Cambodia AdventureTrail: November 2017


Say No to Ordinary on The Swashbucklers AdventureTrail in Cambodia.

This is your chance to experience the best of Cambodia and have an awesome time on the only tour of its kind – including the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon.

On our tours you’ll discover parts of this Kingdom of Wonder many tourists never even know exist let alone see. Sure, there’ll be some of the must-see attractions included, but we’ll also go off the beaten track (sometimes literally!) so you can get a real feel for this wonderful destination.

An amazing time for everyone.
Our tours started as ‘RunVenture’ tours – a combination of trail running and adventure. Today, we’ve expanded to cater to everyone… runners, walkers and cyclists of all abilities. So if you want to run, but have a non-running friend or partner, there’ll still be plenty of Wow for them as well, with options to walk, ride a mountain bike, or simply meet up with us after the run to join in the rest of the activities. Whether that’s zip-lining through the jungle tree tops, riding one of Cambodia’s legendary ‘Bamboo Trains’, discovering the famous temples, exploring hidden, underground caves, kayaking jungle streams, or simply sitting back and relaxing as we travel up some of the country’s ‘rivers less traveled’ by boat.
Places are limited as we only do small groups.
With Chief Swashbuckler and tour host Sputnik having lived in Cambodia for a period of time and visiting many times since, we have unearthed a ‘best of the best’ list of things to see and do. Due to the nature of this tour and the practicalities involved, our tours are limited to quite a small group of approximately 10 people maximum – and with high levels of interest, it’s possible for our tours to ‘sell out’ early. Which would be awesome for us, but not so awesome for you if you miss out. So let us know if you’re interested now and we’ll make sure we ask you first while there’s places still available.
About the Cambodia Adventure Trail Tour.
Our tour includes a little bit of everything – and a whole lot of awesome. It’s designed to be enjoyed by almost everyone – but is not for the faint-hearted. This isn’t hard core, Bear Grylls-style, drink your own wee adventure, but you will need to have a reasonable level of fitness, and more importantly, a real spirit of adventure.
Run. Walk. Ride. Enjoy.
While we started as purely a running tour, we’ve always catered to non-running friends and loved ones. It was our way of making sure runners didn’t have all the fun with everyone else being left behind. But demand for the rest of our adventures has been so high, we’ve now custom built a variety of tours to cater for everyone.
So even when we list a run as being part of the day’s activities, almost every day has a shorter, walking or mountain bike option available, and non-runners are able to join in the extra activities afterwards. So if you have a husband, wife, partner, mum, dad, sister, brother, friend or anyone else you’d like to bring along but they’re not interested in the running part, rest assured they’ll still have an adventure filled week of fun they’ll never forget. Ever.
A totally unique running experience.
As for you crazy runners though, you are in for something really special and different. We won’t be breaking any speed or distance records, most of the runs are relatively modest and around the 10km mark, but you’ll be running in some truly amazing places – many of which most people never get to see.
Please understand, if you’re looking for a multi-stage race type event, this isn’t it. Or if you’re looking to show off your super-human powers of endurance over ridiculously long distances, this probably isn’t for you either. But don’t worry, each day will have its own challenges, and certainly with a series of runs planned on varying surfaces and in what may well be some pretty warm and possibly humid weather conditions at times, this will definitely give you the chance to test yourself.
It’s mostly about having an amazing time.
But most of all, this tour is about having adventure-based fun and a truly amazing holiday. There’s enough running to keep runners happy. Enough adventure to keep those who want a more interesting and active holiday happy. And enough fun to, well, keep pretty much anyone happy!

The Itinerary.

24 Nov 2017 | Explore Phnom Penh
This is the day before the tour starts and is an optional day at an optional extra cost (Details/Costs TBC). We’ll take you to see a few of the local sights and attractions including The Royal Palace, Central Market and Choeung Ek – The Killing Fields. This last one is a very sobering experience and has purposefully been left out of our official tour for this reason, but for those of you not familiar with Cambodia’s history, it will offer you a valuable insight into the country’s tragic past.
If you happen to fly in earlier and require accommodation, please contact us and we’ll do our best to help you out with this. We strongly recommend flying in on the 24th or 25th to make sure you’re in town and ready to go in time to board the bus on the morning of the 26th. If you like, you can always make your own way to Sihanoukville and meet us there on the evening of the 26th. 
(There are  flights and buses from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville – the airport there is a relatively minor one and flight schedules are still changing. Your best bet is to check Cambodia for details although other airlines are looking at adding flights to Sihanoukville. Flights are approximately USD$150 but they only currently fly with a stop over making it a 4 to 5hr journey!)
25 Nov 2017 | Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville
Meet in Phnom Penh at 9am and board our bus and head South to the beach-side town of Sihanoukville. We’ll have lunch on the way, a little free time by the beach depending on our arrival time, and then the option of a group fresh seafood dinner on the beach. And by “on the beach”, we mean actually on the beach. (If you don’t eat seafood, don’t panic, there’s plenty of other things you can eat!) If you haven’t already said ‘hi’ to everyone on the bus, you’ll meet your fellow runners/walkers/riders/adventurers and we’ll brief you on the following day’s activities.
(Overnight in Sihanoukville)
26 Nov 2017 | The Jungle Trail
We start the day on the local trails, through light bush, farmlands and jungle before emerging onto local beach-side roads, some of which are the official course of the Sihanoukville International Half Marathon. If you finish at the roads and take the bus back, which you’re welcome to do, you will have covered about 10kms. Otherwise it’s more like 16kms if you make your way back to the hotel on foot, or bike.
We’ll then get cleaned up, check out of the hotel and drive over to Kampot (approx 2 hr drive) for our afternoon activity which is a gentle kayak through a spectacular jungle stream. We’ll then have dinner on a boat as we float back down the main river at sunset to the city of Kampot before a late check in at our hotel in Kep, approximately 30 minutes away.

