Category 2012 Cycling South East Asia

Siem Reap

After great review, discussion, researching and pondering we decided to put our bikes on a bus to Siem Reap. It turned out to be a wise choice as the route we would have riddent appeared quite busy, with lots of construction, a narrow road and little or no shoulder. The bus took 6 hours.

Siem Reap is very much a tourist town , with lots of amenities. We had a nice hotel with a pool. The days were hot and a nice swim was a bonus. We stayed several days, with the main fock the Ankor area. This is a UNESCO site, with over 300 ancient temples. We took a two day guided tour and saw the main highlights.

The original city of Ankor was the largest city in the world at one time (per-industrialization time).

Ankor -the UNESCO Site

These temples date back 860′s AD...

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A Few Days in Phnom Phen

We took a few days here to get a better understanding of the recent history of Cambodia. It too has been a bit of a pond in the cold war.

Over the last couple of centuries it has been as large as 20,000,000 people and included Siam (Thailand), parts of Laos and parts of Vietnam. There is military action currently happening at the Cambodia border.

Their recent past has been bloodied.

They were a French colony for about 100 years (it is said that the French were invited in the 1850′s to regain the Seam Reap area from Thailand. Cambodia gained full independance from the French by 1953.

By 1960 Prince Sihanouk lead the county until a 1970 right wing coupe.

In April 1975 the Khmer Rouge took over till 1979. This was a very dark time for Cambodia...

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Chau Doc to Ha Tien

Firstly, happy birthday Maureen, Connie, Laura and Randy. Another great day on the bikes. We rode 95 km today and it was all flat. There are a few ways to go and we chose to ride along the canal. Once you get out of Chau Doc, you ride the road to Tinh Bien. At that town, don’t take the large bridge but rather ride under the bridge. If you keep the canal on your right and head south you will find your way.Read More

Mekong Delta – Part 2

The things we saw were too numerous to mention.Read More

Back On The Bikes in the Mekong Delta

The real TET celebrations happen after the lunar New Year. We chose an assisted ride for 4 days through the Mekong Delta. This assisted ride is designed not to ride on the main highways. It was an amazing excursion. We decided to travel with Sinhbalo Travel adventures out of Saigon (www.sinhbalo.com). We had an amazing tour guide (Viet) and he knew the history of the delta and had lots of stories to tell. We spent 4 wonderful days with 4 new friends, Luce & Anook (from Amsterdam and Francine and Frank from Germany (although they both currently live in China.Read More

Lunar New Year

We found out when we first started our biking trip that the lunar new year in Vietnam was January 23rd and it was called TET. One of the big traditions is to travel back to your hometown to celebrate. For that reason it is not recommended that you cycle the main highways for about 1week before TET and 1week after TET.Read More

Cooking Classes In Saigon

We took a cooking class in Saigon. It started in the market with our chef and she explained the origin of the fruits and vegetables. She also explained the culture around food.Read More

Bus From Bao Loc To Saigon (HCM City)

We decided to take the 6 hour bus to Saigon. The route was unclear and extemely busy (401 rush hour busy on the route for the last 100 kms). We came across a box of live chickens who were destined for the luggage rack of the bus. This local boy had fun with the birds. It didn’t look like the birds were having fun.Read More

Di Linh to Bao Loc

We planned a short ride today, so left a little later in the morning. It covered about 40 km on highway 24. Of course the road was busy, but a relatively good paved road the whole way. We had lots of time for stops along the way. We stopped for breakfast at a roadside stand, expecting a fried chicken egg on a but. The stand owner provided the bun and a little cafe beside the stand cooked the eggs.Read More

Da Lat to Di Linh

This was an 80 km day with lots of downhill out of Da Lat. we spent hours cycling through coffee, tea, flower and silkworm farms. There were also lots of vegetable and fruit farms.

We started at 4,900 feet above sea level and ended at 3,100 Ft. We climbed about 1,200 feet throughout the day. We left the hotel at 6am to get an early start. We got caught in lots of am rush hour traffic to a local college (100′s of motor bikes). During the decent the traffic was light with a few large trucks and busses during the main decent. The pavement was excellent with little problems along the was.

The stops along the way were extremely pleasant, and again our bikes and us were a bit of an oddity to the locals...

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