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The Vietnam to Cambodia Ride

General Information

Saigon to Angkor Wat 

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Climate Ride Saigon to Angkor Wat is our first international departure and is designed to highlight the climate and environmental challenges facing one of the most stunning and ecologically important areas on the planet – Southeast Asia and the Mekong Delta. This charitable challenge covers two countries from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in Vietnam to Cambodia’s stunning Angkor Wat temple complex and takes place over 9 days, showcasing the best of Southeast Asia while informing and shining a light on a region already being impacted by climate change. Our Climate Ride in Asia is more than a bike trip – it’s an inspiring journey with like-minded people who are dedicated to supporting sustainability, the environment, and bicycles – the ultimate carbon-free form of transportation.

                    

At its peak, the ancient city of Angkor was bigger than New York's five boroughs, used more stone than all the Egyptian pyramids combined, and was home to more than a million citizens. Angkor is Cambodia's showpiece, though not its only draw. Our journey through Southeast Asia begins in Vietnam where culture is resurgent and far more open than ever to the inquisitive adventurer. The streets are thick with bicycles; the welcome is warm. Our adventure gets underway using the bicycle, as it should! As we enter Cambodia we'll begin to understand this country's exquisite history, sometimes heart-wrenching and now full of hope. The environment and its people are at a crossroads – and you will be the first to see and understand the fragility of this ancient land.

Our Climate Ride team and local staff takes care of all the details, so you can focus on riding our carefully-planned routes on scenic back roads. Bicycles are included, so you do not need to bring your bike. The route is challenging yet doable, and you have all day to make it to the next rest stop. Meals, snacks, bike rental and support, luggage transport, and overnight accommodations are included when you reach your fundraising minimum. On the road, our support team is always nearby to assist you, keep you happy and healthy, and make your ride educational, worry-free and memorable.

Click the tabs above for more about each day. 

                         

The Basics

Trip Dates:   TBA  
Start Location:   Ho Chi Mihn City (Saigon), Vietnam  
End Location:   Siem Reap, Cambodia  
Fundraising Commitment:   $4,000 minimum  
Trip Length:   9 days  
Activity:   5 days riding + 3 rest/exploration days  
Total Mileage:   212, with multiple daily mileage options  
Average Daily Mileage:   42  
Accommodations:   Hotels  
Maximum Group Size:   20 people  
Other Trip Notes:   A valid passport is required for this trip  
       
       

Important Dates

     
Fundraising Deadlines      
          $500 to be raised by:   TBA  
          $1000 to be raised by:   TBA  
          $2800 to be raised by:   TBA  
Transfer Deadline   TBA      

Day-by-Day Info

Day 1 – Orientation Day

Climate Ride's adventure begins in Ho Chi Mihn City (Saigon), Vietnam. After your arrival, you’ll be met by local guides and shuttled to a centrally-located hotel, our home for the night. In the afternoon you’ll receive a full trip briefing and bike fitting for the trip. In the evening, we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant – our first taste of Vietnam’s wonderful cuisine. After dinner, we’ll turn in for the night to get some rest for tomorrow’s big ride into the heart of the Mekong Delta.

Day 2  – 31 Miles

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll shuttle a couple of hours outside of the city to Cai Lay – where we’ll begin our day of cycling – right into the heart of rural Mekong. We’ll pedal on narrow quiet roads through fields of sugar cane that blanket the region. We’ll take several ferries today with our bikes – oftentimes the only way to travel through the lush landscape! We’ll enjoy lunch at a 100-year old ancient house in Cai Be before crossing the Tien River by boat to Vinh Long province deep in the heart of the Delta. We’ll continue riding on peaceful flat roads and then shuttle an hour to our hotel in Can Tho, the Mekong’s largest city known for its floating markets, Buddhist pagodas and delicious food. In this vibrant river town we’ll enjoy a local dinner and discussion about some of the most pressing issues facing the region.

