A Sustainable Exploration of the Mekong Delta

A Sustainable Exploration
of the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese hospitality, combined with a responsible approach to travel, exemplified

WHY THIS TOUR?

The Mekong River is one of the world’s largest and longest rivers. It originates in South-Eastern China and runs through multiple countries before it drains into the Mekong Delta in Southern Vietnam. The Delta has held significance for a long period of time as one of the country’s most important areas and it is known as the ’rice basket’ of Vietnam.

The best way to discover the richness and hospitality of the Delta people is to stay at their home and appreciate their way of life. This homestay makes for a wonderful experience and it is the best way to understand the local culture and meet hospitable villagers despite comfort levels and facilities being lower than those found in a hotel. Families offering this service mostly reserve one part of their house for visitors and private rooms are not common.

TRAIL ITINERARY

Day 1 | 3 Days A Sustainable Exploration of the Mekong Delta

Day 1

Ho Chi Minh City – Cai Be – Vinh Long                                                                      [L,D]

In the morning we transfer by coach to Cai Be (2.5 hours), arriving at Cai Be Pier around 10.30 am where we hop on a boat to cruise to the Cai Be boat gathering point. Cai Be is the main embarkation and disembarkation point for visitors who are keen to sail through the Cai Be Floating Market and see ancient trading methods being practiced on the Mekong. This terminal is also used for local ferries between Cai Be Town and surrounding villages such as Vinh Long, Ben Tre and some of the lesser-known islands and rural regions. The pier can only accommodate smaller vessels and tourist boats. We enjoy fresh tropical fruit and drinking water on board as we row a traditional boat for an hour to less visited canals.

Lunch is at a local house on An Binh Island.

In the afternoon we take to two wheels and cycle between 10 to 12 km alongside canals and orchards. One of the many islands inside the Mekong Delta, this green dot in the Mekong resembles a well-preserved local life style where fishermen and local merchants with their conical hats dominate the waters surrounding this island. A short boat ride from the mainland, it is one of the main eco-tourism destinations in southern Vietnam, developed and maintained by the communities on the island.

Next we visit a rice paper factory and then continue by boat to Long Phuoc Village, situated nearby Vinh Long. A key transportation hub in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, Vinh Long is strategically sandwiches between main tourism hubs such as My Tho and Can Tho. For visitors eager to stay longer, Vinh Long has a few homestay projects where one can immerse into a more local lifestyle.
Here we are taken to an ancient house where our host family will greet us before we assist with dinner preparation.

Dinner and overnight are at the homestay.

Day 2 | 3 Days A Sustainable Exploration of the Mekong Delta

Day 2

Vinh Long – Can Tho                                                                                                         [B,L,D]

Breakfast is included at the homestay in Vinh Long

After breakfast prepared by our hosts, we head out to explore this fascinating region. We walk past rice paddies and through picturesque villages and interact with the locals. We visit the local market with our host to select fresh ingredients to use for our lunch which is enjoyed back at the homestay. After we have eaten, we bid farewell to our host family and transfer to Can Tho (one hour).

In the afternoon we cycle to visit a blacksmith family who are renowned craftsmen and skilled at making products such as knives. This gives us an opportunity to learn more about the techniques they use to produce metal products. The day is rounded off with a visit to a traditional home that houses three generations. Here we learn how to make the delicious local banana cake before returning to our homestay for dinner.

Overnight is in Can Tho.

Day 3 | 3 Days A Sustainable Exploration of the Mekong Delta

Day 3

Can Tho – Floating Market – Ho Chi Minh City                                                     [B]

Breakfast is included at your accommodation in Can Tho

We start in the early morning at 5.30 am to join our boat to Phong Dien Floating Market. This local market is where tropical fruits picked from the garden are sold and we get the opportunity to interact with the sellers on their boats. This more intimate market, with more stand-up paddle boats than motorised ones, is located 20 km southwest from Can Tho with the potential for real interaction with local traders. A more traditional Vietnamese trading experience in the Mekong Delta, this floating market gives an insight into how boats were traditionally used for buying and selling goods.

Next we continue our cruise through beautiful small canals to reach Cai Rang Floating Market which is the biggest wholesale tropical fruit floating market in the region. Just 6 km from Can Tho, Cai Rang is a boat gathering place, offering an impression of what floating markets on the Mekong Delta used to be like. A primarily wholesale market, in the morning boats raise their wooden pole, showing what they have on sale that day.

Our food journey continues after the floating markets as we head to meet a local family who make noodles by hand. Along with three generations of the family, we will learn how to make noodles under their expert guidance.

We then enjoy a light breakfast at a local restaurant in a tranquil setting beside the canals.

No lunch included on this day

Afterwards, at around 12 noon, we depart for Ho Chi Minh City.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

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INCLUSIONS

  • Tours with licenced English-speaking guiding services / assistance. Other languages are on request and are subject to availability
  • Accommodation in sharing twin/double at local homestays
  • Transportation for tour and transfers by air-conditioned vehicle, unless otherwise stated.
  • All entrance fees for visits as mentioned in the program.
  • All applicable taxes and service charges
  • All meals as indicated in the program (food only)

EXCLUSIONS

  • Personal expenses such as other meals, drinks, tips and gratuities, shopping, portage fees and optional tours/ visits, unless otherwise stated
  • Hotel accommodation in the destination of commencement.
  • Any domestic / international airline tickets, airport taxes, visa fees, specific camera / video fees, additional transportation cost from and to the general pick-up / drop-off regions (such as airports, out-of-town resorts, ports, harbours and accommodation in surrounding towns)
  • Any accommodation expenses of a personal nature. This includes (compulsory festive) meals and drinks, mini-bar consumption, laundry, room service, any telephone or other communication cost not mentioned in the program
  • International travel and medical insurance coverage for customers

GOOD TO KNOW

  • In line with the program, customers are strongly advised to spend the night prior to the start of this package in Ho Chi Minh City
  • The accommodation used during this tour is simple accommodation with basic amenities. This may include no air-conditioning (fan only), lack of Wi-Fi and/or warm water. Due to the location of our overnight address and aligned with the concept of this sustainable experience
  • Natural elements of any kind have a destructive effect on electronic equipment. It the customer’s own responsibility to ensure that any camera, mobile telephone or other device is properly wrapped and protected against these elements. We cannot be held responsible in any way for negligence and/or not following suggestions for any damage related to this
  • We will do all possible to comply with any dietary requirements during this tour; it may not always be possible to confirm your wishes in advance based on the choice of local restaurant or picnic lunch
  • We reserve the right to make necessary changes to the tour in case of unfavourable weather conditions or situations where we are forced to make alterations to guarantee the safety of our guests
  • Tours and excursions often include obstacles of various kinds that may not make this excursion suitable for wheelchair users or guests with limited mobility
  • The protection of the country’s flora, fauna and its historical and cultural treasures is of immense importance for us. We will not pursue any activities that are not in line with our animal, wildlife and environment protection principles
  • Guests traveling over and during local holidays may experience longer waiting times than normal, may see certain sites being closed down, and this program may be subject to supplementary charges
  • Please ensure that you bring sunglasses, a hat /cap and sunblock with a high SPF factor when traveling with us. Even when it is cloudy, the sun still has an immense power
  • All mentioned times, durations and stops are based on approximations and may change due to unforeseen circumstances, weather and traffic conditions beyond our control

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