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#Bhubaneswar Cycling and Adventure Club organised Vietnam Cambodia International Cycle Trip #Odisha #
BHUBANESWAR CYCLING & ADVENTURE CLUB ODISHA INDIA – VIETNAM CAMBODIA INTERNATIONAL CYCLE TRIP -HANOI to PHNOM PENH

Bhubaneswar Cycling and Adventure Club organised Vietnam Cambodia International Cycle Trip from 2nd to 17th November 2016 in two foreign countries. It is first of its kind of cycle trip organised by any Indian Group in Vietnam Cambodia.

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The following cyclists of Bhubaneswar Cycling and Adventure Club (BCAC), Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India successfully completed  the  Vietnam-Cambodia International Cycle Trip (from Hanoi to Phnom Penh through Ho Chi Minh City):

  1. Sanjeeb Panda (48 yrs, IG of Police, Special Armed Police)
  2. Sudhanwa Dash (47 yrs, ex ONGC Officer )
  3. Bibhu Prasad Kar (46 yrs, AGM NABARD, Bhubaneswar)
  4. Manoj Kumar Prusty ( 44 yrs, Business)
  5. Devdutta Kumar (43 yrs , Assistant Professor, KIIT)
  6. Gopal Krushna Sahu ( 38 yrs, Assistant Professor, SILICON)
  7. Ajay Kumar Nanda ( 30 yrs, Owner 22bikes,  Sahid Nagar)

Special kudos to Kumar Devdutta for achieving this feat with a polio affected leg.

In Vietnam and Cambodia

We started cycling from Hanoi on 2.11.2016 and reached Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) on 14.11.2016 covering 1741 KM along the coast of South China Sea. We took one day rest. Then we cycled for two days for about 261 km from HCMC to Phnom Penh the capital of Cambodia after crossing the land border at Bavet. After reaching Phnom Penh, we went around the city on cycles as victory lap and also posed for a photograph in front of famous Independence Monument.

In 15 days we cycled 2002 kilometers.

We passed through the cities Hanoi, Than Hoa, Vinn, Hong Son, Truong Nha Ho, Hue, Da Nang, Quang Ngal, Tuy Hoa, NHA Trang, Long Khanh,  Ho Chi Minh City, Bavet(Cambodia), Svay Rieng(Cambodia), Phnom Penh(Cambodia). On an average we used to cycle about 130 to 140 km per day.

We cycled along the coast of scenic South China sea. We crossed few mountains on the  sea side. It was unique to cycle through  green mountains with blue seas. The route is quite scenic with lots green paddy fields all along. We were over whelmed by the warm response from school kids and ladies through out our journey. They used to greet us with lots of smile and big “Hello”, the only English word they knew.

In thirteen days of cycling in Vietnam we experienced all three seasons. First four days it was cold with chilly winds, next four days there was heavy rain and last five days we faced intense heat with a glowing sun.

We interacted with local people and school children. We learnt about their culture, food habit, language, economy, life style, social values. The two wheelers constitute the majority of traffic on the road. We found ladies to be the main work force working in shops, restaurants, offices. The school children used to go to schools mostly in cycles and e-bikes (battery operated). The offices and schools open at seven am. The lunch time gets over by 12.30. It’s very difficult find the restaurants open beyond nine pm in the evening. The agriculture is quite developed. Paddy is grown extensively. We saw paddy cultivation in different stages:  harvested, sown and upto two months old plants  in the same area. Banana, mango, grapes, dragon fruit, rubber plants, coffee were grown extensively. We saw lots of ripe mangoes on the trees.

We  visited Imperial City (UNESCO World Heritage Site)  of Hyugen Dynasty in Hue, scenic beaches of Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh square in Vinn, Cu Chi war tunnels used by Viet Cong during war against US soldiers, Angkor Wat temple complex in Siem Riep(Cambodia), known as  the eighth wonders of the world.

The purpose of the trip was “FRIENDSHIP & PEACE” and we were successful in our mission.

