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Biking Travel Guides, Biking Travel Tips, Adventure Travel Guidesin Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia

Did it begin with the Buffalo Soldiers, a turn-of-the-century infantry who customized bicycles to carry gear over rough terrain? It was August 1896, the riders, black enlisted men and a white lieutenant, rode from Missoula, Montana, to Yellowstone and back, an arduous 800 miles. Their mission: to test the bicycle for military use in mountainous terrain.

Or was it the Velo Cross Club Parisian (VCCP) of France? Comprised of about 20 young bicyclists from the outskirts of Paris, who between 1951 and 1956, they developed a sport that was remarkably akin to present-day mountain biking. These riders juiced up their French 650-B bikes with an extraordinary degree of technical sophistication.

Maybe it was John Finley Scott who was probably the first mountain bike enthusiast in the United States. In 1953 he built what he called a “Woodsie Bike”, using a Schwinn World diamond frame, balloon tires, flat handlebars, derailleur gears, and cantilever brakes. John was more than twenty years ahead of his time, and while he remained an off-road cycling enthusiast, at the time there were not many others who shared his passion.

We believed that the inception of mountain biking needed to be a continuous series of events that connected with one another as opposed to an isolated incident. Another example, in the early 1970s there were a band of cyclists – The Cupertino Riders, AKA – the Morrow Dirt Club, from Cupertino California, 75 miles south of Marin, who were modifying their bikes. They were grafting thumb-shift-operated derailleurs and motorcycle lever-operated drum brakes to their klunkers to help them get up and down the south bay hills. They competed against some future hall-of-famers at a Marin County Cylcecross race in late 1974, where their technology was noticed. Then they disappeared.

We believe that the continuous history of the mountain bike is most evident in Northern California. There are a few areas that will claim to be the first mountain bike community, but every history book will lead you to Marin County. The origins of mountain biking were totally innocent. It came into being not as some faddist vision of profit-oriented marketing types, but rather as the product of true cycling enthusiasts trying to find something new to do on two wheels. These cyclists found through fun and competition that the old one-speed klunkers they were using could be improved with modern cycling technology. One thing led to another and mountain biking – “the sport” – was born.

Holiday Cambodia Travel Guide

The Cambodian Khmer style of cooking is similar to that found in Thailand or Vietnam but also has its own distinctive flavours. Most dishes are served with rice, and Khmer food usually has a sourer taste than the Asian food that westerners are used to. Dishes to look out for while in Cambodia include their prahok fish paste, their k’tieu noodle soup that is served with pork or seafood and their lok lak beefsteak dish.

The city of Kratie lies in Eastern Cambodia, and one of its more memorable temples is the Laotian-style Wat Roka Kandal, which is located a short drive out of the city. Staying at the temple guesthouse by night and exploring this ancient place by day is the typical type of holiday Cambodia offers. The temple has been recently restored, and tourists can also visit the nearby handicraft shops run by the Cambodian Craft Co-operation.

Kratie is also home to one of the last schools of Irrawaddy dolphins living in the Mekong River area, and visiting the river to catch a glimpse of this school is one of the most popular things to do in this city. At the last count, there were between 65 and 68 dolphins in the school, and the Cambodian Mekong Dolphin Conservation Project was established in 2005 to protect this endangered species.

The Tours Cambodia Rural Development Team also offers tourists several eco-tourism opportunities including cultural workshops and training tours that send visitors to the local villages where the region’s distinctive handicrafts are manufactured. These tours aren’t representative of the type of holiday Cambodia usually offers tourists, and those interested in learning more about Khmer culture should definitely consider booking one or more of these eco-tourism packages. A favourite tour is that which takes visitors to Koh Pdao island outside of Kratie.

Cambodia Tours Don’t Have to Be Endless Comparisons to Thailand

One of the best and worst things to happen to Cambodia’s tourism industry is the fact that people often compare it to Thailand. The endless comparisons benefits Cambodia in some way because, for the most part, Cambodia is a better price value compared to Thailand. Also, the former Khmer Kingdom is relatively unspoiled and pristine compared to highly commercialized and tourist-saturated Thailand. With that said, Cambodia often gets the short end of the stick when people compare it with its more popular neighbor. That is the reality of life-you always get compared to those closest to you. Cambodia is no exception. It has less infrastructure than Thailand. Its tourism industry, and related accommodations, is not as developed as Thailand’s. And so on down the line. In fact, in the eyes of some people, Cambodia’s list of negatives is longer than Thailand’s. However, to take such comparisons to their logical extremes would be to truly miss the point about Cambodia.

