Vietnam to Cambodia
P3 - This trip is physically tough. Frequent exercise is necessary to prepare properly for this expedition. Regular walking mixed with training at the gym to build up endurance and cardiovascular fitness is key. Expect to be able to do 8 hour days in hilly and often steep train, carrying a pack of 6-10kg in weight with the occasional extra long day.
Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.
T1 - No technical skills are needed. A good steady walking ability only is required.
Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.
Date & Prices
Pics & Vids
It would be difficult to find a more beautiful and contrasting cycle than Vietnam to Cambodia. Covering over 270 miles under pedal power over 6 event-filled days, we explore the lush Mekong Delta with its plantations and paddies, before reaching the dry fields and forests of Cambodia.
Fueled morning, noon and night by two of the greatest cuisines in the world, we will make our way from Ho Chi Min City via the cultural slap to the senses of Phnom Penh to the achingly beautiful ruins of Angkor Wat. We pass havens of tranquility in the pagodas and temples of Vietnam and Cambodia, explore the crazy, teaming floating markets of Caj Rang and Phong Dien in Vietnam and take on every type of road imaginable, and every mode of transport conceivable. Paved roads will give way to rutted dirt tracks, rivers and orchard-lined canals will be crossed with unpowered ferries and bamboo bridges, and the freedom allowed us by exploring by bike means we’ll see these wonderful countries as few visitors do – up close and with no barriers.
The Vietnamese and Cambodian people are incredibly welcoming. This epic cycling experience will give you deep insight into a wonderful culture and, over the space of a week, create memories that will last a lifetime.Find out more
Date & Prices
Departure & Return
Price (excl. flight)
Price (incl. flight)
Start: 12 November 2018
End: 23 November 2018
Price without flights:
Price with flights: £2,520
12 November 2018
23 November 2018
Start: 19 November 2019
End: 30 November 2019
Price without flights:
Price with flights: £2,520
Leader: Emma from SayYesMore
19 November 2019
30 November 2019
Leader: Emma from SayYesMore
- Local guides and a western 360 guide
- International flights
- All internal transfers
- Baggage transfer
- Bike and helmet, full cycle support
- Hotel accommodation throughout (of varying grades dependent on location) based on twin occupancy
- All meals as shown in the itinerary
- Entry fees to all attractions
- Travel insurance
- Personal equipment and excess baggage
- Staff and guide gratuities
- Items of a personal nature: phone calls, laundry, room service, etc
- Personal drinks and snacks
- Single Supplement: £145
- Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early including any airline surcharges as a result of changing return airline tickets
Pics & Vids
DAY 1 : Depart UK
Today we will depart the UK, normally from London Heathrow airport.
DAY 2 : Arrive Ho Chi Minh City, transfer to hotel
The flight arrives in Ho Chi Minh City, where you will be met and transferred to a centrally located three star, air con hotel to relax. Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is located in the delta area of the Saigon and Dong Nai rivers. It is Vietnam’s largest city and has a diversified topography, ranging from mainly agricultural and rural areas in the north to a widespread system of rivers, canals and dense mangrove forest to the south. This afternoon you will receive a full trip briefing and bike fitting. In the evening, we enjoy a welcome dinner to introduce us to the local cuisine. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 3 : Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho
Transfer from Ho Chi Minh to Can Giuoc. Our challenge begins! We pedal along the narrow roads and lanes that weave their way through the local communities, past banana plantations, fields of sugar cane, through the lush green landscape of the Delta, crossing rivers and canals by numerous, fascinating small ferries from Can Giuoc to My Tho – the heart of rural Mekong delta. The heat will be felt today by all but a nice steady pace will help with acclimatisation, ensuring we complete the first day’s distance. Overnight in My Tho.
Cycling distance: 60 – 65 km
DAY 4 : My Tho – Can Tho
After an early breakfast we start off cycling down peaceful, narrow country lanes, easy dirt tracks and trails that open up beautiful scenery all the way to Can Tho. This is biking at its most glorious: passing through tiny orchards, witnessing colorful riverside life, pedaling across innumerable wooden bridges and pausing to chat with welcoming villagers. More narrow canal crossings using local sampans to reach the main ferry for a refreshing boat trip across the expansive river to Vinh Long. From here, we transfer by bus the last 30km to Can Tho city. Overnight in Can Tho.