(Overnight in Kep)

27 Nov 2017 | The Caves Trail
Starting in Kep, we drive further East almost all the way to the Vietnamese border to discover (and run/walk/ride around!) one of the hidden gems of the area… a series of small limestone mountains that were one of the last Khmer Rouge holdouts. We’ll go for a ‘figure 8’ route past the mountains, through local villages and back to the mountains and our ‘finish line’ will be inside the caves. Don’t worry about the word ‘mountains’, our route is dead flat. We go around the mountains, not up or over them. OK, there’s one small pass that requires a few stairs up and down, otherwise it’s flat. We promise.
(Overnight in Kep)
28 Nov 2017 | The (Small) Mountain Trail.
We had to add the word ‘Small’ because there’s no need to panic about tackling Kep Mountain – it’s very modest. (If we do it in the afternoon, it will be warmer, but it offers amazing views of the sunset!)  Not so modest, is the activity for the day! We’ll be off to another one of the local limestone mountains to do a spot of rockclimbing and caving.
Before you panic, here’s what our scaredy cat Chief Swashbuckler Sputnik has to say about this activity: “Let’s get something straight, I hate heights. But I did this activity and survived. The climb up is physically demanding, about a 7/10, but it is over with pretty quickly and once you reach the ‘top’ the real physical stuff is done. Form there you use a secure line to pick your way across the top of the mountain. This is a bit fiddly, but you’re strapped in at all times and isn’t that different to making your way across a rocky surface, you just happen to be up the side of a mountain when you do it. You finish by abseiling down a natural ‘chimney’ where, if you don’t like heights you can just shut your eyes and dangle while you get lowered to the bottom! If you want to pass this part of the activity, you can spectate and then join us for the caving afterwards. We’ll make our way through a series of caves. About 70% of this is pretty straight forward walking around, about 20% of it involves some more energetic scrambling and squeezing, and about 10% of it is squeezing through tight spaces – but never for longer than a few seconds at a time.” This activity is definitely not for the faint-hearted (or claustrophobic), but is highly recommended. Physically, this activity is relatively modest, the main difficulty is in dealing with the heights and tight spaces.
(Overnight in Kep)
29 Nov 2017 | The Mountain Trail

After putting you through the ringer the day before, we give you a relatively easy one today. We head up Bokor Mountain (on the bus!) to check out the war time ruins, the waterfall, the rock formations, the temple, the church… there’s a bit of wandering around but not running/riding/hiking to speak of. Just a general explore and look around. But it’s pretty cool up there. Sometimes literally.  

Then it’s time to drive (about 3hrs depending on traffic) back up to Phnom Penh in the afternoon.

(Overnight in Phnom Penh)
30 Nov 2017 | The City Trail
Enjoy a modest, early morning run/ride through the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. We’ll go past some of the city’s major landmarks including The Royal Palace, The Independence Monument, Riverside and Diamond Island (where the Tonle Sap meets the Mekong), Naga World Casino and finishing at Wat Phnom (temple). We’ll stop at the temple, have a quick look around and release some ‘good luck birds’. Then it’s time to head back to the hotel and get freshened up for another long bus ride (about 5-6 hrs depending on road works and traffic) north. We’ll stop at a few places along the way, including ‘Spider Town’ and for lunch. If you’re not already filled up on fried spiders.
(Overnight in Siem Reap)
1 Dec 2017 | The Temple Trail
Today will be your first glimpse of the world famous Angkor Temple region just outside of Siem Reap. But we’re not going to take you down the main road, that would be way too simple and easy. No, we’ll be criss-crossing through the jungle on small local trails, catching glimpses of the famous temples along the way. It’s a bit of a tease, because we won’t be passing the front of the major temples, we’ll be saving that for later! Instead, we’ll end up in a corner of the park where we’ll have a quick drink and a short rest, then it’s time for zip-lining through the tree tops. Let’s be clear, the physical capability for this is absolutely minimal, so this is purely a heights issue. We’ll be zip-lining through the tree tops without ever touching the ground at any point from start to finish. Except, obviously, at the start and finish. The rest of the time is spent on treetop platforms and you are double clipped to safety lines at all times so it’s incredibly safe and even if you’re not a huge fan of heights, you’ll probably get through this alive. Probably. 😉
(Overnight in Siem Reap)
2 Dec 2017 | Free time to explore.
Ready for the really good news? This is actually a day off. Well, maybe. It’s your day to explore the local temples, explore town, or explore the hotel pool. It’s totally up to you. Usually we don’t schedule in rest days because we figure you can do that before or after the tour as much or as little as you like. But given what we have in store for you tomorrow, we figured we’d make an exception and let you rest your legs a little.
(Overnight in Siem Reap)
There may be the opportunity for a few side trips including a trip to The  Landmine Museum where you can learn all about the amazing work of Aki Ra and his team, helping rid the country of some of its estimated 5 MILLION remaining mines as well as helping children affected by landmines.
3 Dec 2017 | The Half Marathon
For our final day you’ll have guaranteed entry into the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon. And don’t panic, if you’re not up for the 21.2km distance of the half marathon, there’s also a 10km run. OK, yes, and a 3km run as well! So there really is something for everyone. This event will take you past some of Cambodia’s most famous temples including starting and finishing in front of the wonder that is Angkor Wat. If that doesn’t get you excited, check your pulse, you’re probably dead. This really is going to be one of those races you’ll remember, and brag about, forever!
We’ll have dinner somewhere nice to celebrate.
(Overnight in Siem Reap)
4 Dec 2017 | Bye Bye Time.
On the final day, you can either decide to stay on or fly home. Please note, Siem Reap does have an international airport so you can fly out from here direct, or head back down to Phnom Penh. (We can help arrange transport back to Phnom Penh via plane or car.) Transfers are not included in the tour as there are too many variables, but let us know what you need and we’ll do our best to help and get you here you need to go.

