This was a great trip. We had a private booking for us - Mum and Dad and our kids 20yr and 16 yrs. We cycled 3 days. Day 1 was a slow start due a mix up with hotel pick up (my fault) so we did about 30 easy km. We drove out of HCM for about 2 hours before beginning. The cycling was mostly on concrete paths beside rivers and canals with small houses backing onto it. Although outside the main city it did not feel rural as we were beside houses the whole way - but it was interesting.Lots of stops on day 1 for drinks, to sample fruits and sugar cane drinks etc. We were delivered to a better than anticipated 5 star hotel on day 1. Our guide not only cycled with us but also collected us for dinner. We were keen to eat local so he sourced the restaurants and order for us - which really added to the experience.
Day 2: it became clear that Cong our guide would really taylor the mix of cycling - sight seeing- pace to whatever we wanted. On day 2 we decided to cycle 50km in the morning and finish up by lunch as the forecast was for a hot afternoon. We started the morning with sightseeing at the floating markets - really good and a visit to local textile weavers. Cycled through lots of countryside and beautiful surprises like arriving at a school just on pick up time to watch the throng of motorbike pick ups for the school children and a hundred "hellos" form the kids who rarely have westerners in that area. A really special treat was a watermelon stop at Cong's grandparents home for a break. Day 3 my daughter was sick and again the flexibility of our guide was great. He re- arranged the day to have us taken to the Crane wetlands while the boys cycled there to meet us. We still enjoyed the boat ride through the wetlands and then opted for the van transfer to the final hotel.
Similar to the review below there were many outstanding factors
- great organisation and communication pre trip
- flexible schedule and pace and length of cycling to suit.
- nice bikes
- good support vehicles.
- good or very decent hotels
- local food with a local guide to order and help us enjoy it.
- great arrangements for sightseeing -our boats were aways waiting for us, everything was paid for and great commentary as we went.
What could be better
The daily plan was sometimes a little hard to elicit from Cong. This might be a language barrier. It would have been good to have a rough idea like "we are starting here, taking a break here, stopping to see this and then aiming for lunch at 1pm....." Even when we asked information was a little vague - but perhaps that's because things are flexible.
The cycling was good. It was just right for us and I would label this as a sight seeing experience on bikes - not hard core cycling. But that was just what we wanted. It provided a unique way to get a glimpse beyond the standard tourist areas and we liked that. However it was not very rural. I had thought it would be more out in the countryside - but really we were mostly on canal paths with rural housing beside us and orcahrds fields behind the houses. That was OK 0 but different to what I had expected. However the attractions to sightsee were more that I expected - so I guess that balances. Sight seeing included the floating markets, textile weavers, fish farms, temples, rice factory, coconut candy, Crane wetlands and Memorials.
There was more time in the Van than we expected as each day we drove out of the city to start and into the city to finish.
The price. Similar to the comment below - it was a little pricey for Vietnam - but in the end I have to say I was happy to pay the price as it was a very good tour in a country where a lot of tourism is still emerging. So in this aspect it was very high level of service which is not easy to get outside resorts etc in Vietnam.
I would definitely recommend the tour if you are looking for something like this. I also note that Vietnam Backroads also have some great full-on cycle tours if that is what you are after too. This one worked for us. We finished the tour and took a ferry to Phu Quoc for more of a resort break to finish off our holiday. A great mix. 02 - 03 - 04 - 05 Mar 2019
Hope this helps.
George - All very well done. Dat was great. Although the English of the questionare could be improved. We will repeatedly late and still eotred for and not met at all with a negative attitude.
Finnian - Our Tour guide Mr Dat was a fantastic guide, who know his English, history and knowledge every well. Very nice man and he was and very generous and hospitable. Love Vietnam and cycling is the best way to see it. 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 Feb 2019
Karen - Very interesting. A good mix of biking and visiting interesting places. Cong was evry flexible when my daughter got sick and changed our plans. Love trying new food, fruits, and the tours like floating market + stork pall. I would be good to know the day plan a bit more. like how for to ride, what will lunch be, how long in the bus. But everything else eas wonderful.
