The 2022 Bamboo Road: A New Path Forward
Over the years TDA has had to adjust many routes that we run due to circumstances in the countries where we operate. Since COVID these route alterations have accelerated, as travel and border restrictions in some parts of the world increased. While there is always something lost in changing a route, there is as much gained, and as the tour planners it is an exciting time to see the new possibilities unfold. For the 2022 Bamboo Road tour, due to land border restrictions in Laos and Thailand, we have adjusted the tour to avoid Laos, which means more time in Vietnam, the highlights of which are shown below. We have also organized the tour so that after spending our well earned rest days in Siem Reap exploring Angkor Wat, the tour will take the short flight to Bangkok to restart there.
We are very excited for the new sights and experiences we will have on the updated Bamboo Road route, and hope you can join us on our journey through South East Asia.
Ho Chi Minh Trail
Riders will enjoy cycling along this historic route that takes them through some of Vietnam’s most beautiful mountain scenery. Famous for its importance in supplying North Vietnam’s troops in the south during the Indo-China war in the 1960’s and 1970’s, it was subject to some of the heaviest air bombardments in history, attacks that failed to stop the supplies from making their way south. Today, however, the cyclists will only encounter herds of goats and cows and friendly villagers along the winding road. There are, gulp, plans to replace this peaceful 2 lane highway with an 8 lane freeway in the near future so ride this beautiful road while you can!
The new route takes the riders into the ancient Imperial capital of Hué, once home to the Kings of the Nguyen Dynasty. This laid back city features tree-lined boulevards and a wonderfully relaxed setting along the banks of the Perfume River. The city streets are sprinkled with Buddhist monasteries, gorgeous pagodas, French colonial architecture and bustling markets. Besides its incredible history, Hué is also famous for its food. The cyclists can enjoy trying local delicacies like Com Hen which is a delicious mixture of rice, boiled mussels, star fruit, fish sauce, cabbage, onion, pepper, peanut, chilies and is topped with a variety of herbs.
Hoi An’s old town is a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, a beautifully preserved example of an ancient fishing port. The amazing architecture reflects its 2000 year history, mixing the influences of the Hindu Cham peoples with that of Arab traders, Chinese merchants and local Vietnamese culture. Wandering through the old town’s narrow, winding streets in the evening, the riders can visit the iconic Japanese Bridge, take a sunset cruise on the Thu Bon River or sample the local specialty Cau Lao, a noodle dish whose distinctive brown noodles are coloured and flavoured with lye water, at a roadside stall.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
This National Park is another UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for it limestone karst mountains and incredible underground cave system, estimated to contain over 300 caverns. The Han Son Doong cave, only discovered in 2009, is the largest in the world but the entire area is still being explored so who knows what else is down there! On the surface, the riders can hike along trails meandering through the lush tropical forests, keeping a keen eye out for some of the local wildlife – black bears, tigers and elephants.
For the revised Bamboo Road schedule, sections and entry fees, please visit our website.
Many of us have criss-crossed the countries of South-East Asia on a ‘shoestring’ over the years, returning home with fond memories. Now we invite...