Day 1: Saigon – Bentre – Cantho (Lunch)
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, stopping at a local house where you can see people weaving mats using a 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 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 make our way to Can Tho by ferry.
Day 2: Phong Dien & Cai Rang Floating Markets - Tra Su Conservation – Chau Doc (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. Afterwards, we will return to the hotel for a short rest before heading off for Long Xuyen (60km) with a break en route to visit a local Cao Dai Temple. We will drive to Tra Su Conservation (85km). Embark on an arrow-boat and discover the breathtaking scenery and the wildlife habitats of this sensational and unique conservation. It is a one thousand hectare mangrove forest surrounded by paddy fields! Enjoy a short troll around the conservation on your own and climb up to the observation deck for a spectacular view of the conservation, with thousands of storks and birds nesting here. Drive to Chau Doc (23km) and check into a 3 star hotel. Dinner is at your leisure – your guide can assist you with this.
Day 3: Chau Doc – Saigon (Breakfast)
After breakfast, drive to the peak of Sam Mountain for a spectacular view of paddy fields stretching to the border of Cambodia. Afterwards, take a boat through the village of floating houses, where fish are farmed in their natural environment. Learn more about the Cham culture while visiting a small village and its mosque. Drive back to Saigon (270km), with breaks en route for lunch at a local restaurant and at a hammock cafe along the highways.
We look forward to guiding you!