Comparisons are useful… up to a point

There are no two ways about it-comparisons can be useful. They help us size things up fairly quickly. They help us quickly zero in on certain elements something has when we compare it with another thing that doesn’t have those things. These are great but there is a point where you have to stop comparing. There is a point where you have to look at the individual merits of something and compare it to itself. This is the type of comparison a person should do with Cambodia tours. The initial point of departure should be resolving the point that Cambodia is not Thailand and that Cambodia should be evaluated solely on its own merits.

Cambodia as its own reward

The problem with constantly comparing Cambodia to Thailand is that such comparisons leave out the fact that Cambodia is worth visiting precisely because it is Cambodia and not someplace else. In other words, there is an intrinsic value to going on Cambodia tours just to see Cambodia as it is. And this is the key to approaching Cambodia tours in general. You are not out to visit it so you can compare. You are not looking at it from the pale reflection of someplace else. You are not visiting it because you can’t visit your first choice. In other words, you visit because of its intrinsic value. There is something liberating about this realization. When you start viewing Cambodia tours and other tour destinations from this lens, you have morphed from yet another tourist looking for a travel destination to safely ‘consume’ to an actual traveler. Travelers don’t look at destinations as existential McDonald’s stops. They look at each destination as having its own separate and autonomous reason for existing. Travelers come to share in the life that is already there and disturb the scene as little as possible. Those with a ‘tourist’ mentality come to sample. It’s like tasting the broth but never really appreciating the feast. Thankfully, people can choose either a traveler or tourist mentality. And it all begins with the decision to stop comparing.

How to Thailand Holiday Packages Tips

Thailand, island nation located in the south east of Asia. Thailand is a country rich in culture and natural beauty. It has been hallowed with liberal natural parks, productive plains, isolated jungles, beaches washed by turquoise waters and humid islands bathed in endless sunshine. The country has more visible historical indication of its past cultures than any other country in Southeast Asian. Its history is very composite, involving the incursion of many different peoples, the rule of different kings, the concern of various kingdoms and the interaction of dissimilar cultures. Thailand is known for its prominent hospitality, sacred temple, and breathtaking natural beauty.

Thailand offers something for all type of travelers. Thailand’s restrictions stretch to adjacent regions of Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Gulf of Thailand and the Indian Ocean. You plan to visit Thailand between July and November; the weather can be awkwardly for you. Around July and November, it will be rainy season in Thailand. The weather is at its best from February to March. It is perfect time to go to the beaches. Places of tourist significance in Thailand include Phuket, Koh Samui, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Koh Chang and Koh Samui while provinces like Krabi, Koh Libong, Koh Hai provides great photographic memoirs of Thailand as a tour destination.

Buddhism is the main religion in Thailand with the King of Thailand respected as the supreme emperor and also the supporter of all religions embraced by the people. Thailand truly is an amazing place, with so much to offer tourists. The regular and most popular destinations of Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Samui, Chiang Mai etc are only a small part of the country, and there are so many more undiscovered charms to be found. Thus, Thailand has spiritual forbearance wicker into its social structure and respects people of all races. This multiculturalism makes Thailand a hot much loved as a tour destination for the global traveler with add-on visits to nearby cities like Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Butter worth and other major southern Thai towns being part of an avid tourist’s list. You visit Surin islands, again stopping at a couple of top lunge sites.

The sea is mediator and there is less sickness. We again see some truly amazing fish while diving in the clear steamy water. But the most fantastic moment comes when a small husk of dolphins swim alongside our boat. How are barely credible to see this while traveling to and from tropical paradises. There tends to be more boats that have come from Phuket for the diving around the Simolan Islands. The largest groups of non-Thai people are the Chinese who have traditionally played an extremely important role in the economy. Many have assimilated into majority Thai society, and do not live in Bangkok’s Chinatown on Yaowarat Road. After the end of the Vietnam War, many Vietnamese refugees settled in Thailand, mainly in the northeastern region. Muay Thai, after they retired from the army, these soldiers often became Buddhist monks and stayed at the temples. Most of the Thai people’s lives are closely tied to Buddhism and temples; they often send their sons to be educated with the monks. “Muay” is also one of the subjects taught in the temples.

Exploring One of the Best Destinations in Asia on a Budget

Traveling on your own or joining other travelers to soak in the sights and enjoy a historical tour of Cambodia and other interesting Asian destinations? Give in to the wanderlust in you and prepare for an educational and enjoyable trip to maximize the wonderful opportunity. Pack suitable apparel and don’t forget comfortable footwear. Since a focal point of your journey will be to see the breathtaking Angkor Wat and other treasures in the vast Angkor temple complex, you must have suitable footwear that will take you across the moat (which surrounds the famed Cambodian religious structure) to the temple. If you’re a first-time traveler, you may check out the internet for an overview of the numerous famous spots you will be trekking to.

