Cycle Indochina & Angkor Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Destinations:
Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam
Programmes:
Cycling Adventures
Trip Code:
MOC
Activity Rating - Moderate
Moderate

You are moderately fit and possess a spirit of adventure. Some previous experience is required for most activity based trips.

16 Days Flight Inclusive
14 Days Land only
16 Min age

Trip Overview

This journey takes us through three countries with divergent histories and subtly different cultures. From the bustling streets of Bangkok, to the serene tranquillity of the shimmering paddy fields, to the magnificence of Angkor’s temples, we see a little piece of everything these amazing countries have to offer. In Vietnam we enter the Mekong Delta, a spectacular patchwork of rice paddies and waterways. Our journey ends in Saigon where the frenetic pace and vibrant street life contrasts starkly with the rural areas we have cycled through, and will leave a lasting impression.

At a Glance

  • 10 nights comfortable hotels, 2 nights standard hotels, 1 night standard guesthouse to experience some 'Mekong Delta' hospitality, all with en suite facilities
  • 9 days cycling with 95% vehicle support
  • Good tarmac in Thailand and Cambodia, with some easy dirt roads in Vietnam
  • Traffic levels higher near the larger towns, so you should be comfortable riding occasionally in traffic

Trip Highlights

  • Cycle through 3 countries
  • Discover awe-inspiring ancient monuments
  • Explore incredible Angkor by bike
  • Wander the streets of Phnom Penh, an exciting city with a frontier feel
  • The fertile Mekong Delta and Saigon, Vietnam's most vibrant city
  • Experience a taste sensation with mouth-watering cuisine

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is classified road and graded Moderate. Please see the introductory pages of the cycling holidays brochure for more important information on classification and grading. If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip please do not hesitate to call us.

Average daily distance: 47km (29 miles)

No. of days cycling: 11

Vehicle support: 95%

Terrain and Route: road quality is generally good tarmac in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, with some easy dirt roads in Thailand and Vietnam. Conditions will be hot and humid and there are some long days, but there are very few hills. Traffic levels in South East Asia are higher near the larger towns, so you should be comfortable riding occasionally in traffic. Though many of the roads are in good condition you should expect potholes and occasional poor road conditions. 

Certain departures of this trip are marked in our brochures and online as Premium Departures. On these departures some elements of the trip have been changed to provide more comfort - this will generally mean we have raised the standard of hotels or switched from camping to comfortable lodges, but it may also include other changes, for example, where a long train journey has been replaced by an internal flight. Specific details about what elements of the trip have been changed can be found in the relevant sections of this Trip Note.

Group

Generally we use different staff and vehicles for each country, but all groups will be accompanied by one experienced cycling Tour Leader from start to finish, either Thai, Cambodian or Vietnamese. The tour leader will be assisted by a second cycling leader, and if required local guides from each country.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
6
Max group size:
18

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Bangkok.

    There will be a group meeting and briefing in the evening followed by an optional group dinner for those that would like to join. Your main luggage will be transported ahead of you to the start point early in the morning so please bring this with you to the meeting; just hang on to what you need for the night/morning - you will be with your luggage again mid-morning tomorrow.
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Early transfer to Nakorn Nayok N.P; warm up ride on jungle roads/trail.

    Early morning transfer to Nakorn Nayok National Park., the start point of our cycling. Our route today is approx 60kms but we suggest you don't attempt to cycle the full distance unless you are well acclimatized to the heat. The support vehicle follows us throughout the day so you can cycle as much or as little as you like. Our route follows minor roads and byways and we pause at Khun Dan Prakan Chon Dam for our rest stop where we have the option for a quick swim. We will pass through small villages and past monasteries and paddy fields. Continuing the ride along country backroads we arrive at our hotel in the late afternoon with time to relax before sampling some of the local dishes. Cycle approx. 60km.
    Standard Hotel

    2018 departures - Ayuttaya 

    For all 2018 trips we will instead be starting cycling in Ayuttaya as per the below description:

    An early start this morning as we venture out of Bangkok to the ancient town of Ayuttaya. Our two hour transfer takes us into the heart of this fascinating site and we start cycling by the huge reclining Buddha. Much of the old town was destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th Century and we will cycle through the remaining shrine towers and enormous temples to appreciate the past magnificence. We will finish today’s warm-up ride at Aranyik village, famed for traditional knife making, and will pause to learn a little about this age old tradition that has been passed through generations. Cycle  approx. 46km.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 60 km / 37 miles
  • Day 3

    Cycle to Sa Keaw.

