Viet Nam bicycle tour


Vietnam flagPhoto essay:
Vietnam Bicycle Tour: Cultural Collage of the South


Saigon Go Cong (65km, 40mi).  Tour Saigon on our way out of town and into the Mekong Delta.

Points of interest: Transition from urban to suburban to rural.

  Traffic in Saigon is like a river.  Despite the density it flows along quite smoothly.  The secret to success in Saigon traffic is to foreshadow you intents and be predictable.  In practice you will see people wanting to make a left turn sliding over into the oncoming traffic lanes and heading smoothly towards the intersection that they want to turn at.  Fortunately the speed of the traffic is pretty slow and everyone is operating under the same assumptions so the system works.  On some of the biggest boulevards there is a bike lane.  As the city becomes increasingly motorized the bike lane has been left pretty empty and the most spacious corridor on the street.  Continuing the metaphor of a river; there is also the roar of rapids in a canyon.  But unlike a pristine wilderness river, unfortunate this one is engulfed in a bubble of poisonous fumes and grit.  
  In a few mile the urban density gives way to a more suburb environment.  There is a pretty continuous build environment along the road, a mix of residential and commercial.  Traveling salesmen, such as bicycle bound basket sellers  (right), add additional character to the scene.
  This women are picking a translucent fruit out of clusters of water coconut pods.  They keep the harvest fruit on ice.  They have a large pile left to crack and pick.
  This interesting juxtaposition shows Vietcong monument and Buddhist temple.  During the war the Buddhist had opposed the corruption and brutality of the South Vietnamese regime, but were also repressed when the Vietcong came to power.  
  Go south from Saigon and you will meet the hundreds of canals, tributaries and channels of the  Mekong Delta.  The smaller bodies are crossed by bridges, but the bigger channels are served by ferry boats.
  rice harvest, Vietnam While the city is huge, once you escape it and its satellite communities, which have now largely merged with one another, it is not long before you get a feel for what most of Vietnam is about.  In a word, agriculture and more specifically rice. rice harvest, Vietnam

Return to Saigon Continue to Cai Be

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