At Siem Reap, be ready to be amazed by one of the most photogenic of the temples – Ta Prohm. It stands out amidst giant fig trees and other gigantic creepers ensconcing the stone foundations of the structure. An amazing showcase of architecture melding with nature, this is one of the scenic spots featured in the Tomb Raider movie. Also worth exploring are the many galleries with columns, pavilions, courtyards and ponds that give a reflection of the towering temple.

Besides Angkor Wat, there are small but attractive temples you will most likely see. Aside from the temples, be prepared to be mystified Phnom Penh (with its myriad cultural attractions and fine food, unspoiled countryside with rice paddies, little villages and lost temples all waiting to be explored); and on to Sihanoukville for more exotic food, and the opportunity to bask in some sun & sand; and Ban Lung where scenic spots and ethnic people beckon. You will be interacting with many charming and friendly locals and terrific Asian cuisine of excellent value. It will also be an opportune time to refresh and quench your thirst with Angkor beer, which is simply divine.

The Cambodian temples are six to 10 kilometers away from the Siem Reap town proper. If you’re traveling alone on a shoestring budget, there several bargain accommodations at Siem Reap offering a balance of comfort and value for money. There is one which is western-run and is conveniently close to Siem Reap River, and a few minutes’ drive from the airport and about seven kilometers from the Angkor Wat. Choose one which is a stone’s throw from the main shopping and dining areas of the Old Market and Pub Street as well as some fine waterfront restaurants. Phnom Penh likewise offers high standard hotels. Even with limited funds, a budget traveler can easily get by in Cambodia. The food prices are similar to or go even lower than in Thailand. Food from the street stalls is hygienic and delicious.

If you’ve arranged and booked yourself in advance and availed of a special packaged hotel rate online, you can proceed to enjoy the exotic surroundings, great facilities and services, plus the best that traditional Cambodian hospitality can offer.

Indeed, your Cambodia travel is a trip unlike any other, and from the Khmer ruins of Angkor Wat, you may wend your way into to other must-visit destinations that fall under the most fascinating world heritage sites.

Tips For Visiting Ankor Wat

Most people who take a Cambodia vacation will visit Ankor Historical Park. Ankor Wat and the surrounding temples are best visited at sunrise and in the early morning and late in the afternoon towards sunset. There are two reasons for this, the light creates a completely different atmosphere, and it is not so hot. Break up your day and avoid the heat of the sun. Your pass will be valid for as many visits as you wish to make – so get up early, and see the sites of Ankor before it gets to hot. Then, mid to late morning, come back to your hotel in Siem Riep and relax in the heat of the day. Later on, when the weather cools down, go back to the temples for sunset.

Take your time – if you decide to rent a bicycle (pedal or electric), this is one of the nicest ways to see the temples, and it gives you independence but if you are not used to riding in hot environments it may be a bit tough.

Just about everyone in Siem Riep is a “guide”. Moto dops (motorbike taxis) will often tell you they are guides but just take you from point to point. Some guides from the guesthouses and hotels are very good – but be careful, many have no idea and make things up, and some just reel out dates and figures. A good guide book of the temples and history of Ankor, or a good Cambodia Vacation guide book will be very very useful for historical background and maps. After that, your own intuition is the best guide.

Make use that you drink plenty of water. It can get very hot, and it is very easy to dehydrate. Soft drinks are sold everywhere around the temple grounds although at a slightly higher price than in the town. Be cautious of ice from the stalls around the temples.

If you want to eat around the temples, you will find small restaurants everywhere. The food is generally local. For more western food, there are several restaurants near the main entrance to the temple of Ankor Wat.

Take insect repellant if you are visiting in the late afternoon / evening.
Wear a hat – if you don’t have one, they are for sale everywhere. A straw hat costing a dollar will do the job if you don’t have one – they are sold everywhere. Use sunscreen and take sunglasses. A cotton kramer – the local scarves are very cheap, and great for keeping off the sun, wiping your hot brow and wrapping round your neck.

Put on decent footwear and protect your feet. Flipflops may seem more comfortable, but climbing around the temples can be rough, sweaty, sharp and in some places quite dusty. Cambodia travel can be tough on the feet!

If you are visiting for more than one day, you will need a photograph for a multi day pass. Take a passport photo with you BEFORE you get to the temples. There is a facility to take pictures at the entrance, but there may be long queues.

If you are one of the few people left in the world that uses a camera with film then be prepared to pay extremely high prices if you run out of film at the temples. Ankor has some amazing photo opportunities and most people take lots of pictures.