Sputnik-HostMeet your host, Sputnik.

Sputnik is Chief Swashbuckler at The Swashbucklers Club and will be your ‘host’ on the Cambodia Adventure Trail Tour. He lived and worked in Cambodia and has returned there many times since 2008. He is ridiculously passionate about introducing people to this amazing country including some of the lesser known attractions.


In early 2014, Sputnik visited Cambodia to research this trip and personally run and do every single thing that now makes up this tour. (It has to be said, there were a number of things he did, places he ran and hotels he stayed in that have not made it into this tour so if it’s in here now, you can be sure it deserves its place!)


A few things you should know about Sputnik: He is not a world champion ultra runner. So if you are thinking about coming on this tour to break the land-speed record, you’ll be doing that on your own. As a former Nike Run Club Leader in Adelaide, South Australia he is, however, experienced at running with, supporting and guiding runners of varying abilities – particularly those of more ‘modest’ abilities. To allow for possible hot conditions, he has made the decision to make the majority of the runs more manageable to less experienced runners – often with shorter alternatives.


Because most of the courses will not be marked or easy to navigate on your own, the runs will predominantly be ‘group runs’ where runners run together and will be speed-limited by Sputnik’s own pace – or the slowest runner in the group. To give you a reference point, here’s a few details of Sputnik’s running abilities:


  • Marathon PB: 3:44 (Usually runs around 4hrs)
  • Tarawera 100km trail race (Rotorua NZ): 14:35
  • The North Face 100 (Blue Mountains, Australia): 19:30 (injured)
  • Manaslu Multi Stage 212km Trail Race (Nepal): Completed 3 stages of 7/(approx 90km) in just over 22hrs before suffering altitude sickness and recording his first ever DNF (Did Not Finish). Thankfully there will be no altitude issues on this trip!
Since 2010 Sputnik has completed 7 ultra marathons, 12 marathons and 15 half marathons.

Frequently Asked Questions.

What kind of person will love this tour?
If you like being active, spending time in nature, discovering new things, having a laugh, taking photos, running a bit, warm weather and just generally seeing/doing cool, unusual or slightly adventurous things, you’ll pretty much love this tour.


If you’re happy to go with the flow, fly by the seat of your pants, and make things up as you go along, you’ll have an absolute blast.


If you like hanging out with (mostly) like-minded people from all over the world and don’t mind running at a pace that’s possibly slower than your usual pace so everyone can keep up, and roughing it a little at times, you’ll be just fine and have a really, really good time.


If you’ve ever been to South East Asia before and liked it, or think you can cope with local Asian food, go without most of your usual comfort foods and mod-cons, don’t mind the warm weather, crappy roads and at times stupid traffic, and things never going quite according to plan, then yep, by all means sign up, this tour has got your name written all over it.


If you’ve ever wanted to go to Cambodia but don’t know how to go about seeing some of the absolute highlights of the country, this is a pretty cool way to do it and you should sign up for sure.


If you’re a single traveller and want to travel in a safe, fun and friendly environment, this will be right up your alley and we’d love to have you along.


That pretty much sums up all the people who are going to love this tour.


Probably some others as well, but it’s a good start.


What kind of person should NOT come on this tour?
OK, let’s be clear here, out loud we say everyone is welcome and will have an amazing time, but we don’t really mean that. What we really mean is ALMOST everyone is welcome and will have an amazing time. There are a few exceptions.


So if you don’t like running, runners or being active, this may not be your best choice of tours. You can absolutely have a great time without the running, but the other activities we have planned are still activity-based, so if your idea of a great holiday is sitting on the beach drinking $1 beers, it might be better for all of us if you save your money and pass on this tour. Likewise, if you don’t like Asian food, the odd insect bite, muddy shoes, hot weather or sweating like a mad man (or woman).


