Guaranteed to depart on 14th Dec. To my surprise many people mentioned 'Van The Man', as the best of man to provide cycle tours!
Guaranteed to depart on 3rd Dec. Overall, your support team took great care of us
I want to say that I had a most excellent trip and it went far beyond my expectations
I would strongly state that our fantastic experience came about through our excellent guide Dat
How to rock and roll from Hanoi to Luang Prabang by bike
I cannot enough express how happy we are with our biking with Vietnam Backroads Bicycle Tours
Everything was very well organized and our guide took us to parts of the country that we would never have seen otherwise
The one thing that would have made the trip even better is if we were provided some kind of detailed map to follow along with!
See Mekong Delta with Vietnam Backroads Bicycle Tours
Vietnam Backroads Travel (VBT) has registered aboved photo as its exclusive copy right logo. Many wesites have the same name as Vietnam Backroads without logo ! they are not members of Vietnam Backroads. Vietnam Backroads will not reponsibility for any bad services and scam by other fake tourism-companies. Van started to scout/explore cycle routes since he starting his job. He has kept update new routes every years as to make bicycle tours of Vietnam Backroads much more interesting and bring new thing to clients. Let's travel with the real cycle tour operator of Vietnam Backroads.
Van the Man from Vietnam Backroads is on an article of WORLDHCMC.COM in 2010
The founder of Vietnam Backroads Bicycle Tours: Van is the man who realised that cycling on big roads/ high ways is very dangerous and there is nothing interesting to enjoy on a poor system of infrastructure like it is in Vietnam. From his first- hand experiences in bike tours, Van has seen bike trips organized by many traveling agencies; Instead of cycling on country roads and paths, they designed bicycle tours cycling on high ways or big roads. At that moments, he asked himsefl why it should not be countryside trails or foothpaths? The traffic laws in Vietnam is almost "unwritten" laws and even the high ways are not big enough for local transportation. And an idea came to his mind: something must be changed!
Keep this idea in mind, he is decisive to make some changes by his contribution for the quality of Vietnam tourism. A caring heart, passion for new cycling adventures, strong hands are all he has got, but he has made it. He has founded Vietnam Backroads Bicycle Tours - a local company which specializes in biking tours only based on his desire to show the hidden charm of his country - Vietnam to the world. He investigate non- tourism footpaths through countryside areas of different provinces, tailor- made unique routes which cannot be seen on google maps and local official maps. With many huge networks of rural tracks linking villages to villages of different provinces that you can not find or see on google map, official local or traditonal maps! Mr Van often riding on his motorcycles from early morning untill sunset in order to mapp out bike routes since 2008. Three of his motorcycles cannot be repaired since he starting scouting paths. Many of paths/countryside roads are not familiar with many of locals and even local motortaxi. Why it is so? To make our tours unique, ever- interesting, Mr Van always try to discover more new thing, untouched countryside and new destinations in the low season of every year before hand and merely he knows which way is the best. He has spent many years on exploring routes with his motorcycles and mapped out all hand- draw maps.
With his dedication in finding out new things for tourists, his Vietnam Backroads is proud to be one of the best bicycle company in Vietnam. He is also addressed by our tourists in a beloved name Van the Man. Please, join us to see what fascinating trips, we can bring to you, your family and your friends. Our slogan: To see is to believe. Please, see our best roads to cycle in Vietnam
Post by WordHCMC - WordHCMC is the current leader in Saigon’s expat magazine
The reports I had heard from friends about their adventures in the Mekong Delta were largely negative. They had all been dragged on similar whistlestop tours that included little fresh air, uninspiring boat rides and a tedious visit to a candy factory. So, when the chance to see The Delta in a more original and revealing fashion arose, I was raring to go.
The idea was to do the trip on a pushbike with cycling enthusiasts John and Van, the co-founders of Vietnam Countryside Explorer is now Vietnam Backroads Bicycle Tours. They were to take me on a journey seen by few others. Forget the dodgy dust-bowl highways, tourists horded onto the next spot like ants or the visits to tired-looking rice processing mills. This, I was told, would be the real deal.