    Today we follow minor roads through rural Thai landscapes including rubber and eucalyptus plantations as well as tapioca and rice fields. There are a few easy rolling hills but the route is mostly flat.The ride ends when we join a busier road before driving the final short distance to the town of Sa Keaw by bus. Cycle approx. 90km.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 90 km / 55 miles
  • Day 4

    Ride to Aranyaprathet.

    Leaving our hotel early in the morning we ride towards Tha Krabak where we can stop by a reservoir for a swim and a view of the untouched jungle on the other side. We will break for lunch before carrying on cycling on quiet but well-maintained scenic roads on the way to Aranyaprathet, 10km from the Cambodian border. Cycle approx. 85km.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 85 km / 52 miles
  • Day 5

    Into Cambodia and on to Siem Reap.

    After breakfast we drive to the busy border and complete customs formalities as we cross into Cambodia at Poipet. We then drive to Siem Reap. Due to years of civil war the country is poorer and less developed than its neighbours. Apart from growth in the capital and around Siem Reap, the way of life in the countryside is still very much the same as it has been for centuries. This afternoon's ride from Siem Reap takes us past Wat Athvea, a modern temple in the grounds of the ruins of an Angkorian temple, and ends at a market and picnic area outside of Siem Reap. Cycle approx. 20km.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 20 km / 12 miles
  • Day 6

    First of two full days to explore the temple complex of Angkor by bus and bike, including Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, the Bayon and Banteay Srei.

    Today we may choose to have an early start to avoid the inevitable crowds drawn to the wonders of Angkor. The various temples are spread over a wide area and are linked by shady avenues; meandering our way between them by bike gives us a unique perspective. Our cycle tour will include the jungle-covered Ta Prohm, with the amazing roots of the Fromagier trees clinging to the ancient stones, Angkor Thom with the famous Bayon temple of 37 towers (originally there were 49) topped with the four faces of the king, and of course the incredible Angkor Wat, with its huge moat, long causeway and massive towers - it is the largest temple complex in Asia. Cycle approx. 25-30km.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 30 km / 18 miles
  • Day 7

    Second day at Angkor temple complex.

    Today we cycle outside the main Angkor complex to the outlying temple of Banteay Srei, 35km from Siem Reap town. Our route takes us past paddy fields, and through pretty villages. Banteay Srei was built in the 10th Century and contains some of the finest examples of Khmer sculpture. Although much smaller than the later temples, here all of the buildings are covered in exquisite carvings. In the afternoon as we cycle back to Siem Reap we can stop and visit a few of the less visited Angkor temples. Siem Reap town is pleasant to wander around; the market has plenty of interest and excellent shopping and there is a vibrant nightlife scene. This afternoon there should also be time to visit the Tonle Sap Lake, which is a branch of the Mekong River. This optional trip includes a boat ride to see the floating fishing villages. Anyone wanting to do this visit may need to miss part or all of the ride back to Siem Reap, depending on timings. Cycle approx. 70 km. if riding the full distance to and from Banteay Srei.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 70 km / 43 miles
  • Day 8

    Drive to Phnom Penh, stopping at Skuon.

    Today we take a bus journey of approx. 7 hours along National Road 6 to Phnom Penh. We will have a couple of stops, one in the town Skuon, which is known for its local delicacy of fried spiders. The road is currently undergoing some resurfacing so some sections will be a bit of a bumpy ride! We should arrive in Phnom Penh for late afternoon, the perfect time for a sundowner on the Mekong.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Sightseeing including Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the 'Killing Fields'.