Training

As it was going to be difficult tour, the training started from the month of August for about three months. We used to ride 40 KM on two week days and about 100 km on the Sundays in a week. We had cycled fro Bhubaneswar to Vizag (440 km) in two days and Bhubaneswar-Boudh-Bhubaneswar covering 460 KM in two days to improve  our long distance endurance.

Cycles

We packed our cycles(mountain bikes) in card board boxes after removing the front wheel, handle, seat and paddles. We took them with us in Thai Airlines. Thai Airlines is one of the most cycle friendly airlines and it did not charge any thing extra for the cycles. The cycles in the card board boxes weighed about 19 kg and it was included in the free luggage allowance of 30 KG.  We had not carried spare tubes and tyres with the intention of buying those at Hanoi as Hanoi is a manufacturing hub for cycles. We were carrying cycles with 29 inch tyres. In whole of Hanoi we could not find any 29 inch cycles or the tube & tyre. The maximum available  was 26 inch wheels.

Visa

VISA on arrival facility is available in both Vietnam and Cambodia for Indians. We had taken e-VISA.

Language

In interiors people don’t understand English. We learnt the basic vietnames words. Also we used google translate to communicate with Vietnames people.

Currency

We exchanged our Dollars to Vietnamese Dong(VND). One Indian Rupee is equivalent to 330 VND. In Hanoi we exchanged 200 USD and got 45,00,000 VND.  In Cambodia Dollar is accepted every where. One Indian Rupee is nearly 60 Cambodian Riel.

Communication

We took Vietnamese SIM from the airport. Wi-Fi facility is available almost every where. The hotel, small road side shops, restaurants offer free Wi-Fi.

Hotels

The google map and other sites show hotels only in important locations. But “NHA NGHI” meaning guest houses (Home stays) are available all along the Asian Highway one (AH-1) and interiors of Vietnam at a very reasonable prices. We made home stays few number of days and we enjoyed the stay. They allowed us to cook in their kitchens we prepared food  in some what Indian style with available spices.

Food

We had little bit of difficulty in vietnamese food. They eat almost all kinds of non vegetarian food like snake, frog, dog, snails etc with no masala and mostly semi boiled. In Cambodia we saw hundreds of shops producing chuda by using dhinki and selling “chuda and guda”. We also ate “manda pitha with coconut and muga pura” inside.

Day 1 Hanoi Than Hoa 156 Vietnam
Day 2 Than Hoa Vinn 140 Vietnam
Day 3 Vinn Quang Dong 146 Vietnam
Day 4 Quang Dong Dong Ha 153 Vietnam
Day 5 Dong Ha Hue 70 Vietnam
Day 6 Hue Da Nang 100 Vietnam
Day 7 Da Nang Quang Ngai 147 Vietnam
Day 8 Quang Ngai Phu Cat 141 Vietnam
Day 9 Phu Cat Tuy Hoa 127 Vietnam
Day 10 Tuy Hoa Suoi Cat village 140 Vietnam
Day 11 Suoi Cat village Lien  Huong 142 Vietnam
Day 12 Lien  Huong Tan Duc village 155 Vietnam
Day 13 Tan Duc village Ho Chi Minh City 124 Vietnam
Day 14 Ho Chi Minh City Svay Rieng 124 Cambodia
Day 15 Svay Rieng Phnom Penh 137 Cambodia
Total     2002 KM  

 

BCAC was established in the year 2014 and at present has about 100 members.  Earlier BCAC had conducted 11 days Cycle tour from Bhubaneswar to Bhutan covering the distance of 1300 KM in 2015 and Manali to Leh Cycle Trip in the high altitude of the Himalayas covering the distance of about 500 KM in 9 days in the year 2014. BCAC also conducts regular Sunday rides in and around Bhubaneswar to popularise cycling. One can join BCAC by visiting our Facebook page. Generally we meet every Sunday at 6 am behind Bhubaneswar Club for rides.

BCAC hopes that this international cycling trip would encourage more  people  to take up  cycling in a big way in Odisha.

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