We have many trips where we travel by boat instead of a van, and cruise around the Mekong Delta, Halong Bay, PhuQuoc Island, or Shihanoukville. This is a great way to rest your legs when they are tired! All bike guides from Vietnam BackRoads Bike Tours are highly trained and highly enthusiastic. All of ourguides are knowledgeable about the regional history and have been running cycling adventure tours for many years. Vietnam Bike Tours. Published on Saturday, 09 January 2010 11:59 Written by Freddie Quick Vietnam bike tours 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. 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. 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 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. Water World “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. Vietnam bike tours 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. 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.