    The fortunes of Phnom Penh have shifted dramatically during its history and the terrible years of the Khmer Rouge and subsequent civil war through 1970s and 1980s have scarred the country. During our stay we visit two sites which give us a vivid impression of some of the horrors. There is the Genocide Museum, which is the former Khmer Rouge prison known as S-21 or Tuol Sleng, in the centre of the city. 15 km. of out of town is the area known as the 'Killing Fields,' a mass grave and execution site for the former inmates of S-21. While visiting Tuol Sleng and the Killing Fields may not appeal to everyone, we feel they give us an important understanding of what the country and its people had to endure just a few decades ago.

    On a more positive note, the city is very much on the rise again and is a fascinating place with fine examples of French colonial architecture. We tour the Royal Palace with its Silver Pagoda. There is also excellent shopping at the 'Russian' market, and the lively Mekong waterfront area, where our hotel is located.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Transfer to Takeo then cycle to Vietnam border and Chau Doc.

    This morning we transfer south out of Phnom Penh to the town of Takeo. Here the road becomes quieter and we mount our bikes for the 50km ride to the Phnom Den / Tinh Bien border. Once border formalities have been completed we meet our Vietnamese leader and cycle approximately 30km to Chau Doc. Cycle approx. 80km.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 80 km / 49 miles
  • Day 11

    Drive/cycle through the Mekong Delta to Vinh Long; catch boat to homestay.

    A morning transfer by road to Long Xuyen where we take a public ferry across the river. From here we ride along a lovely quiet backroad, lined with small villages and dwellings, towards Vinh Long. Leaving the bikes on the mainland, we take another boat (20 mins) to reach our homestay on an island in the Mekong Delta, known as the 'rice bowl' of Vietnam. After settling in we can explore the area on foot. The rivers and canals of the Mekong Delta form an amazing network of waterways. The area is famous for its abundant rice production but in many areas farmers are now moving to more profitable fish-farming and fruit and vegetable growing. The evening is tranquil as we have dinner at the homestay and enjoy some 'Delta' hospitality. We spend the night sleeping at a simple guesthouse built in the style of a local house. Bedding, a mosquito net and a small towel are provided. Cycle approx. 50km.
    Homestay

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 50 km / 31 miles
  • Day 12

    Transfer to Cai Be for floating market; scenic cycle along Mekong riverbank; transfer to Saigon.

    We leave by boat, stopping en route for a look at the Cai Be floating market. Here large boats moor up in the Mekong River, weighed down with fruit and vegetable produce. Local traders and shop owners buy in bulk in this strictly 'wholesale' market. A little further on we make a short stop to see cottage industries producing such items as popped rice, popcorn and other homemade products. We start our ride towards Cai Lay where we take a scenic route through fruit orchards and along the Mekong riverbank. Back on the bus in My Tho, we drive on to the heat, hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, still usually known as Saigon. This is an exciting and absorbing city where scooters pack the streets and temples stand defiantly alongside modern developments. Devastated by the Vietnam War, it is now a free market city where anything goes. Our hotel is in the heart of this incredible city. Cycle approx. 35km.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 35 km / 21 miles
  • Day 13

    Free day.

    The whole day is free to explore Saigon, do some shopping and to relax. There are a number of interesting things to see - the Saigon River, Ben Thanh Market, Reunification Palace and Notre Dame Cathedral are all within easy walking distance. Alternatively a short cyclo (cycle taxi) ride will take you to the War Remnants Museum with an interesting (if a little gruesome) photographic record of the Vietnam/American War. For those that are interested your leader can arrange an optional visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, located 2 hours outside the city. Used by the Viet Cong during the war the network covers 3 levels and approximately 240km of tunnels. Originally these were very narrow but some areas have been widened to allow tourists to explore the system. Claustrophobes may prefer to stay outside in the sunshine!
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 14

    End Saigon.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels & Guesthouse

You will spend 10 nights in comfortable hotels, 2 nights in standard hotels and 1 night in a standard guesthouse to experience some 'Mekong Delta' hospitality, all of them have en suite facilities. Please note that double beds are not always widely available in South East Asia.