Day 3 – 50 Miles

After an early breakfast, we’ll weave through the morning market bustle along the banks of the busy river. We’ll take in the sights of local industries from timber merchants to coconut shredders, and see rice being loaded and unloaded on small docks. After visiting the An Binh market, we’ll continue pedaling to Phong Dien village, and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant along the way. After refueling, we’ll shuttle a half an hour to our hotel in the vibrant town of Long Xuyen.

Day 4 – 50 Miles

We begin the day with a short morning shuttle to the ride start location. As we begin riding we'll notice the scenery changing as we pedal through the foothills toward the town of Tri Ton, with the mountains looming in the distance. As we approach Cambodia we’ll notice the increasing number of sugar palm trees swaying in the warm breeze and discover that the local people speak Vietnamese as their second language. We will visit the Killing Fields of Vietnam at Ba Chuc, where Pol Pot’s regime massacred over 3,000 Vietnamese citizens in 1978. After a late lunch at Ba Chuc, we’ll shuttle the rest of the way to Chau Doc along the Cambodian border. During dinner we’ll hear from a local expert on the issues facing the fishing industry in Cambodia before turning in for the night at our hotel in Chau Doc.

Day 5

Today is a rest day from biking, but we’ll still see and do plenty as we enter Cambodia and begin to fully explore its rich history. We’ll travel along the Mekong and Bassac Rivers by boat as we head toward Cambodia’s capitol – Phnom Penh. We’ll see first-hand the impacts of climate change on the Mekong Delta and wonder at the beauty of this famous river. Our boat arrives near the bustling city’s waterfront in time for an on-your-own lunch, giving you time to soak in the town’s colonial atmosphere and buzzing local life. In the afternoon, we’ll visit Tuol Sleng Prison and the Killing Fields to learn about Cambodia's turbulent past under the Khmer Rouge regime. Because there is so much to see in Phnom Penh, tonight’s dinner is on your own before returning to our hotel for the night. 

Day 6 – 40 Miles

It’s Day 6 and this morning we’ll begin with a bus transfer, passing beneath an old Japanese highway bridge and visiting the town of Skuon, known for its famous fried tarantulas. From there, we’ll continue on to Thong village, where we’ll meet our support team to begin today’s 40-mile ride. The jungle stretches all the way to the edge of the road as we pedal through this tropical countryside. We’ll enjoy a refreshing stop at a rubber plantation along the way, before arriving in Kampong Thmor. From there, riders will have a choice to continue on for another 24 miles or transfer by bus to our comfortable hotel for the night in Kampong Thom. 

Day 7 – 41 Miles

Avoiding some of the rougher roads in Siem Reap province, we’ll shuttle for a couple of hours into the countryside, stopping at the ancient bridge at Kampong Kdei, one of the best examples of the remaining 800-year old bridges in Cambodia. Today’s ride begins in Domdek village, where we’ll gear up for an astonishing journey along the historic highway connecting the provinces of Kampong Thom and Angkor Wat. We’ll stop along the way to sample the local fare before continuing on the road into the heritage site - lined with temples and monuments – a fitting entrance to this unique and spiritual city. We’ll celebrate our arrival Angkor Wat at the ride’s end, located a short distance from the Western Gate, in an open field where we’ll watch the sun set over tall sugar palms. From there, we’ll transfer to our accommodations for the night – a hotel right in the heart of Siem Reap – a popular resort town known as the gateway to the Angkor region. Tonight’s dinner is on your own, allowing a deeper exploration of this exciting city – which includes many restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, and handicraft stands. 

Day 8

We’ll spend the entire day today exploring the Angkor Wat temple complex – the largest religious monument in the world. First a Hindu and then later a Buddhist temple, Angkor Wat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most-photographed places on Earth because of its stunning beauty. After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, we’ll shuttle to the main temple area.

