Mekong tour 4 days 3 nights
Day 1: Saigon – Go Cong – Ben Tre: Visit rice fields and coconut trees (B, L, D included)
Set off to Go Cong which is 50km away from Ho Chi Minh city.
Encircled by two estuaries of Mekong River, Go Cong district (which means “peacock hills” Khmer Aih Amrak) is characterized by the infinite paddy fields. Being the land where you find the best quality rice of the country, Go Cong is the birthplace of four Vietnam’s first ladies, including Queen Tu Du (1810-1902) and Queen Nam Phuong (1914-1963). There you find numerous historical and cultural sites around:
The Royal Mausoleums of Pham Dang family. The complex includes the tomb of Pham Dang Hung, the maternal grandfather of King Tu Duc. Classified in 1992 as a national historic monument, the tomb’s style is a combination between colonial architecture & that of Annam temples which bring out a perfect embodiment of the harmonious blend between French & Vietnamese culture.
Former residence of Nguyen Van Hai, known as showing the most typical architecture of traditional houses in Mekong delta at that time. Built in 1890, the house is distinguished by its Romanesque architecture imported from France & the typical decoration of houses in Vietnam Southern with parallel sentences, animal paintings and engravings, sacred plants and objects respecting the popular belief. Many ancient things remained intact until today.
Hung Duc pagoda is not only a place of worship, but also place which offer traditional medical care such as herbs, acupuncture & massage, etc. Everything is taken care by the pagoda’s monks. Meeting up the master of the pagoda, discute with them then participating in their daily activities of drying medicinal plants.
Take a bicycle tour around Go Cong passing by the ricefields & numerous vegetable crops until reaching fisherman village Tan Dien at seaside. Having lunch with freshly caught seafood at the local restaurant enjoying stunning sea view.
After lunch, drive back to Ben. On the way back, visit Cao Dai temple. Discovery of Caodaism – a religion which respect mainly on three religions: Confucianism (moral behavior in society), Taoism (search for wholeness & serenity in both internal & external) & Buddhism (which gives an answer to the question of the existence and the future of mankind).
Arrival at dawn in a small village surrounded by coconut trees. Settle in a charming family lodge run by Trang and her family. The accommodation consists of 4 comfortable bungalows designed down to the very last details.
After enjoying a fresh coconut juice harvested from the garden, depending on the time left, participating to various activities with Trang or her family members such as using the long pole to harvest fresh coconut, taking a bike tour around the village to discover the daily life of the inhabitants of Mekong Delta including their craft and agricultural activities, small houses hidden in lush terrace and participating in food preparation of the family.
Enjoy your dinner & stay overnight at Trang’s home.
Highlights of the trip:
– Visiting colonial vestiges
– Meeting up the pagoda’s master
– Cycling around the beautiful countryside scenery
– Having meals with fresh seafood
– Overnight in a charming family lodge
Day 2: Ben Tre – Tra Vinh (B included)
Departure in the morning around 8:30 am by bike. After 20 minutes of cycling, arrival at the first pier. Crossing Mekong River to reach the small island of Linh. Short crossing of the island in 10 minutes to access the second pier. Second crossing Mekong River to reach the other shore where the local guide is waiting for us. Taking comfortable bike ride on small paths covered by the beautiful lush orchads.
During the ride, stop by some stations where you discover the local crafts: coconut products making & weaving After two hours of cycling, take the car then make a short tour to discover an old mandarinal house. Touring the house with its descendants then have lunch in the small pavilion.
After lunch, take the ferry to cross Mekong River to Tra Vinh. Used to be a province belonging to Cambodia, there still remains Khmer-speaking minority and pagodas following Theravāda Buddhism. The cultural specificities in this province are therefore visible and constitute today a tourist attraction, since the Khmer culture expresses itself in both material (places of worship in particular) & spiritual. Arrival at Tra Vinh. Visiting Ang Pagoda and the museum on Khmer civilization.
Overnight at the hotel.
Highlight: Cycling in the middle of the lush orchard
Day 3: Tra Vinh – Can Tho (B included)
Visit the vibrant local market and Caodaist temple. Short drive to the countryside to visit a small village where we meet a family of Khmer people. Taking a bike ride around the rice fields and having lunch with the local.
Afterward, get back to Can Tho. Visit the central market. Back to hotel for overnight stay.
Highlights: a visit to a Caodaist temple; meet up with Khmer family
Day 4: Can Tho – Sai Gon (B included)
Wake up early. Together with the locals, taking boat tour
to visit the floating market of Cai Rang to observe the vibrant daily life of the delta. Dozens of authentic traditional sampans filled with local products: rice, fruits and vegetables, handicrafts.
Cycling through villages and aside narrow canals. Stop by the lush orchards, there you have the opportunity to taste tons of succulent fruits. Proceed to Binh Thuy to visit the antique house built from the 19th century which appeared once as a backdrop in “The Lover”.
Afternoon, back to Saigon.