Tailored from £1,700 per person excl. flights
8 days Saigon, Tay Ninh, Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc
8 days Saigon, Tay Ninh, Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc
This adventure tour offers a relaxing insight into the highlights of South Vietnam. The frenetic pace of Ho Chi Minh City offers us a glimpse into the colonial past and into the war years. The Cu Chi Tunnels offers a unique travel experience and an insight into the terrible depths that people were forced during the American and Vietnamese war. You experience the resurgence of Vietnamese tourism and enjoy a wonderful cruise on board a traditional wooden boat through the vibrant and beautiful Mekong Delta. Finally your adventure holiday culminates with ultimate relaxation on the wonderful white sands and turquoise waters of the paradise island of Phu Quoc.
We will meet you on arrival at Saigon (SGN) airport, where you will be greeted with a Wayfairer welcome sign, and then transfer together to your hotel for the night on a B&B basis. Depending on your arrival time your local guide can meet you at your hotel and will be happy to show you some of the sites as well as suggest an array of dining options from local to international cuisine.
This morning we leave the bustling streets of the city behind and make our way to Tay Ninh, the headquarters for the Cao Dai religion. This unique religion, attempts to end religious conflicts by representing aspects of many religions under the banner of one. We visit the main Cathedral (which looks like something out of a fantasy film) in time for the 12 o’clock service. It’s an enchanting experience! After a local lunch, we continue to the Cu Chi Tunnels, an extraordinary network of tunnels used by Vietnamese Communists to escape American bombing. Entire villages were forced underground for their very survival. There were around 250km of tunnels home to up to 16000 people at any one time. The tunnels were also used for strategic military purposes, the Viet Cong were able to launch attacks on American bases overhead and then disappear into a warren of tunnels. It’s a fascinating insight into the industrious and tenacious war effort of the Vietnamese. It is possible for the daring to get down and dirty and experience the tunnels for yourself.
After breakfast we are transferred to Cantho, the economic centre of the Mekong Delta region. We reach the pier around noon and board our traditional style wooden boat for a refreshing welcome drink. We lift anchor and a delicious local lunch is served. Now we can sit back and relax and watch as we drift past scenes of everyday life in the Delta.
The Mekong Delta is an incredible part of the country, so different to anywhere else in Vietnam. Lusciously green and fertile this is the “Land of the Nine Dragons”, a name that refers to the 9 rivers that form the delta. It’s the rice bowl of the country and produces enough rice annually to feed the entire nation. Fruits, vegetable and fish are all major produce here keeping the locals constantly busy, however, the people from the delta are among the most laid back and friendliest in Vietnam.
In the afternoon we disembark for a gentle stroll on one of the Mekong islands, we’ll pass through villages and visit a fruit orchard for exotic fruit, a cup of tea and a chat with the friendly owner. Once back on board the sun deck is the place to be with a cocktail as the sunsets into a backdrop of verdant rice fields, palms trees and reflections. Then it’s time for dinner.
We rise early this morning and head off for a sunrise cruise. The locals are up way before the sun and this is the perfect time to observe people as they get stuck into their daily chores. Local women dry fruit at the waters edge, children run giggling on their way to school and men work in ship yards building and repairing all manner of boats. After breakfast we board small traditional sampans to explore the floating market of Cai Be, one of the most interesting in the Delta. We board similar sampans a little later to penetrate some of the smaller more atmospheric waterways. Here we can see local homes, and verdant fruit orchards. Alternatively, take one of the bikes on the boat and go to meet the locals during a leisurely cycle on one of the islands. We moor close to Tra Island for the night. A drink on deck under the stars is the perfect end to a perfect day!
This morning we visit the famous floating market of Cai Rang, this is the Delta’s largest floating market and people come to buy fruit and vegetables in bulk. It’s a blur of boats, conical hats and goods raised on bamboo poles to advertise what is being sold. A spectacle not to be missed! We then return to Cantho.. Here we say our thank you and farewell to our wonderful crew. We board a flight to island paradise of Phu Quoc. The afternoon is left free for your personal relaxation on a beautiful white sand beach.
Phu Quoc is a huge mountainous and forested island that boasts several beautiful, un-spoilt white sand beaches. The island boasts some wonderful resorts to suit all tastes. There is a large local population on the island and it is dotted with colorful fishing villages and small towns and fishing villages. Phu Quoc produces large amounts of black pepper and is famous for its Nouc Mam (fish sauce), which is said to be the finest in Vietnam. Today you are free to enjoy one of the many fine beaches, or if you are interested in underwater life there are diving and snorkeling options also (Nov-May).
Another wonderful day at leisure on this beautiful island. Most hotels organize boat trips or you may like to visit the Fish Sauce Factory to see one of Vietnam’s most important ingredients being made. Or you may like to explore the island and some of its other beaches. This can be done by motorbike, hire car or taxi. Alternatively, find your favorite spot, a good book and a long cool drink and simply relax! In the evening you may like to venture to the Night Food Market, all kinds of food are on offer and your will meet plenty of other tourists and friendly Vietnamese who can help you order the most delicious last evening meal!
Depending on your travel plans, we can organize flights back to Saigon for any connecting flight. Or you can easily combine this tour with a Cambodia extension taking the Mekong River Ferry from nearby Chau Doc on the mainland.