“We offer an alternative trip to the Mekong,” explained John on the morning of departure. “The area is so perfect for riding that we feel there is a need to offer cyclists a unique route through The Delta.”
“Most tours follow the same paths,” added Van. “With my knowledge of the region we can help travellers avoid the crowds and really appreciate the scenery.
The Great Escape
Meeting on the steps of the Opera House for a 7am start, we take off for The Delta in a minivan. Sitting with Van and John, through a medley of jokes and grins it’s obvious how excited they are about the ride.
Escaping Saigon fills me with relief, a feeling amplified by the sight of locals relieving themselves into the murky river that snakes along beside us. We stop off for a bowl of pho bo and I begin to get to know the duo better. John is an Australian, living and running a business in Ho Chi Minh City. His love of cycling and faith in the skills of close friend Van has led him to invest in this blossoming project. Van will be our human GPS/bike anorak for our dive into The Delta. With five years of tour experience and a collection of secret hand-drawn maps among his artillery, I feel assured that the trip will indeed be an eye opening alternative look at the area.
An hour or so later down the road the rumbling gravel below shakes me from a daydream and I know it’s time to saddle up. Van sets to work oiling gears and checking brakes, while I slip into my complimentary Lycra top. As I don’t want to ruin morale by exhibiting the male equivalent of a camel toe, I foolishly reject some skimpy cycling shorts. My knees creak in disapproval as we set off down the highway, but they stop whinging as we dip down onto a riverside path.
Our path is ideal for cycling, a concrete vein weaving its way through the vibrant green scenery. Soggy paddy fields flank us on both sides while brightly coloured butterflies flap in and out of vision. Van, or ‘Van-the-Man’ as he is affectionately known, highlights the fruit that is flourishing all around us.
“There is lots of food growing here,” he explains. “The land is so fertile you get everything from mangoes to mushrooms.”
The Ultimate Ride
It becomes evident during this opening section that a bicycle is the ultimate vessel for a trip into the Mekong. Despite my garish garb I don’t feel in any way intrusive upon the calm rural scene around me. You’re still hurtling along, but without the harsh spluttering of an engine to interrupt the peace.
Later we pedal our way to an ex-army base in the forest of Xeo Quyt, where we are led across a rickety bridge and then wobble into some small wooden rafts. The whole group is struck silent as we paddle down the thin passage that worms through the thick forest. A Mekong equivalent of the Cu Chi tunnels serves as a captivating respite from the ride.
My slightly numb buttocks urge me to don the padded spandex previously spurned, so I nip off behind a hedge and re-emerge looking like (or thinking I do) the real deal.
Soon we are soaring into Sa Dec, a charming little town littered with crumbling buildings. I pause on a bridge to soak up the seemingly time-locked scene and realise I haven’t seen another tourist all day. We stop for lunch in an old colonial villa that was the childhood home of French novelist Marguerite Duras, a writer who put Sa Dec on the big screen when her famed novel The Lover was made into a movie.
With bellies full of noodles and spring rolls we charge on to the ferry port, warmly anticipating an overnight stop in The Delta’s biggest city Can Tho. We have a brief traipse around the town and then decide to hit the hay early in preparation for a sunrise trip downstream to Cai Rang floating market.
After what seems like a minute’s sleep my shrill alarm clock is forcing me back into the land of the living. I greet the others in the reception with a sleepy grunt and shuffle behind them down to the jetty. Van whistles and swiftly procures us a boat.
All along the waterside I can see locals going about their morning routine. A vested old man crouches and washes his hair, while next door two children are spitting toothpaste into the surf below. Brightly coloured plants and clothes hang from the rafters of every stilted house, all of them rickety to the verge of collapse.
Ahead is the cluster of boats that make up the floating market. Cameras poised, we weave through the assortment of buoyant stalls, Van-the-Man hauls aboard some ca phe sua das while busily pointing out the different groceries on sale around us.
“They advertise what they are selling, by strapping a sample to high bamboo sticks,” he explains.
Many of the boats have colourful eyes painted on their bow, this crowned with flowers and wafting incense lends the scene an ancient, magical quality. The sun has shifted from a deep orange to golden as we make our way back towards a horizon silhouetted with black spiky palms.
