We are excited to introduce a revised itinerary 8 days & 7 night itinerary, for our very popular cycle tour in the exotic Mekong Delta.
After a recent exploratory visit we have discovered a host of new "snake-way" trails, narrow local cycling routes that take us through rice fields and into little visited villages. As well as staying at the luxurious Victoria Resort at Can Tho we now spend two nights, in the very beautiful Mekong Lodge on the Mekong River and have added in some intriguing local visits to learn about the lifestyles of the local people.
This tour has scheduled departures but is also available on demand for two or more people at any time of year
This tour caters for all levels of cyclists - the route is nearly all flat so it is suitable for recreational cyclists, combined with our full sag wagon support system. Due to the navigational issues when we cycle on the local trails (with a number of turns and route choices), we will need to ride as a group on most days, however stronger riders have options to ride hard and cover extra distance on some days.
To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the terrain, the altitude, the roads and the length of the trip. The Mekong Delta is graded introductory. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and we suggest 30 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling or jogging) three times a week for the three months leading up to your trip.
We will collect you from the May Hotel (Address: 26 Thi Sach, District. 01 – Tel: 38234501) at 3.00 p.m and drive to the outskirts of the city to a private resort. Here we will fit you with your bicycles & you can have a test ride on the quiet local roads. This will then be followed by a briefing & swim in the pool before returning to the central city in time for our welcome dinner at a Vietnamese BBQ restaurant.
The trip starts by driving out of the city to the village of Ben Luc where we begin cycling on a quiet rural road. Immediately you will see the essence of the Mekong Delta with a network of canals and rivers crisscrossing the pancake flat countryside. The Mekong is known as the rice basket of Vietnam and the watery landscape is transformed into a brilliant green as the crops near harvest. As well as rice fields we will pass “Dragon Fruit” orchards and sugar cane plantations as well as visiting a traditional mat-making village. There are options today to ride on quiet off-road trails and after a ferry journey we ride on our first “snakeway” trail, small narrow local pathways that weave through the countryside and allow us to experience traditional Mekong village lifestyles. Late morning we load the bikes and drive 40 minutes to My Tho city for lunch at a local restaurant. Our afternoon ride starts at Rach Mieu Bridge from where we cycle to our modern hotel in Ben Tre city, overlooking the Ben Tre river- a branch of the Mekong River.
Cycling Distance – Ben Luc to Tam Vu – 32kms
- Rach Mieu bridge to Ben Tre – 20 kms
After a short drive we start cycling on rural roads through a beautiful water coconut plantation (whose leaves are used for thatched roofs). As we take the local Vam Nouc Trong ferry across the Mekong we can view the river lifestyles of the local people - the canals host a constant procession of boats transporting all manner of goods and along the banks many of the houses have fish farming cages. Back on the bikes we visit Dong Khoi war memorial, famous in Vietnamese history as the place the “American” war started when a group of locals rose up against the South Vietnamese government in 1960. We continue riding to Mo Cay Town where we will enjoy a picnic lunch at a local coffee shop.The afternoon sees us ride on another snakeway trail to Long Duc ferry before our final road section into the city of Tra Vinh. This area is little visited by tourists - you will meet many welcoming locals wanting to know “where you from?” Dinner tonight is at our hotel where there are options for a massage or an entertaining Karaoke session.
Cycling Distance – 45 kms/28 miles
We drive from our hotel to Ba Om pond where we visit a beautiful Khmer Stupa (pagoda temple), although far from Cambodia this region is populated by Khmer people who stayed in the region after the collapse of the Khmer empire in the 1700’s. Our cycle this morning is on quiet roads and lanes with a stop on route to try the famous Vietnamese coffee at a local café. We follow the canal network, along which you will see the famous monkey bridges used by the villagers to get across the canals and you may see “Xe Loi” , the unique pedal powered towing rickshaws that are slowly being replaced by motorized transport. We will have a lunch at a local restaurant in Cau Ke Town before the afternoon provides an option for strong riders to cover the final 35kms on road. (For those who want to relax we can transport you to your hotel after lunch.) Tonight we stay in luxury at the famous Victoria Resort, on the banks of the Hau Branch of the Mekong. The hotel has a lovely swimming pool & working artisans on site who will explain to you about the local crafts. Dinner tonight is own care, we recommend the restaurant at the hotel but for those who want to go local, your guides can take you into town to a Vietnamese restaurant.
Cycling Distance – morning 45kms/28 miles
- optional afternoon ride – 35kms/22 miles
An early morning start sees us taking a boat trip to visit the largest floating market in the Mekong at Cai Rang. The market is situated at a busy river junction and you will see a large variety of local produce being sold from a multitude of boats.
Our riding this morning is a highlight as we cycle from Cai Rang on local paths and quiet roads alongside hidden canals canals with spectacular scenery. Late morning we load up to avoid a busy section of road before lunching overlooking the river at Vinh Long. In the afternoon, we take the ferry before cycling again, as we pass a beautiful Cao Dai pagoda and cycle through a local market. We journey on another small local ferry where the passing river traffic and scenery will keep you well entertained, and cycle once again on lovely snakeway trails. We pass a brick-making village and visit an ancient house before arriving at the Mekong Lodge, an eco-resort situated amongst delightful gardens on the banks of the river. Tonight we have a cooking school where we learn to make fresh rice-paper spring rolls before siting down to a delicious Vietnamese meal.
Cycling distance – morning 26kms / 16 miles
- afternoon - 19 kms / 12 miles
Today we take time out to enjoy our beautiful surroundings and lovely lodge. We have a short boat trip in the morning to visit a floating market and a local candy making and “pop-rice” factory, before returning to relax at the lodge. In the afternoon, for those with energy to spare, we have an optional 20km loop ride on local trails. If not cycling, relaxing by the swimming pool or a massage are good options.
Optional cycle distance – 20 km / 12.5 miles loop ride
We ride from the lodge on quiet roads and snakeway trails, typical of the Mekong. You will cycle alongside hidden canals, through small villages, past local schools with enthusiastic children to greet you, alongside rice drying on the roadsides, and amongst coconut palms.
Our ride ends late morning before we transfer to lunch before our drive into Ho Chi Minh City. There will be time for some last minute souvenir shopping before our final celebration dinner. We enjoy the city lights and panoramic views of Ho Chi Minh City during an unforgettable two-hour dinner cruise on the Saigon River, as we dine on European and Asian cuisine on board a luxury junk boat.
Cycle distance – 32 km / 20 miles
Your tour finishes today after breakfast. We wish you a safe journey home and are happy to help with airport transfers, post tour accommodation or local activity advice and bookings.
Phyl and I have recently returned from Vietnam having completed the Mekong hidden trails tour. We both had a fantastic time with Phyl learning more Vietnamese from the driver, while I clocked up 300+ Km of village trails. Your Vietnamese agents organised everything to perfection, so much so I actually had to ask the guide to cut down the size of the lunchtime meals as I felt like a nap rather than a ride after struggling through 5 courses of Vn food.
Both the guide- Viet and the driver – Mr Son were of high standard and friendly and welcoming. Nothing was too difficult for them and in particular Viet was extremely informative about the region, while being able to react to the varying changes in route due to local village road/trail works. In all I only have high praise for both gentleman.
In summary we both had a wonderful experience and would happily recommend this tour. Once again thanks to all the staff at Adventure South in making this trip possible and I will certainly give consideration to further adventures with you guys.
Andrew K, Australia, 09 Jan 2018
Per Person, Twin Share