4 Days 3 Nights
Highlights include: Breakfast cruise to the photogenic Cai Rang Floating Market, rowing through the incredible submerged forest at Tra Su, scenic lunch on Sam Mountain with views stretching into Cambodia, and more.
Begin your journey through the Delta with a morning departure from Saigon. Drive 2 hrs southwest to Cai Be where the friendly crew of the Cai Be Princess welcomes you on board the luxury sampan with a chilled towel and refreshing drink. Cruise the local waterways and observe as life unfolds on the river banks, an ever-changing kaleidoscope of peaceful landscapes and industrious river folk, while enjoying a cup of hot tea and fresh fruit from the Delta, Vietnam’s “Rice Bowl”. The morning’s shore excursions include a row boat trip at Tan Phong Islet to explore its narrow canals and hidden mangroves, a visit to a 19th-century home to admire Indochinese architecture and stops at local workshops turning out treats like coconut candy and puffed rice (the local equivalent of popcorn). Disembark at Le Longanier Restaurant for lunch at this exquisite colonial-style villa set in a lush tropical garden by the river, an elegant throwback to life during Indochinese times. After lunch, drive 1.5 hrs to Can Tho, the largest city in the Mekong Delta. Overnight at Can Tho Resort, a graceful, colonial-inspired hotel set on the banks of the Hau River, a tributary of the mighty Mekong. You have the late afternoon and evening free to enjoy a complimentary spa treatment at the resort, lounge about the two swimming pools, walk the riverside gardens or take a complimentary shuttle boat to explore the nearby city centre.
Begin the day with a scenic early morning breakfast cruise to the famed Cai Rang Floating Market. Arriving at the market’s peak, you will see dozens of colourful boats laden with fresh produce from all over the Delta. Note the long poles with produce hung on top advertising the products on offer. After some time to view the market from several different vantage points, you will slowly cruise back to the resort taking in scenes of stilt homes, women doing laundry in the river and children playing on its banks. Go ashore for a closer view of rural life, including stops at a small noodle workshop and a tropical fruit orchard. After lunch, drive 3 hrs to Chau Doc Hotel, just minutes from the Cambodian border. Set next to Chau Doc’s river walk, a pedestrian-only area where families come out to watch the river and where children play pick-up football games, the Chau Doc Hotel features 92 wood-floored rooms, most offering spectacular views of the Hau River. Each room combines the elegance of traditional Vietnamese handicrafts and colonial old world charm, accented with bright, locally-produced textiles. Enjoy the late afternoon and evening at your leisure, perhaps walking to the busy Chau Doc Market to see the many products of the Delta on display.
After breakfast at the hotel, the morning is yours to relax or to explore Chau Doc, a fascinating multi-cultural border town, with temples and mosques reflecting the area’s Vietnamese, Chinese, Cham and Khmer communities.
At noon, make the short drive to Nui Sam Lodge for a private lunch in the gazebo overlooking the plains below with spectacular, uninterrupted views stretching into neighbouring Cambodia. Nui Sam (Sam Mountain) is a famous pilgrimage site known for its many hilltop pagodas and temples.
In the afternoon, visit an ethnic Khmer village to learn about the role of Buddhism in the community with the opportunity to speak with monks at the local monastery. Continue 20 km to the enchanted Tra Su Forest, an 850 ha eco-reserve which is home to more than 100 species of water birds. Traveling by sampan along the picturesque waterways is truly an unforgettable experience as you cruise by submerged forests on a living carpet of water plants.
Overnight at Chau Doc Hotel.
After a hearty buffet breakfast, prepare for your onward travels, either continuing to Phnom Penh, Cambodia by Speed Boat or arranging transportation back through the Delta to Ho Chi Minh City