Cycling distance: 70 km
DAY 5 : Can Tho – Chau Doc
After a very early breakfast, we catch the boat to Cai Rang floating market, and then cycle a narrow road to Phong Dien floating market. Floating markets are a bustling hub of trade for locals as well as travellers selling everything you could want, with much of the produce grown locally in the areas we cycle through.
We weave our way by boat through the morning markets which bustle along the banks of the very busy river; absorb the sights of endless cottage industries, timber merchants, coconut shredders, small docks loading and unloading rice. We then continue with our cycling challenge along narrow lanes to the main road, where we stop to have lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, we continue riding along tiny roads leading upstream towards Long Xuyen. We then transfer to Chau Doc, where we stay overnight.
Cycling distance: 95 km
DAY 6 : Chau Doc – Phnom Penh
We depart early from Chau Doc on the boat journey to Phnom Penh. Cross the border to Cambodia at a checkpoint on the river, then head northwest along the Bassac River. A tranquil river journey passing rural life in Cambodia.
Arrive in Phnom Penh in the early afternoon. We’ll have lunch along the river and then strike out into the city.
Phnom Penh was once considered as one of the most beautiful cities in the Orient, and despite its recent turbulent history, it still retains a colonial charm. Cambodia’s capital is a bustling city, majestically located at the confluence of the mighty rivers of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap. Wide tree-lined boulevards and many colonial-era buildings reflect the glorious days and add to the allure of the city, where Asian and Western traditions meet.
This afternoon we’ll explore two of Phnom Penh’s most famous sites. Our first stop is The Royal Palace. The palace dates back to 1866 and was the last palace built during the French colonial period. The same complex houses the Silver Pagoda, where more than 5,000 heavy silver tiles cover its floors. Its original name is Wat Prakeo, meaning Temple of the Emerald Buddha. In this temple you will view a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze.
Our second stop this afternoon will be the infamous Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. It stands as a somber reminder to us about the erstwhile Khmer Rouge and history of modern Cambodia.
We’ll check in to our hotel, where we can relax and shower off before dinner.
Cycling distance: none
DAY 7 : Phnom Penh – Kampong Cham
We will wake early this morning and prepare ourselves for an exciting challenge along the Mekong River. After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the outskirts of Phnom Penh to begin our morning cycle. With the river beside us, we’ll watch the city slowly drop away and give way to the idyllic countryside of Cambodia. Along the way we’ll encounter small Muslim communities who live along the riverbanks. As we carry on, the tarmac road gives way to dirt and the tall buildings fade into the trees.
Today’s challenge ends at the crossroads of Kang Meas. We’ll load our bikes and transfer directly to Kampong Cham where we’ll overnight.
Cycling distance: 75km
DAY 8 : Kampong Cham – Sambor Prey Kuk – Kampong Thom
This morning we’ll begin with a transfer to Kampong Thmor where we will begin cycling once more. To the right we can see some of the low lying mountains that dot the circumference of the Tonle Sap basin. We’ll cycle over gentle back roads in the deep countryside of Cambodia until we reach the ruins of Sambor Prey Kuk, the pre-Angkor capital of the Khmer Empire. Unlike the temples of Angkor, these ruins are only partially restored. Roots of enormous trees envelop the old temples; they look as early European explorers might have found them when they first came to Cambodia.
After our visit to Sambor we’ll step back onto our bicycles once more and head for Kampong Thom where we’ll overnight tonight.
Cycling distance: 65 km
DAY 9 : Kampong Thom – Siem Reap
We’ll start today with a transfer to the village of Damdek and we’ll begin our cycling challenge through the countryside. Our finish line will be just outside of Angkor Wat. Take a moment to rest and relax in sight of the world’s largest religious edifice, before packing up our bikes and heading to town to relax and have dinner.