If you like your tours to run like clockwork, with everything going perfectly smoothly, this tour may challenge you. We run a pretty tight (and safe) ship, but there are lots of things that are out of our control, (like the traffic, weather etc), so if improvising as we go is likely to upset you, maybe give it a miss.


If your idea of roughing it is 4.5 stars, you might find some of the hotels we stay in below your usual standards. Even though we stay in good quality hotels, it’s a fair bet that sometimes the hot water won’t work properly, the shower pressure will be a bit rubbish or the electricity will go out. That’s Cambodia. If these sorts of things are likely to ruin your day, you may want to try New York or Las Vegas instead.


Or if you’re just a bit of a whiner and like to complain about everything, maybe save all of us the trouble and do a different tour. Don’t get us wrong, we’re here to make sure you have the most ridiculously good time ever and our mission is to make sure you have such an amazing time you tell all your friends about it and come back and do one of our other tours next time. But some people are never happy, and if you’re one of them, we’d love it if you didn’t come.


NOTE: One more thing. Now this is a slightly tricky one, but we’re going to say it anyway. On the off chance you’re a smoker, Cambodia is one of those places where you can still smoke pretty much wherever you like. But on our tour, we implement a common sense smoke-free policy. That means if you want to smoke, and are happy to bugger off and do it where it doesn’t affect anyone on our tour, then by all means puff away. However, if you light up where the people on our tour can smell it, we consider that a health (and happiness) risk and will ask you to refrain. We can’t control what every single person in Cambodia does, but we can do our best to keep our people happy and healthy so you will be asked to comply with this or risk being politely frowned at and in extreme cases, told you smell. In really extreme cases you will be asked to leave the tour without refund.


Will it be hot?
Yes, very. At times, it will be so hot you’ll think you’ve run to the gates of hell. But we can confirm we don’t actually go anywhere near the gates of hell, it might just feel like it. So bring sunscreen. And a good, protective hat. And drink enough water to drown a fish.


Will it be cold?
Weirdly enough, despite the previous answer, at times, quite possibly. Most of the time it is much more likely to be hot. But there may be a few times when it will be cooler. So bring something suitable for these conditions. You’re unlikely to need a down jacket and gloves. But a light sleeve may come in handy.


What kind of hotels will we be staying in?
It will be a bit of a mixture, but let’s go with ‘decent’. We won’t be in the high-end luxury hotels, but you won’t be sleeping on the ground under a tree either. Think of them as ‘mid-range’ which means they will have hot water and air conditioning. Possibly even a fridge and a TV.


Why don’t we just stay in one hotel the whole time?
Really good question, and the truth is, we would love to have done this. It would have made life a lot easier, but Cambodia is just too big to do the range of things we want to do and be based in one hotel. For this reason we’ve decided to move hotels during the tour. We know staying just one night at a hotel can be a bit of a pain but it means we spend a lot less time on the bus!


Can you find me someone to share with?
Possibly. If you’re travelling alone but you’re happy to share with someone else to save a few dollars, let us know and we’ll try match you up with someone else travelling on their own. Obviously we can’t promise this as it depends on who’s coming, but email us and we’ll see what we can do.


Can more than two people share a hotel room?
It depends on the hotel. If you have a group of 3 people let us know, and we’ll check with each of our hotels to see which one allows 3 people in the same room.


Is this trip suitable for children?
If you’re interested in bringing your children along, let us know and we’ll go through each day with you to let you know what they will be able to join in on and what the applicable rates will be. Funnily enough, other than the running, kids could probably join in on most activities. We haven’t actually costed the kids option as we have had no requests to date, so please contact us if you’d like more information on this option and we’ll look into it and see what’s possible.


Are all my meals included?
No. But a lot of them are. Breakfast is always included. Lunch is included where specified – which is most of them. Most dinners aren’t included. We did this for two reasons: Firstly, it was just too darn difficult to calculate with so many options available and secondly, it made sense to give you more freedom to eat what you want, where you want in the evenings so you’re not stuck with the same bunch of people every minute of every day. Not that the people won’t be lovely of course, as a general rule, runners usually are. But this gives you time and space to do your own thing if you wish. On most nights we will nominate a place to eat where you can still hang out with the other runners if you like. In our experience, this is what happens most of the time.


What will the food be like?
They’re not actually that big on salad or vegetables in Cambodia, (although there’s usually plenty of fruit!) so it’s not likely to be the healthiest food you’ve ever eaten, although obviously we’ll do our best to eat at places where the food is as good as we can possibly get. We should note that while our own eating preferences are relatively healthy, this certainly isn’t a health retreat so please don’t expect the food to be too healthy! Besides, you’ll burn off all the carbs as you go, so try not to get too worked up about it!


What if I’m vegetarian or have other special food requirements?
Sputnik, your host, is vegetarian and he manages just fine. If you’ve seen pictures of him you’ll know he certainly doesn’t go without his food. (Although admittedly he does cheat and eat a bit of seafood. He calls it ‘Vegaquarian’ apparently. Whatever.) Rest assured, there’ll still be plenty to eat even if you don’t eat meat.


