Day 1: Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City – City Tour (L, D)
Early morning arrival in Ho Chi Minh City. You will be picked up at the airport and transported downtown. We will start the visit by a walk down Dong Khoi Street, formerly known as Catinat Street. We will go to the Central Post Office (build in 1886 by Gustave Eiffel), Notre Dame Cathedral, Town Hall, and Municipal Theatre (Opera).
After lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit the Reunification Palace, Chinese Market in Cho Lon – the “Chinatown” of the city -, Thien Hau Pagoda, and Phuong Nam lacquer factory.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho – Ben Tre – Vung Liem (B, L, D)
Enjoy a nice breakfast before traveling to My Tho. Then, we will embark on a boat for a cruise down to Ben Tre.
We will pass by floating villages and visit one of the many fish farms in the area. Then, we will cruise along four islands: “Dragon”, “Turtle”, “Unicorn”, and “Phoenix” islands. We will finally go on the Xep Canal to get to Ben Tre.
This trip will give you the opportunity to discover the daily life of the inhabitants who live in the Delta. You will also visit a coconut wood workshop and bee farm. Then, board a horse carriage to go to an orchard where you will taste seasonal fruits while listening to Don Ca Tai Tu folk songs, an art that has recently been recognized as a World Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO. Then, we will board a small sampan and enter water canals covered by water palm trees. Visit to a coconut candy workshop.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, we will take the road to Vung Liem, an off-the-beaten-tracks destination. We will arrive in a small village; from there, we will walk to the Lodge. Check-in a bungalow overlooking the river with banks channeled by rows of water palm trees. From the terrace of your bungalow, you will be able to observe boats loaded with coconuts – it’s also a great spot from where you can admire the sunset.
6:30pm: Cooking class and interaction with locals.
8:30pm: Back to the Lodge in the night – we will use a torch made of water palm leaves in order to find our way.
Night at the Lodge.
Day 3: Vung Liem – Can Tho (B, L, D)
Breakfast. For early risers, it will be possible to observe and participate to agricultural activities with the farmers. Excursion in sampan through the water canals until reaching the home of a family who specialize in making a Vietnamese-like popcorn product made of rice. After that, we will ride our bikes through peaceful green villages, where houses are hidden under the shade of coconut trees and other fruit trees. In this region, reeds are also grown for weaving mats.
Lunch at the Lodge.
We will leave Vung Liem in the afternoon and drive on a small provincial road. We will stop to visit a Khmer Pagoda along the way before reaching Can Tho.
Check-in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Can Tho.
Day 4: Can Tho – Sadec – Ho Chi Minh City (B, L, D)
Today, we will take a boat trip to explore the amazing Cai Rang Floating Market, a place where people do business from boat to boat and where each merchant hangs samples of their products on a long pole (“beo”) so buyers can see from a distance.
Then, travel to Sadec and lunch in an old house. This charming little town Sadec was made famous by French writer Marguerite Duras, thanks to her novel “The Lover”. There, we will visit Huynh Thuy Le’s old house (where the French author lived), Kien An Cung Pagoda, and the bonsais in the town.
We will then drive back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Dinner and overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City – Departure (B)
Enjoy free time at your own leisure until the bus picks you up and transports you to the airport for your flight.