Cycling distance: 65 km
DAY 10 : Siem Reap – Angkor Complex
After breakfast this morning, we’ll meet with the guides and prepare for our journey through the jungles of Angkor.
We begin with a visit to Ta Prohm temple (a setting of one of the Tomb Raider films), built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle, trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes Ta Prohm one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples. We’ll continue from Ta Prohm to the ancient city of Angkor Thom. This was the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. An eight meter high wall draws a perfect square around the city ruin. Enter through the ancient East Gate. On each side of the entrance path a row of fifty-four gods and demons hold the sacred Naga snake of Hindu lore.
From here, continue to Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its fifty-four towers with enigmatic faces representing the fifty-four provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs.
Return later to the famous Angkor Wat. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolising Mount Meru, the home of the gods. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Angkor Wat is well known for the more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken around thirty years of intensive labor. Today, Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia’s national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people.
With the day finished, it’s time to return to the hotel and get ready for our final dinner together. After our farewell dinner, we’ll take in an evening show from Phare. A nonprofit school for the arts, Phare is a demonstration of the graduate students’ acrobatic ability, and it has much in common with Cirque du Soleil with exceptionally talented players.
Cycling distance: 35km
DAY 11 : Siem Reap - Departure
After breakfast you normally (flight dependent) have a good part of the day to explore Siem Reap before your transfer the airport for the flight home.
DAY 12 : Arrive UK
Today we will arrive back home.
These are subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the cycle trip and what you will experience.
Bags & Packs
Duffel bag or similar for your kit which is carried in vehicles between nights
Small daysack for kit you carry during the day, keep this SMALL
Nylon rolltop bags (or even just large plastic bags) that keep fresh clothing and other important items like passports and iPods dry in the event of a total downpour that seeps into your kitbag. Good for quarantining old socks
To keep your bag contents safe
Wide brimmed hat
Keeps the sun off exposed areas like ears and the nape of the neck
Julbo is our preferred supplier
High factor as the sun is reflected off the road into your face
Breathable base layer
Bring some with long and some with short sleeves, these are designed to draw sweat away from your body to keep your skin dry and cool / warm
Another thermal layer in the event of cold spells, and useful for when you stop
Avoid getting wet when it rains or you will get cold quickly
Spend more to get more padding so you can sit easy at night!
These are a thermal layer to keep you warm if the temperature drops
Avoid getting wet when it rains or you will get cold quickly
Both for cycling (or an additional pair for cycling in) and for padding around off the bike in town
Change of socks
To change into around town and evenings
Cycle Helmet is provided but you may prefer your own that you know fits you well
Pedals / cleat shoes
Standard pedals will be provided but if you’d prefer to use cleated pedals these will be fitted for you
Water bottles / bladder
Bottles will be provided, but bring your own if you prefer
Personal wash kit and toiletries
Travel towels from the likes of Lifesystems are perfect
Wet wipes biking
Useful for degreasing your hands after putting your chain back on or after lunch
Chamois cream/Vaseline/Body Glide
Vital anti chaffing!!
Just in case
Personal first aid kit
E.g. plasters, deep heat gel, ibuprofen and pain killers
Keep this in your daysack
Waterproof pocket or wallet for passport
(If you intend to carry it with you)
Including allen keys
International plug adapter
Bring plenty of spare batteries and memory cards
For protection against the inevitable snorers!
For when your energy levels flag and you need a pick me up (See FAQs)
A book or other entertainment for evenings
Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity. With your passport expiry date at least six months after the final day of travel.
Copy of passport
Just in case
Passport photos x 4
For Cambodian visa
Vietnamese visa to be organised before travel, Cambodian visa can be obtained on entry
Copy of own travel insurance details. And relevant contact numbers.
We have a partnership with True Traveller and would recommend that you contact them when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360. However, it is vital that you ensure that the insurance cover they offer is suitable for you, taking your personal circumstances (items to be insured, cancellation cover, medical history) into account. Many other insurance providers are available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip. And that your insurance includes medical evacuation.
