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Vibrant Vietnam – 17-Day Cycling Tour
Event Details Section

 Vibrant Vietnam  17-day cycling tour
Riding a mountain bike along “Highway One” is without a doubt the only way to experience the quintessential Vietnam.  The many years of contact and conflict with China, France and America have left an impression on the Vietnamese people, the architecture and the social culture. The country’s beauty and ancient civilizations leave you in awe.  Along our route you come in to contact with the real Vietnam – an experience that’s find hard to forget.

This trip is designed for those who are fit, energetic and enjoy cycling. You are supplied with a mountain bike as we travel from Saigon via the Central Highlands and the stunning coastline heading towards Hanoi, visiting the fascinating attractions of this beautiful country. This is neither an endurance test nor marathon survival race from one point to another, and we do not ride on the busy, major highways. Instead, we take the back roads and, supported by a back-up vehicle, experience the best that Vietnam has to offer in a most interesting way! There are some days where no cycling is involved. Other days, we ride from four to five hours.

ITINERARY
Day 1
We meet at Bong Sen 2 Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City. We spend the day un-boxing and testing bikes and give you some time to explore the city. In the evening we dine at the enchanting Temple Club Restaurant.  Bong Sen 2 Hotel. (D)

Day 2 Today we ride to the famous Cu Chi tunnels, where the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) lived and tormented their foreign enemies for decades. We return to Ho Chi Minh City by bus to visit the macabre museum of war crimes. Dinner is your choice. 40 km. Bong Sen 2 Hotel. (B, L)

Day 3 We get up early to drive to Dalat in the central highlands. Dalat was a favoured retreat for the French, especially during the hot summers. It was once known as Le Petit Paris and is now a popular honeymoon destination for the Vietnamese. We arrive in time for lunch while our staff set the bikes up. In the afternoon we ride quiet back roads along the Langbian Plateau, passing along side the Xuan Huong Lake in the shadow of Langbian Mountain. The ride takes us past flower farms and vegetable gardens, through smaller villages and past picturesque churches and ornate cemeteries, up cobbled streets and past old colonial buildings. We stay in a beautifully converted French colonial Villa. 50 km, Novotel. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Setting off on our bikes from the hotel we ride along quiet roads out of Dalat. The ride boasts some stiff but short climbs followed by some outstanding descents to take us back down to sea level. There are some fantastic views and beautiful mountain scenery before we reach the Cham towers of Po Klong Garai.  Those arriving early may have time to explore take some time to explore the crumbling Hindu temples. We then drive to Na Trang, the resort town where we can enjoy a more lively evening. Up to 109km. Vien Dong Hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Taking a rest from the bikes we offer a boat trip to the coral islands for swimming and snorkelling. If you don’t feel like a boat trip, relax and enjoy the beach, or go scuba diving. Vien Dong Hotel. (B)  

Day 6 An early start takes us on a wonderfully scenic ride to the beautiful fishing village of Dai Lanh. We are riding on Highway One today and there will be some traffic on one side contrasting with the best of rural Vietnam on the other. There is just one short climb in an otherwise smooth days cycling and you will be surprised how easily you cover the 85 kilometres. We will have lunch on the beach. Most people will spend the rest of the day swimming and relaxing but serious cyclists might want to ride the last 45 km into town. 85 km. Cong Doan Hotel. (B, L, D)

 Day 7 Again we transfer out of town to avoid the main highway. We start riding along a remote but well surfaced road running alongside the railway. The terrain is gently rolling, with beautiful views of the foothills of the highlands. We pass a mix of tribal and Viet villages. Ubiquitous potbellied pigs and bare foot children trot across your trail. Eventually we loop back to the main highway and transfer up the highway to Quang Ngai. 62 km. My Tra  Hotel  (B, L, D)

Day 8 In the morning we ride 12 kilometres to My Lai, the site of one of the worst massacres of the American/Vietnam War. After a guided tour of the site and museum, we continue cycling out into the Vietnamese countryside. We stop to visit an interesting pagoda. The rest of the ride is through quiet, rural villages before eventually looping back to the main highway. We transfer the rest of the way to Hoi An, having lunch on the way. The afternoon is free to explore Hoi An. The town was known as Faifo to early western traders and was one of Southeast Asia’s major trading ports during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was an important point of call for Chinese, Japanese and Portuguese traders and the architecture reflects its cosmopolitan past. More than anywhere in Vietnam, Hoi An retains the feel of the past. There are over 844 structures of historical significance and most people spend the day wandering around and enjoying the sights and atmosphere. 46 km. Vinh Hung 2. (B, L, D)

