We have just returned from Vietnam where we were fortunate enough to travel with Vietnam Backroads bicycle tours.
We are a family of 5, 2 adults and 3 children aged 8, 10 & 12 and we all thoroughly enjoyed our 4 days exploring the Mekong Delta by bicycle.
From the minute we were collected from our hotel by Dat, we knew we were in capable hands. The bikes were all new Giant MTB's and very similar to our bikes at home so our kids felt very comfortable cycling each day.
We did the Saigon-Travinh-Cantho-Sadec-Cao Lanh itinerary and it gave us a wonderful insight into life on the river. We shared many a laugh, and witnessed so many trip highlights on our ride.
Thank you to Dat and Van for making our visit to the Mekong Delta so enjoyable. April 30, 2016
Hi Van, My apologies for our delay in response but we have been traveling all this time and have just returned home to Australia. This has given us time to reflect on our Mekong Delta Bike ride. It was absolutely fantastic from the quality of the cycling equipment, and the deluxe van and highly professional guide and driver. Dat, as our guide, was exceptional and made this tour a highly memorable, enjoyable and challenging trip. His knowledge of the area, his ability to personalise for our interests, the food and the different bike routes. Our driver, Mr Loc, was very professional, punctual and drove very safely through some very busy parts of the Mekong and Ho Chi Minh City. Please pass onto Dat our regards and gratitude – tell him that Jim will never forget the shave and haircut and that he now looks 10 years younger. We have already passed on your information to people in Australia so hopefully when they go to Vietnam they use your company. WE will definitely put something up on facebook and give a very high rating. 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 April, 2017
I enjoyed it very much ! It was a wonderful way to experience the Mekong Delta. I think some better communication needed from our guide - especially with directions- more notice and guidance required. Overall, it was great fun, thank you ! 12 - 15 June 2013
This tour was much better than I thought it will be. Variations of the culture interest was good. Dat cycle so much I have common so I was a bit anxious for the distance of the tour, but it was no problem. Mostly because of the bikes. It would have been good if there was a recommendation for padded short for longer trips in the confirmation e-mail. Now we did not think about buying them until it was too late. I really enjoyed this trip and will give a great review on TripAdvisor. 2 - 5 Jan 2015
We had the most wonderful experience with this company! We only cycled for three days and really felt that we got to see the true rural Vietnam. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to get away from the tourist hotspots and see the real country in a safe manner (as your guide is always to hand). Our tour was brilliantly organised and led. Our guide, Dat, made the trip even more special. He was very good at listening to our concerns and even factored in very last minute itinerary changes. He also plied us with fruit and local drinks at every opportunity. Water is also very plentiful. We only had to pay for our drinks at dinner and lunch, all other food, drink and transport was included.
It was brilliant to cycle through very remote villages where all the locals would come out and wave as you pass. The tiny bridges linking the islands are beautiful and occur fairly regularly. However, some can have a few holes in them but don't be undeterred, the local Vietnamese use them all the time.
We caught the minivan for small sections so that we didn't have to cycle on too main roads (quite a health hazard in Vietnam). This was far more pleasurable than expected as you still get to see the sights and fit in lots of cycling. The only negative would be that I felt we were misinformed about the boat trip from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh in the last day. This was a slightly cramped public boat that takes five hours including long stops at the border (most passengers didn't get visas in advance).
- see if you can get Dat as your tour guide
- personalize it: don't be afraid to ask for a shorter/ longer day or for the itinerary to be changed
- be prepared with mosquito spray
- bring clothes that you don't mind getting torn or stained
- try as much of the local cuisine and fruit as possible
Sadly we just completed our bike tour through the Mekong delta from Ho Chi Minh city to Chau Doc. We will be completing the tour by boat to Phnom Penh tomorrow. We had an absolutely amazing time and feel so fortunate to see the Mekong delta in this way. Our guide Cong was fabulous. He was very informative about each area we rode through and so kind and generous. Each day was a new experience. We loved meeting the local people and having the opportunity to interact with them. The food was incredible too and Cong was always sure to make sure we stayed well hydrated. We are active seniors and found the ride certainly doable. Highly recommend Vietnam Backroads and hope we can do another ride with them again sometime soon! 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 Nov, 2018
Cannot think of a better way to get a taste of Vietnam. Our tour, the one which visits a number of UN World Heritage sites, offers a diversity of both riding and cultural experiences. The riding is fairly rated as a 3 out of 5, so it is designed for recreational riders who are in decent shape. The riding is quite diverse, from mountainous roadways (mostly going down), to trails of dirt, asphalt or concrete along seaside trails and trails through rice paddies, villages, and forested areas. Along the coastal plain, the term backroads is very fitting.
Aside from biking, the tour also caters to historical, cultural and recreational interests. Among others, the tour includes time at the ancient sanctuary at My Son, the Vietnam War Memorial at My Lai, and the Citadel at Hue. The stops during the day and the evening meals focused on Vietnamese fare. More “touristy” activities like the mud bath at Dark Cave and an overnight cruise at Ha Long Bay add to a great holiday.
