Chris and I planned this unlikely trip with thoughts of bicycling somewhere. Italy sounded good, but not in January. And we always had wanted to visit Vietnam [where the war in the '60s and 70's has haunted us] having bypassed it a couple of years ago when we traveled through Cambodia and Thailand. We discovered that REI did bike trips in Vietnam, but somehow that seemed too easy or just not us. Instead we found Van and Vietnam Backroads [www.vietnambackroads.com.] We could not have had a better guide than Van the Man. He owns the business and got stuck touring Graham [Australian], Chris and me, because his designated guide had just gotten married. We all hit it off and along with our sag-wagon driver, Hong we had many adventures riding the backroads of Vietnam and seeing the sites. More on our bike trip later.
We flew to Ho Chi Minh City [Saigon, in the past and preferred by locals today] via Seoul taking 20+ hours and losing a day. After stumbling around HCMC the first day we opted for a trip to the Mekong delta region.
Click on the Mekong Delta tab ABOVE for Chris's take on our time there.
We spent another day in HCMC which I will get back to, but let's get on with the biking. If you are interested, click on the VN Biking tab ABOVE visit our experience through Chris's words.
The little pushpins on this map show places we had planned to go on our trip including Laos and Hong Kong. The ones in South Vietnam show the main areas of bicycling--click on the map for a larger view: