Part 3: Can Tho – Tri Ton (150 km)
From Can Tho you continue the trip northwest, with several options. For a start you could head straight to Chau Doc and spend some time there. But you would miss quite a few interesting sights on the way. So I would suggest heading to the small town Tri Ton to a) break up the trip, b) to enjoy the sights on the way and c) to experience a small, non-touristy town.
If you want to head to Tri Ton you could simply follow the road from Can Tho to Long Xuyen and then continue to Tri Ton via DT943 or DT941. If you, however, want to continue a more rural journey then follow the route as shown on the map above. It is certainly worthwhile.
The first section is to get out of Can Tho. The easiest and fastest way is to do this via the QL91, whcih can be easily reached from the riverfront in Can Tho. It is a good section (not too busy in the morning after 9am).
Before the QL91 crosses another bridge turn left onto the DT922. THis stretch now is complete different to the busy highway. It is a small road (one lane for each direction), passing fields, plantations, little houses on both sides. This is one peaceful road. As a contrast to the green surroundings there are also a lot of colourful flowers along the road. It is also nice to pass some nice villages – some of them offering a nice view of a lovely waterfront. And keep your eyes open, you might see some rather unusual sights like a farm with lots of free roaming ducks. Overall it is a really lovely area to explore. It shows quite a few different sides of the local life in the Delta. This is why I love travelling by motorbike and exploring the countryside. You will not see or experience the same when travelling by bus – and I think not as much when travelling by car.
At some point the DT922 you have to turn left onto the QL90 – but only for a short while. Before you ride underneath a bridge crossing the river turn left into a smaller road – which will lead you to the bridge.From here you have a lovely view over the surrounding area – rice fields, forests and the town we passed earlier. A great place to take a wee photo stop.
This might be a more unusual route, but the road after the bridge makes it really worth while. While the DT922 was a nice stretch, this one was a different league. This road is more like a single lane (so large enough for one car), and you will pass one rice paddy field after another one to your left, while on the right you will see either canals, villages or some small fruit plantation. On the way you will see a little church on your right and opposite of the church is a little Christian cemetery – between a rice field. The gate with some Angel statues looks very nice in the surrounding – but it is not an image I would immediately connect with Vietnam. The path to the graves is covered with some small religious statues. Overall it looked nice.
In this area you will see some options to have a wee stop for a drink or even lunch. One place I would recommend is Quan Diem Quynh. It is on the right hand side after a small crossing, opposite a few a rice field. The family owning the place are very friendly, the lemon tea with honey is delicious. And the biggest advantage, they have hammocks. This is a little gem we found when riding this remote road.
In theory you should be able to follow the road until you reach the first “mountain of the Mekong Delta – Nui Sap, Unfortunately back in November 2018 there was a sign indicating “DANGER” and you could not continue the road. This could be a small drawback But if the road is still closed there is an alternative. Turn left onto the small road, that is slightly elevated and is cutting through rice fields – so you riding between the fields. It is an amazing stretch. If you are lucky you get there when the kids get home from school as the section will be filled with constant “Hello” or “Xin Chao”. On the right hand side you will also see Nui Sap, with a temple on the side of the hill.
At the end of the path you will reach a small village, where you have to turn right. Follow this little unpaved road where you will see more rice fields, lovely smal houses and if you are unlucky experience a congestion caused by ducks. This is a lovely detour.
After arriving on a normal road you could just turn right to head to Nui Sap (which I did not do – so I missed this sight for now).
If you want to continue to Tri Ton turn left and follow the road, crossing one of the many bridges to be on the right side of the river. On that side you have to get off that road after crossing a bridge over a small stream in a village and turn right. This is easy to miss, so make sure you keep an eye on a little road after the bridge.
This is just another small road, not big enough for 2 cars, offering another pleasant ride, with golden and green rice fields on either side, providing a beautiful contrast to the blue of the canals. This is one of the images you might have in your head when thinking about the Mekong Delta. Colourful. Quiet. Peaceful. Beautiful. At some point the hill / mountain of Nui Ba The is in plain view – the road was leading directly to it. And I must admit, this rather small hill looks rather massive on a flat land like the Delta. And with the rice fields in front and the sides of it, it is stunning.
There is a small town around the mountain, with quite a few food places if you need lunch. We stopped at a little place next to the crossing when you enter the town of Oc Eo from the little road. They serve very tasty Banh Xeo there (which are rather big). From here you can also ride the bike on top fo Nui Ba The. Here are more details about Nai Be The.
From Oc Eo follow the DT943 north to get to Tri Ton. The initial part of the road is lovely. The trees on both sides will offer some shade. The nice part of this road is that there is a little canal to our right, and occasionally a little stone bridge is leading over the canal onto the rice fields in the background. It can be quite tempted to turn off the main road and explore some of these little path. Unfortunately the road than leads to an industrial area. This area seems to be popular to gather gravels and other raw materials, which also means more lorries and unfortunately a lot of dusts. So I would suggest to wear a mask in this section.
The road leads to Nui Co To, another hill in the area (and another one I did not explore as we took our time). But if you arrive early. it might be worthwhile to stop here. if not you can see the hill behind rice fields, though in some area they have removed quite a big chunk of rocks and stones were from the hill. Along the road you will see more beautiful and colurful rice fields, with mountains in the background. This is a great stop for watching the sunset (except of the traffic noise)
The road will then finally bring you to Tri Ton, a great place for a stopover. It does not see many tourists one of the locals told me. As a result they are a bit curious and very very friendly. I really like it there. Here are more details about Tri Ton.