My Next Top 10 Travel Tips

Earlier, I wrote my Top 10 Travel Tips. I had a number of people offer suggestions, so I thought it was time to write the next Top 10 Travel Tips.

Hope these are helpful!

1. This one is from a friend. Pack with travel cubes – or any other type of bag within a bag. This helps keep clothes organized and when security rifles through everything, “things” won’t go flying.

2. Wear shoes that slip on and off easily to the airport – I like Dansko.

3. Drink a glass of water every hour (when the water is safe).

4. This one if from friend…and a little gross. Put a little Vaseline in your nostrils and a just a little in the corners of your eyes – you get less dry. I tried it and it works!

5. When making decisions about activities, ask yourself how you’d feel 5 or 10 years from now about each decision. Do I go to the museum or do the boat tour? Do I have a fancy dinner or go to a play? Spend an extra day in Paris or see the countryside? Lie at the beach or site see?

6. This one is also from a friend. He was in Cambodia after traveling for months. There was a movie theater playing an American movie. He fully enjoyed the movie and forgot where he was. When he walked out he had a renewed appreciation for where he was and where he came from.

7. It’s hard to enjoy yourself if you are tired or sore. A quality memory foam travel pillow is a necessity. You’ll find yourself wearing it on planes, trains, and long car rides. The best travel pillows. will provide full support for your head and neck. Also, more and more airlines are no longer offering airline pillows.

8. Bring a couple packs of Wet One’s or Handy Wipes. They are useful for hygiene, comfort, and even make-up removal.

9. Save a copy of your itinerary on the Internet. Just email it to yourself.

10. This one is from a friend. If you find yourself trying to sleep and there is a mosquito in your room, ask the front desk for a fan. Turns out, mosquito’s hate even a light breeze.

3 Things You Should Know About Water Travel in Cambodia

Cambodia offers tourists the unprecedented opportunity to travel its extensive waterways to obtain a unique view of this emerging tourist behemoth. With rivers stretching from the North East to the south and extending to the east via a network of rivers and lakes, water wise tourists can plan and exciting trip. But for you start making detailed plans, it is important that you make sure that your travel insurance plan will cover any health problems that may arise.

That is not to say that Cambodia is a dangerous destination, it is just common sense to make sure that when travelling on all land of limited health resources that you have the peace of mind you need to undertake a journey into some remote locations.

So, with the formalities out of the way let’s take a look at some of the things you should know about water travel in Cambodia.

  • Ferries. Government run ferries operate between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, a journey which takes around five hours. This is a popular trip was tourists as Siem Reap is close to Angkor Wat, probably the most popular tourist destination in all Cambodia. At various times of the year some parts of the river may be too shallow for the ferry to traverse and so travelling is very limited. Check with your travel agent about when the dry season is likely to affect ferry services say to make alternative plans before you depart.
  • Tonle Sap Lake. This is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and is home to the famous floating villages of the area. Here you will see floating classrooms with children receiving instructions as they float around the lake, as well as a police station and many other food sellers. The occupants of this flotilla always travel together and will relocate according to tide and water levels. It is an extraordinary sight that is bound to live long in your memory.
  • The Mekong River Cruise. There are several cruises you can take along the Mekong River. You can travel around Phnom Penh or you can go further and visit the islands further upstream. The flooded forests are considered a natural wonder of Cambodia and have to be seen to be believed. You can actually sail over the top of the remains of a forest whilst all around you on the shores the same forest still flourishes. You can stop along the way and visit villages that are far from the beaten track. There you will find ancient temples that many tourists have never seen.

Travelling by water in Cambodia is an unrivalled tourist experience that many fail to plan for. As long as you have adequate holiday insurance there is no need to worry about getting off the beaten track in Cambodia.

Indonesia Visa Requirements Indonesia Travel Requirements

Indonesia requires an Indonesia visa to travel the exotic Indonesia lands. You can get the visa at your Indonesia embassy in your country or there is a visa on arrival option. Indonesia has several different Indonesia visa to fit your stay. Kitas are different they are for those staying longer than 60 days and is usually initiated by an Indonesian citizen or company. Recently, a retirement kitas has been added.

Indonesia Visa on Arrival:

Indonesia visa on arrival is for the indonesia tourist planning to stay less than 30 days, the visa on arrival it is non extendable and expires when you leave the country.

o visa on arrival can be purchased at Jakarta, Bali, Surabaya, Medan, Padang, Pekanbaru, Manado, Biak, Ambon, Balikpapan, Pontianak, Kupang, Batam, and South Sumatra airports.

o Visa on arrival is also available at a limited number of seaports, including the Batam and Bintan ferry terminals near Singapore

o visa on arrival allows travel to different islands in Indonesia

o There are four regions in Indonesia that the foreign national is not allowed to visit without special written permission and approval; Maluku, Poso, and Irian Jaya/West Papua.