Angkor Wat itself is just one of the many temples in the region but is one of the best preserved and most impressive. We’ll climb the remarkably steep and narrow steps of the central spire for an amazing view of the surrounding jungle. From there, we’ll explore Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire. The city itself is an ancient stronghold surrounded by 25-ft high walls that form a perfect square. After passing through the South Gate, we’ll hike along a shady road to the richly-decorated Bayon Temple built in the late 12th or early 13th century. Another highlight will be our visit to the temple of Ta Prohm, which has been reclaimed by the jungle. Overgrown tree roots break through the temple’s many stone carvings and walls, adding to the feeling of adventure and exploration.  After a full day, we’ll return to our hotel and then hit the town to enjoy a final dinner at a local restaurant in Siem Reap. We’ll hear from a local speaker about the climate and sustainability challenges facing Cambodia today, and toast to an amazing adventure together. 

Day 9 – Departure Day

This morning, we’ll meet up for breakfast at the hotel before saying our goodbyes. Transfers are available to the airport for flights back home, or riders will be free to extend their stay in Siem Reap. We’ll see you on another great Climate Ride charitable adventure!

Overnight Locations

Climate Ride Saigon to Angkor Wat is a hotel trip with very comfortable and modern hotels ranging from deluxe to 3-star ratings each night of the ride. Our trip includes shared double accommodations. If you would like your own room, a single supplement is available for an additional charge. Just reach out to our team after you register for information and pricing. A description of each hotel and its amenities will be available in the Travel Planner.

Travel Info

The following information is provided to help you plan for your travel to and from Climate Ride Saigon to Angkor Wat.

The Trip Start

The ride begins in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in Vietnam. We will have a central meeting location in the city that we will announce in the Travel Planner. We recommend arriving in Saigon at least one day before to get acclimated and settled before our big adventure. Please arrive at the start location with your luggage. We will shuttle everyone from there to our hotel for the evening, get you fitted to your bike for the week, and enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

If you wish, our travel partner can assist you with flights, visas and airport transportation.

Getting to Ho Chi Minh City

VIETNAM VISA INFORMATION: Most tourists visiting Vietnam require a Tourist Visa to enter the country and all travelers must have a passport valid for 6 months after their planned exit from Vietnam. A tourist visa is normally a Single Entry Visa, which means that if you exit Vietnam, you will require a new visa to re-enter. There is also a Multiple-Entry Visa which has to be specifically applied for. The Single entry visa is valid for 30 days. The Multiple entry visa is valid either 28 or 45 days. If you plan on returning to Vietnam after the ride end, you should get a Multiple-Entry Visa. The cost for a Single-Entry visa is $45, a Multiple-Entry up to 28 days is $65, and a Multiple-Entry up to 45 days is $95. Be sure to get started on obtaining your visa, passport and travel plans early! More information about obtaining Visa for this trip can be found in the Travel Planner once you register.

CABODIA VISA INFORMATION: You will need to have a Visa to enter Cambodia as well. Electronic Visas are now available through the Cambodian Ministry’s website with a processing time of 3 days. A scanned copy of the passport and $37 paid by credit card will be enough to issue an emailed visa which you must print and bring with you. Most border crossings accept e-Visas, however it is recommended to double check with the government. Visas are available at the Thailand/Cambodian/Vietnam/Laos checkpoints, however scams are common due to the low income of border staff and it is recommended to arrange visas in advance.

PLANE: Before the ride, your best bet is to fly into Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City before the ride. It is located about 5 miles outside the city center. There are lots of bus, cab and private shuttle options from the airport to downtown hotels. We recommend booking your transfer to your hotel before you travel as it makes the transition after a long flight easier. There will be more ground transportation information in the Travel Planner including information on our travel partner who can help arrange this for you.

Consult your local travel agent for routings, fares and availability on flights to Vietnam. Discount websites and flight search engines may offer some good deals as well. Major airlines flying to Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi include: Vietnam Airlines, Air France, United Airlines, Lufthansa, Thai Airways, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, China Air, Hong Kong Air, Cebu Pacific, Emirates, Etihad and many more. Major airlines flying to Danang International Airport include Silk Air, Air Asia and Dragon Air.

OTHER OPTIONS FROM WITHIN ASIA: If you are traveling in Asia before the ride, you have many options for getting to Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam shares a border with China in the north (three border crossings), Laos in the west (five border crossings) and Cambodia in the southwest (three border crossings). Please contact us if you need information about this. Note: You cannot obtain a visa on arrival at land border-crossing points. If you enter Vietnam by land, you must obtain the visa before arrival.