Tips local guides (tipping your UK guide is optional!) plus extra for meals not included, extra drinks on the mountain such as coke and souvenirs.
Is there a support team?
From the very start when you booked your place on this trip to the moment you arrive back in London you will be in the capable hands of experienced 360 Staff.
All of our staff have extensive knowledge of world travel, event support and other skills that are ideal for the job they are doing and situations that might arise. As well as this they are motivated, friendly and approachable. While out on the road the support team also have great back up from the office with a 24 hour emergency number just in case.
Back up team numbers and number of vehicles vary depending on the group size and the logistics of the route, but we ensure that there are enough staff to provide you with a great and enjoyable trip.
The team are there to look after the running of the trip and all the aspects that are involved. From route-marking to luggage transportation, or motivating to puncture repair, the back-up team are there to help you complete your challenge and enjoy every minute!
Will the support team provide bike maintenance?
The other big job for the back-up team is to keep your bike on the road so you can keep pedaling! We carry a range of spares and inner tubes should something happen to your bike on the trail and will be along before long to fix you up and keep you cycling. We also carry spare bikes.
Food and Water
What is the food like on the ride?
Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be typical Vietnamese and Cambodian food, lots and lots of rice and noodles!
In Vietnam meals will look like this:
Breakfasts: Fried rice with beef or pork; fried noodles with beef or pork; vegetables, eggs, pancakes, bananas, cake, bread, hot tea and coffee.
Lunches: Rice and mixed dishes of chicken, pork, beef, fish, vegetables, eggs, etc.
Dinners: Rice with 5-8 dishes, usually a mix of several vegetables, fish, pork, chicken, tofu, beef, and duck. See a theme running through this…?
In Cambodia it will be more like this:
In the cities, Khmer (Cambodian) food is quite complex. It’s usually sweet and sour or mild to moderate spice. We do try to include a little Western food (typically French cuisine) though in the provinces it is very hard to source Western staples.
Breakfast in the city hotels is usually buffet style so guests can enjoy some western food in the morning. In the countryside, food tends to be quite simple, but hearty. A typical lunch might include fried noodles with vegetables in a clam sauce. Meat is usually included, but there are vegetarian dishes readily available. Rice is almost always included with meals.
I have food allergies, can these be catered for?
Absolutely, please let us know in advance.
Should I bring snacks?
It isn’t really necessary to bring snacks. We provide local snacks and fruit. If you want to bring energy snacks, such as power bars or gels which are not usually available in the country then please do.
Where does the drinking water come from?
Purified drinking water is available at all stages of the trip (with the exception of restaurants, where we do not include beverages). In restaurants, we recommend you purchase bottled water and refrain from drinking anything with ice (except in restaurants in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, where clean ice is guaranteed.) Do not drink the water from the tap. If you think you might be filling up outside our planned water stops, bring purification tablets.
How often is fresh water available for replenishing during the day?
Depending on the terrain and the speed of the group, we try to stop every 15 – 25km (typically 1 – 1.5 hours of cycling). You can refill water bottles at any of these stops. We prepare between 3 – 5 litres of water per client per day.
What type of accommodation will I be staying in?
Hotels and guest houses, which by local standards will be good, by western standards may seem a little simple in places, in more developed areas will be very respectable with western toilets and hot showers. Remember these are developing countries, but they do try hard to cater for western tourists.
Will I be sharing a room?
Yes. All accommodation on the trip is shared (unless you pay a single supplement rate). If you have a friend on the ride let us know and we will make sure you share with them.
What will happen to my luggage?
All your overnight luggage will be transported for you from hotel to hotel, but this does mean that it will be very awkward to access this bag during the day. Therefore we suggest if you have a few things you might need out on the road then you bring a small daysack or large bumbag to carry things while on your bike. Do keep your backpack small though otherwise you’ll find your shoulders get very stiff very quickly and you will get hot quickly. Better still get bike bags for the handlebars or under seat compartments for any essentials. Small daysacks are often more accessible on the bus during the day.