Breakfast will usually be something like pancakes and/or eggs. Some of the places we stay have a breakfast buffet which means you can choose from all kinds of things. Lunch will usually be local. And since you can do whatever you want for dinner, you can eat pretty much anything you like and we can certainly do our best to point you in the right direction if there’s something specific you’d like to eat. As a general rule, local food is pretty good value and if you want something more Western (steak, burger etc) it’s a bit more expensive.


If you have a more complex food requirement or allergy (vegan, lacto etc etc) we’re sorry, but we have no way of catering for this. The places we’re going to and eating at simply aren’t sophisticated enough to cater for this. Potentially you could buy some of your own food supplies – with one or two exceptions most of the places we’ll be going have good access to supermarkets etc – but that’s the best we can do. Sorry. If you’re not sure, this might be one of those things you need to email us about.


Is it safe to drink the water?
No, not really. The safest thing to do is always use bottled water for drinking and even for things like brushing your teeth. Within reason, we’ll make sure you have a basic supply of safe drinking water pretty much all of the time. If you need more water at 2am, you’re on your own.


How much money will I need to bring with me?
Hmmm… good question. Cambodia is a relatively ‘cheap’ country in the scheme of things. We can’t comment on how much you’ll need for shopping, that bit’s entirely up to you. While you’re on tour, the main things you’ll need money for are food and drinks.


Drinks like water, soft drink/soda and beer are usually only US$1-$2. (Spirits, cocktails and wines can all be comparatively expensive… $7-$10+ depending on where we are.)


With the exception of some really fancy places or if you’re going to order the most expensive, Western thing on the menu, a decent main meal will usually cost you less than US$10.


So 10 days of Dinners with a few basic drinks will be about US$150. And buying extra drinks at lunch or during the day may be up to another US$100 for the week. (We’ll make sure you have drinking water included but if you want a Coke etc you’ll usually need to pay for that yourself.)


Will I have any spare time to do my own thing?
Yes, a bit. We’ll run a fairly full itinerary but on most days this will be more morning-based and sometimes you’ll have the afternoon to relax, explore, hang by the pool or do whatever it is else you’d like to do. The day by day breakdown will give you a good idea of when this free time is available. Although Cambodia is a relatively small country, getting to and from places can take a little longer than expected due to the roads and traffic.


If there’s something you’d really like to do, you may like to consider adding a few days or even a week on the end of the tour to allow for some real relaxation. Or more running!


Where should I stay if I want to stay longer?
There’s plenty of amazing places to stay while you’re in Cambodia. And all kinds of hotels, from the very cheap and basic through to five star luxury. If you want some advice on what to do and where to stay, by all means email us and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.


What do I need to bring with me?
We have a suggested gear list on our website. Check that out.. It will tell you pretty much everything you need to know.


Do I need travel insurance?
Absolutely, you’d be silly not to. And, in fact, we won’t confirm your place until we see proof that you have it. This isn’t us trying to be difficult, it’s just one of those tricky subjects we have to cover off. While we all hope none of us will ever need it, it’s a really good idea to have it. Naturally, we’ll go above and beyond to make sure you stay safe and well while you’re with us, but as everyone knows, sometimes things can and do go wrong and it’s time like these we all need insurance. Whether that’s for something like a lost bag or a medical expense. So please send us a copy of your insurance details as soon as you have them. We’ll keep these on file for you on the off chance something does go wrong.


We recommend checking out Indo Surf Travel Insurance because they offer UNLIMITED Medevac and Hospital cover (that’s something crazy surfers need) and are the experts in the region (which is what Swashbuckers need). It’s underwritten by Australia’s largest and oldest Travel Insurance provider, and costs less than $10 a Day.


What if something bad happens?
OK, so this is a really good question. The reality is that despite our best efforts to make sure you stay safe and sound 100% of the time, life is unpredictable. Sometimes even more so in these parts of the world. Mostly, it’s not likely to be anything life threatening, but when we’re out and about all kinds of things can go wrong. From tummy problems to sprained ankles… or other injuries and ailments.


So here’s what you need to know: There will be no doctor on this trip. Your hosts will have basic first aid training but that’s all. If something goes wrong there are several good medical centres in Cambodia and we will get you there (or somewhere nearer for minor issues etc) as fast as we possibly can. From there, your travel insurance will kick in and you’ll be well looked after. Sorry if that all sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s best to be up front about it.


(And yes, as awkward as this subject sometimes is, we may as well get this out of the way now – we do make you sign a form saying it’s not our fault if something serious goes wrong. This is one of those crappy legal things we have to cover off and what your travel insurance is for. All you’re doing is joining us and we’re showing you the way.)


What if I don’t want to do one of the runs or activities?
Don’t. This trip will still be pretty awesome even if you only do 37% of the things we have planned! You can choose to have an entire day off and rejoin us the following day, sleep in and meet us for the activity afterwards or pick and choose the bits that sound the best.


