Day 1: Saigon – Bentre – Vinhlong Homestay (Lunch, Dinner)
Pick up at your hotel in Saigon followed by a two hour drive to Ben Tre. On arrival at Hung Vuong pier, we will embark on a cruise along the Ham Luong River (a branch of the Mekong) and stop off at various local workplaces to give you a picture of how the local economy works. Visit a brick-kiln, where bricks are still painstakingly made by hand; a coconut processing workshop where you can see how quickly the workers quickly peel a coconut and learn about the different uses of each part of a coconut.
Afterwards, we will walk around the village, checking out a local house where you can see people weaving mats using a hand loom – you can even have a go at weaving yourself. We will ride a bike or hop onto a motorized rickshaw for a 15 km fun ride along the quiet and beautiful country road to Mr Khanh’s house, where you can see the antique pottery collection, enjoy coconut water and embrace the enthusiasm and hospitality of the people here. Then, get back on your bike or your motorized rickshaw and continue on your journey to a local restaurant for a delicious lunch featuring local specialties, such as elephant-ear fish, river-shrimp and some kind of iced soft-drink or beer. After lunch, it’s time to relax on a rowing boat as you navigate through the natural canals. Afterwards, we will return to the big boat and cruise back to Hung Vuong Pier. We will drive to Vinh Long, visit an authentic local family house, then join in cooking a Vietnamese dinner with local people.
Day 2: Vinh Long – Phuoc Hau – Can Tho (Breakfast, Lunch)
Your day begins bright and early, with the crows acting as a natural alarm. After breakfast, we will embark on a boat ride to Phuoc Hau. On arrival, we will bicycle for roughly 30 minutes, exploring the local life and rice fields. We will meet the local farmers, who will teach us their farming methods. Afterwards, we will bike back to the boat, where we will have a picnic lunch. This boat tour will take us past the floating village. We will also learn how to fish for catfish on the Mekong River.
We will visit Viet artisans and see their handmade products. We will continue on to visit the pottery-kilns and the local people who create beautiful pottery from clay. Afterwards, it is on to the nursery gardens. Meet famous farmers, such as Mr. Tiger or his son, two of the most successful farmers in Vietnam. Make sure to try some of the mouth-watering fruit from his garden!
After visiting Mr. Tiger, we will make our way through the Binh Minh canals by boat to Can Tho.
Day 3: Cai Rang & Phong Dien Floating Market – Saigon (Breakfast)
Roll out of bed at 5:30 am and hop in a private car for a ride to Phong Dien district. We will board an arrow-boat and cruise through to the unique, stunning floating markets of Phong Dien and Cai Rang. Sit back and enjoy the morning coffee served by the local coffee boats while you watch the trading between boats. Phong Dien is a smaller market and is more of a retail market. As we make our way through the market, you will be taken back to previous centuries. Listen to the sounds of bargaining while you observe the rowing and motoring mixed with the sounds made from the coffee boats, meat boats, grocery boats and ice boats.
We will say goodbye to the Phong Dien floating market and make our way through the green, beautiful channels of the Mekong River. We will pass rural villages before arriving in the Cai Rang floating market. Here, we will eat a traditional breakfast, “1 TÔ HŨ TÍU.” Cai Rang is much bigger and more of a wholesale market compared to Phong Dien. Take in the special picture of around one million floating traders in this region who have been happily living the floating life and earning their living on some 50,000km of waterways in the Mekong Delta.
Our next stop is a fruit orchard which grows some of Vietnam’s tropical fruit. While visiting the orchard, you will gain a deeper understanding of the real lives of the local people. Afterwards, we will return to the hotel for a short rest before heading off for Saigon, with a break along the way for a short visit to a local Cao Dai temple at Cai Lay town.
We look forward to guiding you!