Grant Dempsey - Great way to see feel and taste rural Vietnam. Having a guide to explain various points of interest, communicate with locals and another food make the trip enjoyable and stress free. The various stop at tourist attracations are a great value and very informative. 02 - 03 - 04 - 05 Mar 2019
We took a private tour taking us from Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc island. The first day took us from HCMC to Can Tho with +/- 45km of biking between Cai Lay and Vinh Long, along small roads through countryside villages and including two ferries. Basic lunch in a homestay. Luxurious but soulless overnight at Muong Thanh hotel. The second day started with a visit of Can Tho Cai Rong Floating Market by boat, followed by +/- 30 km of biking along small channels and rice fields to Thoi Lai (+/- 10°05'16.0"N 105°35'23.4"E). Basic lunch in a homestay. We continued by car to Chau Doc, visiting Bang Lang Stork Farm along the way. Very luxurious overnight at Victoria Nui Sam Lodge, on a hill overlooking the rice fields. Following day started with a boat tour past the Chau Doc fish farms and to the Cham muslim village (Đa Phước, 10°43'28.9"N 105°07'28.1"E). Then biking past lots of rice fields to the Tra Su nature reserve which we visited by boat. Lunch in a basic restaurant. Then by car to the Ba Chuc memorial, passing through Khmer-villages. Finally, further by car to Ha Tien with overnight at the River Hotel. The following morning, Vietnam Backroads agency arranged our taxi to the port as well as the hydrofoil tickets to Phu Quoc.
Reasons for giving four stars :
- The excellent way in which Kieu Lam from the agency communicated with us before the tour ; she was helpful, patient and flexible with our requests and planned this tour according to what we thought was important to see along the way.
- Our excellent guide Cong. He took us along very nice paths, was always concerned about our safety and gave his explanations in good English. He never pushed us into buying things in souvenir stalls etc. (he rather bought some small stuff for us :-))
- Our excellent driver Loc who was always helpful with loading and unloading bikes, luggage,... driving in a really safe way (compared to most other Vietnamese drivers) and remaining remarkably calm even when chased by big honking buses driven by madmen.
- The good quality of the hotels and dinners.
- The beautiful landscapes and friendly people of Mekongdelta. Upon passing through small villages, everyone would shout "hello" at us, sometimes children would even run along for a bit.
- The good quality of the bikes (helmet provided)
So why not giving five stars ?
- Price of this tour was really very high compared to the usual cost of travel in Vietnam.
- Lunch locations/settings were rather basic.
Unless you are on a tight budget, I can 200% recommend this agency. 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 Nov 2018
The guide and driver were excellent and very service minded. They were very good to be flexible. The hotels and food were not that impressive. It would have been nice with a map. 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 Feb 2019
We rearlly enjoyed the trip and felt we saw the real Vietnam. The cycling was vaned and we were abale to experience rich culture.
Mr Cong had excellent knowlege of the local surroundings and gave us just thye right amount of information. We felt the trip was very expensive as it cost us as much for these 4 days as for the rest of our 5 day trip to Vietnam. 25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 Feb 2019
We arrived back home yesterday after a fantastic trip to Vietnam. We enjoyed our whole experience immensely especially the cycle tour through the Mekong Delta. It was very professionally organised and Cong was a good guide.
The only negative criticisms we would have are:
1. The tour should not be described as 5 days. It was clearly only 4 days with a ferry ticket for the 5th day to Phu Quoc
2. We would question the value for money. At $775 per head, those 4 days cost nearly as much as the rest of our trip to Vietnam and Cambodia! The food and hotels on the tour were nothing special and probably didn’t amount to more than $75 per head. Maybe if we had more people on the tour at a cheaper price we would have felt better about the cost.
On the whole though it was an amazing experience and your help with our organisation was also fantastic. 25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 jan 2019
Excellent tour with very good guide Phuc. The pace and distance were flexible and he was very attentive to our needs. We were able to stop and take pictures and meet local people including a wedding party. All of the food was excellent, and the Rustic Mekong Home-stay was the best accommodations! So charming! The van and driver was good, safe nice. We wish the seat on the bicycles were more comfortable and better shock absorber for bumps. But we loved the tour and the experience of seeing the Mekong Delta close up. Thank you. 20 - 21 - 22 January 2019
We did 3 day 2 night bike ride through the Delta...it was wonderful. We love our guide. Day one was a lot of riding in concrete paths along country side, rural villages, taking a ferry to island etc. Day 2 was a combination of biking and boat exploration to the floating market. It was a long van ride to Rach Gia where our guide took us to a nice restaurant. In the morning the guide arranged a taxi for us to the docks where we took the boat to Phu Quoc. We wanted to end our trip on the island,so the itinerary of this trip worked for us.
I think you see so much more with 2 days biking than just a one day excursion from HCMC. We loved it. It was so interesting to ride through the villages, try the various fruits, hear the children laughing and saying "hello"....etc. We enjoyed the boating morning and the floating market.
It is really only 2 days riding since Day 3 is the trip to Phu Quoc.
Much of the riding is on conrete paths and very safe....occassional areas that need repair etc, but over all good. Most of the riding is quite flat except for the little narrow steep bridges over the canals.
The mountain bikes we had were excellent....everything in great working order. You should do it! 21 - 22 - 23 Nov, 2018
Enjoyed Viet answering our questions. He was very informative + friendly – a good guide!