Do I get any discount if I don’t do all the runs/activities?
Sorry, but no. The way we’ve put this tour together means it’s an all up inclusive cost no matter what. If for any reason you decide not to, or are unable to complete the tour, you’ll have to rely on your travel insurance for any possible refund as we will already have well and truly spent your money booking everything for you. Sorry.


Will the free T-shirt be awesome?
Yeah, pretty awesome.


How fast will we be running?
This isn’t a race so we’ve designed it for people of ‘moderate’ running ability – which means we won’t be racing it. Every run will be speed limited by Sputnik’s pace and the pace of the group in general. This may mean we’ll need to stop every now and then to make sure everyone can keep up.


If you want to run faster than the pack this will be possible on some runs where the track/path/trail is well-defined and easy to follow. On other days it’s too difficult to navigate without a guide so you’ll need to stick with the pack or risk spending the rest of your life in the woods being raised by monkeys.


As a guide, if you can run 10km ‘comfortably’ you should be fine. This means running 10kms in something like 60 or 70 minutes and not be limping around for a few days afterwards. Keep in mind, there’s something on every day, so you won’t get the rest day(s) you usually do when you’re running at home.


We’ll also be running on trails on some days, so if you’re not used to trails, this is something you may want to factor into your preparation.


A half marathon training program with some trails/hills/stair work thrown in would be good preparation.


Can I wear normal road running shoes?
Yes, absolutely. Some of the places we’ll be going will be a little rough and possibly even slippery if it’s a bit wet or muddy. Ideally you might consider bringing one pair of regular running shoes and one pair of trail running shoes. (See gear list.)


Having more than one pair may also come in handy if one pair gets wet as it can be difficult to dry shoes and clothes when we’re on the go and it’s humid.


How do we get from one place to the next?
We’ve booked a bus to take us from place to place and we’ve gone out of our way to make sure it’s a really nice, comfortable bus. But here’s the thing: Unlike the hotels and trips that we check out personally, we don’t personally, hand-pick a specific bus. We just book one from the bus company so there’s a slight variable here.


We’re actually not all that fond of buses, so we’ve gone out of our way to make sure you won’t be crammed in like sardines by booking a bigger bus than we actually need. The company we’ve booked through are supposed to be one of the better ones going around as well, so other than cross our fingers we’ve done as much as we possibly can to make sure the bus is a good one.


(If for whatever reason you decide not to take the bus with us, it will be up to you to make your way to the next destination. We strongly recommend you don’t do this.)


Do I need to have any vaccinations before I go to Cambodia?
There are plenty of things we’re good at here at The Swashbucklers Club, unfortunately being doctors isn’t one of them. Many people who go to Cambodia choose to have various shots/vaccinations but you’ll need to check with your own doctor as to what they may suggest and make your own decisions on this one.


Do I need a VISA to get into Cambodia?
One of the reasons we let you book your own flights is so we don’t have to be experts in the different rules that apply to different people from different countries. As a general rules, yes, you need a VISA but how you go about arranging this may vary from country to country. You should confirm the details of your VISA requirements yourself or with your travel agent.


What if I book, then can’t come?
At The Swashbucklers Club we really, really like being nice. So we’ll always do our absolute best to do ‘the right thing’ and help you out in any way we can. But here’s the thing – we need to book, and pay for, quite a bit of stuff quite a long way in advance. That means when you pay a deposit, or your full amount, we spend quite a big chunk of it making sure you’ve got a seat on the bus, a bed to sleep in, a place in a raft and all that. And we are bound by everyone else’s cancellation policies as to how much money we get back if we cancel your place. That means if we don’t get any money back from those companies, we won’t have any money to give you back. Unfortunately that means we have to have our own ‘Terms & Conditions’. Which we hate doing, but there’s simply no way around it.


What are the Terms and Conditions?
Your deposit is 100% non-refundable. It basically costs us more than your deposit to secure your place. So once you’ve paid that, we’re afraid it’s not coming back. Even if you say “pretty please”.


We’re also going to officially state here that any balance paid is also 100% non-refundable. (This is not because we’re mean or looking to retire to the South of France with your money any time soon, but rather because we are also subject to quite a lot of cancellation fees ourselves. We will consider any cancellation requests, but regardless of how good your reason is, we simply may not be able to offer you a refund. This is another one of those times where you travel insurance will come in handy!)


If we have to cancel the tour for our own reasons, obviously you’ll get a 100% refund. No question about that. If the tour is cancelled due to external factors, (extreme weather, act of God etc) no refund will be given – sorry, but again, that’s what your travel insurance is for!


Is there any other official/legal stuff we need to know?
Sadly, as much as we’re all about fun and adventure, we do have to say some official stuff, and it’s this: We reserve the right to cancel the tour or alter the itinerary if necessary.


The other thing we need to make clear is that while The Swashbucklers Club is a division of Soul City Pty Ltd, a highly reputable Australian company operating several well known and successful businesses, we’re not a ‘Licensed Travel Agent’ (which is why we get you to do all your own flights etc), but rather just a ‘club’ that organises stuff to do in cool places. Our tour is purely Cambodia-based and we simply invite you to come join us while you’re there and we have ‘Club Hosts’ who will help make sure things run as smoothly as possible along the way. This is one of those local governance things we need to make clear to comply with rules and regulations here in Australia. We do, however, partner with local tour companies and guides in Cambodia at times.


