The Deep South of VIETNAM
Ho Chi Minh City – River Cruise in Mekong Delta – Phu Quoc Island
12 Days/11 Nights
12 Days/11 Nights
If you don’t want to move from place to place too much and prefer to focus on one area for deeper exploration, Saigon and its surroundings must be your best choice. South Vietnam is suitable for all tastes, from the bustling cities, peaceful villages with lush fruit orchards, vast canal systems, typical river life, to white sand beaches. Here, we combine the best of Southern Vietnam, besides te must-see classic tourist sites, there are also a sunset river cruise, art & cirque performance at Saigon Opera House, a Saigon By Night tour by Vespa Scooter, and a 3 day/2 night river cruise in the Mekong Delta.
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City - Arrival (D)
Upon arrival at International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, you are welcomed by our guide and driven to downtown. Check in to your hotel and relax after a long-haul flight.
In the evening, enjoy your welcome dinner on a Saigon River Cruise. Take in your first impression of Saigon with a sunset cruise for 2 hours while buffet dinner is served with live music performance and fire dance. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City – Orientation & Show (B)
After breakfast, see the city! Visit the Reunification Palace, former residence of the Indochina Governor General and later President of the Republic of Southern Vietnam until the fall of Saigon in April 30, 1975, and War Museum. Continue with the Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, and Ben Thanh Market. Lunch will be at your own expense.
In the afternoon, walk thru bustling streets of China town. The town with small classical Chinese architecture houses may remind you of Marguerite Duras and her famous novel of “The Lover”. Stop at Thien Hau Cantonese temple which features interesting Chinese-Buddhist style architecture and interiors with pagodas, courtyards, altars and paintings.
In the evening, we welcome you with an amazing show at the Saigon Opera House. Subject to the show availability, you can choose either A O Show – A vivid portrait of Vietnam in urbanization time, painted with unique stage visuals and touch of humor, or My Village – the poetic beauty of Vietnamese village life, recreated using iconic bamboo, breathtaking cirque and exotic live music, or The Mist – the essence of Southern farmer’s life expressed in sensual contemporary dance language. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels half day & Saigon Street food tour by Scooter (B/-/D)
After breakfast, visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, 70km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, created in 1948 to assist the Viet Minh to combat the French. This was an underground city with living areas, kitchens, storage, weapon shops, field hospitals and command centers. During the Vietnam War the entire area of Cu Chi was designated a fire free zone and was heavily bombarded. Since 1988, two sections of the tunnels have been opened for visitors.
Return to your hotel by noon time to avoid the noon heat and relax at your hotel.
By sunset, you will experience Saigon nightlife the way locals do, all from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter. The ride starts with drinks at the Vespa-themed café, Café Zoom, to watch “as the world goes by”. Throughout the night, try a variety of food and drinks at 2 local restaurants and samplings of Saigon’s best authentic street food. Zoom past the famous must-see sights of Ho Chi Minh City while in the bustling traffic. We’ll also go to a Vietnamese-style coffee shop with special live music, and then wrap up the evening at an exciting Rock music bar where the new generation of Vietnamese unwind and flaunt their unique styles.This tour includes free flowing drinks and all you can eat, so come with an appetite!
Day 4: Ho Chi Minh City – Panorama River Cruise by car (B/L/D)
Cruise boat tours leave from Can Tho to Cai Be (on odd dates, e. g. Sept 1, 3, 5, 7 etc.) or from Cai Be to Can Tho (on even dates, e. g. Sept. 2, 4, 6, 8 etc.). Daily departure
Private charter boat with one cabin is available
After breakfast, you are picked you up by your river cruise shuttle bus to take you to Can Tho or Cai Be, depending on even or odd dates. You board your wooden river cruise vessel around noon, enjoy a refreshing welcome drink, and we show you our on-board facilities and your cozy cabin. As lunch is served, the boat starts cruising. Sit back and watch the fantastic scenery and the daily life of the Mekong people.
In the afternoon you can disembark for a guided leisurely stroll through a village and the surrounding fruit orchards or rice fields. Meet the friendly locals and taste the local produce and fruits.