Roads Less Pedaled
Back at the hotel we refuel and I wiggle my derrière back into black spandex. Soon we are on one of Van’s lush hidden tracks. The riverside is such a hive of rural activity I nearly crash several times due to the distraction. One moment is spent considering the woman drying water hyacinth to make furniture, the next fearing for the old gent fishing by electrical charge. The looks of surprise from the locals confirm my suspicions that we really are on roads less pedaled.
We see a schoolyard ahead packed with kids relishing their free time and decide to roll in. At the sight of these luminous berks circling their playground they squeal excitedly. I do my usual silly clown routine in front of the children, blowing raspberries and dancing; during which I notice their school library is a tree. Books rolled up and crammed into half cut plastic bottles dangle from every branch.
We cycle on through the green maze that shoots off in every direction. John is up front and has turned up the pace, not wanting to lose face I pursue him with moronic vigour and predictably crash. I fly over the handle bars face first into a wicker basket housing a fighting cock. Luckily me and the cock are practically unscathed. I only have a cut knee and a dented ego to nurse back to normality.
Back to Reality
Our cycling sojourn through The Delta is rolling to a close and I know I’ll be sad to leave. The cycling bug has definitely chomped down on me and the stunning surroundings increase my resistance to boarding the bus. Van and I cap the trip with a slow cruise through seemingly endless paddies as he regales me with tales about the region and his infectious passion for biking through the countryside.
Back in Saigon I realise how wrong I was to dismiss a tour to The Delta; it is simply about choosing the right one. The last couple of days my eyes have flickered restlessly over the whirlwind of sights The Mekong has to offer, all the while getting some good exercise and satisfying the universal tourist obsession with avoiding its own ilk.
Why is our tour prices are very seasonable but best services! What is the difference between Vietnam Backroads Bicycle Tours and others!
Firstly, the heart of Vietnam Backroads- Mr. Van who has experienced for years of being a bike tour guide and cycle tour organizer. With his first- hand experience, knowledge, enthusiasm and has a passion for cycling adventures, he has made traveling efforts to explore new unique routes for you that you cannot search in the internet or Google map even the traditional maps.
He believes that as a Vietnamese, he is responsible for showing his tourists the true views of his country…but HOW?
- On his motorcycle, he scouts almost every corner of countryside areas where he found out footpaths, back roads or concrete paths. He was exploring quietly on foot paths, country roads that crisscross much of Vietnam are vital links to traditional/rural villages where farmers living and working the land to produce foods (rice, vegetable, animal raising, fish farming and traditonal villages with family' workshop)
- That the reason why he has mapped out all routes and he always keep scouting new paths in the low season of every year, keep finding new destinations.
Secondly, Vietnamm Backroads is a local travel agency as we are Vietnamese and we know all parts of our country well. All Vietnam Backroads’ guides are professional bike guides and welled-trained by Van the Man, especially for mountain biking holidays and cycling adventures. Each of them and can tailor-make routes as your demand/cycling ability. Our bike guides are good in history, aspects of cultures in different region.
Thirdly, Vietnam Backroads Company is proud to be the leading pathfinder of remote countryside in Vietnam and designed a variety of cycle tours:
The advantage of Vietnam Backroads is to reduce its tour prices and offers you special prices in comparison with others! Without costs of monthly expenditures such as; head office leasing, bike hired and bike store! Customers of Vietnam Backroads will have special offers, reasonable prices and wonderful services as other Oversea International Travel Agencies providing for their bike tours organized through local travel agencies over here in Vietnam.
Please tell us! Who pay for the covers of office rental, bike hire, ware-house to store bikes all year round. If we rent luxury offices and others mentioned above. Of course our tour costs would be more expensive and of course, our customers (you) will have to pay overpriced that would be covering for monthly/yearly expenditures.
Cycling with Vietnam Backroads, You can choose from a variety of difficulty levels and variety of bike tours depending on your cycling skills.
The companies stealing, exploiting all results of Mr Van' Intellectual Property Rights and his hard works:
Exotissimo.com General Manager, George Ehrlich-Adam and his bike guides
Countrysidediscovery.com Mr Joe Le
Indochinacyclingtour.com Asia Star Travel