Hello April

Righty.. All paid up ...  Got most of my shots today (those travel doctors know how to scare you!) .. Started my "better get used to cycling distances again :-)" training.. 

Look forward to meeting ye on the trip :-)

~John

 

BigDSter

Off on the March trip for this one, but no one else is commenting on that thread. So what shots have you got? I have the standard ones that don't cost anything, but she suggested I didn't need japanese encephalitis.

Not sure what everyone else is doing on that score, though as it leaves in just over 3 weeks might be too late anyway.

So what sort of things are you taking, never done quite this sort of holiday before and am a bit worried I might look like a muppet turning up with the wrong stuff :)

The distances should be okay on the flat, but in 40C heat it might be a different matter ;)

jfk2000

Got 2 jabs (polio, tetanus, diphteria) and (Hepatitis A ,thyphoid) ... The 'optional extras' where Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis. Both are 3 dose courses taking 3-4 weeks prep time. So might be too late for you ! The JE mossies apparently only live in paddy field pig farming areas (its a pig virus) and highest risk is may-oct onwards.

Still undecided on if i'll get the extra jabs. need to crystal ball my future plans and risk exposure!

Equipment.. ha good question. haven't got anything yet (apart from cycle helmet). Am going to look at the smallest camel back i can find which will also hold my camera. Some cycling gloves and might bring the saddle/post from my home bike (or maybe buy a gel cover). lots of maybes

The exodus materials obviousely mention other things which should be acquired. lots and lots and em lots of mossie repellant .. When are you back ? i.e. Can i pick you brains afterwards :-)

Regarding heat ... was in borneo a few years ago and the heat / humidity was hard work. Until your body acclimatised somewhat. Cycling in that environment will be a challenge.

~John

BigDSter

Back on 22nd March, so will be able to tell you how buggered I am :)

Looking to perhaps take my seat and/or a gel seat cover just to cover all bases.

Gloves, helmet and a 2l ish camelback are main things, though I will probably take my lycra padded shorts too :)

Really looking forward to it, but thinking the heat will be hard work.

How was your trip John?  My wife and I are both off on this week 4 April and are new to cycling (apart from gym work and short trips around our local St.Albans/Welwyn area). I'm told 18 are signed up for this one - sounds a lot - how many were on yours?

Yeh - got the helmet, gloves and gel pad - padded shorts too but can't get used to those. 

Kevin

jfk2000

Hi Kevin,

 I'm also booked on the April 4th trip so should meet you ;-) 18 people .. wow thats a decent sized group. 

 Anyone got any advice on currency i should bring .. i.e. should i buy some local in advance or just bring US  $ ??

~John

BigDSter

Bah, 2nd attempt, lost the first one after writing a huge post :(

 Just got back from this holiday on Sunday and had a fantastic time, simply amazing, and a brilliant way to see these 3 countries.

On the money front, I'd take most in USD, especially as it's $70 for general tips, $30 for Cambodian Visa before you even start to pay for food, presents or Trip Leader Tips. Spent about another $50 on those tips, so wise to have a good supply.

You don't need much baht, I got away with about £50 which I got out at the airport.  Cambodia operates on the USD although you may get some tiny change in worthless riel :) Vietnam does take USD at a push, but the exchange rate isn't too bad and you can change from USD to Dong easily enough once you are in Vietnam.

 The cycling was good, Thailand had long hot days on backroads in rural Thailand, with some hills.

Cambodia was flat and pretty straight (probably because other roads don't exist or are mined!) but were busier.

Vietnam had better roads, a few hills, and insane traffic, though luckily we didn't cycle into Saigon, which was a good idea as you'll soon realise when you get there :)

 The trip was superbly organised with drink/food/ice cold towel breaks at regular intervals, with the option to go in the Aircon bus at anytime. Some people did that, but most just kept cycling.

The mix of the group was excellent, ranging from a 27 yo to 65yo, with a few of the older guys showing us younger ones up in the stamina and speed on a bike stakes!

Some of my tips would include.

1/ Go on the Tonle Sap Floating Village Excursion, everyone who went on it really enjoyed it

2/ Don't go to the dancing/buffet place next door to the hotel in Siam Reap, was overpriced, poor food and a bit dull

3/ Cuchi Tunnels trip was really good, though quite busy and far away. Still leaves you plenty of time to see things in Saigon

4/ Go on a cyclo and Moto taxi in Saigon, in that traffic it's certainly an experience.

 Have a great time, envious of you, missing the heat and company, especially with the cold wind in the UK at the min :)

Good to read your trip report. Some of those figures are higher than the exodus trip notes suggest... $70 vs $40 on general tips, $50 vs $28 on leader tips, $30 vs $25 on visa.

Were credit card /ATMs easily available?

Kevin

BigDSter

Yep, those numbers were higher than I expected too, so was struggling for cash a little. I'd pre-informed my credit card company that I was going to be in those 3 countries on those dates, and they let me take money out in Bangkok Airport, but for some reason then stopped me in Siam Reap, Phnom Penh and Saigon! Phoned them up eventually when I had about $4 left and they had stopped it for "security", great, worth phoning them before then :)

 

Didn't use the credit card once, apart from at ATM's. They were available in Siam Reap, Phnom Penh and Saigon fairly easily. They were in selected other places, but not as easy to get at.

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