Vietnam Backroads Bike Tours always offer impressive itineraries with new destinations and hand-picked up routes. Soc Trang in the Mekong Delta is a non-tourist city, and tourists seldom visit rustic rural areas. Soc Trang is the most populated by Khmer people, whose ancestors lived there when it was part of the Khmer Empire during the 12th and 13th centuries. This is a different part of Viet Nam – the people, the food, the pace, the architecture, the temples, ‘the vibe’ are all far remote hamlets from what happens up in the big community. The Clay and Bat pagodas are well-known landmarks in Soc Trang province, as locals and overseas travellers visit most. Cycling to Soc Trang to discover the home of Khmer, to know more about the history and culture with our guide tour, we’ll start pedalling along the beautiful country backroads in the homeland of coconuts, Ben Tre province. Making our way south to Tra Vinh involves several river crossings, and this is where you’ll start to see a change in the architecture, the food and the crops. Colourful Khmer temples and stunning landscapes alternately compete for your attention.
You will experience the local goings-on at a market or from a quiet distance and start to understand the history and culture of this strongly Buddhist area with help from our fantastic and well-informed guides. We’ll drop into a few small rural Khmer markets along the way to Can Tho and the magical Flower Village of SaDec, and Xeo Quyt Forest before returning to Ho Chi Minh City.
Depart from the hotel at 8:00 am, relax and watch the bustling Ho Chi Minh as you move throughout the city. Your guide will inform you about the rules of the roads and how your daily ride is going!
Arrives in Tan An outskirts around 9:00 am, and we ride along scenic paths, enjoy picturesque hamlets, pass primary schools, and stop at the home of locals making hats and fruit bags from grasses. We ride towards My Tho, passing the vast vegetable farmlands with an irrigation system. We will stop for lunch in My Tho city. Take a rest on the vehicle for 30 minutes and transfer to Ham Luong Bridge to explore the home of coconut trees. The countryside of Mo Cay is the most beautiful rural District for travelling by bicycle. The routes are smooth concrete paths, crisscross through the villages with lush green water palms, and cross small rivers by ferry and small suspension bridges, just for bicycle mopeds only.
The ride in the afternoon is more on shady paths, on narrow country lanes, along villages hide the water palms, lush waterways. Take a small ferry boat crossing the rivers, stop at some families running small businesses. There will be plenty of time for you to pause along the country roads, experience local life. We will hop on support vehicles at Co Chien River for a 30 minute transfer luxury homestay - Coco Riverside Lodge.
Most daily life activities of locals take place early in the morning. It's the best time you can experience and see locals in surrounding areas; kids start going to schools, the elderly take farm products to markets by mopeds, and sampan boats move up and down the rivers. Then go back to the homestay for breakfast. Check out and have a short transfer to Tra Vinh outskirts for the beautiful day ride.
Tra Vinh and Soc Trang have pleasant country cycling routes. There is a big population of Khmer people living here as their homeland. Today, you could explore not only daily lives of them but also learning ancient history and culture. We start our cycling adventure after 10 minutes transfer from hotel. All are smooth concrete paths through rural villages allows you to discover, to experience life styles and daily activities of not only Khmer but also Chinese. We will spend a morning on biking from Tra Vinh to Cau Quan via small town of Tieu Can. We travel across rice paddies, along canals and villages of Khmer, passing a hand of colorful temples, tiny thatch houses before we continue biking to Cau Quan Dist. Stopping at local restaurant in rural area for lunch.
After first ferry crossing Mekong River to Dung Island where you explore the way of earning a living of locals on this Island. Ride past betel garden, sugar cane plantation, vegetable farm lands and fresh fish farms before a ferry taking to Long Phu town. Our private vehicle is standby here near this town. We get on our vehicle for half an hour driving to City of Soc Trang.
Before today's ride begins, we visit Bat pagoda, the worship 400 years old pagoda that is the home to many bats. The pagoda was destroyed by fire, and many historical relics were burndown, and it had restored then. The temple attracted hundreds of bats living on the giant trees in its compound for many years. Following the temple, we explore remote hamlets of Khmer and Vietnamese, stop for photos at Khmer ancient temples and enjoy peaceful landscapes along the ways. Ride across the rice paddy fields, see farmers look after free-range raised ducks on harvested paddy fields. Most of them are sold after 3 months old, and some will be meat for the families, and the rest are for sales.
Soc Trang is not the lowlands, and there is no flooded season at all in the year rounds. Locals grow rice all year round with 3 crops, and these crops do not coincide. This is your chance to look over gorgeous rice paddies as some are green and some yellow—lunch en route. The routes are mixed of terrains, concrete, dirt tracks, and asphalt country back roads. Mostly along agricultural canals through lush farmlands and charming hamlets of Khmer, Chinese and Vietnamese. Today's ride finishes at a rural village in Nga Bay. Get on a support vehicle to relax your legs to Can Tho city in the afternoon.
After leisurely breakfast, take a 40-minute boat trip from Ninh Kieu Pier to Cai Rang. Enjoy lively scenery on waterways to Cai Rang, see numerous small boats moving in different directions to find a good dealer. Your boat gets through the market slowly, and you can watch it get close up. Every bigger boat has a long upright pole at its bow on which samples of the goods for sale hung on the bamboo sticks with bananas, pineapple, sweet potatoes, watermelons, etc. The sampans are small and long, equipped with a long tail engine to quickly navigate the market and on shallow canals and rivers from home.
Then we disembark from the boat for the last half-day explore Phong Dien's countryside. The area has a network of small rivers that crisscross the lush fruit orchards and villages. Lunch en route before a 3.5 hours transfers back to Ho Chi Minh City. End of Services!