Cycle Vietnam's Mekong Delta

9 days
from
£699
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Moderate
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Trip code: 
MOW
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
New Cycling Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–18

Experience the Mekong Delta by bike

Departing the bustling city of Saigon, we head out to the Mekong Delta, the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, to discover this laid-back countryside by bike. Travelling on mostly flat tarmac roads, we pedal past Khmer pagodas, rice paddies, lush green landscapes, rivers and streams, floating markets, and rural fishing villages whilst encountering friendly locals, farmers and tasting the mouth-watering cuisine along the way. To gain further insight into the life of this peaceful corner of Vietnam, we stay at a homestay and also travel along the delta by boat, just like the locals before returning to Saigon! 

Highlights

  • Cycle Vietnam's Mekong Delta
  • Homestay in the delta and explore by boat
  • Discover delicious cuisine and rural life
  • Pedal through rice fields, local villages, and visit local markets

 

Key information

  • 7 nights hotels and 1 night homestay to experience 'Mekong Delta' hospitality
  • 6 days cycling with full vehicle support
  • 90% tarmac, 10% dirt roads, mostly flat
  • Group normally 6 to 18, plus local leaders
  • Travel by private mini-bus
  • Local bike hire included

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 1 dinner
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Arrival and departure transfers for all flights (must be booked in advance)
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas & vaccinations
  • Single supplement (available on request- hotel nights only)
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Moderate

Terrain:

Low altitude; 90% tarmac, 10% dirt roads, mostly flat

Day by day breakdown
Day 275.0km/46.0miles
Day 370.0km/43.0miles
Day 475.0km/46.0miles
Day 575.0km/46.0miles
Day 675.0km/46.0miles
Day 770.0km/43.0miles

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Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Saigon
to
Saigon
  • Day 1

    Start Saigon

    Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), formerly known as Saigon, is an exciting and absorbing city where bicycles battle with lorries and temples stand defiantly alongside modern developments. Devastated by the Vietnam War, Saigon is now a bustling free market city where anything goes. The Ben Thanh Market and Notre Dame Cathedral are highly recommended to visit.

    This evening there will be a welcome briefing with you leader followed by an optional group dinner at a local restaurant.

    Huong Sen Hotel or similar

  • Day 2

    Transfer to My Tho; cycle from Rach Mieu bridge to Ben Tre; on to Tra Vinh

    After breakfast, this morning we board our minibus and travel along Trung Luong highway out of the city for 2 hours to Rach Mieu bridge in My Tho city. From here, we get on our bikes on the other end of Rach Mieu bridge and cycle along the Tien river through the coconut plantations until we reach Ben Tre city. We then cross Ham Luong bridge to head to Mo Cay Nam with a lunch stop at a local restaurant.

    This afternoon, after lunch we cycle along the canal and will see local people manually pilling the coconut skin or making the coconut fabric that are used in making mattresses. We get back to the bus for a short time to avoid the busy traffic on the main road near Co Chien bridge. We will then hop on our bikes again from the other side of the bridge and cycle along the river for the last 20km to Tra Vinh where we will spend the night.

    Cuu Long Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 3

    Cycle to Soc Trang with visit to Hang pagoda and ferry crossing on Hau river

    We bid farewell to the coconut world of the Mekong Delta and cycle from our hotel through the territory of the Khmer people, that is also home to many of their pagodas. Today, we visit the Hang pagoda,  known as the bird-sheltering pagoda as thousands of birds, storks and egrets shelter at this pagoda after going out hunting for food during the day. We then will cycle pass many of evergreen rice fields. There is the opportunity to possibly cycle a little further (80km) today from hotel to hotel.

    Satraco Hotel or similar

     

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Cycle along picturesque routes and transfer to Ca Mau

    After breakfast, we get on the bikes from the hotel and cycle all the way to Bac Lieu along the beautiful seaside today to see how people live on the furthest east coast of the country. Shrimp farming or longan is very popular in this region of the Mekong Delta as the water is quite salty for any other agricultural crop or animal husbandry. This is one of most picturesque cycling routes we will encounter during the trip and there is several chances to stop and take photos. We end the day near Bac Lieu and visit one of the historic homes built in the colonial style as well as an optional stop at the worshipping place of Cao Van Lau – the father of Don Ca Tai Tu, a Vietnamese genre of music that he originally composed. We then transfer to Ca Mau where we will spend the night.

    Anh Nguyet Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Ride through U Minh Thuong National Park; transfer onto Rach Gia

    Cycling straight from the hotel, we head out of the town along Ong Doc river under a long shaded road. The route today follows a mix of tarmac and concrete roads, and the support bus and minibus will be able to access sections of this route every 10km or so for those who may wish to take a break along the way. Life is still very humble along this route but the locals are happy and optimistic; music is playing from local houses and there are chances to stop for photos and coffee or just for a quick chat with locals and learn how they nurse the baby shrimps and crabs. We then transfer onto Rach Gia for the evening.