Day 9 Staying another night in Hoi An, and after a short transfer to avoid busy H1, we ride to visit My Son, the ancient centre of Cham civilization. The ride is worth the effort in itself and is arguably one of the best of the trip. We cycle along scenic country back roads past paddy fields and through eucalyptus forest passing many pretty villages. The road climbs away from the coast offering stunning views. We ride and as the road cuts a gorge through the lush jungle alongside the Song Tranh River. Eventually we arrive at My Son, which was once Champa’s greatest city. Although many of the temples were destroyed by American bombs, there is still enough of the archaeological site to impress most visitors. We take lunch before spending the afternoon visiting the site. In the afternoon we transfer by bus back to Hoi An. Dinner is your choice. 54-km. Vinh Hung 2 Hotel. (B, L)

Day 10 This is probably the toughest ride of the tour, but is also one of the best. We transfer beyond Danang to take on the High Van Pass. Climbing 500 metres above sea level, we enjoy stunning views of the South China Sea. The afternoon downhill is just reward. After lunch we take a coastal side road for 44 km most of the way to our destination. Energetic riders can ride all the way into Hue, the old capital of the Ngu Yen Dynasty. Thanh Lich Hotel. Up to 100 km. (B, L, D)

Day 11 We take another day off to explore the city. The main sight is the citadel. Huge walls contain the Forbidden Purple City, where only emperors, eunuchs and concubines were allowed to enter. Another wonderful side trip is the boat ride along the Perfume River to visit the elaborate tombs of the Nguyen emperors. In the early evening we regroup to transfer to the train station where we board the reunification Express for the overnight train to Nam Dinh. The train is a fun, comfortable way for us to travel 600 km into the heart of North Vietnam. Sleeper Train. (B. D)

Day 12 We arrive in Nam Dinh at 9am. We then transfer a short way to Ninh Binh. The area around Ninh Binh is famed for its spectacular karst scenery. Soaring limestone mountains jut straight out of the paddy fields. We ride amongst this extraordinary scenery to the ancient city of Hua Lu. After visiting the temples we continue to the National Park at Cuc Phuong where we visit the primate rescue centre before checking into our accommodation at the Park. 60 km. National Park. (B, L, D)

Day 13 After exploring more of the Park by bike we head east, riding some interesting back roads through North Vietnam. You will notice the difference between North and South Vietnam immediately. The villages are poorer, people dress quite differently and suddenly everyone seems to be sporting a pith helmet. The ride is a very pleasant meander through the back roads of North Vietnam. We pass through many rice fields and follow country back roads past poor but friendly villages. Late in the afternoon we jump into the bus to transfer the rest of the way to Haiphong, one of Vietnam’s major ports. 60 km. Huu Nghi Hotel. (B, L, D)

 Day 14 First thing in the morning we cycle to the harbor to reach our private boat to Fulong, on Cat Ba Island. The island is at the southern end of Halong bay and contains one of Vietnam’s most beautiful national parks. We disembark at Fulong and cycle 35 kilometres taking the islands only road. We pass through some lush jungle scenery and get stunning vistas across Halong bay. The road is small and we hardly encounter any traffic at all. On the way we stop for lunch at the national park headquarters. 35 km. Sunflower Hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 15 We spend the day on a boat cruising through Halong Bay. The limestone karst mountains rise dramatically out of the emerald sea. Halong bay is one of the most incredible natural wonders of the world. Legend has it that it was formed by a great dragon who descended from the mountain into the sea. We then transfer back to Hanoi.  Flower Hotel. (B, L)

Day 16 We have the whole day free to explore. Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum is the ‘must see’ sight in Hanoi. But the real attraction lies in the beautiful architecture and relaxed atmosphere.  The city center is folded around Haan Kiem Lake and our hotel is a short stroll from everything. Our fare well dinner is at one of Hanoi’s best restaurants. Vietnamese cuisine. Flower Hotel. (B, D)

Day 17 The morning is free for last minute shopping or sightseeing. In the afternoon we will arrange airport transfers for anyone who needs them, or extend your stay in Vietnam! (B)

INCLUDED: Tour leader, all transport as indicated including mountain bikes, tour mini-bus, and entrance fees to sights on the itinerary, accommodation in hotels, village huts and overnight rail. Meals as indicated: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner.

NOT INCLUDED: International airfares, departure taxes, visas, other meals, insurance, tips, items of a personal nature, cost of any optional tours and activities during free time.

LUGGAGE: Please remember that we run ‘adventure’ tours. Our style of traveling means that it is desirable to carry a backpack or soft-sided luggage on our tours. Suitcases are cumbersome and not recommended.

