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DISCOVER CANAL& LARGE RIVER - HOMESTAY & BIKING (2D/1N)
Get Mekong Short Break
Only got 1 night to spend in the Delta? Then take our most popular tour, the Mekong Short Break. Designed to give you the full Mekong experience in just 2 days, it's ideal for travellers whose time is tight. Our tour takes place in Ben Tre province, just 2 hours from Saigon yet hardly touched by mass tourism. As one of our previous customers put it, "It was great to discover that there are still some places that offer the genuine experience".
Day 1: Saigon-Ben Tre (L,D)
In the morning (preferably no later than 08:30) depart Saigon by private car and travel down to Ben Tre, a journey of around 90 minutes. On arrival, freshen up and have a coffee before boarding your private boat to start your Mekong adventure.
The boat will cruise along the Ham Luong river (a branch of the Mekong) and stop off at various local workplaces to give you a picture of how the local economy works, including a brickworks, where bricks are still painstakingly made by hand; a salt refinery; a coconut processing workshop, where you can sample fresh coconut and see how every single part of this versatile nut is turned into food and other products; and a mat weaving house, where straw mats are woven using a hand loom – you can even have a go at weaving yourself!
The boat will then stop at a quiet village where you can have a short walk to experience real Delta village life, before boarding your xe loi (a kind of motorised rickshaw) and travelling into the forest where you can visit fruit orchards before stopping at a riverside restaurant for a delicious and filling lunch, featuring such local specialities as elephant-ear fish and river shrimp, washed down with some cold drinks or beers.
After lunch, it’s time to board a sampan for a relaxing trip along narrow canals. You will then hop onto a bicycle for a fun ride through the forest to Mr Khanh’s house. Khanh is a passionate antiques collector and his house is jam packed full of fascinating artefacts from Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia. He also has some fascinating family albums dating back to French colonial times.
You will then get back on your bike and cycle back to the river to board your boat. If you choose the hotel option, the boat will drop you back in Ben Tre, where your car will take you the short distance to your hotel. You can then spend the evening free, or your guide will be happy to accompany you to a local restaurant – we recommend Ben Tre’s favourite goat meat restaurant, which serves tasty goat specialities including goat shanks and goat kebabs. Great food and great fun! (NB dinner is not included in the hotel option)
If you take the homestay option, the boat will drop you near the family home where you can spend the evening enjoying a barbecue and chatting with your friendly hosts.
Day 2: Ben Tre-Saigon (B)
After breakfast at your hotel or with your host family, it’s time to hop back on your bicycle and cycle to Ben Tre’s lively riverside market (the earlier you go, the more activity you will see – life starts early here!). This is a proper Vietnamese wet market rarely visited by tourists, selling a huge range of fruit, vegetables and meat/fish, including such exotic delights as snake & frog.
After your market visit, cycle back to the hotel to check out. You will then drive to Tan Thach village for a horse & cart ride through this charming traditional Delta village, where you can still see many old wooden houses. You will cross into Tien Giang province where you board another boat to visit the amazing floating fish farms, before being dropped off in the busy town of My Tho, where your car will take you to the beautiful Vinh Trang pagoda.
After lunch (not included), head back to Saigon, where you will arrive around 16:00.
*Boat, sampan, motocart, bicycle, fruits
(US$ 179 )/Person (2 to 3 pax)
(US$ 159)/Person (4 to 7 pax)