    Hoa Binh Rach Gia Resort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Pedal by rice fields; visit Phong Dien market; transfer to Can Tho

    This morning we take a short bus ride to Kinh 5 market in Tan Hiep then launch our bikes to cycle to Giong Rieng passing through many rice fields with home-grown vegetables and fruits being sold along this route. We make a quick visit the Phong Dien market, the largest fruit market in the delta that is housed currently on land due to a recent landslide along the Can Tho river before transferring by minibus to Can Tho for the evening.

    Hau Giang Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Visit Cai Rang floating market; cycle and transfer to Ben Tre; transfer to homestay

    After breakfast we take a short transfer to Cai Rang to visit to the biggest floating market in the area before transferring further out of the city to Dong Binh where we will get on the bikes and cycle to Long Ho. We cycle through sweet potato farms and past wholesale businesses and stop for lunch in Long Ho. From here we then take another short drive to Cho Lach in Ben Tre before launching the bikes again to cycle to our homestay for tonight. 

    Mekong Delta Homestay 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Morning boat trip to local cottage industries; transfer to Saigon; optional sightseeing

    This morning after breakfast we board a boat to take a trip along the canals and visit a few local villages and their cottage industries such as rice paper, coconut candy and coconut brooms. As there is no cycling today, we aim to transfer and arrive back to Saigon in the early afternoon so there will be some time for sightseeing and to explore the city at leisure before enjoying our final evening together.

    Huong Sen Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    End Saigon

    For land only clients, the tour ends this morning in Saigon after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vietnam

A visa is no longer needed for British, German, French, Spanish and Italian citizens travelling to Vietnam (for all purposes) for a period of up to 15 days, and on the basis of meeting all conditions prescribed by Vietnamese laws. The visa exemption period will end on 30 June 2021. All other nationalities require a visa to enter Vietnam and this must be obtained prior to departure. For further information see here or the FCO site and check under Vietnam / 'Entry Requirements'.

Vaccinations

Vietnam

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Diphtheria. The risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 1 dinner are included.

Thanks to the tropical climate, the long coast and the gigantic range of mountains, Vietnam is blessed with numerous varieties of culinary offerings and consequently maintains its reputation as one of the healthiest cuisines in the world that still packs a punch with delicious, fresh and fiery flavours.

Vietnamese food relies on fresh fish, vegetables, rice and a whole myriad of verdant herbs and spices; lemongrass, ginger, basil and lime all play an important role in the cuisine. The Chinese and French influence is felt throughout the country where you are just as likely to be offered a Banh Mi (stuffed baguette) as you are a hot steaming bowl of Pho (noodle soup).

Each dish is prepared with the Asian principle of Wu Xing in mind (the five elements); meaning that the perfect combination of spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet is the ultimate aim. Be sure to also seek out the national beverages; Vietnamese coffee is served iced and sweet with condensed milk, a real sugar and caffeine hit, and beer hoi (local beer, brewed daily) is popular also.

Food is cheap in Vietnam and you can generally avoid the spicier food if you wish. Western food is readily available almost everywhere, but may not be as easy to find in some areas in the Mekong Delta.

Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests.

Please note that in SE Asia the availability of certain specialised products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialized dietary items from home.

You may find it beneficial to bring some 'cycling snacks' with you from home if you have high energy bars or gels that you like to use during a ride.

For those who wish to contribute, a kitty is normally arranged (see extra expenses) - fresh fruit, nuts, biscuits and local snacks are all provided from the snacking kitty along with even homemade lemonade if the season is right!

Weather

The weather will be hot and humid throughout with temperatures during the day usually between 28ºC and 34ºC. It is only a little cooler at nights and the Mekong Delta region does have quite hot and humid weather in general.

The south of Vietnam up to Hue has a distinct dry season between December to April and then a rainy season from May to November when it tends to come in short heavy bursts with bright sunshine in between. 

There is no ideal time to visit Vietnam; it is quite pleasant at any time of year, though due to the shape of the country it is unlikely that the weather will ever be perfect for the entire duration of any trip.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is rated Activity Level 3- Moderate and classified Road.

6 days cycling, average 73km/day ( 45 miles), full vehicle support.

Terrain and Route:
Road surfaces are mostly on good tarmac with some dirt roads. The route is flat with and anyone not wanting to cycle all day can use the support vehicle. This is a moderate graded cycling trip that is suitable for capable cyclists who may be booking a cycling tour for the first time or who wish to discover this specific region of Vietnam by bike. Transfer times are generally short or kept to a minimum where possible. Vietnam, especially the south and Mekong Delta region can be hot and humid but rests and water are readily available. You should be comfortable riding in traffic on some occasions. 

 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels and Homestay Guesthouse

You will spend 7 nights in hotels and 1 night will be spent in a homestay guesthouse. All hotels have en suite facilities and either fans or air conditioning.

En suite facilities are not available on the night at the homestay guesthouse in the Mekong Delta.

Please be advised that the accommodation listed in each location on the day to day itinerary are the standard hotels used. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at similar hotels of the same standard and quality.

Single supplements are available (on request) and only available for 7 nights of the trip (hotel nights). Please advise the sales team at the time of booking if you would like to request a single supplement.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 020 8772 3936