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Mekong Delta Tour - Floating market

Saigon and the Mekong

This Saigon and the Mekong Delta tour combines a stay in historic Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) with a laid back trip through the emerald waterways of the delta.

You'll stay in lively, cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City and take an excursion to the fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels, an eerie labyrinth of underground passages built by the Viet Cong. Next it's time to leave the urban hustle and bustle behind, travelling aboard a boat for your Mekong Delta tour, spending one night in a small town in the heart of the delta. 

The Mekong Delta tour and excursion to the Cu Chi tunnels will be part of a small group tour, however private tours are also available.
Duration: 5 days - 4 nights
offered Monday, Thursday and Saturday from Ho Chi Minh City
Accommodation: 3 nights at a centrally located Ho Chi Minh hotel and 1 night in a simple hotel in Can Tho
Accommodation categories 2-3
Price: from AUD$459 per person - based on 2 people sharing
Includes: - Arrival transfer
- Transport (as described)
- Accommodation with breakfast
- Excursions as described with English speaking guide
- Entrance fee for Cu Chi Tunnels
Transport: air-conditioned minibus and boat
Excludes: all other meals and drinks

Day 1: Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City

For your Saigon and the Mekong Delta tour you will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. You'll stay in comfortable and centrally located accommodation in District 1, complete with air-conditioning. The hotel is located near Tham Street, Saigon's frenetic market area. The area is crammed with dozens of cosy little restaurants, street vendors and small souvenir shops.

If you're looking for something a little more plush and a quieter location for your Saigon and Mekong Delta tour, we can offer you a hotel in the upmarket section of the city on a broad avenue lined with designer shops and rooftop restaurants. These hotels have the added bonus of swimming pools, for a cooling dip after a hot, humid day of sightseeing.

Mekong Delta Tour - Local family on a moped
Mekong Delta Tour - Cu Chi Tunnels

Day 2: Cu Chi tunnels (half day tour)

Today you will be collected from your hotel and head to the Cu Chi Tunnels, located 30km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. Travelling by minibus and passing peaceful paddy fields you can sit back and watch delta life pass by. Along the way you will also have a chance to see an unusual floating temple.

During your Saigon and Mekong Delta tour you will vist the infamous Cu Chi tunnels. The Viet Cong dug the haunting network of tunnels during the Vietnam War to hide from American forces. The underground labyrinth covers an incredible 250km and enabled the Viet Cong to carry out covert attacks. They are very narrow, deep, and unbelievably dark, making them hugely claustrophobic. The tunnels were built to live in and work in; they include sleeping quarters, kitchens, ammunition stores, weapon factories, and command centres. The many fake entrances and booby traps built within the tunnels to mislead the enemy are quite ingenious.
You'll be given the opportunity to climb into the tunnels and experience their eerie atmosphere first hand, it's a good idea to bring along a small torch. Many of the tunnels have been enlarged especially for tourists, making them far less hair-raising for visitors. However, if you're feeling brave, you can also try the originals. It's a unique, and slightly creepy experience. The guide will explain the history and the precise uses of the tunnels. In the adjoining Cu Chi Museum, you can also see a video with vintage American film material.

You'll head back to Ho Chi Minh City arriving around 2pm, giving you plenty of time to explore more of the city before embarking on your Mekong Delta tour experience tomorrow.
Mekong Delta Tour - Cu Chi tunnel network
Mekong Delta Tour - Sampan on the mighty Mekong

Day 3: Mekong Delta tour

The next two days are dedicated to the dazzling Mekong Delta. The Mekong River is the backbone of the economy in the south. It produces one of Vietnam's most important exports- rice. This excursion is part of a small group tour, you'll be collected from your hotel around 7:30am and transferred to Cai Be by minibus. From here, you'll hop onto a boat and float along the mighty Mekong. As you leave Cai Be you'll pass colourful, floating markets, where vendors will offer their wares from their boats jammed with produce, dangling their goods in the air from a long pole. You'll also see small flotillas drifting along as traders link up to swap goods amongst themselves.

Your Mekong Delta tour will flow through canals inhabited by the people of the Mekong Delta. You'll quickly understand why the people of the south are renowned for their friendliness, as they smile and wave from their houses when you pass by. There will be a quick stop for lunch, so we recommend tasting the Mekong Delta specialities throughout the day to keep your tummy full. After lunch you'll continue along the mekong for another three hours until you reach Can Tho, arriving just when the sun is setting. Once on dry land, you'll walk the short distance to your simple but comfortable hotel for the night. It located right near the waterfront, where you can relax in the evening with a cool drink.

In the event of unforeseen circumstances, for instance low water levels, this entire portion of the trip will be conducted by minibus.

Day 4: Mekong Delta tour

Today your Mekong Delta Tour will continue from your hotel at 7.30 sharp and the local boat will take you to the floating market of Cai Rang, which is the largest, most important, and probably the noisiest floating market in the Mekong Delta. In order to get close to all of the excitement of the floating market, you'll transfer into a bamboo rowboat. You'll sail amidst all of the boats peddling their wares. Naturally you yourself won't have to row during this journey and therefore you'll have plenty of time to negotiate and purchase goods, such as a pineapple for 50 cents. In the village on the banks of the river, you'll drop in on a factory where rice is ‘puffed’ and transformed into Vietnamese rice cakes. You will also visit a small rice noodle factory, (if it's open on that day!)

At the end of our Mekong Delta Tour you'll have a pretty good impression of life on this important river. You'll travel back to Ho Chi Minh city by comfortable air-conditioned coach arriving around 3-5pm.
Mekong Delta Tour - Floating markets on the Mekong
Mekong Delta Tour - Saigon War Museum

Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City - End of module

This module finishes today after breakfast.

It's easy to extend your stay in HCMC for another night if you'd like more time to explore Saigon, or if you’ve planned a pretty action-packed trip so far, now it's time to unwind on a tranquil, tropical island.We can recommend an idyllic stay on Phu Quoc Island, Palm Island Vietnam and more beaches in Vietnam at Mui Ne as great endings to your Vietnam trip.

A peek at your Mekong Delta tour accommodation... (click to enlarge)

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