Premium Departures
Our premium departures either stay in the same hotels we usually use on our standard trips but in upgraded rooms with balconies or larger rooms, as some examples of the main differences. Some of the hotels have been upgraded and changed entirely. We will still stay in the standard guesthouse in the Mekong Delta on premium trips, despite this not being premium accommodation, as this is regarded as a highlight by many people. An extra BBQ dinner is also included on the first night of the trip and drinks and snacks are included whilst cycling.

Single Accommodation
Single rooms are available for a supplement for hotel nights only. Please advise the sales team at the time of booking if you require a single.

Extra Accommodation
Is available in Bangkok and Saigon before and after your trip please ask your sales consultant if you wish to book extra nights. Due to high demand for rooms there is a chance it may be in a different hotel to the end hotel of your trip.

Safety in Phnom Penh
It is important to exercise caution in Phnom Penh after dark. Taking into account the following recommendations, as well as the advice of your leader will help to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable trip. Always leave valuables and important documents secured in the safe in your hotel, carrying only the money you need for one day and a copy of your passport with you. Do not make yourself a target for pickpockets by keeping cameras and jewellery on display. After dark avoid walking in the streets alone. If staying in a bar or restaurant until late, ask them to call you a taxi rather than walking back to the hotel; transport in Phnom Penh is inexpensive.

Single supplement from £265.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts and 1 dinner are included.

The food on this trip is a real highlight for many. Southeast Asian cuisine is known for its abundance of freshly prepared dishes with strong aromatic flavours. There is a focus on herbs and citrus to ensure each dish packs a punch; chilli does feature highly too but is easily avoided if desired. Typically most dishes will come with rice and many are often served in a banana leaf with a variety of dips and herbs served separately. The three countries visited ensure a different culinary experience every time you cross the border; ensure you try the freshly made Pad Thai noodles from the street stalls of Bangkok, the fish amok curry in Cambodia for a creamy coconut-based fragrant curry and the Banh Xeo (huge sizzling pancakes) found in Vietnam cannot be missed!
Western food is readily available almost everywhere. Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that the availability of certain specialized products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialised dietary items from home. You may find it beneficial to bring some 'cycling snacks' with you from home if you have high energy bars or gels that you like to use during a ride. For those who wish to contribute a kitty is normally arranged (see extra expenses) - fresh fruit, nuts, biscuits and local snacks are all provided from the snack kitty along with soft drinks and electrolyte powders.

Transportation

We use a private coach/mini-bus, usually with air-conditioning. There are a couple of long driving days on this trip (up to 7 hours). Road conditions are often not good, and progress can be slow. Boats are used at various points in the itinerary; these are nearly always private and vary from converted trawlers to small riverboats. We use different vehicle set-ups in each country, as our vehicles do not cross international borders. In Thailand we have 100% vehicle support. There will be one or two support buses, plus a support truck for the bikes and baggage. In Cambodia, there is 95% vehicle support, with vehicles to carry both clients and bikes. In Vietnam we have 80% vehicle support with vehicles to carry both clients and bikes nearby if needed whilst in the Mekong Delta.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

In Thailand and Cambodia the weather will be hot and humid all year round. The dry season runs from November to April with the monsoon between May and October. April and October are transition months. The dry season is characterized by hot days and generally clear skies, though you can expect the odd shower. The monsoon is characterised by short, sharp bursts of rain. The monsoon can be a very atmospheric time to travel but an umbrella may be useful! In Thailand and Vietnam the weather patterns are very similar to Cambodia and you should expect year round temperatures from 25-39C. The rainy season will normally run from June to September when you should expect short sharp showers, but the sun will normally break through for extended periods. From the end of March to May the temperatures become very hot and humid with temperatures into the high 30’s between Bangkok and Siem Reap as this is the build up to the monsoon season.

