Saturday, 1 January 2011

Part Three, Cycling the Mekong Delta

This post follows our travels in Phu Quoc, we had decided against taking the ferry from Phu Quoc to Rach Gia. Had we opted for this route we would have taken the option to cycle for the day from Rach Gia to Chau Doc. This is a great cycle route covering 92 Km on small quiet roads. Chau Doc is the border town bewteen Cambodia and Vietnam and Speedboats travel from Chau Doc in the morning arriving in Phnom Penh at noon. As time was a limiting factor we decided to fly to Ho Chi Minh where we were met by our excellent guide who accompanied us on this short two day trip of the Mekong Delta. Our company policy is to try to avoid dangerous highways so we transfered from Ho Chi Minh 2 hours to the My Tho in the Mekong Delta. From here after a quick adjustment of the bicycle seat we started pedalling on the quiet country lanes along the Tien River to Cai Be. This trip was definately not on main roads. We followed quiet narrow roads and paths criss crossing the maze of the Mekong Delta, passing banana plantations, sugarcane fields and lush rural landscapes. Where there weren't bridges we jumped on small ferry's including our ferry from Dinh Khao to Cho Lach. This cycle day was around 40 Km before we transferred to Can Tho but this was mainly due to our time constraints and this cycle route could be adapted to meet cyclists needs. In Can Tho we stayed at the Kim Tho Hotel, although this hotel is classified as 3*, I would give it a 4* rating and we would recommend it as the place to stay in Can Tho. The rooms were definately of a higher standard and it is a very centrally located hotel. The Victory Can Tho is much more expensive but located quite far away from the town centre on the other side of the River.

The following day we took a boat trip to see the Cai Rang floating market, the market is a great experience to see traditional River Life on the Mekong with people bartering and selling there goods. We continued by bike to Phong Dien floating market and along narrow lanes through the Mekong Delta and cycled around 30 Km. Again we decided today due to this being an inspection trip we would only be doing a short cycle but the options are endless for people wishing to arrange several days cycling in the area. After stopping cycling we transferred for lunch before spending the afternoon at the Chu Chi Tunnels.

The Chu Chi tunnels used to be more than 250 km long and three levels deep and even streched under the American army base. The Viet Cong used these tunnels to control a large rural area around Saigon and even included meeting rooms and a hospital. American Positions would be attacked with the Viet Cong then retreating back to the tunnels, the tunnels were also used to move supplies, and even heavy artillery. The Americans resorted to a bombing campaign in which the district of Cu Chi became the most bombed, shelled, gassed, defoliated, and generally devastated area in the history of warfare and anything that moved was considered a target. After a couple of Hours at Chu Chi we returned to Ho Chi Minh and check into our hotel. View our Photo Album of the trip and like us on facebook

1 comment:

Mandie said...

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Mandie Hayes