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SoulFit adventures is taking you to a very special yoga retreat and cycling holiday to Cambodia. Exploring the temples, jungles, and countryside of enchanting Cambodia on two wheels, while practicing yoga in the mornings and evenings in the beautiful surrounds of tastefully designed guesthouses and eco-resorts. What a way to experience Cambodia! Starting from the spiritual and historical heart of the country, the ancient Angkor city, we take in a great variety of landscapes as we pedal through the friendly, engaging communities that line the secondary roads and back trails of this intriguing country. You might come to see Angkor Wat, but you will leave with a much wider appreciation of all that is Cambodia and just maybe, find a little bit more of yourself along the way!
Your accommodations will be on the following resorts:
As you exit the airport our driver will be waiting for you with a beaming smile. After a short drive to the hotel, you will have some time to relax before the group meeting at 5pm. Your SoulFit adventures host and local tour leader will conduct a briefing at this time, after which you can try out your bike for size and add any items you may have brought. After this an authentic culinary journey awaits to introduce you to Cambodia.
As first light dawns and the roosters begin to crow you will be at the most important religious monument in the country, looking at the triple towers of Angkor Wat across a reflecting pool. After the sun hopefully rises as a giant orange ball behind the towers, the crowds will thin out as most people return to bed or a hotel breakfast. For us however, we will make use of the cool temperatures and soft morning light to explore Angkor Wat. Monkeys and a handful of other travelers are the only others you will see. We move onto a clearing in the forest by the river and have a short yoga session before breakfast. We then continue to explore the iconic Angkor temples and some hidden treasures of the Angkor area. We ride some lovely back trails and even ride atop the wall of Angkor Thom, overlooking the moat. Lunch is had by a small lake before we cycle back to our hotel. A restorative yoga session will be available in the late afternoon/early evening. Dinner is had at our lovely hotel this evening after a full day of activity.
A morning yoga class to start the day, then, breakfast at the hotel before we start the ride. The Tonle Sap Lake is the largest in South East Asia and is not even closely rivaled in this position by anything else. A huge expanse of water in the middle of Cambodia, connected to the Mekong River by the Tonle Sap, resulting in a natural phenomenon that must be seen to be believed. We take a ride on tracks and trails today to reach the lake. Along the way we ride next to the Baray, a huge reservoir used by the Khmer kings for irrigation of the surrounding area. Upon arriving at the edge of the Tonle Sap, we take a boat to explore the floating communities that call this area home. These are a less visited collection of villages due to their relative remoteness. We extend our boat ride (time permitting) to see the birdlife of this area before returning to our bikes and to town by a different route. An evening yoga session will help to restore the balance. After this, you are at liberty to choose your dining venue from among a wide range of options.
A morning yoga session will set us up for a full day. We start out from Siem Reap with a two and a half hour drive to reach Kampong Thom. This is the neighboring province to Siem Reap. After a bike fitting, we set off on a ride north of the town to find the sprawling complex of pre-Angkorian temples known as Sambor Prei Kuk. These ruins date back as far as the 7th century and are remarkably intact for their age. The leafy surrounds and absence of tourists makes this a really special experience. After we see out the heat of the day in the shade, we return to Kampong Thom by a different route and enjoy a tasty, authentic meal.
Again a drive is necessary to set us up for a great ride, so before we fold ourselves into a vehicle, we have a yoga session by the pool of our guesthouse. It is then a drive of about three hours, after which we find ourselves at Oudong Mountain. Surprisingly, for a short period of time the capital of Cambodia. Today it is a hilltop temple with views over the surrounding flatlands. We enjoy a Cambodian style picnic here and then take an afternoon ride on lovely village roads and trails, mostly unpaved. We zigzag our way through farmland where rice is the main product and we pass Oudong's smaller brother, Basset Mountain. As the ride bears on, we cross the train tracks of the recently refurbished, but as yet un-operational railway line. From here the scenery changes rapidly and for those comfortable riding in traffic you can ride right up to the hotel door. For those that are not game, the support vehicle awaits. Dinner tonight marks the end of the first third of our epic journey and will be had by the Tonle Sap River, not far from where the three main rivers of Cambodia converge which was the main reason for Phnom Penh's placement.
A morning yoga session is planned before you get out to explore. Phnom Penh has had a turbulent history. When the French colonialists arrived, it was little more than a collection of wooden shacks by the river, but they soon changed that and in doing so created what was once considered a very beautiful city. When the Khmer Rouge evacuated the city in 1975, they started it on its way to decay and decline, a theme that had carried through until only fairly recently when the countrys economic development accelerated rapidly. Your guide can dispense a great deal of advice on how the city can be explored and will offer a late afternoon walk to introduce you to some of the lesser known aspects of this eccentric city. An optional restorative yoga session will be available in the evening.
After a drive to exit the traffic of Phnom Penh, we hit the bikes and find ourselves in picturesque countryside again where water buffalo wallow in mud while kids tend to them and coconut and palm trees line the roads. Our cycling route today is on well made dirt roads with hardly a car in sight. We stop off mid way at a small community near a waterfall where we have lunch. We then continue on to Kirirom Mountain. Those not wanting to do the climb can use the vehicle to shuttle to the top of the hill where our guest house awaits. This is a recently constructed property in the cool air and pine tree surrounds. This is a lovely location for an evening yoga session before another healthy and delicious meal.
A yoga and meditation session to start the day, a hearty breakfast and then a descent down a winding road back to the flatlands. We then shuttle a highway section by car until we find another one of those back roads that we've enjoyed so much. Our back road today includes rolling hills, something new for us to experience. We pop out at the coast about two thirds of the way in at a deserted beach. A chance for a dip before we push on through the port area of Sihanoukville and all the way to our secluded guest house up on a hill. Our evening yoga session will be by the pool overlooking the port.
A challenging day of riding today as we follow the coast around, past the base of Bokor Mountain to reach Kampot. The riding takes us on a variety of terrain, along sandy beaches, through forest trails and on more open roads as we pass the mountains. Kampot is a pleasant little town in the shadow of Bokor, set on an inlet.nicely restored, colonial era building is our home for the night. A restorative yoga session is sure to help with the recovery after a long day on the bike.
A short day on the bike allows for a morning yoga session. After a long day in the saddle yesterday, it is nice to have a lazy start today and a much shorter ride. We ride out east from town and spend a short while on a main road before leaving it to ride a small back road around a lake that was dug by labor during the Khmer Rouge times. We have a slight hill today as we pass some pepper farms. We then descend back down to the coast before one final hill to reach our lovely accommodation with views out over the Gulf Of Thailand. An evening yoga session overlooking the Gulf Of Thailand is a lovely memory to have of Kep.
Even though this is a free day, a location like this deserves a yoga session. We'll have this before breakfast and the rest of the day is then yours to explore Kep. The bikes are at your disposal and Kep is a compact enough size that you can cover most of it on two wheels.
You bid Kep farewell and take a drive of three hours to reach Phnom Penh. You can take you straight to the airport or to a hotel in town. The tour concludes upon arrival.
Is the owner of SoulFit adventures. Virginia has always had a passion for travel, which was first ignited some 20 years ago when she was fortunate to spend 7 years living and working in Europe. Her passion for health and wellness has developed slowly over a number of years and she is still on this journey. Virginia is very grateful to have been part of the amazing Power Living Yoga community in Sydney, Australia and she has completed her 200-hour Power yoga teacher training with modern Australian master yogi, Duncan Peak. She also practices Kundalini yoga when time permits.
Cambodia officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia and once known as the Khmer Empire, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. Its total landmass is 181,035 square kilometers (69,898 sq mi), bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.