HOTELS: A list of recommended local hotels near the Ride Start location will be available in the Travel Planner once it becomes available.

HEALTH: No vaccinations are mandatory except for yellow fever if you are coming from an area where the disease is present. However visitors should be inoculated against typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A & B, tetanus and polio. Malaria is present in most of the region and it is advisable to take precautions, especially if traveling off the beaten track. Medical facilities are limited and it is essential to take out a good medical insurance policy before traveling in case evacuation is needed.  Consult your doctor for up-to-date information and prescriptions for vaccinations, anti-malarial tablets and any reasonably foreseeable illnesses whilst traveling in Vietnam. Some vaccination courses may need time to be completed. If you plan to take anti-malarial tablets, you usually need to start one week before arrival.

After the Ride in Siem Reap, Cambodia (the city near Angkor Wat)

Climate Ride will end in the city of Siem Reap, Cambodia. There, we'll celebrate the end of the ride with a delicious breakfast and group photo, before collecting our luggage/gear and departing. Transfers are available to Siem Reap International Airport (REP) or you are free to stay longer on your own. We recommend not making flight arrangements from REP before 2 pm.

AIRLINES (DOMESTIC): Cambodia Angkor Air is currently the only airline operating domestic flights in Cambodia with three airports in active use (Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville).

AIRLINES (INTERNATIONAL): The following airlines currently fly into Cambodia: Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Air Asia, Air France, Asiana Airlines, Cambodia Angkor Air, Cebu Airways, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Dragon Air, EVA Air, Jetstar Asia, Korean Air, Lao Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Shanghai Airlines, Silk Air, Tiger Airways and Vietnam Airlines. Cambodia Angkor Air operates international routes to Saigon, Hanoi, Bangkok and Guangzhou with further plans for expansion within the region.

HOTELS: Please consult your Travel Planner for a list of recommended local hotels near the Ride End location.

FAQ

Since this is a special departure, we are including a special set of FAQ's just for the Saigon to Angkor Wat Ride. If these don't cover the questions you have, don't hesitate to shoot us an email!

Fundraising

Is this a fundraising event?

Yes. This is a charitable, fundraising event created by Climate Ride where you can choose from our Beneficiary Collection and support the Climate Ride cause.

Can I change my beneficiary choices after I register?

You choose your beneficiaries during registration and the deadline to change your choices is one month before the event.

What is the required fundraising minimum?

The fundraising commitment for this event is $4000.

Can I make a tax-deductible contribution to cover part of my fundraising mimimum?

Yes, you can! You can donate directly to your personal fundraising page or contact us.

What are the fundraising deadlines? How do I secure my spot on the trip?

In order to secure your spot on the Saigon to Angkor Wat Ride, you must raise at least $1000 by February 8th, 2016 (5 weeks before the trip begins). If you haven’t, you must make a credit card deposit of the difference up to $1000. You must meet your fundraising minimum commitment of $4000 by March 7th, 2016 - approximately one week before the trip departs. If you are not at the minimum by then, you may self-pledge the remainder. You can continue fundraising (up until December 1st) and request a one-time reimbursement from Climate Ride when your fundraising is complete.

I’ve nervous about the fundraising. Will I be able to do this?

Absolutely! This is one of riders’ biggest concerns. We want you to know it’s easier than you think and we're here to help you! Please reach out to Andrew if you have any questions, concerns, or just want to chat about messaging and strategies. You can also visit our fundraising tips page to get started. 

General Questions and Registration

How much is Registration, and what does it include?

