Viet Nam bicycle tour

   

Ibike Vietnam
People-to-People Programs

Description, Schedule and Fact Sheet

Note: We don't currently have any programs scheduled in Vietnam because we are having trouble maintaining the standard of program we would like. As Vietnam has become increasing motorized, which it is, the experience for bicyclists has rapidly degraded.  It is now the reality that for a 50 mile (80 kilometer) radius around Saigon, there are only isolated, non-linked, corridors that are attractive for bicycling.  Even further a field, the region has been so broken up with motor corridors and industrial zone that it is necessary to spend a disproportionate amount of time in vans to snatch a bicycle experience here and a bicycle experience there.  Many of the cultural and historical highlights of our past programs are now essential cut-off from (safe) bicycle access.  What is left is some isolated "nice-bike-rides-in-the-countryside."  In and of themselves this can be nice, but they lack the continuity of educational and enrichment components that we like include in our programs.  The experience cease to be a bicycle tour and the carbon footprint of the program becomes as high or higher than just doing the itinerary solely by van.  We have also been frustrated in finding Vietnamese staff with an interest in maintain the environmental standards we would like (i.e. not through trash in the countryside, not  being wasteful, etc.) and who prioritize enrichment in travel over entertainment for tourists.  We are working are finding solution, but for the time being we don't have any programs scheduled in Vietnam.  Sorry.  Please consider one of our other programs.

Most Vietnam bike tours stay on or close to the homogeneous coastal plains and Highway 1 and spend a lot of time in vans.  It is the easy and fast way to run a bicycle tour but it is also a major truck and bus laden thoroughfare from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.  With some exceptions, most of the jewels and gems of Vietnam are away from Highway 1. It is our exploration of the secondary roads, and their diversity, that makes our program special and a very enriching experience.  Ibike’s Vietnam bicycle tour will help you discover the depth, beauty and complexity of the heartwarmingly friendly country.  Its rich heritage has been somewhat overshadowed in western minds by its brief turbulent history of the mid 20th Century, but rest assured, the geography, ecology and people of Vietnam have thousands of years of rich history and extraordinary culture refinement.  It is not a homogeneous country:  The ethnic in the Central highland, include both Mon-Khmer (Bahnar, Hre) and Malayo-Polyneseians (Cham, Jarai, and E'de) communities.  In the North there are Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kadai, Mon-Khmer and Hmong-Mein ethnic groups.  Many religions peacefully coexist in Vietnam:  The main faiths are Buddhism and Catholicism, along with Hindus, Muslims, and followers of traditional religions and the indigenous Cao Dai religion, which glorifies Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, Victor Hugo, and others.  The combination of religious diversity and long history has produced a wealth of pagodas, churches, tombs, towers, temples and other physical culture to visit and marvel at.  Ibike’s Vietnam program visits local markets, cultural site and helps you enjoy the extraordinary friendliness of the people and inspirational beauty of the country.  There is much to be awed by.

Ibike sponsors environmentally friendly, educational programs for those who want to learn more about the people of the world, as well as see the beautiful sights.  The primary mode of travel is bicycle.  The cycling varies from program to program but is generally easy to moderate.  Side trips are available for those with extra energy.  Accommodations are a mix from western-style hotels to local housing.  All participants receive comprehensive pre-departure materials Veitnamese high school students on bicycleswith detailed instructions on setting up their bicycle, packing, training and other information for program preparation.  The program is ideal for the realist who appreciates the world and the wonderful rewards gained for the modest rigors of bicycle touring.

The fourteen-day Vietnam programs begin in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) or Hanoi, depending upon the itinerary. The program is $1490, including accommodations, two meals a day and variety of activities along the way. The group is limited to 12 people so early registration is recommended.

Photo Essay: Vietnam Imperial Roots
Photo Essay: Cultural Collage of the South
Comments and Testimonials from Past Participants
Registration Information
Vietnam Bibliography
Have doubts? Here is: Why you should take an Ibike Tour!


