Review after enjoyed my trips with vietnam cycling tours
Hello, Vietnam cycling tours We are both back home and into our normal work routines — our two weeks holiday flew by.The whole trip was very enjoyable, well organised and we would certainly recommend it. The two parts (Vietnam & Cambodia) were very different with the Mekong Delta providing the most rewarding part of the trip for me. The Cambodia part had some challenges but overall was still good.In Vietnam, Dat was a superb guide and riding with him was a great experience. He was enthusiastic and made a special effort to explain to us what we were looking at, helped us to engage with the local people and also found us a huge selection of fruit and snacks to try. I felt that he genuinely wanted to give us the best tour that he could and to show us as much as he could. He balanced his time between Tamar and us well and kept us all happy.The hotels were all OK – the Chau Doc Hotel was spectacular and (for us) it would have been good to have arrived a little earlier so that we could use the swimming pool and facilities.The only part of the Vietnam tour that we didn’t enjoy was the visit to the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields memorial. It is a painful and difficult topic and I understand why it was included but the town and the van ride to Ba Chuc was rather depressing and I would rather have spent the time doing another activity in the area. There is a much better memorial and museum just outside Phnom Penh and I suggest including this as part of the Cambodian trip instead.In Cambodia, our guide Chek was very focused on leading us from place to place – sometimes at a faster pace than we really wanted (I have a lot less photos from this part of the trip !). He was always polite but we both got the impression that he was less interested in showing us Cambodia and more interested in getting the kilometres completed. The van driver (Jon) seemed a lot more fun but unfortunately only had very limited English. There were still great moments such as the picnic under the sugar palms and the (unplanned?) visit to a pottery village at Kampong Chhang which were both real highlights.The boat trip across Tonle Sap was cancelled which apparently happens every dry season. We therefore had to spend 7 hours in the van driving the route instead – this was not a very good day and I strongly suggest that this part of the Cambodian trip is revisited during the dry season. After we found out that there was no boat trip we suggested that we could visit a floating village from Siem Reap. Chek checked with his office and arranged the trip but I am sure with a little more advance planning we could have had an even better day and visited some more out of the way places.Siem Reap is more of a tourist super highway than a back road so the end of the trip was very different to the start. The temples at Angkor are superb and Siem Reap has a very lively ‘backpacker’ nightlife which was good fun and it was a good way to finish.On a more serious note, Chek unfortunately had an accident towards the end of our first day in Siem Reap and had to have 6 stitches in his knee so he could not ride. I am very pleased to say that we saw him again on the last day and he was making a good recovery. The loss of our guide was handled very professionally. Chek found an alternate guide (Chouy) who was very good and made our next day visiting the temples very enjoyable — even if he was a bit shaky and slow on his bike at times. Our hotels in Cambodia were all fine without being great.I hope that this feedback is useful and feel free to ask for more details.We both hope that we can find a way to come back visit you all again soon.
April 2, 2014
Nick and Jonathan