The ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, the delta is carpeted in a dizzying variety of greens. It's a water world that moves to the rhythms of the mighty Mekong, where boats, houses and markets float upon the innumerable rivers, canals and streams that criss-cross the landscape like arteries.
My Tho's proximity to HCMC means it's a popular day-trip destination for a taste of river life: a flotilla of boats tour the local islands and their cottage industries daily, though many bypass the town itself. The riverfront makes for a pleasant stroll and the town, including the lively market (Ð Trung Trac), is easily explored on foot.
A popular weekend escape from HCMC, Vung Tau rocks at weekends when beach-starved locals and expats descend in numbers, but it is relatively quiet during the week. The city enjoys a spectacular location on a peninsula, with ocean on three sides; the light and sea air make it a refreshing break from sultry Saigon.
Cu Chi Tunnels, one of very few monuments remained from the Vietnam War. 200km of the tunnels, dug by hand and inhabited by the forces of the Vietnamese guerillas, are beneath the ground here and stretches from nearby the Cambodian border to the edge of Ho Chi Minh City, even covering a place that once was a US airbase.
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City Arrival
Upon your arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport and after clearing customs, please proceed to the Meeting Point area at the arrival hall of Terminal 2 to meet our local tour guide. Transfer to hotel for checking-in.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels – City Tour (B/L)
From Ho Chi Minh City we will head northwest to Cu Chi Tunnels, one of very few monuments remained from the Vietnam War. 200km of the tunnels, dug by hand and inhabited by the forces of the Vietnamese guerillas, are beneath the ground here and stretches from nearby the Cambodian border to the edge of Ho Chi Minh City, even covering a place that once was a US airbase. We can listen to our guides’ introduction about the traces, exhibits, old weapons here or crawl by ourselves several dozen meters inside the tunnel to get the real feeling of what the War had been in this land. Gradually we will find out the reason why Cu Chi is a symbol of the ingenuity, loyalty, hard work and determination of the Vietnamese. Lunch at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, you’ll take a sightseeing tour around the city visiting the War Remnants Museum – a comprehensive collection of more than 20,000 graphic photographs, military vehicles as well as weapons, documenting the horrors of Vietnam’s wars with both the French and Americans; and the Reunification Palace – formerly the official residence and administrative center of the President of South Vietnam until the fall of Ho Chi Minh City in 1975. Along the way, enjoy a photo stop at the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral as well as the General Post Office with its ancient French architecture; before embarking on a little bargain-hunting at Ho Chi Minh City Square or Ben Thanh Market – a bustling market that is popular among the native city dwellers and tourists alike, offering everything from souvenirs to clothes as well as local delicacies.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City (B/L)
After breakfast, embark on a 02-hours journey to My Tho, a prosperous town of 170,000 inhabitants in Mekong Delta which is famous for its extensive orchards and immense rice fields. Enjoy a wooden boat ride along Mekong River through Bao Dinh Canal followed by a leisurely cruise around Dragon, Unicorn, Phoenix as well as Tortoise Islands. Bob along the tiny canals under shady palm trees; stroll through villages to learn about the daily lives of its inhabitants; and visit bee farms, coconut-candy workshop as well as sample freshly picked fruits at the invitation of friendly local farmers. After lunch, return to Ho Chi Minh City and rest of the evening is free at leisure for your own activities.
Day 4: Ho Chi Minh City – Vung Tau – Ho Chi Minh City (B/L)
After breakfast, embark on an approximately 125 kilometers’ journey Southeast of Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau, a provincial city and popular seaside retreat that enjoys a spectacular location at the tip of a small peninsula, with ocean on three sides. Start the day with a sightseeing tour around the city visiting Bach Dinh – often referred to as the White Palace, it was built in 1898 on the former site of a Nguyen Dynasty fortress as a summer residence for French Governor General Paul Doumer; followed by Christ of Vung Tau – a 32 meter-tall Statue of Jesus standing on Mount Nho with an internal 133-step staircase that allow visitors to climb to the top for a breathtaking panoramic view of Vung Tau City; Vung Tau Lighthouse – an 18-metre high lighthouse built in 1907 which boasts one of the best 360-degree panoramas of the city and can projects an impressive 30 nautical miles beam; Niet Ban Tinh Xa – also known as the Temple of Nirvana or Pagoda of the Reclining Buddha, it is one of the most beautiful pagoda in Vung Tau which is famed for its giant bronze bell and a 12-metre Reclining Buddha; as well as Thich Ca Phat Dai – a sculpture architectural complex depicting the important events in the life of Gautama Buddha : his birth, renunciation, enlightenment, the first sermon and his passing into nirvana at Kusinara; before returning to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon.
Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City – Departure (B)
Relax at hotel until transfer to the airport for a flight departure.