Loving Mekong Delta (3 days with 3 options to Saigon, Phu Quoc Island or Cambodia)

Cost: $360 / person for option 1, $398 / person for option 2, $360 / person for option 3, as a part of a group, minimum group size is 2 people

Inclusion: English speaking guide; manual motorbike including driver and gasoline; 3 - 4 star hotel (twin-shared) with swimming pool in Can Tho; 3 star hotel in Chau Doc; 3 lunches; all entrance fees, boat trips and boat tickets mentioned on itinerary; cold water throughout and fond memories for the Mekong Delta. Insurance for riding pillion.

Duration: 3 days. Tour starts at 7.30 am on the first day

3 days tour explore the Mekong Delta. Driving back roads mostly through villages away from the tourist track and discover the real life of people living along this magic river

Full Itinerary:

Day 1:

Riding pillion with our drivers to escape from Saigon to the off road, we delve deep into the Ben Tre province of southern Vietnam and explore the Mekong Delta. Driving back roads mostly through villages away from the tourist track and 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.

Later we board our private boat and cruise past some interesting places such as old style brick kiln before stopping at a coconut processing workshop where you learn step by step 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 will row a sampan along the tree lined canals to get a closer look at life.

Day 2:

We continue to explore the waterways with a morning boat ride to the bustling Cai Rang floating market, one of the biggest in the Mekong Delta. As we weave amongst the anchored boats, we'll see vendors line up their boats and hang fruit or vegetables on a bamboo pole advertising the goods they are selling. Moving on from the floating market we will visit an inland market to compare the differences as well as noodle factory nearby.

After that it's time to explore the land with a motorbike ride through farming villages and small laneways on the way to the border town of Chau Doc. This area is inhabited by Vietnamese as well as people from the Khmer and Cham ethnic groups, part of the rich tapestry of ethnic minorities in Vietnam, their customs and traditions enriching the culture and so often seen in their houses, pagodas, mosques. We will also see some of the product that is exported worldwide and that people here are proud of - rice and Basa fish. After lunch, we explore the fishing village and fish farms. The day is completed by panoramic sunset views over the Mekong Delta floodplains from the summit of Sam Mountain.

Day 3:

You could choose one of three options below, depending on your next destination.

Option 1. Destination: Phnompenh (Cambodia)

Having breakfast in the hotel before boarding a speed boat to Phnompenh.

Map of this tour


View Larger Map

Option 2. Destination: Phu Quoc island, via Ha Tien.

We drive to the coastal town of Ha Tien. On the way there we'll stop at Tra Su bird sanctuary, low land national park with mangrove forest as far as the eye can see, interwoven with canals and many thousands of birds. We'll also stop at the site of the Ba Chuc massacre which was carried out by the regular army of Democratic Kampuchea's army, the Khmer Rouge, in 1978. After that we'll move onto Ha Tien where you will board a speed boat at 1pm to Phu Quoc island.

Map of this tour


View Larger Map

Option 3. Destination: Saigon.

We leave Chau Doc behind and drive along a quiet road to Tra Su bird sanctuary, low land national park with mangrove forest as far as the eye can see, interwoven with canals and many thousands of birds. We'll have a drink and decide between climbing to top of the observation tower to enjoy the panoramic view of the scenery below, or a cruise along mangrove lined canals of the forest to get close to the fauna in the park. After the visit to Tra Su, we'll stop for picnic lunch en route before heading back to Saigon, arriving at around 6.00 pm.

Map of this tour


View Larger Map

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

For lunch, other food choices are also catered, including vegetarian.

Tips for guide/driver are appreciated.