I have been trying to acess the website - www.mekongdiscoverytrail.com to find out a little bit more information on this cycle/trek. However the website seems to have been closed down and i cannot find any information on this.
I was wondering if anyone has any information, or has done this themselves. We are planning on cycling the 190km trail over 3-4 days in december 2011.
Any info would be a great help
#1 sjale4 has been a member since 19/9/2011. Posts: 8
The site is currently undergoing renovation and needs to be off-line for a while. It will be back soon bigger and better than before, we are even including downloadable GPS and Google map files that will allow detailed navigation of the trail.
My name is Trevor and I am working on this development project for SNV, UNWTO and the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism. You can contact me tpiper[at]snvworld[dot]org and I can send you some files and other information. Cheers.
#2 TJP has been a member since 11/10/2011. Posts: 1
Yeah I recently did this a few months back and can't rate it high enough. For sure the highlight of my trip in s.e.asia. I was a bit worried about technicalities - what'll happen when my bike tyre punctures, etc - but to no surprise the locals are always up for helping out. You don't have to go long before someone offers to give you a helping hand.
We managed to get a lot of cheers and hellos from onlookers wondering what we were doing on cycles and not sat in cars traveling from one spot to another! sitting looking out a car window you just don't get to feel and see close to a fraction to what you get from a cycle.
my last comments which i hope a fellow traveler would take up: help the locals out by traveling here and supporting their well-being. the beauty and smiles makes you jaded of the tough reality the chaps in this area have to manage day in day out. the mekong discovery trail was set up for this reason - i found out talking with people there that its helped draw attention to the north east area where not many people venture to.
Oh also - once you get to kratie i'd suggest getting a boat across to Koh Trong Island (you can't miss it - from the riverside just look across). The boat journey is about 10 minutes and costs 1,000Riel (25 cents). Once there stay at the home-stay -- amazing!! I love the wooden houses on stilts. the opportunity to sleep the night and wake up in one was a gift!!
it's around 6$ per person per night (might be a little less, can't remember exactly). you can turn up without booking (once you get to Koh Trong Island there is an information hut just to the right, or follow the trail anti-clockwise and you'll eventually see a sign for it), or you can arrange it in advance (phone 855-12-674-880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
have great fun and let me know how you get on!
#3 Sarunn has been a member since 11/10/2011. Posts: 7
Thank you TJP! I see now the website is up and running! Fantastic information and maps available, looks incredible!
Thanks Sarunn for your information as well, we are still organising which rides we will do, i will definatly be heading to Koh Trong island!
#4 sjale4 has been a member since 19/9/2011. Posts: 8
Awesome information Sarrun! How and where did you organise a bike? We are looking to do this in December.
#5 jackal has been a member since 10/10/2011. Posts: 2
sjale - did you get the website working? www.mekongdiscoverytrail.com
i see its up and running now..
if you are sure for Koh Trong Island you should also go on to Koh Rougniv island which is north of kratie. I see the mekong discovery trail have got a map showing you where this is: www.mekongdiscoverytrail.com/html/Kratie_Trails.html - open the 100 Pillar Wat & Koh Phadau map (Koh Phadau is the village on Koh Rougniv island where it is really good to visit. and they also have homestay place. I stayed here 4 nights! the views here are really something - you are in the middle of the river looking down at the whole width of it..
if you want to also arrange homestay here contact the Cambodian Rural Development Team (+855 233 57230). they can organise for you as they know the villagers really well and are a good team)
hey jackal i think there are a few options for bike rental: it depends on what you want, what is your budget. if you go from phnom penh you can hire a really good bike and take it with you on the bus or mini-bus (they'll find a way to put it in the trunk, don't worry). you can also rent a bike when you get to kratie. many options. there are 2 very reliable places on Street Samdach - this is the main riverside street. try Keang (no.55) or Ke Sokheang (No. 124) -- or ask your guesthouse. they might also have it. they are really cheap to hire.. most times $1 per day.
you can also go by motorbike if you want.. rent at any guesthouse and some cafe's.. i did this for a while and then got a bicycle. it is both very different experiences. but remember if you go to Koh Phadau village you can not take motobike on the small boat to cross the river. only bicycle can travel on the small boat. for koh trong island, it is ok for taking bicycle and moto on the boat to cross the river.
hey can i ask - do you go to stung treng? why not many people go there also?
#6 Sarunn has been a member since 11/10/2011. Posts: 7
hey i just found a really amazing website with good photos to show what i mean! lots of information aswell: http://www.camroads.com/destinations/steung-treng-
#7 Sarunn has been a member since 11/10/2011. Posts: 7
Thanks Sarunn! We only have about 4 days spare to do a section of the trail. I was trying to decide between Kratie and Steung Treng and decided on Kratie as I had read about the Koh Phadau homestay 2.5 day tour option, which you mentioned, and it sounds great so I decided on Kratie. Wish I had more time to do both!!
#8 jackal has been a member since 10/10/2011. Posts: 2
Hello, I am also keen to do the trail in a week, but the website doesn't seem to be working and I am not sure how to go about booking this journey...?
#10 Fabienne5050 has been a member since 29/12/2013. Posts: 1
My husband and I just completed the Mekong Discovery Trail without a guide between Stung Treng and Kratie and it costs us next to nothing. (May 2014)
The road between Kratie and Stung Treng is under heavy construction which is why we opted for the Mekong Trail.
Leaving Kratie, it was as simple as turning right out of our guesthouse and following the Mekong on a hard dirt road for 40km (heading south). We then turned right back to the main road for 24km. From there we cycled about 18km on the main road (under heavy construction) and turned right towards Koh Khnhear for 11km. We asked around town and a family offered us a homestay with Dinner, breakfast and a picnic lunch for $20 (for two people). We stocked up all water and snacks in Koh Khnhear as there is no food or water for about 30km on the island. In the morning we paid $2.50 (for two people and two bikes) to cross the river on a boat to Koh Rougeniv
On Koh Rouge Niv locals directed us to the start of the 40km trail on the island. The first 25km was rough and takes double the time it normally would because of the powdered sand. Our bikes were also heavy laden with panniers since we are travelling for a year, but would probably be a lot easier without heavy luggage, I would not recommend this route unless you have a mountain bike with good types and spare parts with tools as there is no one to help you out there if you get stuck. The last 15 to 20km was a lot easier. All along the trail there are blue signposts indicating that you are on the right track but these are few and far between, when in doubt, we used a compass app on our ipad and headed south the entire time before heading west when a sign indicated us to turn right towards Koh Pdao. We did not get lost, althoug a lot of the time we felt that the trail could have done better with more signposts.
It was a very slow day and 40km took us 8 hours to do, which would normally take us less than 2 hours on a normal road. We carried 10 liters of water between us and this was sufficient, however if u don't have a keen sense of direction and are likely to get lost, I would suggest taking and extra litre or two.
At the town there are 16 organized home stays costing $3 each and an extra $3 for dinner and $2 for breakfast. These are clearly signposted. A trip to visit the dolphins only cost us $5 for two people for 40 minutes and there were no tourists in sight. After leaving the homestay we headed further south for about 6km before turning left towards the ferry to Sambor. The ferry cost us less than a dollar for two people and two bikes. Once on the mainland, we turned right on a paved road all the way to Kratie.
Here are the maps and pamphlets we found online and used throughout the ride.
#11 melcogger has been a member since 27/5/2014. Posts: 2