Vietnam - Mekong Cycle
This trip offers a unique insight into the cultural melting pot that is South Vietnam, as well as giving students the opportunity to take on the personal challenge of exploring the area by bicycle. Quiet back roads, criss-crossing the Mekong Delta make an excellent back-drop to all the sights, sounds and smells of everyday rural Vietnam.
- Learn about Vietnamese culture and traditional ways of life
- Explore floating villages, their markets and historic temples
- Cycle for 4 days in southern Vietnam amongst rural communities in the Mekong Delta
- Visit Cu Chi Tunnels and other Vietnam war sites
- Experience the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City
- Take part in purposeful activities with the local people
Vietnam – Mekong Cycle
Day to day - Sample itinerary
Arrive Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat airport, the team will be transferred the short distance into the city and to the hotel to check in. After settling in, there will be a welcoming brief and orientation including a detailed outline of the upcoming week of activities. The team will then make their way to Dong Khoi to explore the area and its famous colonial buildings on a guided walking tour of key parts of the city.
Saigon - Cu Chi Tunnel - Cai Be
The team’s cycling adventure begins 30km out of Saigon, away from the teeming traffic. Cycle on back roads to the Cu Chi tunnels, next to the Saigon River. There will be a chance to explore this well known Vietnam war site, entering the small tunnels and getting a sense of what it mush have been like to live and fight from them. The team then continue cycling to Trang Bang, before cutting across country either by bike or bus (depending on their progress) towards Hau Nghia and Duc Hoa. Upon arrival in the small town of Cai Be, the team will take an interesting boat trip to cross the mighty Mekong River to reach a village on a small island in the middle of the river, which is where the team will spend the night in a local home. The home-stay will be an unforgettable experience offering a unique insight into the culture of the local people. A fantastic dinner of local delights will be prepared by the family. (Cycling distance: 35-40km)
Today the team will remain in the village, working alongside community members in their daily lives which could include fishing, preparing food, and learning various artisan skills. In addition, a visit to the local school can be arranged where a mixture of games and fun activities with the students is combined with some low key service work, improving the sparse facilities of the school. The team will remain in the same homestay as the previous evening and so will have a further chance to learn and practice their Vietnamese phrases.
Cai Be - Vinh Long - Chau Doc
In the morning, the team leave the island, pick up bicycles at Vinh Long and commence their day’s journey. The ride takes the team close to the Cambodian border, where more Khmer is spoken than Vietnamese. The route along quiet roads and tracks passes through huge expanses of paddy fields and small rural communities set upon the Mekong River. The team first rides to Tan Dong, and across the ferry to An Thuan, then onto Cho Moi, a small town known for its rich groves of fruit before arriving in Chau Doc. This area has a large Khmer community, which combined with local Cham people and Chinese, forms a diverse melting pot of cultures. (Cycling distance: 65-70km )
Chau Doc - Ba Chuc Temple - Can Tho
The team will be up early to explore the village by boat. Chau Doc is home to floating farmhouses and the Islamic Chancel Cham minority settlement. Cham village has over 4,000 Muslim people living in the area, many of which speak Malaysian, which is very unusual for Vietnam. This community live in houses on the land but because of the floodwater in the rainy season, they have to build them on stilts 3 metres high. Here the team will learn about their fishing industry. After the boat trip, the team pick up their bikes and start the day’s cycling, passing through ‘thot not’ canopy, and the Vietnamese killing fields at Ba Chuc. It was here that Pol Pot’s regime massacred over 3,000 Vietnamese in 1978. The team will visit the museum to learn more about the Khmer Rouge before visiting several historic temples en route to the small town of Can Tho. (Cycling distance: 65-70km)
Can Tho - Binh Minh - Saigon
Waking up early, the team will explore floating Cai Rang market by boat, which is renowned as one of the busiest floating markets in Southeast Asia. The final part of the team’s cycling adventure begins at Binh Minh, passing through orchards, stunning countryside and the local villages of My Thanh, My Hoa, Tan Phu 2, Hoa Binh, Phu Hoa. After these villages the team will get off their bikes for the last time and board the bus for the transfer back to Saigon. (Cycling distance: 30-35km)
At leisure until transfer to the airport for the journey back home.