A Travellerspoint blog

3 Day Bike Ride in Mekong Delta

Wow! I have loved every minute, even when my bum was sooooo sore! We rode our bikes with our guide Thang for 40-45km a day. We travelled through the heart of the watery canals & rivers of the Mekong Delta from island to island linked by small arched bridges or ferries,not seeing another Westerner for 3 days. We booked this through Innoviet Tours for $210 U.S each while we were in HCMC

We left HCMC on Monday at 7am with just our small bags and left our big bags at the office. We got to see the local life in this rich agricultural area where their lives are very much part of transferring themselves & their produce ( rice & fruits) in boats and ferries to get from island to island.

We cycled very little on the main roads and most of the time on the back roads. The back roads varied from single track mud or rock to footpath sized concrete paths to one lane sized small roads, most of these couldn't take cars and only bikes were used on them. We passed through villages and markets and on one street side saw a number of cages and stopped to have a look at them. We discovered snakes big and small, turtles, mice, rats and Egret type birds all which were waiting to be sold as somebody’s dinner!!! We went past brillant green rice paddies& pineapple plantations stopping to watch them harvest the pineapples and ate a freshly picked one.

For lunch I had frog cooked in batter which tasted like chicken but made me feel queasy after. Nath had another embankment encounter on his bike and slipped down one, but didn't hurt himself.. When we hit one muddy section we had so much mud in our tires they wouldn’t move. We had to get sticks and get the mud out before going on. A kind local lady came to help me dig the mud out of my wheels. It was incredibly hot and we covered in sweat but the afternoon was the hardest as we were so sore by then. Saw lots of big aboveground graves in the middle of rice fields or by homes as they bury their family on their own land. In Vietnam they have ancestor worship & worship their deceased family members.

We rode to a bird sanctuary and had a row boat ride. By the time we reached the big white van never had we been so happy because we were so exhausted!!! We slept as we drove to the town of Sadec where our hotel was. We went out to dinner at a karaoke restaurant were the menu had no English but had pictures of snakes, cows, rats and pigs. We didn’t exactly get what we ordered but it was okay.

Day 2 was my favourite riding day except that my bottom remembered way too quickly that it was sore again!! Today riding was across islands and on and off ferries. ( about 6 in total)

As we cycled along lush, overgrown shady paths we often had to duck so we wouldn’t hit branches of fruit. People were friendly & calling out to us We saw a rice mill and the canals and rivers and how everything is transferred from the farms to the cities.

We saw big rice barges down to small row boats where the woman row them standing up with big, long oars. After lunch we went to a hammock cafe & we fell totally in love with them as we lay & rested and dozed in these hammocks The afternoon bought its usual thunderstorm which we waited out at a bicycle repair shop/home. We rode the next hour or so in the rain and were absolutely saturated but loved it as cool and refreshing. We rode from small bridges to smaller bridges linking these thousands of islands in the delta The last Ferry took us to May Island where we rode to our home stay family. They have a Pomelo farm. & we were welcomed with a plate of fresh pomelo & passionfruit. I hate passionfruit at home but ate one here & liked it.

The power was off for a few hours but came back on in time for dinner. Their home is basic, with a wood stove in the kitchen. Had a yummy dinner & then lay in the hammocks outside talking to their relatives who came over to practice their english & watching the fireflies in the fruit trees beside us.

Day 3 Up at 6.30am & caught a boat down to the floating markets. They have these everyday & it was fascinating. In 1 part of the river they have the small boats selling their local produce to the bigger merchant boats that will take what they buy to nearby cities. In another section they have the big boats selling produce that isn't grown locally & the smaller boats come to buy off them to sell in their local businesses. The bigger boats in this area have a stick with the produce they sell tied to it so the small boats know what they are selling.

Other small boats that cook on board are going around selling breakfast & it is very busy & lively. We went back to our homestay for breakfast & then off cycling around more islands getting there by ferry. Again these paths were very narrow - just wide enough for 2 bikes to pass each other. People again were very friendly calling out as we rode past their homes beside canals, rivers or orchards or very shy and looked away when we said hello!! Today we passed dragon fruit orchards which is a wierd looking fruit. Today we got to walk over a monkey bridge which is in the poorer areas & they erect a bridge made of bamboo to cross to the other side. It is just tied together & you walk on a single piece of bamboo & have a piece of bamboo as a handrail. I froze in the middle as it is very wobbly & quite high above the middle. I eventually crossed over there & back & took sooo long ( has a crowd of people watching my very slow crossing to make it worse!) A local lady carrying stuff went over in a few seconds!

Again caught in an afternoon storm - this one was really heavy & we got so wet.

Back to our big white van & back to HCMC, where we had a shower at their office. We had the best 3 days & were completely exhausted but happy.

We grabbed some food before getting on the 8.30pm Sleeper bus to Nha Trangh. It was $9 US for a 9 hour trip. We had seats on the top bunks - small pod like reclined beds. Alright for me but bigger westerners would have trouble fitting!! Innoviet Travel Company 203 Pham Ngu Lao St HCMC www.innoviet.com E Mail sales@innoviet.com

Lush fruit plantations

Lush fruit plantations


Day 1 - backroads

Day 1 - backroads


Family on a bridge

Family on a bridge


Closeup of family

Closeup of family


Mother & son

Mother & son


Just started & still fresh!

Just started & still fresh!


Muddy road where wheels full of mud

Muddy road where wheels full of mud


One of many bridges

One of many bridges


Rice drying on side of road

Rice drying on side of road


Frog for lunch

Frog for lunch


Unloading the boat

Unloading the boat


Naths first time enjoying pineapple

Naths first time enjoying pineapple


Snakes & turtle for sale for dinner

Snakes & turtle for sale for dinner


Pineapple harvesting into a boat

Pineapple harvesting into a boat


Rice threshing

Rice threshing


Local life

Local life


High School girls

High School girls


Roads getting narrower

Roads getting narrower


Morning tea rest in hammocks

Morning tea rest in hammocks


Red, hot & sweaty!!!

Red, hot & sweaty!!!


Red, hot, sweaty stunned mullet!

Red, hot, sweaty stunned mullet!


River life

River life


Massive palms

Massive palms


Boat ride in bird sanctuary

Boat ride in bird sanctuary


Really narow track

Really narow track


Only wide enough for one!!!

Only wide enough for one!!!


Paddy fields to our left

Paddy fields to our left


Boat ferry - one of the bigger ones

Boat ferry - one of the bigger ones


Shady paths

Shady paths


Flying the Vietnamese flag

Flying the Vietnamese flag


More bridges

More bridges


School yard

School yard


Local traffic - wider road again

Local traffic - wider road again


Rice Mill

Rice Mill


Bikes on the ferry

Bikes on the ferry


Ferry stop - no cars - just bikes & bicycles

Ferry stop - no cars - just bikes & bicycles


Flagged bridge

Flagged bridge


Ferry Driver

Ferry Driver


Off the ferry

Off the ferry


Hammock cafe - love these places!

Hammock cafe - love these places!


Rest time!!

Rest time!!


Old lady

Old lady


Nath recuperating

Nath recuperating


Some bridges you thought yoiu could fall off

Some bridges you thought yoiu could fall off


Small bridge

Small bridge


Rowing standing up

Rowing standing up


Hot, tired & been rained on!

Hot, tired & been rained on!


Medium sized road

Medium sized road


Nath practicing "no hands" riding

Nath practicing "no hands" riding


More local traffic

More local traffic


Jungle

Jungle


Lush paths

Lush paths


Really muddy bumpy road!

Really muddy bumpy road!


Waiting for me again!

Waiting for me again!


Jungle path

Jungle path


Going to our homestay on a ferry

Going to our homestay on a ferry


Ferry to homestay with Thang our guide

Ferry to homestay with Thang our guide


Sunset on the ferry to May Island

Sunset on the ferry to May Island


Ferry landing on may Island

Ferry landing on may Island


End of day 2 - hot & tired!!!

End of day 2 - hot & tired!!!


Not far now!

Not far now!


Riding through Pomelo plantation

Riding through Pomelo plantation


Easy to fall off the bridge

Easy to fall off the bridge


Lighting the woodstove

Lighting the woodstove


Homestay on May Island

Homestay on May Island


Hammock time at the homestay

Hammock time at the homestay


Our bedroom

Our bedroom


Sunset at front of house

Sunset at front of house


Dinner at homestay

Dinner at homestay


Helping chop up dinner at homestsy

Helping chop up dinner at homestsy


Boat took us to Floating Market

Boat took us to Floating Market


Floating markets

Floating markets


Pole identifying stock on board

Pole identifying stock on board


Buying up

Buying up


Shopping time

Shopping time


Just a few pomelos

Just a few pomelos


Back on board

Back on board


Pomelos

Pomelos


Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit


Family gravesite

Family gravesite


Nath on a monkey bridge

Nath on a monkey bridge


Monkey Bridge

Monkey Bridge


Here I go soooo slowly!

Here I go soooo slowly!


Sleeper bus to Nha Trang

Sleeper bus to Nha Trang


Loved the sight of that white van picking us

Loved the sight of that white van picking us


Torrential rain

Torrential rain


Sleeper Bus

Sleeper Bus

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Vietnam

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Login