Cycling through quiet roads and enjoying beautiful scenery is what tourists have come to expect out of Vietnam’s growing bicycle tourism industry. Bicycle tourism is nothing new in Vietnam, but recently the industry has received a wealth of new business from tourists looking to enjoy the sights of Vietnam in a more personal way.
Vietnam is consistently warm, with an average year-round temperature of 80 degrees F. Vietnam also is fairly humid, which makes it feel even warmer, so most bike tours travel in the morning and late afternoon. Vietnam has one rainy season, from May through September, so unless you enjoy riding a bicycle in the rain, plan your trip from October to April.
Renting a Bicycle
If you plan on taking a guided bicycle tour, the tour company will provide your bicycle, but if you plan on touring Vietnam by yourself, you will need to talk to a local bicycle vendor. With the rise of bicycle tourism in Vietnam, bicycle vendors are in every major town, and you can get a few months of bicycle time for about the same price as a month-long bus pass. When you rent a bicycle, the vendor will ask you to give him your passport. After you return from your trip, you will get your passport back once you pay what you owe. The rental also should include a helmet and regional map.
For the most part, violence is uncommon in Vietnam, but pickpocketing is a huge problem. Drive-by purse snatchers sometimes drive up to tourists, steal their purse or bags, and drive off. Although this shouldn’t be a problem with bicycle tours, since you can’t take much with you anyway, the best way to avoid problems is to not carry any large bags. On a tour, the tour company will send your baggage to the hotel at your next stop.
Saigon City Tours
Saigon, one of the largest cities in Vietnam, is a popular place for bike tours, and this historic city has many sites accessible by bicycle. The History Museum of Saigon is a offers exhibits showcasing the history and culture of Vietnam, and it is located next door to a zoo, so bicycle tourists can easily visit both places. One of the benefits to bicycle tours are how flexible they are. You can visit Saigon’s historic landmarks, cruise through some of the less-traveled alleys to get a better picture of what life in Vietnam is like, then stop at a diner when hunger strikes.
Red River Delta Tours
The Red River Delta is another popular bicycle tour location, and allows bicycle tourists to take a scenic route through Vietnam along the river. The terrain is fairly easy to navigate. There are hills, but they are not steep, and the majority of the bike paths are flat. A Red River Delta tour is ideal for travelers who are interested in seeing the local scenery, and is a good places to get some exercise.