For Australian Cyclists travelling and touring OS
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My wife and I would like to go biking for a week or two in Vietnam. We're over 80, so we want to go the tour operator route rather than just by ourselves. Can anyone down there (we live in Philadelphia) recommend any tour operators that they feel are reliable, experienced, etc...in other words, good? Thanks!!
My wife and I returned this week cfrom a 2 week cycling holiday in Vietnam.
What an amazing place and experience.
We booked through a local travel agent (world expeditions.com.au). The accomodation was really good and the tour route put us though some great areas.
A couple of things to consider from our experience: -
For info, its bloody hot, its bloody humid and there are some climbs with a gradient of 8-10%. My wife and I are 44 and 38 and are pretty fit cyclist and we struggled some days. There was a couple on the tour who are mid 60's who have done numerous cycling tours and they questioned the "moderate" rating of this tour. In short, Im unsure how fit you are but really check the trip grading. We had a support bus that a few of the group took advantage of at different times.
Check out the quality of the bikes provided. There are some really rough roads and although our group were provided with Trek mountain bikes (front suspension), basic maintenance and servicing was lacking.
The medical facilities are a fair way below western levels. One of our group fell off on the way down a mountain and obtained a compund fracture to her elbow. Her husband is a doctor and she is a nurse they said the hospital and the care provided was well below what we see as sound.
That said, if you go with the flow and take it for what it is, its a brilliant place. I really recommend Vietnam as a cycling destination.
Let me know how you get on.
Stand on my dog I cut off your head
Which were exactly the complaints from our group in late dec. Was clearly worth filling out those surveys... For the amount of money they charge for the trip I am sure they could afford a new chain and cassette every time.
I think my cadence improved over the trip though. I was sooooo scared of putting any pressure on the pedals in case the chain skipped .
Like you though, I enjoyed Vietnam. Hanoi and the Central Highlands the most. I was under whelmed by HCMC/Siagon and Nha Trang though... except the war museum and Cu Chi tunnels, real eye openers.
Piccies (not many cycling ones, mainly just Vietnam).
Great photos. Awesome idea for a honeymoon.
You rode different bikes to us so maybe world expeditions used a different agent for your tour (we had Buffalo Tours) or maybe they changed bikes.
Either way, I saw 2 rear deraillers jam and while it you can't say for sure, the accident going down the hill may also have been caused by this as the ladiy who fell said she felt something jam.
All they needed was a a decent tool/lube kit and general knowledge on cleaning, lubing the chain and adjusting the gears. I will derfinety put this on my feed back form.
The highlands were a real highlight for me as well.
Stand on my dog I cut off your head
Buffalo Tours as well. Loki was our guide. There were some newer Treks (3900 or something) which I had for most of the trip. I guess they must have been slowly replacing the Meridas.
my wife and I had a fall each, but nothing serious or to do with bad maintenance. There was one decent fall in the group, but no broken bones.
They did a big maintenance day during our day off in Da Lat, which seemed to consist of putting as much grease as possible onto already slipping chains (due to worn out cassettes) .
It's been awhile since this post was contributed to... perhaps there's some more recent advice? I'm planning a cycle tour through Vietnam with my parents and boyfriend next year and am searching for info on the various tour companies out there. Does anyone have any recommendations/warnings?
My wife and I are heading over to Vietnam for a month in December, and we too want to do a short cycling tour. The advice above has been very helpful, and we have contacted a few of the tour companies, of which there are many. We only want to go for a 3 to 4 day tour around the Mekong Delta, but we are getting quotes of up to $400 US each for 3 days and 2 nights. Seems expensive for Vietnam. Would you think that we would be taking too much of a risk if we waited till we were over there to book the trip? Might give us a chance to bargain for the price?
Here is and example of one of the trips that we were emailed (I reckon it sounds too expensive):
Day 1/ 6 Dec: Ho Chi Minh - Cai Be - Vinh Long (Cycling distance: 20 Km) (L, D)
Our guide will meet us from the hotel lobby, then we will be transfer to Cai Be town, where we start get on Sampan boat, enjoy cruising along river to see nice scenery on two river side, life on the water, floating market, pop rice, rice paper, coconut candy making. Back on the boat we keep riding to An Binh Island, local family here will host us with beautiful Vietnamese foods. Rest for a little while we then embrace the bicycle start enjoy slow riding to around villages of An Binh Island (Vinh Long) on the cement road through fruit garden, in the shade of trees, along canals, check in home stay on the island.
At night: cooking lesson and chatting with family
Day 2/ 7 Dec: Vinh Long - Can Tho (Cycling distance: 65 km) (B, L, D)
Having breakfast and farewell to our local family, we take short boat ride to Vinh Long town. Today we will enjoy cycling along countryside road, through many villages, cross rice paddy field, this is a great chance to take southern culture experiences and actual how is real daily life activities of farmers. Stop for lunch at local restaurant in Tam Binh district, following ride is rest of 25 Km to the ferry Can Tho, Cross River of Hau Giang we arrival to Can Tho city, check in hotel and rest before having dinner
Day 3/ 8 Dec: Can Tho - Ho Chi Minh (Cycling distance: 30 km) (B, L)
Today, we better get up early for visiting floating market of Cai Rang in time; you would be facinate the bustle and very vibrant sounds of produce market taking place on the water. We then cruising back to Can Tho city, after breakfast we check out, we are riding next destination of O Mon, on the way there we enjoy sightseeing beautiful scenery of rural region, chatting with local cycling mate. From O Mon drive back to My Tho for lunch, and keep driving back to Sai Gon our tour will be concluded at the hotel foyer.
End of service
Trip price: US$398/person
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