from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh Saturday, December 18, 2010
We finished our tour with a 4 hour boat trip up the Mekong from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh. Sitting in the back of the boat with the breeze in my face, gazing out at life along the muddy river gave me time to reflect on what a diverse and beautiful world this is. Next stop, Phnom Penh.
I could go on, but you get the idea and the pictures speak for themselves. Honestly, if you have ever thought about doing a trip like this do it now. It is accessible to anyone remotely fit. Van has a support van that hovers nearby along the route so tired bicyclists can choose to be driven to the next rendezvous (Maddie took advantage of this option a few times). We rode as a family about 50 Km a day but you could do more or less, depending on your interest and stamina - Andy got in some extra miles with Van (next years ironman training never far from his mind).
You will be beaten up by bike before you relax on beautiful resorts on Phu Quoc Island
This bike tour was a great experience. The guides were knowledgeable, funny, and engaging. This adventure allowed me to understand Vietnamese life in the countryside. If you do choose to bike through this country, I recommend Vietnam BackRoads Bicycle Tours. Here’s the contact information:
Guide: Van the Man
Cycling Mekong Delta Phu Quoc Island 2012
Vietnam Cycling Tours 2012 by Vietnam Backroads Bicycle Tours
As we ride, our van driver Hong awaits us maybe 15 K up the road. We pull over, and he has cool towels that he has stored in an icy cooler. We use several on our faces or arms or legs. Ahhhh. Then he has cut watermelon or mangoes or papaya or dragon fruit for us to slurp. While we are eating he replenishes our water bottles which are mounted on our bicycles, and Van makes sure our brakes and gears are in order. Our bikes are cleaned and maintained every night, and the frames have been fitted to our measurements. Everything is fabulous. At noon, Van selects amazing family restaurants, and he insists they put all utensils into boiling water; he goes into the kitchen to make sure all the food is fresh and hot. Sometimes he sends back certain dishes. He does not want us to be ill on the trip.
Good Morning Vietnam! After a long and slow bus ride from Kep, we arrived in Ho Chi Minh City just after midnight, hailed a cab and quickly collapsed in our hotel room in the heart of the backpacker district after a late night sticky rice and coconut snack. Bright and early at 7AM we awoke to children screaming and playing in the nursery school 10 feet away from our window. Add that to the list of things to check out about when looking for a hotel room.
You can see our photos on flickr.com or check out vietnambackroads.com and click on video clips. ”Van the Man”, our guide, is not only an excellent cyclist but also an aspiring paparazzi photographer.
Bike Tour from Saigon to Hanoi by Vietnam Backroads Bicycle Tours 2010
Cycling Mekong Delta. The Great Escape from Saigon city with Van the Man 2010
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.
Bike trips in Vietnam in 2012 with Vietnam Backroads Bicycle Tours
Fantastic way for us to see North to South Vietnam and good as weare Vietnamese we got to see the non tourist sites and more local life.
► The adventures of Hannah
Biking Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh with Van the Man
We spent a few more days in Ho Chi Minh City than we had originally planned to observe the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Ho Chi Minh, or Saigon as local still refer to it, is a bustling Asian city of over 7 million people. About 200 of them are Jewish. We didn’t meet all 200, but we did meet about 40 expats and travelers at Chabad of Ho Chi Minh. It was a much needed break from travel that we used to reflect and eat delicious Israeli food. On top of typical Yom Kippur activities, (fast, sleep, pray, eat) we spent most of our time in Ho Chi Minh walking around and experimenting with street food, with a museum visit thrown in here and there. Biking Mekong Delta