The Mekong Delta - is one of the best cycling locations in all of Vietnam for its quiet back roads, friendly people and beautiful scenery
Although the delta is the most densely populated area in the entire country, it is home to an enormous diversity of peaceful rural villages and small roads, which quickly make you forget hectic Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The Mekong River, which locals call Song Me - the mother river - is arguably the most important element of livelihood and production not only for this region, but for all of Vietnam.
Extensive rice fields, mangroves, dragon fruit plantations, palm trees and banana trees account for a large part of food production in Vietnam. Still, the pace of life through the narrow waterways is slow and peaceful.
The Mekong Delta is really 'as flat as a dime', so everyone can cycle here. By staying off the main roads and traveling alone on trails, dirt roads and country lanes, you have a unique way to discover, touch and taste the REAL Mekong Delta. You have the chance to meet many friendly local people who don't want to sell you anything!
Cycling in the Mekong Delta also means getting to know the local culture. While cycling you can see the Vietnamese working hard in the fields, fish farms and orchards.
They always take a moment to wave at you, just like the
locals, who sail under the bridges or just like you on the bike. You will visit small local temples, floating and villages and colorful landmarks. Sometimes you cross a waterway with a boat, if there is no regular road available. You will taste fresh fruits and delicious South Vietnamese specialties.
The region is flat with many rice fields for cycling. You can see rice cultivation everywhere in the Delta. The delta is notable for the green beauty of rice cultivation, which sees "all over the place". The further you get, the nicer it gets and the roads are pretty good and there is relatively little traffic.
Walking or cycling across the bridge?
"We cycle through a flat and beautiful green landscape with many rice fields. What strikes me is the large number of hammocks that I see on the way. Some empty, but many with a lazy Vietnamese. In many stores, the shopkeeper lays in a hammock for lack of customers. Only a hammock is missing from the barber shop. But yes, in the absence of customers, the hairdresser just takes a nap in the barber chair. But not everyone rests here. Busy work in the rice fields and men and women. Here in the Mekong Delta, farmers can harvest rice three times a year due to the fertile soil in combination with the favorable climate. This is in stark contract with the north of Vietnam where we will go later this trip where the farmers can already be happy with one good harvest per year.
Men and women walk here with long poles through the rice fields. The first ones I see are quite far from the road so I can't really see what exactly they are doing. They occasionally seem to prick the ground with the stick. But the usefulness of that is not clear to me. But a little later we pass a rice field on which a man is working right next to the road. And then I see what the farmers are doing. In places where the rice plants are close together, the hooks on the end of the long stick remove rice plants from the mud and they are then put back in the mud in a bare spot in the rice field. The rice plants are distributed more evenly across the field."
A perfect 'stopover' when you cycle in Mekong Delta is a boat trip. You can completely relax while swaying in such a boat. You can easily combine cycling in the Mekong Delta with a boat trip. With a boat it is possible to penetrate deeper into the rivers of the delta. During such a boat trip you sail through the Vietnamese countryside. It is a rural area, yet densely populated. It is therefore a fertile area. Along the river there are numerous rice fields, orchards and other types of agriculture. The river is the largest source of income for the local population.
Geese on the road .....