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New bike tour goes from 'Nam to Reap

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Bayon temple, part of the new Spice Roads tour.

Angkor Wat already has an astonishing three million visitors cross its moat every year, but it’s now set to receive a few more. Cycle tour company Spice Roads has added another Angkor visit to their latest tour.

The Cultural Road Tour from Hoi An to Siem Reap will take in three UNESCO World Heritage sites over 776 kilometres in two weeks. From the ancient harbour town of Hoi An, Vietnam, riders will visit the fourteenth century temple My Son, before making their way south toward the Cambodian border and the final stop at Angkor.

With the first trip starting in January 2012, Spice Road’s assistant product manager Saraphun said they hope to run the tour about six times a year.

“We just launched this tour in September and we have been receiving feedback from the clients. Mainly their impression was about how great it was that the route features three world heritage sites, and how beautiful it would be to do a ride starting from Vietnam going right to the heart of Cambodia.”

The tour will make pit stops along the way, where riders will spend time with tribes in Vietnam’s central highlands, and visit tea and coffee plantations in Pleiku. Once across the border at Banglung, the Cambodian leg will allow cyclists to watch dolphins along the Mekong at Kratie, picnic with the monks at a hilltop pagoda in Wat Han Chey, and a stop at the rarely visited Sambor Prei Kuk temple.

The group, which can include up to 16 people plus guides, will pass through towns and villages, temples and rice paddies, before riding into town on the twelfth day, ready to explore Siem Reap. The trip will finish with a night in town, and a Khmer ballet performance.

Spice Roads already runs a seven day Bangkok to Angkor Wat cycle, and a three-day Angkor Explorer trip.

“Biking is of course the best way to travel and really immerse yourself in the cultural surroundings,"said Saraphun. "The tours have been successful because we try our best to create the native experience as we ride through rural areas, and have local guides to tell insightful stories.”

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