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. 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. 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 WordHCMC is the current leader in Saigon’s expat magazine. You’ll find interesting articles, promotions, events, listings covering from Arts to wellness and more. It’s been increasingly difficult to get a hold of their FREE copy due to its popularity. Try their website instead.