Weather Charts

Siem Reap

Bangkok

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 16 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London
We normally use the scheduled services of Malaysian Airlines (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 14 days starting in Bangkok, ending in Saigon

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Bangkok in the evening of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

 

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. The usual, standard check-in baggage weight allowance is 20kg.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Free Transfers

Exodus offers FREE airport arrival and departure transfers on any flight for this trip, for both Land Only and Flight Inclusive clients, so no matter which flight you choose to arrive on you will be met and transferred to your hotel. All those taking advantage of the free airport transfers must provide full flight details for both arrival and departure in advance; unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the Exodus start (or pre-tour) hotel; transfers to other hotels in the same city may attract an extra charge; transfers may be shared with other Exodus customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Bangkok
Location end:
Saigon

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Casual clothes. As it is generally hot and humid, light cotton clothing is recommended for most of the trip when not on the bike. Locals generally dress conservatively and it is recommended that you do also.

Lightweight waterproof jacket or poncho/umbrella

Cycling helmet (compulsory on this trip)

Water bottle

Strong sun cream

Insect repellent

Torch

Light cotton trousers

Lightweight long sleeved shirt

Favourite energy snacks

A sun hat and suncream

A swimming costume will be well used

A first aid kit is carried on each trip, but you should bring you own first aid kit with diarrhoea treatment, painkillers, rehydration sachets, insect repellent (with DEET), plasters and a blister treatment kit.

There will be plenty of opportunities to get laundry done locally at a very affordable price so fine to pack light. Please remember that you will be expected to cover your legs (to the ankle) and arms (to the elbow) during visits to some temples and palaces. As Thailand is in a year of mourning due to the death of the King on 13 October 2016 it is ideal for these clothes to be dark in colour when visiting the Grand Palace.

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip we have decided to include drinking water in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. This means that safe filtered drinking water will be available throughout which means all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill along the way. Please add this to your packing list!

If while packing you find a spare bit of space in your bag please be sure to check out our partner ‘Pack for a Purpose’ to identify items that are needed locally by schools and medical clinics. Your Tour Leader can assist with donating the items. http://www.packforapurpose.org

Optional Equipment

Long sleeved shirts and light trousers are good for helping to keep mosquitoes off during the evenings. Mosquito repellent containing DEET is generally thought to be the most effective deterrent.

Equipment Hire

Local Bike Details: Specialized Pitch Comp mountain bikes with front suspension (on Thailand/Cambodia rides), Giant Rincon disc mountain bike with front suspension (on Vietnam rides).

Discount for bringing your own bike: £150.

A quality local hire bike is now included in the overall price of our cycling holidays. At the time of booking we will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.

Conditions

1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.

2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.

3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment

4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

Bringing Your Own Bike

If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may of course bring it along. Please advise us at the time of booking and you will receive a discount off the price of the holiday, as specified above. You will be responsible for any extra baggage charges, please speak to our Sales team for individual airline fees. Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure they have adequate cover for loss, damage or theft under their travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. If Exodus is confident that we have taken all reasonable care to ensure the safety of your bike, in the rare event of loss, damage or theft you will need to claim under your own insurance policy.

Extra Bike Bits

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.

For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries we travel to wearing a helmet is already a legal requirement.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

 

Recommended Cycling Clothing

Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.

Practical Information

Passport

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay - this is applicable to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Thailand

A visa for Thailand is not required for British nationals for stays of 30 days or less. If you are unsure of the requirements please check with your nearest Thai embassy.

Cambodia

Arriving By Flight: An electronic visa (e-Visa) facility is available via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Co-operation website at the cost of $37. A tourist visa can be obtained on arrival for British nationals at most border crossings. Two passport photos are required. The cost is US$30, although an additional express fee of US$5-6 may be incurred at the border. For further information see the FCO site and check under Cambodia / 'Entry Requirements'.

Arriving Overland: A tourist visa can be obtained on arrival for British nationals at most border crossings. Two passport photos are required. The cost is US$30, although an additional express fee of US$5-6 may be incurred at the border. For further information see the FCO site and check under Cambodia / 'Entry Requirements'.