To enter the restricted regions one must obtain special authorization from Indonesian authorities and advise the Embassy/ Consulate Generals about the intention to visit restricted regions.

Requirements:

o The passport must have at least 6 months before expiring

o Show that you have arrangement to leave country like return ticket or continuing trip

o Indonesian visas require an entirely blank passport page where they stamp the visa.

Cost:

o 10.00 USD for 7 days and 25.00 USD for 30 days

If you go over your time it’s a 20.00 fee per day up to 29 days.

62 countries and 1 region can apply for visa on arrival.

Argentina, Fiji, Libya Romania, USA, Australia, Finland, Lithiuania, Russia, Algeria, France, Luxenbourg, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Germany, Maldives, Slovac Republic, Belgium, Greece, Malta, Slovenia, Brazil, Hungary, Mexico, Spain, Bulgaria, India, Monaco, South Africa, Czech, Iceland, New Zealand, South Korea, Cambodia, Iran, Netherlands, Suriname, Canada, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Cyprus, Italy, Oman, Switzerland, China, Japan, Panama, Taiwan, Denmark, Kuwait, Poland, Tunisia, Estonia, Laos, Portugal, UAE, Egypt, Latvia, Qatar, UK

I have two tips for the Indonesia visa on arrival

1. After they stamp your passport they will give a form leave it with the passport don’t loose it or when you leave you will have to pay 20.00 USD fine in Indonesian Rupiah if you don’t have any Rupiahs you must go to ATM.

2. If you have someone picking you up at the airport tell them the line for the visa on arrival can be 5- 40 minutes depending on how many Indonesia travelers.

Cambodia Weather

Are you planning a trip to Cambodia, but are not sure what time of year offers the best weather for your trip? You’re not alone. Trying to figure out the weather patterns in Cambodia and neighbouring countries tends to be one of the most common questions asked by travellers planning their Cambodia holiday.

The weather in Cambodia can best be described as tropical. Depending on which area of Cambodia you’re planning to travel to, there are large differences in temperature and the amount of precipitation. The average daily temperature is 27° degrees Celsius.

Generally speaking, the best time of the year to travel to Cambodia is from October through to March, which is the dry season, when temperatures are more moderate. In April, Cambodia’s weather can easily reach temperatures of 40°C, and travelling through the country in these temperatures can be uncomfortable!

The rainy season runs from mid June until mid October, when the south-western monsoon causes heavy rains almost daily from June until October, usually during late afternoon or evening. The heavy rains don’t need to ruin your day, however, as the afternoon showers can often refresh the air and bring the temperature down. The rains in Cambodia are usually heavy but short and the rain usually leads to brief windows of beautiful skies with dark ominous clouds and amazing thunder and lightning. Most of all, the countryside and the paddy-fields are the most radiant shade of green during the rainy season. September is known for the most precipitation; however this can differ per region and each year is slightly different. Most people tend to avoid wet season, but there are definite benefits to travelling through Cambodia at this time. Of course there is plenty of rain, however it also far less dusty. The scenery is a deep, lush green and the waterfalls and rivers are at their most spectacular. During this time of year the day time temperature is approximately 24°C; the evenings can be slightly cooler.

The driest months of the year are January and February, and sometimes there is no precipitation at all during these months. You’ll notice that even though there’s no rain during a dry spell, the sky may not be clear blue, and can often be hazy or overcast. Cambodia’s weather is coolest between the months of November and January, but it’s unlikely the temperature will drop below 20°C. April and May are dry months; however as mentioned previously the temperatures can easily soar up to 40°C.

Perhaps you are planning to visit the beaches during your Cambodia trip? Although Cambodia isn’t as renowned for its beaches as much as neighbouring countries, the beaches in the bays around Sihanoukville and the deserted beaches of Kep are wonderful for relaxing and outdoor activities. Naturally you’ll want to have dry, sunny and warm weather during a stay at the beach, so the best time to visit is during the dry season which lasts from mid October to mid June although the hotter months of April and May are also ideal for Cambodia beach stays.

So if you are still unsure what time of year would be best for your Cambodia holiday, our advice would be to simply allow the Cambodia weather to be a part of your travel experience! Bring along a poncho and swimming clothes and you’ll be prepared for all that Cambodia has to offer. Cambodia is a great holiday destination all year; it’s just important to keep in mind that weather is always unpredictable. Just remember to pack a poncho and a sunny outlook!

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