Essential Information - Cambodia to Vietnam
Angkor to Ho Chi Minh City
Getting there and away
Our Cambodia to Vietnam cycling holiday starts on a Sunday in Siem Reap and lasts 14 days ending on Saturday in Ho Chi Minh City.
We appreciate that people join redspokes tours from all over the world; no matter what time you arrive at the airport on the tour start date you and your luggage will be transferred to the joining hotel. Please bear in mind that if you arrive before midday you may have to wait for your room to be made available. If you decide to arrive early or stay on after the tour, redspokes can assist you in booking your accommodation and airport transfers at additional cost. If you depart on the last day of the tour airport transfer is included in the tour price.
Our tour price does not include your international flight.
You will need to arrange multi-destination flights for this tour to arrive in Siem Reap (Cambodia) and depart from Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).
Passport and Visa
You must be in possession of a valid passport with at least 6 months validity from the date you enter the country. Before you travel check your passport to ensure that there is room for a visa and entry/exit stamps (at least 3 pages).
The border crossing to Chau Doc is called Kaam Samnor on the Cambodian side and Ving Xuong when you cross into Vietnam.
Cambodia: One month single entry visas are required for Cambodia. Visas can be applied for at the airport, please bring a recent passport photo with you. Visa fees, conditions and photo requirements are subject to change. Check with your embassy for the latest information. You can also obtain a visa in your own country prior to arrival through a Cambodian Embassy or Consulate.
Vietnam: British and Thai passport holders do not need a visa if they stay in the country less than 14 days. For information relevant to the country for which you hold a passport, check with your local Vietnamese Embassy for up to date advice. To cross the border from Cambodia to Vietnam travellers will need a visa.
If you would prefer to pay an agent to get your visa, we would suggest using Travcour (UK) Ltd. They have been in the visa business for 25 years.
Insurance and vaccinations
It is a condition of joining our trips that you must be adequately insured. All persons are expected to arrange their own insurance. Polices should cover any potential risks involved in a mountain cycling holiday. We ask for copy of your policy to be sent in with your completed booking form.
Snowcard Insurance Services specialize in all mountain sports holidays including mountain biking. Their policies include emergency medical and repatriation expenses as well as mountain rescue. They are also able to insure personal belongings including equipment as well as travel cover for cancellation, delay and missed departure. Follow the link below to obtain full information and a quote: www.snowcard.co.uk.
Plan ahead for your vaccinations, some of them require more than one injection you should seek medical advice at least six weeks before travel. We recommend vaccinations against typhoid, polio, hepatitis A, and a tetanus injection is essential.
Cycling support and grading
All of the time you will have the security of a back-up vehicle(s); either a mini-bus or truck. The vehicle will carry our entire luggage (we transport your main baggage by support vehicle from each overnight stop to the next) and yourself if you want. The backup van will be with us throughout the day stopping around every 15 miles. Our leaders carry a good tool kit and will help to fix any bike problems so all you normally need to carry is a daypack, for your camera etc. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be equipped for all repairs, so you must ensure that your bike is in good working order before the tour. If in doubt, have it fully serviced by a bike shop before you travel.
Equipment and bike stuff
Cambodia is suitable for a tough hybrid or a mountain bike; please ensure that your bike is in good working order before you leave for the tour. If you are not the most mechanically minded we suggest that you get your bike looked at by a professional bike mechanic. In particular we would suggest looking and adjusting all wheel spokes, greasing all your bearings, checking your brakes/gears cable, tighten all nuts and bolts, check chain, quick release clamps, tires and put in new inner tubes and check wheel rims are not worn. In addition ride with as much care and attention as possible.
We would also advise the following tools to accompany you on your tour: multi-tool, tyre levers, pump, 2 spare inner tube, spare spokes of the correct length to fit your wheels - check with a bike shop, brake pads, a few spare links for your chain, if applicable, spares for any unique or high-tech items on your bike, e.g. fluid and bleed kit for hydraulic brakes.
