For bikers who want to explore the southern part of Ho Chi Minh City and its outskirts, District 7 may be a good starting point. It’s also a terrific route if you don’t want to be amidst Saigon traffic.
From central District 7, head on towards Huynh Tan Phat at Binh Thuan District and catch the Binh Khanh Ferry. To cross, you just need a whopping 1,000 VND! You’d be in the company of motorbikes, buses, and cars. The earliest ferry out is at 5 am and there’s a ferry every 15 minutes. Getting to Can Gio is just 5 minutes away and if you’re worried about the sea-worthiness of the ferry, I suggest you read more about it here. Read more about Can Gio here.
You will then get off at the Ben Pha port where you will be greeted by vendors selling food and drinks. Now if you haven’t enough water with you, this is a good time to refill your water bottle as there are no shops along Rung Sac road. The next vendor you might see selling drinks will be at the corner of An Thoi Dong road.
Rung Sac road in Can Gio is a wide and not so busy trail. You can bike alongside fellow bikers with no trouble at all. Although the road is flanked by shrubbery and mangroves on either side, it’s not sun-free. No tall trees around here but the wide open road lends to a stress-free biking experience. If you continue on Rung Sac, you’ll be covering around 36 kilometers. Expect to go over 5 somewhat long bridges.
You can hit Monkey Island Resort towards the end of Rung Sac road. This is a terrific place to unwind and swim in the South China Sea. It’s not called Monkey Island for nothing. Can Gio is also home to hundreds of monkeys.
On you return trip, you can go down An Thoi Dong St. which is 12 kilometers into Can Gio and catch the ferry back to Nha Be. This is a much smaller ferry and only rides motorbikes and bicycles. For a bike, the fee is 3,000 VND and for the biker, another 3,000 VND. The An Thoi Dong commune is just one of 6 communes sharing the land in Can Gio. It’s not densely populated but seeing people again in this part of Can Gio is reassuring you’re still part of the civilization.
After crossing to Nha Be, you’ll traverse some 5 kilometers of rough road. Nope, not gravel. Get ready for a bumpy ride over stones and soil along Liep Ap 2. There are lots of small steep bridges here and occasionally you’d run into motorbikes and bikes of residents. This stretch of Liep Ap 2 has that rustic, provincial feel.
Liep Ap 2 connects to Nguyen Van Tao St. in Nha Be then to Nguyen Huu Tho. It’s a 16 kilometer ride here and this area is populated although the roads are not as busy as in central Ho Chi Minh City. Before you know it, you’re back along Nguyen Van Linh St. in District 7.
Start out early. The trip back is always the hardest because most likely, the sun would be up. Better yet, stay in Monkey Island for a bit and head on back in the afternoon. Or you can stay for a night!
Eat a hearty breakfast. Since you’d be starting out early, there aren’t a lot of choices when it comes to food along this route.
Bring energy bars. This is one long route, so bring extra food to munch on for that extra energy.
Visit the toilet when you can. Nope. No nha ve sinh here unless you want to knock on someone’s door. There are gas stations along Huynh Tan Phat St. before the ferry, so you might want to do a pit stop there. Otherwise, it’s off to the mangroves at Can Gio.
Bring water and refill your water bottle when you can.
Bring a camera.