Vietnam by bike, off beaten path

November 21, 1993|By New York Times News Service

Two unusual tours to Vietnam are available this winter. One is for the physically fit; both are for the adventurous.

A three-week, 1,200-mile bicycle tour, sponsored by Cycle Vietnam, will set out from Hanoi on Jan. 6, 1994, along the "Reunification Highway" to the Gulf of Tonkin. It will then pass through Hue and Danang and into the Highlands and the resort city of Da Lat on the way to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon.

Beaches, mountains, rivers and such sites as the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" prison and the My Lai memorial are all on the route.

The cost is $2,395 plus air fare. Hotels, meals, bottled water, guided tours, the use of a support vehicle and the services of a doctor are included. There are two nights of camping. Participants should be in good physical shape. Information: Cycle Vietnam, (503) 282-8499, fax (503) 331-1458.

From Feb. 19 to March 15, "Vietnam in Depth," a culturally and ecologically oriented tour offered by Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, will be led by Dr. John Constable, a surgeon and associate clinical professor at Harvard Medical School, and his wife, Sylvia. The group will also be accompanied by naturalists working in Vietnam.

Temples, palaces, a crane reserve, an aquarium and a national forest are among the highlights.

The price of $4,690 includes meals, lodging, sightseeing, visa fees and gratuities for local guides and drivers; international air fares are extra. Accommodations are in prewar hotels. Information: (617) 495-2463.

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