IMPORTANT NOTE ON SAIGON (Ho Chi Minh City):
Saigon has been designated as starting point for this tour. No time has been allocated in this particular itinerary for sightseeing in this fascinating and historic place. Therefore, if you have not seen it before, we suggest that you extend your holiday by arriving in Saigon a few days before the starting date of the tour in order to enjoy exploration on your own.  There is much to see in Saigon and our Saigon office or your tour leader is on hand to help you out with suggestions.

NOTE: Occasionally it may also be necessary to amend this itinerary for reasons beyond our control, such as bad weather and road conditions. Changes to domestic train schedules also occur frequently and with little notice. Any such changes may necessitate some alterations to this itinerary. Please note that Vietnam is a developing country; expect poor road conditions and be prepared for some inconveniences. This is an 'adventure' trip and we hope to expose you to all aspects of Vietnamese culture. Please be open-minded.

This itinerary allows for eight field days on the cycling section and a cycling distance of around 450-500 km. AVERAGE daily cycling distances are approximately 40-miles/60 km.  These distances may vary according to weather, road conditions, group fitness and preferences.  Please note that this is a sightseeing cycle tour, not a marathon or a time trial. An accompanying van picks you and your bicycle up any time that you want to stop cycling.

THE BICYCLES: The bicycles supplied are 21 speed “Giant” mountain bikes with Adura Gel saddles in small, medium and large sizes. A water bottle is attached to the frame of the bike. We have time to make the necessary adjustments to the bikes to suit your preferences. No saddlebags are on the bike but guests can leave their personal items on the bus.

ACCOMMODATION: All accommodation is on a twin share bed and breakfast basis. We stay in a variety of hotels. Some are recently renovated, with modern conveniences while others are quite basic. In general, all are clean and have private bathrooms. The styles vary from French Colonial to geometric Soviet and traditional Vietnamese buildings. At the beach resorts, we stay in the best of what is available. You must bring your own inner sheet.

FOOD: One of the delights of Vietnam is the fantastic food. There are over five hundred traditional Vietnamese dishes, which include beef, chicken, pork, fish, fresh vegetables and tropical fruits.  Along the coastline we also have plenty of opportunity to sample a variety of fresh seafood such as crab, fish, prawn and squid cooked with Vietnamese flair.

The best colonial cuisine remains from the French Colonial days providing a unique combination of Eastern and Western food. To start your day you may want "Pho", a traditional breakfast of soup, or choose a crispy French baguette washed down with a demitasse of coffee.

Tea, coffee, soft drinks, beer, wines and spirits are readily available. Vegetarians are easily catered for, however many vegetarian dishes are actually cooked in meat stock or with animal fats. Bottled water is readily available throughout the country. Tap water is NOT to be consumed. In some places, even the locals do not drink it. Picnic lunches (standard fare for cycling days) usually consist of tinned meat or fish, fresh bread, cheese, fruit and vegetables.

TRIP DETAILS 2008
2008 GUIDED DATES: January 20, March 9, November 2
COST: $2295 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: $350
BIKE RENTAL: $225
GRADE: Intermediate
LENGTH: 17 days/16 nights
INCLUDES: Hotels, most meals, guide & support
STARTS/ENDS: Ho Chi Minh City(Saigon) / Hanoi

Event Policy Section

All sales are final and no refunds will be issued. If you cancel within the cancellation policy detailed in the event description below, a credit will be issued for the full amount that can be applied towards a future event. All trips are rain or shine with the exclusion of conditions deemed hazardous to your safety. If a trip is rescheduled due to unsatisfactory conditions, weather or double booking, a credit for the trip may be applied to any other trip for one calendar year. Meet Market Adventures is a social event company for singles and is not a dating service. Our events run on a first come first serve basis. We do not guarantee equal men to women ratios at events. We do guarantee that you will have fun and meet new people.

Photos will be taken at all Meet Market Adventures events. Some of these photos will be displayed on the Meet Market Adventures website. By attending a Meet Market Adventures event you agree that your photo may be published on our website. You also agree your photo or a likeness of you may be used for promotional purposes via video, print, or web, without compensation to you.

