Cangio Mangrove Forest & Mekong Homestay (2 days)

Cost: $249 / person, as a part of a group, minimum group size is 2 people

Inclusion: One night in homestay; 2 boat trips in the mangrove forest and in Ben Tre; guide; manual motorbike including driver and gasoline; entrance fees; 2 good lunches and 1 dinner; cold water throughout and fond memories. Insurance for riding pillion.

Duration: 2 days. Tour daily starts at 7.30 am

Exploring the Mekong delta on two wheels, discover the real life of people living along the magic river.

Full Itinerary:

Exploring the Mekong delta on two wheels, you get a unique perspective on this scenic area as well as being a witness to daily life here as it has been going on for centuries. The lush delta is really a gift from the Creator for the almost 20 million inhabitants living and working on the lower section of one of the longest rivers on earth, providing rice, fruit and aquatic products for worldwide market. This fertile area is where the mighty Mekong River approaches the sea and splits into nine very big branches and then into a network of hundreds of tributaries. We call it "Cuu Long" or "Nine dragon's river delta".

Driving back roads mostly through villages away from the tourist track you discover the real life of people living along this magic river. We take quiet laneways and dirt paths weaving in and out of villages and fields waving to kids whizzing by on their way to school, saying "Xin Chao" (hello) to women pedalling gracefully in their traditional "ao dai" dresses, and hopping onto small ferries to cross the tributaries alongside elderly vendors carrying groceries on their bikes. Boarding a private boat, we will cruise past some interesting places such as old style brick kilns before stopping at a coconut-processing workshop where you learn how the locals waste nothing from the coconut tree in making a variety of products, handicrafts and candy. Transferring to bicycle, we cycle along trails under the green canopy of coconut plantation before stopping for a pleasant lunch of local specialities, including delicious "Elephant Ear fish". After lunch we travel to our homestay in Ben Tre and have the late afternoon and evening free to see how your hosts live and to discover the local village.

The next day we row a sampan along the tree lined canals to get a closer look at life before taking our private boat back to the pier and riding on through many ride paddies, vegetable farms and finally take a wooden ferry across Long Tau River to Cangio Island. Our stop is Vam Sat biosphere reserve, firstly for a picnic lunch or we can have lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, we will take a motorized wooden boat then a sampan, cruise zigzagging the quiet canals to the Bats Swamp. You will study how to fish for crab, have fun with crocodile fishing and climb up the observation tower to see the panorama of this vast forest wetland, in particular you will note how magnificent forest has recovered after many years of toxic neglect. If you are here from May to October when thousands of birds come to build nests and lay eggs, you have the option of rowing a sampan to discover their lives. In the late afternoon, we return to Saigon via the back roads, past shrimp farm, swallow bird houses for farming the bird nests, salt fields, and mangrove forest away from the tourist track.

This tour requires an adventurous spirit and a strong backside. Sturdy outdoor clothing and footwear is recommended.

*Other food choices are also catered, including vegetarian.

Tips for guide/driver are appreciated.