Day 17: Saigon to My Tho: Windy Waterways

Saigon to My Tho

Distance: 71.2km

Total: 835.2km

Vietnamese FOD: speed dating has been performed by Vietnamese hill tribes for decades. Tribes travel to what are known as “love markets”.

Everyday Randomness: a guy transporting his window pane on a motorbike bike! Yikes! (Look closely)

After completing a mammoth three course breakfast (noodles, eggs and a baguette, fresh fruit and coffee) for €2.50 at the peaceful courtyard restaurant in the hotel we departed for My Tho.

It was about 10:30 which is very late for us but breakfast turned out to be a long affair and it was actually the perfect time traffic-wise to be leaving Saigon. 

We didn’t have to stray onto Highway 1 at all today. Not that I particularly mind going in the highways, it’s just nice not to be on them if you don’t have to be as sometimes you don’t have a choice!

We did, well, more so Liam had to contend with a fairly constant headwind for the majority of the day but the road was interesting, I lost count of how many bridges we went over!! I particularly enjoyed the small bridges which had 4 plank wide sections for bikes to cross on either side.

We didn’t have a huge appetite after breakfast so we stopped to get a smoothie. After some language barrier confusion we ended up with ice coffee and kiwi smoothies. As someone who isn’t the biggest fan of kiwis, the smoothie was surprisingly delicious even if it was a dubious green colour!

The last 30km or so was really enjoyable cycling. Small villages that seemed to be literally​ on distributeries of the Mekong Delta were populated along the route and the bridge crossing afforded great water views left and right as you pedalled over. The temperature was perfect and we managed to beat the rain to our accommodation! 

We passed through the market in My Tho which the Lonely Planet aptly described as having a “typical array of Vietnamese dried fish, exotic fruits and doomed animals”!!

The way the Vietnamese build there houses in towns is very economical. The tiny tall buildings have a quaint character but it always seems that we are on at least the third floor which is not always appreciated after a day on the bike!  

For food that evening we went in search of the local speciality “Hi Tieu” which is a vermicelli soup with dried seafood, pork, chicken, offal and fresh herbs. Unfortunately the place recommended by the LP was deserted which is never a good sign so we went to a place along the way that was busy. We had a delicious stir fry which can sometimes be hard to get here! We popped into a bizarre food court on the way back for smoothies which advertised that it did events and weddings as part of its logo. The food court was adorned with fake trees and even had a face cut out of a couple where you could get your picture taken!! Was a great place to just sit and take it all in!!

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