Baggage allowances and your bike
There is the option of hiring a bike from us. If you do decide to bring your own it will be carried as a part of your luggage allowance and to this end we do ask you to make every effort to keep your total check-in baggage to an absolute minimum. The baggage allowance for most airlines for an economy-class ticket is 20kg per person; although a degree of flexibility is usually extended to groups and the check in staff may accept up to 26kg per person without imposing excess baggage charges.
Your bike (in its cardboard box) will weigh 15 to 18kg. So, that means you will have a small allowance for clothing etc. You should carry small heavy items in your day pack / pannier which you can take onto the plane as hand luggage.
Your hand luggage is not included as a part of your overall allowance, as it is not weighed. Please inform your airline that you will be taking your bike on the flight, and attempt to make every effort to secure from the airline an additional baggage allowance - but this is not always granted. Although we cannot guarantee that there will not be excess baggage charges, this is something, which very rarely happens.
If you have any questions about this list please feel free to contact us.
- Support vehicle
- Most meals (see trip notes for details)
- Snacks and mineral water during cycling days
- Airport transfers on the start and end day of the tour
- Local professional English speaking guide(s)
- International flights
- Alcoholic drinks
- Meals not stated on the itinerary
- Visa fees
- Travel insurance
- Tips for guide (s) and support staff
- Bike hire (available if required)
People in Cambodia are warm and hospitable to visitors. Take care to observe local customs and practices: Ask for permission before taking photographs of any Cambodian people or monks. Remove your shoes before entering a place of worship such as a pagoda or temple. (or when entering someone’s home). Dress appropriately when inside a religious site (upper arms and legs should be covered, hats removed). A respectful way of making a greeting is to bow the head slightly with hands pressed together at the chest (known as “Sampeah”). If invited to dine in a Cambodian family’s home, it is polite to bring a small gift for the host such as fruit, dessert, or flowers. When using a toothpick at the table, use one hand to cover your mouth. Don't use your feet to point at someone. Don't touch a Cambodian person on the head. Don't begin eating if you are a guest at a dinner and the host has yet to take a bite. Women should never touch male monks or hand something directly to them. Public displays of affection are offensive; people in the provinces are particularly conservative. Avoid displaying anger you will only cause embarrassment. Cambodians are often curious about the appearance of foreign visitors, and it is not considered rude to stare quite intently. Local people may giggle at men with earrings because in Cambodia boys are given an earring in the belief it will help an undescended testicle. Holding hands or linking arms in public, though quite a common sign of friendship between two men or two women, is considered unacceptable if it involves a member of the opposite sex; even married couples won’t touch each other in public. Cambodians dress modestly, men usually wear long trousers and a shirt. Many women wear blouses rather than T-shirts, and sampots (sarongs) or knee-length skirts, but many also wear trousers or jeans, and younger girls in larger cities increasingly dress in more Western clothing. Generally, it is best to avoid skimpy clothes and shorts unless you’re at the beach.Vietnamese is the official language; English is generally favoured as a second. Chinese and Khmer and numerous other local languages are also spoken in places.
Vietnamese is the official language, English is generally favoured as a second. Chinese and Khmer and numerous other local languages are also spoken in places. Vietnamese New Dông (approx. VND 26,131 to £1). The US Dollar is the most favoured foreign currency and we recommend taking some US Dollars travellers cheques and money in small denominations. British currency can usually be changed in the larger cities. There is a charge for changing money in banks. Travellers Cheques are widely accepted in hotels and banks. Buddhism is the major religion in Vietnam. In the far north Hoa Hao and Cao Daism are among the indigenous religions along with groups that have animist beliefs. Ancestor worship is an important influence in Vietnamese culture. Other religions are Christianity and Islam.
- Siem Reap: gateway to Angkor Archaeological Park.
- Angkor Wat: magnificent temple complex.
- Phnom Penh: Silver Pagoda, Wat Phnom, Tuol Sleng.
- Tra Vinh: floating markets and riverside communities
- Ho Chi Minh City: vibrant cultural hub
- Cu Chi tunnels: historic subterranean network
"The cycling itself was very enjoyable. Very flat, apart from the regular small bridges. Pace was relaxed. The absence of spectacular scenery after leaving the Angkor region, both in Cambodia..."
Janet & Mark Basi