Khmer Empire Explorer by Bike

Day 1 Arrive in Ubon Ratchathani

Arrive in Ubon Ratchatani and be met by your transfer to the hotel on the banks of the Mekong River. Dinner will be arranged at the hotel, and you will be met by your guide in the morning.

Tohsang Khong Jiam Hotel
Dinner

Day 2 Khong Jiam - Tad Fane - Sinook

After breakfast, your guide will pick you up for the short drive to the Thai-Lao border at Chongmek. Once visa formalities have been completed, we transfer for about 2 hours to begin our journey into the coffee growing area of Laos: the Bolaven Plateau. We stop for lunch at Tad Fane Waterfall. Then it's on the bikes to cycle to our coffee resort for an overnight. We start with a gentle uphill of 10 km to the town of Paksong. Then the road evens out before we roll down to the resort complete with coffee shop.

Sinook Resort
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 40km
+390m
-347m

Day 3 Sinook - Tad Fane - Don Daeng

After a fresh cup of local coffee, we ride on to Tha Teng on a quiet road, passing villages and lots of cheering children. We take a break at a Katou village to see how they roast coffee and learn why there are empty coffins under the houses. Then it’s an easy downhill, and from the junction, it’s only 5 km to Tad Lo Waterfall where we have lunch. We then transfer to the start of our afternoon ride. We start cycling on a flat tarmac road, passing through the former colonial town of Champasak, which stretches along the Mekong River. We ride 8 km on to Wat Phu, a Khmer Hindu temple complex dating back to the 5th century. We'll have time to explore this fascinating place before we head back to Champasak and overnight at our riverside resort.

The River Resort
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 62km
+175m
-799m

Day 4 Champasak - Don Khong

We start the day with a short cycle to catch a ferry to Don Daeng Island and go for a short ride around the island. Then we take a ferry ride to the other side of the river and ride to the village of Ban Niet Ngong. Once we reach the village, we can opt to ride or walk up to see Phu Asa, a curious site of stone towers. We have lunch here and then ride back down to the main junction before we load up the vans for a transfer to Ban Hat. We cross back over the Mekong to one of the biggest of the islands in this mighty river, Don Khong. Arriving in the late afternoon will give you time to walk along the river and watch as the locals make full use of the river.

Pon Arena Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 44km
+317m
-163m

Day 5 Don Khong - Don Khone

Today, we island hop! We have an early start and ride around Don Khong and along the banks of the river to the ferry, stopping along the way to see locals making palm sugar. When we reach the ferry, it's only 200 m to Don Som, one of the longest islands in the Mekong that stretches about 12 km to where it meets the tip of Don Det. It's another quick ferry ride to Don Det, and we cycle along a dirt path to the old French Railway bridge and cross over to Don Khone, where we ride straight to boats for a leisurely cruise in search of the nearly extinct Irrawaddy dolphins. We then ride the 4 km to our riverside hotel. A varied ride over four islands on narrow dirt tracks means there’ll be no vehicle support, but we will still stop for water and snack breaks.

Seng Ahloune Resort
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 45km
+86m
-91m

Day 6 Don Khone Rest Day

A well-deserved rest day gives you a chance to enjoy this tranquil island. Wander through the peaceful village, discover typical Buddhist temples, or remnants left behind by the French - the old pier, a decayed railway bridge, and colonial villas. Or spend the day swimming, sunbathing, and perhaps spotting the elusive Irrawaddy dolphins.

Seng Ahloune Resort
Breakfast

Day 7 Don Khone - Stung Treng

We depart Don Khone by boat and transfer to the Lao-Cambodian border. After crossing the border, we meet our Cambodian guide and start riding south on a quiet road through green fields and forests. The scenery is very different from Laos, and the quietness of the area will give you an “alone on the planet” feeling. We have two stops before we reach Stung Treng, a bustling trading town at the confluence of the Sekong and Mekong Rivers.