How do I pay?
The best/easiest/cheapest way to pay is by direct deposit into our company account.. Within Australia this is free for us and free for you, which means you pay the exact amount on the invoice. We can also accept payments directly into our ANZ Royal Cambodian bank account if this is easier for you.


If you pay from outside of Australia there is usually a small fee associated with your payment, but it is paid by you at your end, so again, you just pay the regular amount.


If you want to pay by credit card we can process that through PayPal but those guys charge a fee that we have to pass on to you. Which makes it a little more expensive. These fees vary depending on where you are. To confirm the exact amount, please contact us and we’ll confirm the final amount. (They are usually between 2.4% and 3.4%.)


Got any other questions we haven’t answered here? Ask away!

The gear list is a constant work in progress but here’s most of what you will need to know:

  • Two pairs of running/hiking shoes in case one pair gets wet. Due to the humidity it can take a while for things to dry, so unless you like putting damp shoes on the next morning, bring two pairs.
  • A pair of trail shoes/hiking boots. If you’re a runner, it would be a good idea if one of your pairs of running shoes were trail running shoes for extra grip and protection. We’ll be running/hiking/climbing on everything from soft sand to bitumen to dirt to rocky surfaces and the extra grip and protection of trail shoes will definitely come in handy. In fact, from experience, trail shoes will be the best all-round option so you could even bring two pairs of trail shoes. If you bring road and trail shoes, we can tell you which days will be best suited to which shoes. (There are way more trails than roads though, so we usually take two pairs of trail shoes that can handle some road.)
  • Your usual warm weather running/hiking gear – whatever that consists of for you. Keep in mind most days it will at the very least be warm, possibly flat out hot and/or humid. Socks, shorts, tops etc. Even though there’s a slight chance of rain, it’s likely to still be warm so a rain jacket is unlikely to be necessary for an adventurous soul like yourself. We suggest steering away from ‘killer cotton’ as it tends to hold too much sweat and take ages to dry, regular tech gear is a much better option although it gets pretty stinky pretty fast, so we’re big fans of merino which stays comfy and is stink-resistant. Again, as with the shoes, bring enough so that if your gear doesn’t dry overnight you have something else dry and comfy to wear. (Especially when we’re on the move between hotels, there’s less chance to wash and dry gear. When we’re in Kep and Siem Reap for a few days it’s a bit easier to give things time to dry. There’ll also usually be a cheap laundry available although is usually a 24 hour turn around.)
  • Some warm clothes. On Bokor Mountain it can get quite chilly at the top. A light to medium sleeve top will be a good idea here.
  • A hat/cap. It gets hot. And it’s likely to be sunny. Enough said.
  • Some sort of water carrying device. We HIGHLY recommend a hydration pack with a small amount of extra storage space. If you’re hell bent on running without one, you could probably get away with a ‘fuel belt’ or even ‘hand held’ bottles, but a hydro pack will give you the best flexibility. You can carry more water, a few snacks and supplies. If you need suggestions of brands/models etc, please ask.
  • Sunglasses. It will be sunny. So sunglasses will keep the sun out of your eyes. If you forget to bring your favourites, you can always buy a cheap pair from the markets for about $5 while you’re there.
  • Bathers and a towel! It’s Cambodia! Unless there’s any last minutes changes, all our hotels have swimming pools. Plus there’s the beach. And a river.
  • To the best of our knowledge, it’s not easy finding ‘running nutrition’ etc in Cambodia. Cambodia is changing FAST so who knows, by the time we get there you may be able to find these sorts of supplies, but if in doubt, bring it with you. We can’t comment on specific Cambodia customs rules but you may need to declare “Animals, fish and plants including their products (vegetables, food etc)” so running gels and powders would fit in this category. Traditionally, they have absolutely no problem with sealed packets of food that are easily identifiable but this part truly is up to you.
  • First aid supplies. Cambodia’s bigger cities/towns (ie Phnom Penh and Siem Reap) have modern chemists where you can buy all sorts of things over the counter – including what would be ‘prescription only’ in many countries. But if there’s something really specific you need you may want to consider bringing it with you. If you’re worried about Customs it may be possible for you to get a note/letter from your doctor confirming you need these supplies – particularly less recognisable things like syringes for diabetics etc. There is some official information on this subject here but if you can understand it, you’re doing better than us.
  • Sunscreen. Many things are much cheaper in Cambodia, sunscreen isn’t one of them. You can buy it there easily enough, but at best it’s no cheaper than in places like Australia. And usually, the good stuff is imported and can be a bit expensive.
  • A small ‘day bag’. Generally speaking, once we leave the hotel in the morning, we’re gone for the day. So anything you need for running/hiking, or the after-run shenanigans, you’ll need to bring with you. Dry clothes, toiletries to make yourself look beautiful etc. Some days we’ll have access to decent bathrooms, but not always, so you’ll need to be prepared to duck and weave with where and how you get changed. We’ll brief you the night before on what you’re likely to need so you can pack accordingly. Rest assured, you won’t have to walk/run/ride with everything, you’ll be able to leave your extra stuff in the car/bus.
  • Bug spray. OK, this is a tricky one. We’ll be supplying you with a can of our favourite bug spray on arrival. It will be our welcome gift to you. BUT, we do need to remind you we are going to a tropical destination and the mozzies can be right bastards. And at various times there is an increased risk of diseases like Dengue Fever. Most of these things aren’t fatal, but aren’t very pleasant either. So protecting yourselves from mozzie bites is actually pretty important. Usually, we rely on the spray. But if you want to try one of those mozzie-repellant bracelets or any other form of protection please go your hardest. (Please keep in mind you can’t bring aerosols etc on the plane!)
  • Torch/Head torch. You probably won’t need one of these, but having a torch, even just a basic one, could come in handy. When we’re doing the main caving activity, helmets, torches etc will be supplied. But sometimes we duck into other caves for a quick look and although the guides will have torches, you might also like to have your own.
  • ‘Lady Clothes’. OK, this is a slightly delicate one for anyone who’s not been to Asia before. We’re not sufficiently qualified to go right into the ins and outs of local religions, customs and etiquette, but if you’re a person of the female variety, it’s worth keeping in mind that in some places, particularly temples etc, there are sensitivities to exposed female skin. So while you’re 100% cool to go for a run in shorts and a singlet, you most likely won’t be allowed into a temple that way. If you have a light sleeve etc this will come in very handy. We’ll do our best to alert you of any impending need for such a thing, and even carry a spare sarong etc for you wherever possible, but even outside of our tour, it’s worth remembering to carry something with you if you plan on going somewhere this may be relevant. Please know, this is not relevant in the more touristy parts of Cambodia where basically anything goes. (If you visit Angkor Wat, you will be allowed into the main temple area in regular clothes, but to ascend to the top levels both men and women will need to more modestly covered.)
  • Plastic sandwich/zip-lock bags. If you plan on running/hiking with something that needs to stay dry, (like a phone, camera etc) make sure it’s in a bag. Even if it doesn’t rain, it can be warm/humid enough for things to get damp so a dry bag is the best idea.
  • Power adapter. At the risk of stating the obvious, they have different power plugs to other parts of the world. If you have anything you want charged, you may want to buy one of those power adapter thingies. Or ask us really nicely to charge it for you overnight.
  • Liquid restrictions. OK, we’re no experts on this, but please also remember, you can only take certain amounts of ANY kind of liquid on the plane with you. Whether it’s perfume, drink, moisturizer, your own urine to drink in case of emergency etc. Click here to read more about that cause the last thing you want to do is pack something awesome to bring with you, and then have to leave it at the airport.