Space is limited in the luggage vans so we ask you not to bring suitcases but stick to soft duffel bags or kit bag and not one that is precious to you as they may be put on the bottom of the pile. Your bag should weigh no more than 15kg.
What are the facilities like?
Western toilets are available at hotels and major cities. In the countryside, we cannot guarantee that a toilet will be available. Most toilet facilities in the countryside are squat toilets where they are available, otherwise you’re in the bushes.
Health and Safety
What happens if I get tired?
There will be regular rest stops for drinks and snacks after every 20 miles or so of cycling – there is no problem if you need to take more rest stops. A support vehicle will be bringing up the rear of the group on the cycle ride ensuring nobody is left alone – remember, this is not a race!
Do I need vaccinations or any medication for malaria?
You should ensure the usual traveler’s vaccinations to a developing country are up to date – Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A & B. Rabies is sometimes recommended. You should also consider taking malaria tablets. We ask that you seek the latest advice of your local GP, Nurse Practitioner or travel clinic before you travel.
Do I need a Yellow fever vaccination certificate?
You do not need a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate for travel to either country UNLESS you are arriving from a Yellow Fever risk country. Again, worth verifying that this information has not changed at the last minute before you travel.
You recommend a first aid kit, what should I bring?
The same sort of things you would take on any holiday, but consider particularly Ibuprofen to relieve muscular pain, Compeed blister treatments, rehydration sachets, plasters and antiseptic to treat minor scrapes. If you have medicines that you take regularly you should take those with you in case the van carrying them is held up preventing you from keeping to your normal regime.
What happens if there is a problem and need to leave the expedition?
If it’s something serious then in extremis helicopter evacuation can be arranged, otherwise vehicle transport will always be available. If it’s not a medical problem but you need to get home then equally arrangements can be made. Evacuation costs will need to be met by the client or their insurer.
What personal equipment and clothing do I need?
It is a rule that while cycling you must wear a cycle helmet. There is a two strike rule – if the back-up team see you riding without a helmet twice then you will be asked to retire from the event. This is entirely based on safety reasons. During the trip there’s a chance you could be exposed to extremes of weather so we encourage you to be as prepared as possible to handle those extremes and remember they can change very quickly. We have provided a kit list in this document, if you have any concerns or questions about kit please do not hesitate to get in touch.
We highly recommend when buying cycling shorts you do not go for the cheapest as your bottom will be doing a lot of the hard work and needs good padding! You’ll look a bit funny standing up at the dinner tables in the evening. Also the heat and humidity will play a big part in your comfort levels, so spend a little more on good BREATHABLE kit.
Is the trip for me?
Definitely! There are plenty of like-minded riders taking part who are thinking the same thing so you will be in good company and you will meet new friends. Some people come with friends or family but most people come on their own. Sign up today for a fantastic experience and the opportunity to make life long friends.
How fit do I need to be?
If you engage in fitness activities at least 3 times per week, or do a physical job e.g. builder and this will be easily achievable. The most important thing is to get “saddle time” meaning get on a bike either outdoors or in the gym as the skin – and the heart – take a little time to adapt to cycling all day. The aspect that will be hardest to acclimatise to is riding in the heat.
Is there a minimum/maximum age to take part?
The minimum age to take part is 18 and there is not a maximum age limit but if you are over 65 years you will need to provide us with a medical certificate from your doctor.
What is a normal day on the trip?
Normally the day would start with a wake up call and then breakfast. We ask that on your way down to breakfast you bring down your overnight bag. After breakfast there will be a few minutes to check your bike and tyre pressures. Before you set off there will be a short recap on the dinner briefing and then it is off. The ride will be broken down into sections with water stops, and lunch out on the road. Arriving at the hotel or guest house you will be shown where to leave bikes, you will check in and be told where your bags are so you are able to go and freshen up before dinner. During dinner you will also have a safety briefing for tomorrow’s ride.
What are the roads and terrain like in Vietnam?