A lot of work went into putting this package together. Depending upon what one is used to, the accommodations range from adequate to very good. (one of the hotels was the nicest we have ever stayed at) Because the tour covers a long distance, quite a bit of time is spent in the van during transfers from the centre of a city to the tour departure point, or taking us to our hotel at the end of the day. It was nice that there was internet access in the van during these trips.
Finally, a word has to be said about the guide team. A van to carry us and a truck to haul the bikes followed us wherever that was possible (and met up with us when the trails didn't allow it) There was always a guide behind the last rider to ensure that no one ever got lost. And our main guide, Dat, was fabulous, both in leading the group, or letting keener riders ride ahead when the way ahead was straight forward. He was also great at giving us advice when we got to our destination at the end of the day. And he was an excellent guide at the historic sites we visited, providing the background necessary to make the visit worthwhile.
Like a few other bike adventures we have been on, there were one or two “misadventures”. Our own view is that “misadventures” become part of the adventure when the tour operator puts in the work to overcome them with minimal inconvenience to participants.
So, if you are going to Vietnam, do some bike riding, and want to experience a variety of the flavours which the country offers, you should seriously consider what Vietnam Backroads has to offer.
I have just completed my 3rd ride with Vietnam Backroads, having ridden from Hanoi to Saigon in 2012, Mekong Delta/Cambodia 2013 and now Hanoi to Luang Prabang in 2014. The trips have been for 2 weeks and private tours with 12 to 15 friends from the South Coast, NSW, Australia. Van again organised an amazing ride for us. He goes out of his way to make sure our trips are memorable ones. I cannot speak highly enough of his professionalism. We are so impressed with our cycling holidays organised by Van that we will be back in 2015 for another memorable cycling trip
We are back again in Germany and again very busy in our companies. We enjoyed very much your country and especially the bike-ride in the Mekong Delta. The tour was very interesting and we saw a lot. Mr. Trung was a very good guide and we could ask him everything. He has knowledge about almost everything, so we could ask a lot. Everything worked good, the paths we were riding were fascinating and the distances were not too hard. So we can recommend Vietnam Backroads. Especially the Ba Duc homestay, which Mr. Trung recommended, was very nice. Please say thank you to him. April, 2014
Thanks very much to the entire team for the excellent organization of our vacation in Vietnam. Thanks to our excellent guide Loc, we could really see how beautiful Vietnam and its people are. The Mekong delta is surprisingly rich in the variety of activities, fruits and vegetables that you can find, but you absolutely need a good guide to spot it all. The cycling is making it not only a very interesting, but also sportive and pleasant experience. We especially appreciate the good care that was given when our daughter got sick. Your team did everything to help her and still make it very pleasant for everybody involved. She is getting better now, but still needs further recovery. 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24 July, 2015
Top marks to guide, Loc for the personality, local general knowledge, proficiency with English. We enjoyed the fact that we went to non-touristy sights took time to visit with locals and that the guide adapted the tour when the planed item was not of interest to us. It was nice that the guide arranged for such a lovely dinner and setting for our wedding anniversary. An the particular highlight was the Khmer village ride afternoon due to the amazingly beautiful settings. All in all, a very satisfying tour experience. 28 - 29 - 30 -31 Dec, 2015
Overall we have very, very positive feelings about our trip to Vietnam. Here are the things that we were very happy with through Vietnam Backroads: * Above all, we feel truly lucky that we had Loc Dang as our guide. He was WONDERFUL. We told him that a hundred times, but you can tell him again for us. ;-) * The bikes were in good shape, the van was in good shape, and the driver was good. * We did not feel pressured to "stick to the agenda" with Loc. If a particular route was too difficult or if it was too rainy, Loc was fine letting us ride in the van for a while. Most of the bike routes were very interesting. * Overall we were happy with the food provided by Vietnam Backroads. * The arrangements with Vietnam Airlines and the Paloma Cruise company in Halong Bay were very good. We were happy with those arrangements. Here are the things that we felt could have been better with Backroads Vietnam: * The floating market at Cai Rang near Can Tho was a BIG letdown/disappointment. I had expected to see LOTS of floating boats with people selling produce and flowers. Instead there were just a few boats actually selling, and it seemed very, very touristy (there were more tour boats than boats with people selling/buying things). We felt cheated not getting to see something better/bigger. * For US $4,798, some of the 11 nights spent in hotels could have been much better. We booked our own hotels in Saigon (before the trip began) and Hanoi (after the trip ended) ourselves, so we know that it is so very easy to get a great hotel at a very good price (US $80 or so is enough to get a very nice hotel). The hotels chosen by Vietnam Backroads in Saigon and Quang Ngai were especially bad; we should have stayed at much nicer hotels after spending so much money for the tour. We want your company to make a profit and we felt happy with some of the hotels (Hoi An, Hanoi, etc.), but we are unsure whether we could recommend Vietnam Backroads to our friends due to some of the hotels chosen for us. This definitely needs to be improved. * We did not like having to ride through the heavy traffic of Hue city on the last day of riding bikes. It was SCARY for Americans to be riding through Vietnamese traffic. We would have preferred having the van pick us up out in the countryside. Also, the route around Hue probably could have been better. It seemed to be not really planned well. So, overall there are good points and less good points about our experience. Even though it rained a lot we are glad we chose to go to Vietnam. Due to the reasons outlined above, though, we would have to talk very carefully with our friends here in the US before we could actually recommend using Vietnam Backroads as a touring company. 03 -14 Dec, 2016
As we are budget travellers this trip was a big cost for us but we had an excellent time so very glad we did it. We were never pressured in tipping or buying things and snacks/drinks were provided whenever we felt like it which was a good touch. Guide was great fun and made the trip more enjoyable. Dinner was also very good. Very friendly guide. The journey was just challenging. Minivan' diver always providing enough water, snacks. The trip to experience the Mekong Delta was very accommodating to our needs. Ms Quang in the office in Saigon was so nice and helpful too.
