Had a great bike tour with Tong. We meandered down many streets passing through several markets, Saigon river, Presidential Palace, Saigon Square, Cathedral, Post Office, Vietnam War Museum, Chinatown and ending at his bike shop. Stopping at each destination for a quick history lesson and pics, with a stop for coffee. Last destination was a great small Pho restaurant for some noodle soup and cold beer.
The bike ride was great. A bit intimidating at first, biking alongside thousands of motorbikes, but you get the hang of it. I do recommend having some previous biking experience - being able to control motion and speed well under crowded and sometimes unpredictable situations. But the craziness adds to the excitement. All in all, a great way to get some exercise and explore the city.
I booked this half day tour of Saigon from my hotel and found myself the only one on it! It was great. My guide, Tung, was an engaging young guy who turned up at my hotel with a well-maintained bike for me complete with helmet. And, after introductions and a short briefing, off we went into the Ho Chi Minh City traffic. I'm confident on a bike so I wasn't too apprehensive about the high density traffic on the city streets and Tung was also very careful about my well-being. Crossing lanes, weaving in and out of the army of motor scooters and cars was no problem.
We visited many of the sights Saigon is known for, stopped at a local cafe for, as Tung put it, The best coffee in Saigon, stopped at at Tung's favourite traditional Vietnamese eatery for Pho and beer - it was superb - and generally enjoyed the pedaling around the city, being part of the constant cacophony and tangle of buzzing mopeds, horns, and other vehicles.
Cycling in the heat was surprisingly bearable as the slight breeze from our progress cooled things just enough to make things comfortable.
Tung was good company, careful of safety, spoke good English and was worth every dong. I also had the unexpected bonus of finishing up at his house and meeting his wife. The end to a great half day in Ho Chi Minh City. Thanks Tung!