Grit Blogs > Travel With Marilyn

Ho Chi Minh City Cyclo Tour

Marilyn JonesA cyclo is three-wheeled bicycle taxi popular in Vietnam and, for an afternoon, my transportation around bustling Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

 

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At first I was skeptical; I mean, you just go ahead and read the description of a cyclo. But I was with an Exodus Travels tour group — my family for two weeks last summer — and almost the entire group decided to go on the tour. So I decided to put a little adventure into my stay in the city.

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The cyclist would be my chauffer for the afternoon along main thoroughfares and into back alleys. Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam with a population of more than 10 million in the metropolitan area. This is a bustling city with a lot of traffic. At first it was a little unnerving; hundreds of motorcycles and cars swallowed us up as our guides and cyclists took us past towering skyscrapers and beautiful parks. Soon though, I relaxed and just trusted I would be safe. Traffic seemed to accept cyclos and not just tolerate them.

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Soon we left the busy streets and headed down an alley. We rode past vegetable stands, tiny shops, and into the flower market. This is a large area with several streets and alleyways. We were surrounded by colorful blossoms, their scents floating on a slight breeze. Stopping for a walk through the area, we were able to admire and photograph creative bouquets and unusual varieties up close.

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Back on the cyclo, we headed down residential streets. Children waved from balconies and we were met by smiles at every turn. We also made a stop at a Buddhist temple before heading back out into heavy traffic for the journey back to the hotel.

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It was a fantastic experience! I would recommend it to anyone visiting Ho Chi Minh City.

If you are interested in a cyclo tour, ask the concierge at your hotel for recommendations.