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 with 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 – Ben Tre – Cho Lach (B, L, D)
Depart for the Mekong Delta in the morning.
Upon arriving in Ben Tre, the “country of coconut trees”, we will board a boat for a cruise through authentic landscapes and discover the customs and traditions of locals. Stop to visit a traditional brick workshop and a coconut candy factory. Then, the boat will sail towards the Cai Son and Thanh Nhon creeks, places where local families are specialized in manufacturing mats. There, you will also have the chance to taste seasonal exotic fruits before having lunch with locals.
In the afternoon, stroll in Cai Coi cove on a rowing boat. After that, head to Cho Lach across Cai Mon district, well-known for its fabulous bonsais and orchards. There, we will stop to visit a Catholic church and a bonsai garden.
We will finally reach Cho Lach where we will relax during a peaceful bike ride in the area.
Dinner and overnight in a bungalow on the bank of the river.
Day 3: Cho Lach – Cai Be – Sadec – Long Xuyen (B, L, D)
Have a good breakfast before we board a boat to Cai Be Floating Market. After cruising for 90min, we will arrive in Cai Be, a place where people do business from boat to boat and where each merchant hang samples of their products on a long pole (“beo”) so buyers can see from a distance. You will also walk on land to discover the local island – during this visit, 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.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
Later, we will drive to Sadec, a charming little town 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 town.
Then, we will travel to Long Xuyen. There, we will start bike ride on Tiger Island. You will discover the authentic life of the welcoming inhabitant, all the while enjoying the view of incredible landscapes still wild and largely unaffected by tourism. The architecture of the houses are very unique: it includes sculptures, particularly in the form of fish. These houses are built on stilts to prevent flooding.
Overnight at a hotel.
Day 4: Long Xuyen – Tra Su – Chau Doc (B, L, D)
Breakfast at the hotel before leaving for Chau Doc. Once we get there, we will visit a Cham village and the Temple of Ba Chua Xu.
After lunch, off to Tra Su Cajuput Forest. There, we will take a sampan under the shade of cajuput trees and observe fabulous birds.
Back to Chau Doc.
Dinner in Chau Doc and overnight at the hotel.
Day 5: Chau Doc – Tam Nong – Cao Lanh – Ho Chi Minh City (B, L, D)
In route to Tram Chim National Park (previously known as Tam Nong Bird Sanctuary) in Tam Nong District. This astounding site covers 8,000 hectares, hosts 130 species of plants, 56 species of mammals, and 220 species of birds.
Lunch in Cao Lanh.
Then, we will start our drive towards Ho Chi Minh City, where we will arrive in late afternoon.
Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at the hotel.
Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City – Departure (B)
Enjoy free time at your own leisure until the bus picks you up and takes you to the airport for your flight.