Get back on board and enjoy a drink at the bar or relax on deck as the sun sets over the magnificent water landscape of the Mekong River. The cruise boat will anchor for the night. The day ends with a delicious on-board dinner. You stay overnight on board your floating hotel in the Mekong Delta.
Day 5: Life on the water and floating markets (B/L/D)
Wake up well rested to the sound of the river and get ready for another exciting day of sightseeing in the Mekong Delta. At 6:30, the cruise vessel sets off for a sunrise cruise. Watch the locals go about their daily work drying exotic fruits and building ships on the wooden yards while enjoying an early breakfast.
After breakfast, we will board a sampan boat to the Cai Rang floating market, the region’s busiest and most lively market. On even dates, you will explore the small channels of the mekong delta around Cai Be with a small sampan or by foot. Marvel at the sheer abundance of exotic fruits and vegetables. We will pull up to the boats for talking and bargaining with the merchants. We will also visit some of the local candy and cake making factories.
Later in the morning you can boat through the green water landscape on a little rowing sampan to see local houses, verdant orchards and ship-building yards. Alternatively you can discover the nearby town by foot or explore the small side canals of the Mekong river on a bicycle.
The cruise boat then resumes its journey as lunch is served. In the afternoon there will be another side trip to one of the exotic villages along the way. Dinner will be on boat and overnight.
Day 6: An exotic world of its own – Ho Chi Minh City by car (B/L)
After breakfast and an early start through the glorious morning atmosphere on the Mekong river. In Can Tho, we will visit the floating market of Cai Rang. In Cai Be we will explore the delta by foot or with a small sampan. Be sure not to miss the great photo opportunities for authentic snapshots of the Mekong people and their life.
Take another sampan side trip right into the lush rural landscape, the fertile fields, the exuberant green. Then it’s time to pack up and return to the pier from which we started.
The Mekong Delta cruise boat tour ends at around 11.00 — 11.30h on the pier. On even dates, you will have lunch at the Mekong Rest Stop. On odd dates, lunch is served in Vinh Long City. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City - Phu Quoc Island by flight (B)
After breakfast, you will be free in Ho Chi Minh City until being transferred to the airport for a flight to Phu Quoc Island. Upon landing, you’re welcomed and transferred by your beach resort staff. The remainder of the day is free to swim, to sunbath or to explore the town. Overnight in Phu Quoc Island.
Day 8 to Day 11: Phu Quoc Island - free (B)
After traveling for 7 days, your final segment is spending four free days on Phu Quoc Island to relax! do whatever takes your fancy!
Phu Quoc Island and its pristine and tranquil beaches are paradise for honeymooners and beach fans. Dry season starts from November and lasts to April with abundant sunlight and sea breeze. Rainy season is from May to October coming with thunderstorm and typhoons. Coming to Phu Quoc Island (better in dry season), you can enjoy gorgeous sunsets while sipping your favorite beverage, sunbath on the best long stretches of abandoned beaches, or discover the marine life in calm sea with snorkeling or diving (fun for families!) or explore lush forests, discover with animals and learn about the local medicinal plants or swim in spectacular waterfalls etc
Day 12: Phu Quoc island - Ho Chi Minh City by flight - Departure (B)
You will be free until being transferred by your resort to the airport for a flight back to Ho Chi Minh City in good time to connect to your departure flight.
:>> Our prices include:
> Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room
> Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver
> The services of an experienced English-speaking guide throughout the tour (please note: guides will be on hand from pick-up until guests’ return to their hotel or reaching their destination)
> Domestic flights: Ho Chi Minh City – Phu Quoc Island – Ho Chi Minh City, including airport taxes (Vietnam Airlines, economic class)
> Where necessary, entry fees and permission to enter border areas for all visits mentioned in the program
> Lunches and dinners (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants, or picnics where no suitable restaurant is available.
> Joined Saigon Street food tour by Vespa Scooter
> Ticket for Show at the Opera House in Ho Chi Minh city
> Welcome dinner on Bonsai River Cruise with live music performance and fire dance
> VAT and other taxes
:>> Our prices do not include:
> International flight tickets and airport tax
> Vietnamese Visa handling and stamp fee
> Dinners, except as specified above
> Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses
> Camera fees (if any)