FACT SHEET: 

VIETNAM: Cultural Collage of the South *

Schedule: December-February (see full schedule and status)
Program Price (lodging, two meals/day, guide, museum fees and more): US$1490 (less than six people add $100) (airfare is not included).  Single-supplement is $150.  Average out of pocket expenses per program $100 plus or minus $50.
Description: Day 1: orientation, acclimatization, and exploration of Ho Chi Minh City's bustling streets, plazas, markets and temples and government buildings. Day 2-4: cycle in to the fertile Mekong Delta area and visit Cu Chi Tunnels.  Day 5-11: Travers the southern Central Highlands, visiting Buôn Mê Thuột, Dá Lạt, local markets, temples, hill villages and a variety of ecological zones. Day 12-14: Drop down to the lush coast zone and finish the program.
Features: Small group, people-to-people bicycle tour.  Visit with and gain a better understanding the lifestyles, history, politics, social institutions, economics, and the ethnic and cultural diversity of the people of southern Vietnam.  Day-to-day, on a ongoing basis, throughout the program there will be discussions on history, architecture, culture, ethnic diversity, social systems, gender rights and roles, politics, agriculture, music, language, religion, geology, botany, and ecology.
Start / Finish: Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam
Skill Level: Suitable for fit beginner cyclist and better.
Mileage Daily / Total: 60-120km, 35-70 miles per day / 800km, 500 miles total.
Cycling Conditions: 95% paved roads, mostly rolling, with sections of long hills.
Luggage Van: Yes.
Accommodations: Small hotels and a traditional stilt house, no tent camping.
Meals Included: Two meals per day, generally breakfast and dinner  (a lot of Vietnamese cuisine: rice, noodles, beef, pork, seafood, chicken, vegetables, soup.)
Other Activities: Discussions, visits, walking.
Bike: Mtn. bikes are recommended. 
Bike Rental: Locally available.

VIETNAM: Imperial Roots (Central) *

Schedule: December-February (see full schedule and status)
Program Price (lodging, two meals/day, guide, museum fees and more): US$1490 (less than six people add $100) (airfare is not included).  Single-supplement is $150. Average out of pocket expenses per program $100 plus or minus $50.
Description: Day 1: orientation, in Ho Chi Minh City. Day 2-4: transfer to Hue and cycle along the coast, wandering through the imperial roots of Vietnam. Day 5-9: Traverse the Central Highlands, visiting villages ethnic minority, local markets, temples and Pleiku. 10-12: Return to the coast.  Day 13-14: Return to Ho Chi Minh City and finish the program.
Features: Small group, people-to-people bicycle tour.  Visit with and gain a better understanding the lifestyles, history, politics, social institutions and economics of the people of central Vietnam.  Day-to-day, on a ongoing basis, throughout the program there will be discussions on history, architecture, culture, ethnic diversity, social systems, gender rights and roles, politics, agriculture, music, language, religion, geology, botany, and ecology.
Start / Finish: Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam
Skill Level: Suitable for fit beginner cyclist and better.
Mileage Daily / Total: 60-120km, 35-70 miles per day / 900km, 560 miles total.
Cycling Conditions: 75% paved roads, mostly rolling, with sections of long hills.
Luggage Van: Yes, but there is an overnight into a minority area that we must ride into and out of self-contained without the luggage van (i.e. carrying an overnight kit with you on your bike or back.)
Accommodations: Small hotels and a traditional stilt house, no tent camping.
Meals Included: Two meals per day, generally breakfast and dinner (a lot of Vietnamese cuisine: rice, noodles, beef, pork, seafood, chicken, vegetables, soup.)
Other Activities: Discussions, visits, walking.
Bike: Mtn. bikes are recommended. 
Bike Rental: Locally available.


* Itineraries, fares and dates subject to change.  20% of the land portion is U.S. tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law for those registering directly with IBF.

Registration: It is easiest, and saves paper, if you register online. Or, you can register by mail by downloading and printing the Registration Packet (PDF file). Or, you can begin the registration process by sending your name, address, phone number, name of the program(s) and a deposit of $300 (of which $100 is a non­refundable registration fee) to ibike. Deposit and payment may be made by check, money order, credit card or PayPal. Upon receipt of your this information a the registration packet will be forwarded to you.  It must be completed, signed and returned before your registration is considered complete. Registrations submitted less than 60 days prior to departure should include the full fee. Registrations received less than 30 days prior to departure will be accepted subject to availability and a late fee of $50. Payments within 30 days of departure must be by cashier's check, credit card or electronic transfer. Early registration is encouraged. Due to limits on group size and the advisability of starting the reading list, registrations at least 90 days prior to the departure date is suggested.

Full Payment: Due 60 days prior to departure. If payment has not been received and no special arrangements have been made, we reserve the right to assume withdrawal and fill the space.

Withdrawals: To receive a refund if withdrawing, submit a letter of withdrawal in writing to Ibike. Our policy is as follows: (1) A $100 registration fee is forfeited for all withdrawals. (2) A fee of $300 is assessed for withdrawals within 60-­30 days prior to departure. (3) The full price of the land costs is assessed for withdrawals initiated less than 30 days prior to departure. Changes in medical circumstances are not considered as exceptions to our normal refund policy. Insurance coverage for trip cancellation/interruption is available from several companies.

Detailed Registration Information
 

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