The registration fee is $200. This event is fully supported, which means we take care of everything. All you have to do is show up and ride. Here's a short list of what's included:

  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as snacks and water stops each day, except 2 dinners and 1 lunch - see below
  • Bicycle rental and helmet
  • On-route support, including SAG vehicles and expert multi-lingual leaders and staff
  • Support crew to guide you at every turn
  • Overnight lodging in deluxe to 3-star hotels. (See the Travel Planner for more specific information)
  • Daily luggage transport (you don't have to bike with your gear!)
  • Special talks from engaging speakers about Southeast Asia and its environs
  • Access to donation software via the web, where you can customize your own Personal Fundraising Page to manage your fundraising and donations
  • Fundraising and logistical support from our amazing office staff
  • The opportunity to support conservation and education work in the U.S. and internationally through Climate Ride and our Beneficiary Collection

What do I need to bring on the ride?

All riders need to bring is your luggage, riding and hiking clothing, toiletries, and anything else necessary for a multi-day event. The Travel Planner & Experience Guide will contain a more detailed suggested packing list. This document will be distributed to participants several weeks before the event. If you have special non-perishable energy powder or bars please feel free to bring some along!

Great news! Bicycles and helmets are included – you do NOT need to bring these!

> What kind of bike will we have for the trip?

We have comfortable hybrids bikes that are perfect for the varied terrain along our route. More information is available in the Travel Planner. Bring your pedals and seat if you wish!

> I want to bring my own bike. Can I?

We do not recommend bringing your own bike. The bike used by our outfitter are specially chosen for the route. If you want to bring your own bike, please contact us! 

>Should I bring my pedals and my seat?

If you would be much more comfortable, you are welcome to bring your cycling shoes, pedals and/or seat.

What is NOT included?

  • Visa arrangement
  • International and domestic flights
  • Day 5 lunch and dinner in Phnom Pehn (lots of good choices so you can enjoy a meal on the town!)
  • Day 7 Dinner in Siem Reap
  • Bike water bottles
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Tips for our awesome English-speaking leaders
  • Energy drinks or powders, performance bars, or performance gels (Gatorade, Powerbars, Gue, Isostar, etc). There are plenty of great local snacks.
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenditure (Laundry, telephone)

What will we do in the evenings after riding and exploring all day?

On some evenings we'll hear from experts on wide-ranging issues affecting Southeast Asia. On other evenings you'll have a chance to explore your environs and connect with other participants. 

I see there are only 15 spots available... sounds like I need to get my spot soon?

Yes, this is one of our small departure trips and this group size makes for an incredible and intimate experience. Get your spot!

What happens if I have to cancel? What is the Cancellation Policy?

We know the unforeseen can happen. If you are unable to attend this event, please contact us as soon as possible with the details of your situation. Donations and registration fees are non-refundable and cannot be transferred to another participant.

How do I get to the trip start?

Please see the Travel Information tab. The trip will begin in Saigon (Ho Chi Mihn City), Vietnam. If you need additional travel assistance, our travel partner can help you with your flights and visa.

Where do we stay? What are the overnight accommodations like?

We will be staying at hotels ranging from 3-star to deluxe accommodations each night of our trip. More detailed information about overnight locations is provided in the Travel Planner and Experience Guide.

Is there good cell phone service or wi-fi during the ride?

Certain places will have phone service. Make sure you check your international calling plan as rates can be expensive when traveling abroad. Wi-fi and phones are available at our hotels. 

Biking and Route Support

What kind of support can I expect while on the road?

Climate Ride has experienced, friendly, and professional support staff. We have rest stops each day with snacks and water, and on-route we have vehicle support ('SAG' wagons), mechanics, and a medical support. Our local guides are multi-lingual and have years of experience with cycling and exploring in Southeast Asia. You can also expect an unlimited supply of camaraderie and encouragement from the support staff and your fellow riders!

Can you accommodate my special bike (recumbent, tandem, over-sized, electric, etc.)?

We do not recommend bringing a bike and your bike rental is included. If you require bringing a special bike, please contact our office.

Do I need to be a racer/hardcore cyclist to do this trip?

Absolutely not! This is a tour, not a race. This ride is great for new cyclists and seasoned riders alike.  To have the best possible ride, please see our tips on training.

What is the youngest age for this trip?

You must be at least 12 years old to join a Climate Ride or Hike.

 

Still have questions? Contact us and we'll be happy to help you out! 

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