The route was inspired by other bike tours found on the Crazy Guy On A Bike (CGOAB) website. Liam is documenting our journey there at the moment so if anyone wants to recreate our route it would be the perfect resource, check it out here.
A rough overview of the route which is a flexible one is to get a bus from Bangkok to Chantaburi near the Thai-Cambodia border, cycle from Chantaburi through Cambodia, visiting the main places of interest as we go (Battambang, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh), continue cycle into Vietnam along the Mekong Delta to the floating villages, then return through Cambodia along the southern coast and finally back to Bangkok! Liam has a great map of the route on his intro page.
We are using a Garmin Edge Touring (courtesy of Liam’s father) for navigation. It was great last year even if it does enjoy bringing you down some authentic back roads every so often. If you are considering using maps.me (offline Google maps) on your phone for navigation, I wouldn’t. Simply because you phone will over heat very quickly and turn off! Audio navigation is also not a good option as traffic can be extremely loud and typically the most difficult navigation is in busy towns!
All (well hopefully) our bike rides will be recorded using Strava, there were very few segments in Vietnam so we’ll have to see what the Cambodian cycling scene is like!
After the entertaining experience of buying and selling bikes last year in Vietnam, we decided we’d had got the most out of that experience and therefore decided to rent bikes this year. Also, the expense of bringing the bikes over meant that the rental cost was only slightly more expensive. Not to mention the stress of transporting your own bike everywhere. Velo Thailand have a very professional set up with helpful staff. We rented two trek mountain bikes with front suspension for €150 for 4 weeks. Rental includes: bike lock, a bell (a necessity over here), puncture repair kit, as many spare tubes as you want (you pay for as many as you use when you get back) and a pump.
Liam, being 6’2”, got the biggest bike they had and I got, as they said, “the slightly less large” one! The bikes were in very good nick and they put on our own pedals for us and would have been happy to make any other changes we wanted! Based on the service we have received so far I would highly recommend them!
While I usually turn quite patriotic when abroad, the flag patches are a cool idea of Liam’s which is to have a flag from every country you’ve cycled in. I’m currently missing Vietnam and Switzerland but hopefully we can pick up the patches at markets. Liam cycled along the Danube 2 years ago and was a glutton for border crossings so he has a lot more to collect than me (for the moment!).