In Vietnam it will be quite flat with some high bridges. Most routes go down tree lined lanes and roads. The area around the Tonle Sap basin is very flat, with only minor changes in elevation ranging from 100-200m. At times the roads will be reasonably busy, at the other end of the spectrum the only traffic we might encounter will be the odd buffalo. The cycling would be classed as easy to moderate for an averagely fit person.
What mileage will be covered during this trip?
Distances vary between 35 to 95 kilometers per day, covering 470km in total (distance may vary slightly due to changes of hotels or exact route). While you are training we recommend several days of these distances on consecutive days to get used to the distances day after day. If you are planning to track your route please remember that all computers and GPS devices vary slightly in readings.
What other modes of transport will we be using?
Apart from the bicycles, we use different vehicles depending on the group size. Bike, bus, speedboat, small wood built “ferries”, tuk tuk, plane! This trip is not all about the cycling, it’s more by any means necessary and people should expect to be getting on and off vehicles each day, whether that’s the bus, a ferry etc. Generally though, we use buses or vans of varying size with trucks to support with equipment, with some interesting river crossings along the way.
Will we see lots of other westerners or will it feel remote?
In Vietnam we will be visiting mostly remote areas. Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are tourists hotspots. In the Cambodian provinces of Kampong Cham and Kampong Thom, we may see a few more tourists, but only at major stops like Sambor Prey Kuk and Angkor Wat.
Will I get time to explore the amazing sites such as Angkor Wat?
Most definitely. The program features a full day in the Angkor area. There will be some time set aside to see the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh as well, and Sambor Prey Kuk in Kampong Thom.
What is the best time of the year to do this ride?
October to March are all good times to visit Cambodia and Vietnam. During this time the weather is quite cool and there are fewer tourists. April and May can be very hot in Cambodia, with temperatures reaching daily highs of 35 or 40 degrees. In the Mekong delta, it is much cooler during these times.
How cold / hot can it get?
During the day, temperatures in dry season average about 28 degrees Centigrade with moderate to high humidity. Lows tend to be around 22 degrees at night and highs tend to be 32 in the afternoon. The other factor is humidity which makes it feel far hotter and can reach 90% on occasion.
What about insurance?
You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the expedition. We cannot accept you on to the trip without proof of insurance.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip. With your insurance coverage to include medical evacuation.
Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however this can be arranged at a later date. 360 Expeditions will be requesting your insurance details 8 weeks before your departure.
Entry into Country
Do I need a visa?
You will require a valid ten year passport which must be valid for at least six months from the day you enter Vietnam. Your Vietnamese visa should be obtained in advance. Your Cambodian visa can be sorted at the border crossing.
What do the trip costs cover?
The trip costs cover all of your accommodation (twin room basis), travel, all meals except for ones mentioned in the itinerary and luggage transfer. They also include trip support by experienced 360 leaders; support, mechanical and medical staff and vehicles.
Costs do not include visas, personal travel insurance, meals mentioned on the itinerary, drinks, extra food, extra personal items and any other costs not mentioned.
You will need to allow extra for snacks, drinks, souvenirs and other personal extras. Non-alcoholic drinks usually cost around $1-2 USD at a restaurant. A tuk tuk is not usually more than $2-3 USD, depending on the occupancy and the distance. A budget of $20 USD a day would be more than ample even for the more adventurous. We would also recommend carrying a credit card to cover any personal emergencies that might arise.
Am I correct in thinking we only need to take American Dollars with us?
In Vietnam, it is possible to exchange USD or GBP for Vietnamese Dong when you arrive at the airport in Saigon. In Cambodia, US dollars are accepted everywhere. Sometimes Cambodian Riels (roughly 4,000 riel to 1 dollar) are given as change. Riels cannot be exchanged outside of Cambodia so it is good to spend them prior to departure.
Is there mobile phone reception?
Yes. In the countryside there are pockets of dead space or low signal but these are usually small. SIM cards are available in Vietnam and Cambodia for $8-10 USD.
Will I be able to charge my camera or phone on the trek?
Yes. Be sure to bring appropriate adapters. Most outlets in major cities can accept several types of plugs, but it is not guaranteed in the provinces.