Viet took us on a variety of experience – some were not usual tourist places- like the coconut factory. The routes were very varied on many surfaces lots of villages- Viet made sure we were following him. Lots of varied experience ferry crossings, local food places, etc…
Loc was very safe driver and friendly too. We liked the high quality mtb 27.5 bikes, the Rock Shox really made a difference! 19 - 20 - 21 January 2019
We loved our cycling tour with Dat! Traveling through the small village on charming roads with a kind, knowledgeable guide was a dream. Dat pointed out and kinds of local foods. He was very open and willing to answer all our questions. The ride distance each day was defect, made even better by the fruits / rest stops. Our only suggestion would be to make dinner at the hotels optional. Often those meals were stuffy and not delicious. We really love eating fantastic Vietnamese food with Dat. At night, it would be fun to try to find other small restaurant in the city on our own instead of in a tourist spot. 25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 December 2018
I think riding a bike is the best way to see a country that you never been to before. Tha’s knowledge of the area and terrain was excellent. Tha found the night balance before sightseeing and also ensuring that we felt physically challenged. Also very professional, ensuring he was at the pickup points on time. Phuong was a good driver and was also very hands on in ensuring bikes/ luggage on the van correctly. We really enjoyed time trip. It was much better than we had accepted! Everything was inbreeding by well-planned and organized. I never felt stress or worry, and could relax knowing that everything was in control. Tha was a fantastic guide and has nearly made our holiday. He was incredibly made considerate. Tha knowledge of the area and terrain was excellent. Tha found the right balance between sightseeing and felt excellent. I loved the tour and would definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone! 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 December 2018
Viet was a very excellent guide. Very knowledgeable, Very thoughtful. Driver was great also. Bikes were in good condition. We like the riding away from cars and trucks very much. We saw parts of Vietnam we would not have seen otherwise. Overal we had a really good time. All well organised.
Viet was a wonderful tour guide. He made the experience very enjoyable and was always prepared for whatever we wanted ot needed. He kept a good pace and always stopped when there was something interesting to discuss or taste (We loved all of the fruits!) Our Driver Loc did a great job as well as and we could not have asked for a better pair. The food was very good and we enjoyed discussing what/ how to eat what we were eating with Viet. Thank you for this wonderful experience we enjoy it very much and will recommend to everyone we know.
Thank you Viet!
We appreciate yor huma + your knowledge. 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 December 2018
We are Steven Micetic, Zoe Sajor, Kameko Nichols and Erik Josephson from USA
Now as the tour is finished I wanted to thank you and as well the guide and the driver for this really nice and very professional organisation of the tour. As I didn't had a pen to fill out the feedback form the guide gave us to the beginning could you please provide me a link sich that I can review the tour online. Many thanks and wishing you and all the team the very best for 2019 - though knowing that for you the new lunar year is more important. 28 - 29 - 30 - 31 December 2018
The bike tour was very enjoyable. Will highly recommend to others. Mr. Cong was an excellent guide. He made the tour extra special. The driver was very good and helpful. One thing that could have been better was the positioning of handle bars. They were swiping too low. Needed to be adjusted up and back toward rider.
Wonderful experience! Our guide was very good and stopped to show us interesting things along the route. We loved meeting the local villagers. The bike tour was very enjoyable. Will highly recommend to others. Amazing time! 06 - 09 Nov 2018
What a fantastic day! Our guide was amazing experience not only was his knowledgeable + experience with the area by his sense at humor kept us laughing all day. The bikes were a great as we have dance a few cycles around Vietnam.
We all felt very safe on our bikes. It far accepted our expectation. It was fun, interesting, and informative. The countryside was beautiful + insight into local life a treat away far tourist hubs. This was definitely the off the beaten track tour we were rocking. What a fantastic day to spend our last day in Vietnam. Would highly recommend this tour above all other cycles we have done here. 7 July 2018
The guide was very good. The itinerary was fantastic to know people, landscape and rural life. In my opinion view the life cost in Vietnam the price of the tour is too much. Maybe, if you lower the price more people could join and do this tour. 05 January 2018
I was very happy with the trip. Vien was a great guide and excellent company. He looked after us well. Nghia was an excellent driver and he also looked after us very well. I had a great time. 02 - 14 Nov, 2018
I took a rest when I choose Vietnam Backroads for myself and my team, but its the best from the internet. It turn out more than I expected and your guide Mr Thang is very professional and very knowledgeable. There is not a boring moment with him around. He made us feel very comfortable and we enjoyed our ride very much. The numerous coffee break is good and dinner is excellent.
On behalf of my team, I would say "Big thank you" to Vietnam Backroads Bicycle Tours. 21 - 30 April 2013
Overall your arrangement is very good. The back up, the food, the accommodation are all superb. And most of all the guide provided is excellent. He speak very good English, very knowledgeable, very easy to get along and very diplomatic.
Great job, we definitely like to recommend to my friends. 21 - 30 April 2013