Two Week Cancellation Policy. You must cancel two weeks (14 Days) prior to the event date. Meet Market Adventures will not be liable for lost or stolen articles during this tour or articles left after this tour. Any damage to the interior or exterior of equipment or venue which is caused by the individual signing up for this tour, is liable for the cost to repair any such damage as well as any cost for loss of the carriers service due to such damage. The driver and/or tour director has the right to eject any disruptive person who is abusive, poses a safety threat to other passengers, or any person who engages in the use of illegal substance. The act of signing up for this event makes the individual solely responsible for his/her safety while on the tour, at the completion of the tour and at all venues throughout this tour. In consideration of the right to participate in this event, the individual hereby assumes all risks, and will hold the owners operators, employees and agents of Meet Market Adventures Incorporated harmless from any and all liability, actions, debts, claims and demands of every kind and nature whatsoever. The terms hereof shall serve as a release and assumption of risk for my heirs, executors, and administrators for all members of my family including any friends accompanying me. The act of signing up for this event agrees that the individual, if intoxicated, will not operate a motorized vehicle after leaving the tour. The act of signing up for this event relieves Meet Market Adventures Incorporated, their employees, directors, vendors and contractors from any liability and responsibility for any claims for injuries, loss, damage, liability criminal or civil litigation for the individual arising out or relating to a tour.

Privacy Policy Section

The act of registering relieves Meet Market Adventures Incorporated, their employees, directors, vendors and contractors from any liability and responsibility for any claims for injuries, loss, damage, online security breaches, criminal liability or civil litigation for the individual arising out or relating to a tour, membership and such. Meet Market Adventures will not be liable for lost or stolen articles during tours or articles left after tours. Any damage to the interior or exterior of equipment, venue or property which is caused by the individual signing up for an event, is liable for the cost to repair any such damage as well as any cost for loss of the carriers service due to such damage. The driver and/or tour director has the right to eject any disruptive person who is abusive, poses a safety threat to other members, or any person who engages in the use of illegal substance. The act of signing up for events makes the individual solely responsible for his/her safety while on the tour, at the completion of the tour and at all venues throughout this tour. In consideration of the right to participate in events, the individual hereby assumes all risks, and will hold the owners, operators, employees and agents of Meet Market Adventures Incorporated harmless from any and all liability, actions, debts, claims and demands of every kind and nature whatsoever. The terms hereof shall serve as a release and assumption of risk for their heirs, executors, and administrators for all members of my family including any friends accompanying the individual. The act of signing up for any Meet Market Adventures event agrees that the individual, if intoxicated, will not operate a motorized vehicle after leaving the tour. The act of signing up for any event relieves Meet Market Adventures Incorporated, their employees, directors, vendors and contractors from any liability and responsibility for any claims for injuries, loss, damage, liability criminal or civil litigation for the individual arising out or relating to a tour.

If the individual participates in a discussion forum or chat room on the Meet Market Adventures website, the individual should be aware that the information provided will be made broadly available to others, and can be read, collected or used by other users of these forums, potentially inside or outside Meet Market Adventures, who have access to that discussion forum or chat room. This information could also be used to send the individual unsolicited messages. Each participant's opinion on a forum or chat room is his or her own and should not be considered as reflecting the opinion of Meet Market Adventures. We are not responsible for the Personal Information or any other information the individual chooses to submit in these forums. Meet Market Adventures Incorporated does not preform background checks on its members and it is the individuals responsibility to assume all risks associated with using the chat room forums or attending events provided by Meet Market Adventures Incorporated. Meet Market Adventures assumes no responsibility for any injury, loss or issues for any individual deciding to meet another individual with whom they have made contact with using Meet Market Adventures website or event, in person.

Consult each event detailed listing for specific cancellation policies.

All sales are final and no refunds will be issued. If you cancel an event within the cancellation policy detailed in the event description, a credit will be issued for the full amount that can be applied towards a future event. All trips are rain or shine with the exclusion of conditions deemed hazardous to your safety. If a trip is rescheduled due to unsatisfactory conditions, weather, double booking or any other unforeseen circumstances, an in-house credit for the trip will be applied to any other trip for one calendar year. Meet Market Adventures is a social event company for singles. Our events run on a first come first serve basis. We do not guarantee equal men to women ratios at events. We do guarantee that you will have fun and meet new people.

Photos will be taken at all Meet Market Adventures events. Some of these photos will be displayed on the Meet Market Adventures website. By attending a Meet Market Adventures event you agree that your photo may be published on our website. You also agree your photo or a likeness of you may be used for promotional purposes via video, print, or web, without compensation to you.

We may update our terms and conditions at any time, so please review it frequently. If we change our terms and conditions, we will post the revised version here.

Meet Market Adventures Travel
1064 Coxwell Ave
Toronto, ON
M4C 3G5
Tel: (416) 461 - 0096 / 1-866-907-4006

E-mail: info@meetmarketadventures.com