Vietnam

A visa is no longer needed for British, German, French, Spanish and Italian citizens travelling to Vietnam (for all purposes) for a period of up to 15 days, and on the basis of meeting all conditions prescribed by Vietnamese laws. The visa exemption period will end on 30 June 2018. All other nationalities require a visa to enter Vietnam and this must be obtained prior to departure. For further information see http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/travelink/Vietnam.pdf or the FCO site and check under Vietnam / 'Entry Requirements'.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

As you visit three countries on this trip, each with different health issues to contend with, we would suggest that you speak to your travel nurse or doctor before travelling. 

Thailand

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. 

Cambodia

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Vietnam

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Diphtheria.
The risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

General advice

Zika fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in places visited on this trip. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Vietnam's Timezone:
Asia/Ho_Chi_Minh ICT (GMT +07:00)
Cambodia's Timezone:
Asia/Phnom_Penh ICT (GMT +07:00)
Thailand's Timezone:
Asia/Bangkok ICT (GMT +07:00)

Electricity

Vietnam's Electricity:

220 volts AC, 50 Hz. In Vietnam the US 2‐pin plug is used in the south of the country, while the Euro 2‐pin type is used in the North. It is worth having both adapters with you.

Cambodia's Electricity:

230 Volts. Plug types A, C & G; establishments can often take two round pin plugs and/or two flat parallel pin plugs.

As you will be travelling to multiple countries we recommend packing a universal travel adaptor to ensure you are covered in each country. It is also the case that some hotels vary even within-country so this is the best option to ensure you are not caught short. 

Money

Vietnam's Currency

The national currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 30000 to the UK£ and 22000 to the US$.


Although local currency is preferred, US dollars are widely accepted in Vietnam in tourist shops and restaurants. You can obtain Vietnamese Dong before travel or by using an ATM or changing money upon arrival.

Cambodia's Currency

The national currency of Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel (KHR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (June 2017) of approximately 5208 to the GBP,  4076 to the USD, 3079 to the CAD, 4564 to the EUR, 3100 to the AUD and 2958 to the NZD.

In practice the economy of Cambodia as far as the visitor is concerned, runs mainly on US dollars however you will receive some change in Riel which can be useful for smaller purchases.

Thailand's Currency

The national currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht, with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 43 to the UK£ and 33 to the US$.

 

ATM Availability

ATMs are now widespread in SE Asia's cities and are the easiest way of obtaining money as you will be travelling to three countries. We would advise getting local currency out in each country but if you would like to arrive with cash you will find it easy to exchange Sterling and US Dollars locally.

There is a minimum 150 baht fee for all ATM transactions in Thailand and most Cambodian ATM's will discpense US Dollars. Credit card acceptance is also now widespread in cities in SE Asia at restaurants and shops catering for tourists. As you will probably be carrying much of your money in cash, we strongly recommend using a money belt.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You should need about £225-275/US$360-440 for meals not included, which will allow you to eat well. Apart from the food, you should allow money to cover soft drinks (more if you like a beer) and souvenirs.


Most groups also find it useful to operate a snacks kitty system to buy snacks and drinks for the group on the cycling days. If the group would like the leader to arrange this, the suggested amount is around £15/US$25 per person depending on the group size. The leader will be able to provide fruit, snacks, water, electrolytes and soft drinks en route - a welcome relief at the rest stops! Please note this is not included in the Tipping Kitty as outlined below.

Tipping

This is entirely at your own discretion however; we suggest that you allow a few pounds for tips for the local guides and staff. In the countries visited, with the increase in tourism, tipping has become customary. The local staff will probably expect some gratuity and we suggest you allow for this. The leader will suggest to the group that they contribute a sum of approx £35/$55 per person towards a kitty on arrival. This money is then used for tipping of local guides, hotel porters, drivers etc. It is basically to ensure that the hassle is taken out of various activities for you. If you do not wish to contribute to a central pool for tips you are of course free to do so.
If you feel that your leader and assistant leader have performed well over the course of your trip, you may want to show your appreciation of their services. The sum you choose to give is entirely personal, but as a guide, £2/$3 per person per day would be a reasonable starting point.
The 'tipping kitty' explained above is entirely separate from any contribution to the tour leaders. Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

 

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.