5 days The Depth of South Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, Vinh Long, Can Tho, Ben Tre, Cho Lach, Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City
The Mekong Delta, with its meandering waterways and flourishing daily life, is a place not to be missed. River banks are laden with coconut palms, rice fields, orchards and stilted houses.
The water is teeming with boats of all shapes and sizes and the Mekong comes alive as you navigate past fishing boats, cargo vessels and even floating houses.
Day 1 Ho Chi Minh City / Cai Be / Can Tho
Departing from your hotel between 7:45am to 8:00am, we drive to Vinh Long where we board our boats to venture into the green, watery world of the Mekong Delta.
River banks are laden with coconut palms, rice fields, orchards and stilted houses and the water is teeming with boats of all shapes and sizes.
The Mekong comes alive as we enjoy our boat trip past fishing boats, cargo vessels and even floating houses. We visit bonsai gardens, various cottage industries and fruit orchards.
The night is spent in a hotel in Can Tho. (Lunch and dinner are included).
Day 2 Can Tho / The Floating Market of Cai Rang / Ben Tre
This morning we continue boating to explore the fertile tributaries of the Mekong River then to the floating village of Cai Rang, where we observe the waterways and learn about the way of life in the delta.
In the afternoon we drive to Ben Tre province, home to lush fruit orchards, rivers and a former stronghold of Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.
This evening we settle in with a hospitable local family for a dinner and an overnight stay to experience river life. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).
Day 3 Ben Tre / Cho Lach / Ben Tre
Our discovery of the delta's waterways and flourishing farms is to boat on the Hau river, and cycle along its banks, passing through mango groves and fruit orchards, stopping at our pleasure to savour the delta's succulent crops and bring us into contact with local people.
Tonight we spend the night in the same local family. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).
Day 4 Ben Tre / Ho Chi Minh City
We take an early morning stroll around a local market before we take a kayaking ride along peaceful and lush canals. This is one of the best ways to experience the waterways in the Mekong Delta.
Delicious lunch is served in our host before we board our vehicle for a return journey to Ho Chi Minh City, arriving there at around 5pm. We spend the night in a hotel. (Breakfast and lunch are included).
Day 5 Ho Chi Minh City sightseeing / Cu Chi Tunnels
This morning we head to Chinatown and wandering through the fascinating back streets near Cho Lon.
This area is one of the busiest commercial districts of Ho Chi Minh City and its atmospheric streets are home to some of the city’s most interesting sites.
We delve deeper into Chinatown, visiting the amazing Cholon and Binh Tay Markets, which are full of energy and dazzling array of goods.
Then we check out all the major Ho Chi Minh City sights like Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Opera House.
After lunch we journey to Cu Chi tunnels. Built by local fighters during the Indochina conflict, the Cu Chi tunnels served as a base from which the Viet Cong could operate from close to the Southern Vietnamese capital.
The location of the tunnels was of significant strategic importance: they're at the end of the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail, and within striking distance of the southern Vietnam capital.
Initial construction started in 1948 when the Viet Minh required somewhere to hide from French air attacks, and by 1965, the tunnel complex was estimated to consist of 200 km of tunnels.
It included, hospitals, schools, meeting rooms, kitchens, and sleeping quarters. Life was difficult for the inhabitants, and to protect against outside intruders, booby traps were laid throughout the complex.
Today, the Vietnamese government have preserved approximately 75 km of the Cu Chi tunnels as a memorial park, and in some areas the tunnels have been widened and low powered lights installed so that visitors can now fit through the complex.
On arrival our local guide takes us on a fascinating tour of the Cu Chi tunnels, where we learn more about the conditions the people lived in, the hardships they faced, and the amazing ingenuity employed to maintain life in the tunnels.
We walk past huge bomb craters, evidence of the heavy bombing campaigns in the region during the Indochina conflict, discover hidden entrances right beneath your feet, wander past tiny little chimneys in the ground that dispersed smoke from the underground kitchens.
There is an opportunity to sample some of the simple cuisine that local fighters would have survived on, and have an opportunity to venture into the tunnels and explore the complex.
Finally, we return to Ho Chi Minh City for the night in the same hotel. The trip is complete in Ho Chi Minh City. (Breakfast and lunch are included).
Our itinerary includes an easy bicycle ride on gentle terrain with:
- a 2-3 km walk on Day 1.
- a 3-5 km walk on Day 2.
- a 12-15 bicycle ride on Day 3.
- a 2-3 hour kayaking ride on Day 4.
- a 1-3 km walk on Day 5.
- 4 breakfasts.
- 5 lunches.
- 4 dinners.
A wide variety of food is commonly available in local restaurants, markets and family homes, using fresh local ingredients, typical of the way people eat in the area.
We also cater for Vegetarians but please request this at time of booking.
Our experienced and friendly tour guides speak fluent English.
They are knowledgeable about local cultures, history and the environment.
- hotels (3 nights).
- local homestays (2 nights).
Clean and comfortable homestays with mosquito nets provided.
- $395USD per person for a group from 2 to 5 people.
- $326USD per person for a group from 6 to 8 people.
- $275USD per person for a group from 9 to 10 people.
The cost of the trip includes:
- meals listed on the itinerary.
- tour guides.
- entrance fees.
- permits during guided excursions.
The cost of the trip does not include:
- travel insurance.
- drinks (soft drinks, alcohol, bottled water).
- admission fees during free time.
- other personal expenses such as shopping, telephone, laundry and bar bills etc.
What to take:
Pack essentials, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, small day pack for cycling, walking and hiking.
We also recommend packing: insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat.
Have a great journey!!!