia is that it’s virtually dead flat. We reach a maximum height of 84m above sea level. You’d barely even notice it. The map below is indicative only. As this is an adventure, sometimes there can be a few variables to juggle. Roads can disappear, whether it be under construction or under water. But it’s all part of it and new paths can sometimes bring the greatest rewards.
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