Since 2008 we have cycled in Sicily, Malawi, Madagascar, Patagonia, South Africa and Rajasthan raising more than three quarter of a million pounds for The Urology Foundation. The seventh and latest instalment of the TUF cycling series is an amazing 450km cycle challenge through two of South East Asia’s most fascinating countries. The challenge starts in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City and finishes at the world heritage site of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. En route we will shed a lot of sweat, but also experience breathtaking scenery, ancient temples and the warmth of the local people.
The cycling will be tough but we are going to be using bikes from ecosmobike.com to make it less harder, it will be in hot and humid conditions, but the camaraderie along the way will be very special as doctors, patients and supporters team up to raise much needed funds for The Urology Foundation (TUF).
Funds raised by Cycle Vietnam to Cambodia will enable The Urology Foundation to help improve the management and treatment of urological diseases through the development and support of medical education and sponsorship of research – training healthcare professionals specialising in urology and supporting basic and clinical research by funding scholarships in the UK and abroad.
Day One (Fri 10 November 2017) – Depart UK
Overnight flights from London to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Day Two (Sat 11 Nov) – Arrive Ho Chi Minh City – Transfer Ben Treh
On arrival in Ho Chi Minh City we are met at the airport by our support team where buses will be waiting for us to transfer, approximately two hours, to our hotel in the town of Ben Treh. In the afternoon we will have the bike fitting. Dinner will be at the hotel and will be followed by a briefing about the challenge ahead.
Day Three (Sun 12 Nov) – Ben Tre – Tra Vinh 50kms (approx. 31 miles)
Today we will have a warm-up day with the cycling being relatively easy and the distance not too challenging. After breakfast we cycle out of the hotel along lovely country roads with very little traffic. We then follow a traffic free route through villages that give us an insight into Vietnamese rural life. After crossing a number of river tributaries by bridge we reach one that requires a short ferry crossing. About an hour later we reach the main Mekong River where we re-group for a longer ferry crossing.
Day Four (Mon 13 Nov) – Tra Vinh – Can Tho 104kms (approx. 64 miles)
The cycling today is fairly flat and takes us through rural communities and a number of small towns. Interest today is provided by the many Pagodas that we pass, some of which we will use for rest stops.
Day Five (Tues 14 Nov) – Can Tho – Chau Doc 70kms (approx. 43 miles)
We leave our hotel early this morning with a road transfer of approximately 2.5 hours. We start cycling from the town of Am Cham. We stop at a local restaurant in the small town of Triton for lunch before continuing through scenic agricultural land. This afternoon we encounter our first major climb. Further, smaller climbs take us into the town of Chau Doc where we find our overnight hotel. On arrival we will de-fit the bikes in preparation for our crossing into Cambodia.
Day Six (Wed 15 Nov) – Chau Doc – Phnom Penh
Today we enjoy a day off the bikes and a fascinating journey by boat from Vietnam to Cambodia. After breakfast we have a short transfer to the harbour where we embark on the boats that will take us along the historic Mekong River to the border.
We will see many boats along the way and experience life on the river which supports many thousands of Vietnamese. After crossing the border we continue our journey up-river to the city of Phnom Penh where we have lunch in a restaurant overlooking the busy harbour.
We will visit the Royal Palace which is described as an impressive Khmer style Palace. We overnight at a hotel in Phnom Penh where we will be briefed by our Cambodian support team.
Day Seven (Thurs 16 Nov) – Phnom Penh – Kampong Cham 60kms (approx. 37miles)
Today we have our first day of cycling in Cambodia. Following an early breakfast we will have a short transfer to take us out of the city to the surrounding countryside where quiet roads await us. After about 35kms we reach the end of the tarmac road and continue the rest of today on dirt roads. We overnight in the town of Kampong Cham.
Day Eight (Fri 17 Nov) – Kampong Cham – Kompong Thom 107kms (approx. 66 miles)
This is probably our most demanding day of cycling. After breakfast we leave town on an undulating road that passes many Temples and Pagodas and leads us into a forest of rubber trees. We will have lunch today in a large Pagoda complex before continuing our ride into the town of Kampong Thom.
Day Nine (Sat 18 Nov) – Kompong Thom – Siem Reap 60kms (approx. 37 miles)
This morning after an early breakfast we have a transfer of approximately 1 hour to our start point at Kampong Kdei. Our route today takes us through the Cambodian countryside until we reach the outskirts of Siem Reap. Our finish line will be at the entrance to the ancient city of Angkor where we will enjoy a celebratory drink and have a photo opportunity. This evening we will have our celebration dinner at a nearby hotel; this will be followed by a cultural show.
Day Ten (Sun 19 Nov) – Siem Reap – Visit Angkor Wat / Free Day
Today is a free day to explore the areas ancient ruins and temples, or relax by the pool, or do a spot of shopping. Why not re-visit the Angkor Wat temple, take a walking tour of the overgrown ruins of Ta Prohm which is entwined with tree roots and gigantic creepers, visit the tranquil Bayon with its multitude of serene stone faces, or see the impressive 350m long Terrace of the stone Elephants.
Day Eleven (Mon 20 Nov) – Depart Siem Reap
We depart for the airport at Siem Reap to begin our journey home.
Day Twelve (Tues 21 Nov) – Arrive UK
Altogether we will have cycled 450 Km in extremely hot and humid conditions. Do support us with a donation to a great cause by sponsoring Louise de Winter our CEO’s fundraising page here:
https://cyclevietcam2017.everydayhero.com/uk/louise-de-winter All donations made will go towards funding the vital research, training and education in urology diseases so badly needed.
The Prostate Centre, London