Other Notes: It’s worth noting there are several big department stores and sports stores (Nike Store, Adidas store, etc) in Phnom Penh. So if you forget to bring something, there’s an opportunity to buy regular running gear before we head off into the more remote areas.

Cambodia Adventure Trail Tour Cost.

Tour includes:
  • 9 nights accommodation at clean, comfortable, 3.5+ star hotels. (99% with AC, TV, Fridge etc)
  • 9 Breakfasts
  • 8 Lunches (Every day except free time/rest day)
  • 1 Dinner (on the boat)
  • Airport transfer on arrival to Phnom Penh (Subject to your arrival time. Departure transfer can be arranged at additional cost.)
  • Air conditioned bus transfers to and from all runs/activities
  • 7 hosted activities
  • Western host for running group (English speaking Khmer host for walking group.)
  • Local guides and entry as required at various locations
  • Zip Line Adventure
  • Cave entry/guide(s)
  • Climbing instructor/cave guide
  • Kayak Tour *& river boat ride (with dinner) on Kampot River
  • Visit to Pepper Plantation and Salt Farm
  • Entry to the Angkor Archeological Park (3 Day Pass)
  • Entry into the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon (or alternative distance)
  • Swashbucklers Adventure Trail Tour T-Shirt
  • Bottled drinking water during all runs/activities
  • Additional inclusions to be confirmed upon final confirmation of itinerary
COST USD$3,495 (Per person, twin share room) – see additional notes below re payment plans and discounts.
COST USD$3,995 (Per person, single room) – see additional notes below re payment plans and discounts.

Unlike some companies, we do NOT include ‘travel’ days in our tour. So our 9 days are 9 actual days doing and seeing things.

PAYMENT PLANS AVAILABLE – if you’re interested in the tour please contact us for details.



Discounts may also apply for bookings of 2+ people. Please contact us to discuss best pricing for you.
Pre-tour Activities/Accommodation on Nov 24 in Phnom Penh. (Hotel Approx USD$100 per room, twin share or single)
Day tour to include Killing Fields, Royal Palace and Central Market with local transport. Approx $50
A percentage of all profits go to a local charity – our charities vary from year to year but we have supported Sunrise, the Landmine Relief Fund and a local flood relief program in Kampot.
Does not include:
Flights – to be arranged at your own expense
Activities or Accommodation on pre-tour day Nov 24  in Phnom Penh.
Dinners (except on The River Boat)
Mountain bike hire if required – TBC
Drinks at ANY meal (other than water during runs/activities)
Departure transfer to airport

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