Cycle through the lush hills, valleys & jungles of southern Vietnam, and then build a reading room at a school for needy school children.
In my writing I am acting as a map maker, an explorer of psychic areas, a cosmonaut of inner space, and I see no point in exploring areas that have already been thoroughly surveyed. ~ William S. Burroughs
Our 7-day cycling route begins in Nha Trang, on the white-sand shores of the South China Sea, and leads west into the Central Highlands and the little-explored, coffee-growing regions deep within them. From there, we peddle south, through stunning valleys and over a one or two mountain passes, to Dalat, a mountain-top city infused with French-colonial accents and some of the freshest fruits and vegetables in Southeast Asia.
Daily cycling mileage and terrain will vary from 35km to 70km, taking you into the rugged and lesser-seen regions of the southern Central Highlands, home to indigenous tribal communities. We're always looking for serendipity in our schedule, and sometimes that results in shared mealsââ‚¬â€ťand some rice wineââ‚¬â€ťwith local residents. Our brand-name mountain bikes are provided by our Dalat-based partner, Phat Tire Ventures.
After we celebrate our successful cycling adventure with a full rest day in Dalat, we'll fly to Ho Chi Minh City, more commonly known as Saigon. There, we'll spend 4 days building a library for orphans.
This adventure philanthropy expedition begins Sunday, Sept. 11, in Nha Trang, a friendly beach town with a long white-sand coastline. Three days later, we'll arrive by mountain bike in BuĂ´n Ma Thuá»â„˘t, the heart of Vietnam's coffee growing region.
We arrive in Dalat on Sept. 17, taking a full day off there to recharge after our week of adventure cycling. From Dalat, we flly to Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon), and spend the next 4 days building our hands-on - and extraordinary rewarding and fun - volunteer project.
The cost of this adventure philanthropy expedition includes all lodging, domestic air and ground transportation and most meals - excluding those taken on your day off - quality mountain bikes, a support van and a fully developed volunteer project that we'll start and finish in 4 days.
We're traveling through Vietnam's breadbasket, and the food we'll encounter along our route promises to be healthy, fresh, delicious and, not surprisingly, Vietnamese. Lots of noodle and rice-based dishes with fresh vegetables, sauces and soups. Vegetarians and meat eaters alike do quite well.
Expedition members can expect single rooms in superior hotels upon your arrival in Nha Trang, for a soft landing after a long journey from home. During our 8 days cycling and during our playground building days in the Mekong Delta, we'll be staying by necessity in clean if quite basic hotels in the central highlands.
You should arrive in Nha Trang on or before Saturday, Sept. 10. Connecting flights are easily made from Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, often on the same day as your international arrival.
Departures from Vietnam can begin from Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday, Sept. 25.
What you are doing has had a huge affect on all of us, internally. Externally, there is a playground where there was none and a bit more hope than there was just a week ago. There are ties forged by the experience that go both ways, and cross oceans, that will never be undone. It's a beautiful thing.
~ John, architect