Day 1: Saigon – Bentre – Cantho (L)
8:00 am – You will be picked up at your hotel in Saigon, followed by a two hour drive to Ben Tre. On arrival at Hung Vuong pier, board a boat and cruise along the Ham Luong river (a branch of the Mekong), and stop off at various local workplaces which give you a picture of how the local economy works, including a brick-kiln, where bricks are still painstakingly made by hand, and a coconut processing workshop where you can see how skillfully and quickly workers peel coconut. You will learn about the different uses of each part in a coconut. Afterwards, walk around the village and make a short stop at a local house where you can see people weaving mats by hand loom – you can even have a go at weaving yourself!
You will then ride a bike or hop onto a motorized rickshaw for a 15 km fun ride through the quiet and beautiful country road to Mr Khanh’s house, where you can contemplate an antique pottery collection as well as feel the enthusiasm and hospitality of the people here.
After Visiting Mr. Kanh’s, get back on your bike or your motorized rickshaw and continue your journey to a local restaurant for a delicious lunch with local specialties such as elephant-ear fish, river-shrimp and some kind of iced soft-drink or beers. After lunch, it’s time to relax on a row boat along the natural canals return to big boat and cruise back to Hung Vuong Pier where you will make your way Ham Luong, Co Chien ferry for Can Tho. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel.
Day 2: Cai Rang & Phong Dien Floating Markets – Saigon (b)
5:30 am: Roll out of your bed, hop in your car and drive to Phong Dien District (15km). At 6:00 am, hop on an arrow-boat and cruise to the unique and stunning floating markets of Phong Dien and Cai Rang. What you need to do is to sit back on your boat, enjoy the morning coffee served by the local coffee boat and watch the whole world of trading going on from boat to boat. Phong Dien is smaller in scale and is more of a retail market with many rowing boats. As our boat edges through the market, you will be surely driven back to the yester-centuries by the sound of bargaining, rowing and motoring mixed with the sounds made from the coffee boats, meat boats, grocery boats an ice boats. Saying goodbye to Phong Dien floating market, our boat will speed up through green and beautiful channels of the Mekong River stretching along rural villages and arrive in Cai Rang floating market.
Here, we will enjoy breakfast in local fashion, with a bowl of noodle soup which can ordered from a local noodle soup boat. Cai Rang is much bigger and is more of wholesale market, with many more big and motored boats. This will complete a 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 50,000 km of waterways in the Mekong Delta.
The next stop will be a fruit orchard where you can enjoy some tropical fruit and understand the real life of local people in greater detail. Afterwards, you will return to your hotel, have a short rest, check out and head off for Saigon (170km), via the highway 1 and the first freeway in Vietnam, with a break en route for a short visit to a local Cao Dai Temple at Cai Lay town.
The service ends at your hotel in Saigon at around 16:00.
We look forward to guiding you!