Thang was a really excellent guide who has great knowledge and passion about his country. I feel as if I know much more about Vietnam. The food was a particular highlight as we stopped at many local places and samled a great range of food. The hotel on the first night was fine. Then dinner on the first night was ok, but I think we preferred the food from the market Thang showed us. This has been a really wonderful tour, and I will definitely be recommending it! Thank you. 26 Feb,2014
A wonderful insight into the real Mekong Delta. We thoroughly enjoyed this experience and will recommend it to others. Thank you Thang for your time and your interest in showing us these beautiful people, amazing scenery and exceptional food. January 5, 2014
Our trip was a great journey and the best way to see the people and their lives in the Mekong Delta. My only complaint was the bed in the hotel, room first night. It was too hard Everything else was exceptional.
I have had an amazing time on this trip and has easily been the most enjoyable part of our holiday so far. Our guide- Thang is incredible. His knowledge has taught us so much about Vietnam and the way he tailored the tour so that we weren't around lots of tourists which makes it even better. We really want to see the real Vietnam and Thang showed us that. The restaurant on the first night wasn't great though, a little too touristy for us but it might be perfect for others. Thank you so much for organizing this trip. We've really had a great time! 26 Feb, 2014
Hi Ms Hue, Many thanks for your email. We very much enjoyed the trip - and will certainly contact you if we plan another trip to Vietnam! I'm back in Europe now, missing Vietnamese weather, food and cycling! 12 - 15 May 2013
'Van the Man' has provided us yet another superb bike tour for the second time for my group of 11 people this time. What can I say? I was so impressed with his service back in 2016 and I came back with a bigger group this time and Mr Van, once again excelled in all areas of accommodation, food, places visited (fruit plantations; flower gardens; brick factories; fish farm etc), those 'Giant' mountain bikes, continuous water supply, fresh fruit for morning and afternoon teas and last but not least were our excellent guides Mr Dat & Mr Loc. Mr Dat and Mr Loc were superb during our tour. Their attentiveness, professionalism; friendliness and knowledge of the area were second to none. We rode the back roads of Mekong Delta for 7 days where we saw and experience the real people and how they live in the Mekong Delta areas where it is still untouched by tourists. Children were always happy to see us pass their houses and their schools and always greeted us with 'hellos' and big smiles on their beautiful faces. It is highly recommended for those who would love to see the real Vietnam, its people, their way of lives, their culture and of course the fruit plantations in the delta. Go with 'Van the Man' the founder of Vietnam Backroads. It is owned and operated by a locally cycling company that provides a very unique experience to see the real Viet Nam. Once again, on behalf of my group, I would like to 'thank you' Mr Van for providing us with an unforgettable experience riding Meandering Mekong Delta with your Vietnam Backroads Company!!!!! Our thanks also go to Mr Loc and Mr Dat. 'Never say never again. 20 - 26 Feb, 2017
Meandering the Mekong Delta by bike 7D/6N Hi Mr Van, Just want to thank you, Hue, A. Trung, and Chu Hoang for a memorable biking experience. It was truly a special reason for me to tour the Mekong Delta. I have been posting my journey on Face Book so my friends & family could follow me on my journey. Please share this link with Mr Trung and driver, Mr Hoang. I will be in Saigon until Tuesday morning so feel free to call A Minh's cell phone if you wish to contact me while I'm still here. I hope to find myself back in Vietnam again soon so I can go on another biking adventure. Saigon - Ben Tre - Tra Vinh - Soc Trang - Bac Lieu - Ca Mau - Rach Gia - Chau Doc - Saigon 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 -9 - 10 July 2012