Gold River Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 57km
+289m
-340m

Day 8 Stung Treng - Preah Vihear - Sra’em

We wake early and transfer about two hours to our starting point near the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary. This tarmac road travels through the eastern edge of the sanctuary. Keep an eye out for the brilliant birds and small creatures that frequent the area. We come through the other side of the sanctuary near the town of Sra’em, the gateway to the temple of Preah Vihear. We carry on another 20 km to the entrance from where we take a 4WD vehicle to the top, as the temple is situated atop a 525-m cliff. A Hindu temple, Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the temples built during the six-centuries-long Khmer Empire. The temple is not yet restored but has spectacular carvings and lintels. The unique temple design and setting are the reason UNESCO listed Preah Vihear as a World Heritage Site. After our visit, we transfer to our hotel.

Preah Vihear Boutique
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 86km
+325m
-266m

Day 9 Preah Vihear - Siem Reap

After breakfast we have an early morning transfer to the ancient capital of Koh Ker, built in 922 AD. Located in a remote area with many temples still hidden in the jungle, the highlight is the unique seven tiered and 36-metre (118 ft) high pyramid, which probably served as a state temple of Jayavarman IV. Following our visit we'll cycle through rolling hills toward Beng Mealea temple, where you'll feel like an explorer when you discover the completely overgrown temple. It has only recently been made accessible and remains unrestored. There'll be time to trek through the jungle ruins before we have lunch. After our meal we’ll transfer to Siem Reap and direct to our hotel for check in.

Frangipani Villa
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 60km
+345m
-351m

Day 10 Siem Reap-Angkor-Siem Reap

This morning, we start our bike ride to the entrance of the Angkor Temple complex. We enter from the south and traverse up portions of tarmac road and jungle paths until we reach our first temple, Tah Prohm. After our visit, we carry on through the jungle and toward the eastern gate of Angkor Thom, ancient capital of the Khmer Empire. Near the centre of this massive enclosure, we find the enigmatic temple of Bayon. This temple is known for its many smiling faces. As the sun reaches its zenith, we take a short rest and lunch, before visiting the grandest temple of them all, Angkor Wat. Depending on time, we can choose to return to Siem Reap after our visit for a brief rest before returning to the Angkor complex. This evening, we’ll enjoy a beautiful sunset in the Angkor Park and return to our hotel by transfer.

Frangipani Villa
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 30km
+124m
-124m

Day 11 Siem Reap - Kbal Spean - Banteay Srei - Siem Reap

Leaving Siem Reap by bike, we strike out for the countryside. Our initial destination is the village of Pradak, which lies not far from the temple complex. Once we pass through this quaint little village, we cycle down a narrow tarmac lane to Banteay Samre. Now, we start getting deeper into the Cambodian countryside and pass many local villages and schools and people going about their day to day business. Ahead of us, the great sandstone ridge of Phnom Kulen rises from the countryside. At the base of the mountain, we put our bikes aside and take a short 3-km moderate trek uphill through jungle to a river bed with submersed carvings and a beautiful waterfall (in rainy season only). The ancient riverbed with carvings of Hindu gods is known as Kbal Spean, or the River of 1,000 Lingas. Once we finish here, we load up our bikes and transfer to Banteay Srei, the gem of the Angkor area, known for its exquisite bas-relief carvings. After our visit, we return to Siem Reap.

Frangipani Villa
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 57km
+627m
-454m

Day 12 Siem Reap - Kayaking Tonle Sap - Siem Reap

Our destination today is the famous Tonle Sap, South East Asia’s largest freshwater lake with its size varying greatly depending on the season, as it swells to about four times its size during the wet season. We explore this magnificent natural marvel by kayak. Two-seated kayaks are one of the best ways to see the lake, as they can go where the noisy, long-tailed boats cannot. We paddle through sunken fields and floating forests to the village of Kampong Kleang, where we enjoy lunch at a local stilted home perched in the lake. Then it’s back to solid ground and on the bikes to return to Siem Reap. Once back in town, we meet up for a farewell dinner.

Frangipani Villa
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 15km
+36m
-47m

Day 13 Siem Reap - Onward Travel

You are free in the morning after breakfast until we transfer you to the airport.

Breakfast