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Southeast Asia

9-Day South Vietnam: In Depth

South Vietnam: In Depth -- Trip Photo of Southeast Asia tour  Southeast Asia map

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Itinerary

Day 1 : Ho Chi Minh City Arrival

Visiting: Saigon, Vietnam

Welcome to Vietnam! Upon arrival to Ho Chi Minh City Tan Son Nhat Airport, your driver and guide will meet you and they will transfer you to your hotel. Check-in and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Official check-in time: 14:00PM

  • Meals:
  • Standard Lodging: Ruby River Hotel, Deluxe room
  • Luxury Lodging: EdenStar Hotel, Deluxe room

Day 2 : Explore Ho Chi Minh City

Visiting: Saigon, Vietnam

Our sight-seeing excursion in Saigon offers you a great glimpse into the country‘s most dynamic city – a vital economic hub with bustling life. Saigon is the reconciliation between American and Chinese influence, with many dots of modernity yet without losing Vietnamese traits. Modern office skyscrapers, amidst Chinese style pagodas and food stalls, street vendors along the street, they all create a dynamic urban area in a very traditionally modern sense.

In the morning, we’ll start the trip by heading to China Town and visit Binh Tay Market, stop over at Thien Hau, a 150 year old Chinese Temple, followed by the remarkable War Remnants Museum.

Lunch will be at a local restaurant (on own)

In the afternoon, visit the Reunification Palace, followed by an exploration of the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the historic, beautiful Central Post Office, maybe the finest working post office in the world. End the trip with a visit to Ben Thanh Market for people watching and fun bargaining practice.

  • Meals: B
  • Standard Lodging: Ruby River Hotel, Deluxe room
  • Luxury Lodging: EdenStar Hotel, Deluxe room

Day 3 : Travel Ho Chi Minh City – Ben Tre – Cho Lach

Visiting: Cho Lach, Vietnam

After breakfast, we'll head to serene Ben Tre. On arrival, enjoy a boat cruise along the river which is a branch of the mighty Mekong. Along the way today, we'll take a short walk through various local workplaces where people live out their daily lives. We'll visit an important local brick kiln, the local fruit orchards, a coconut candy workshop and a number of other local cottage industries.

The boat will then stop at a quiet village where we'll enjoy another walk and stroll through the village, including a visit a mat weaving house, where straw mats are woven by hand – you can even try weaving yourself. At noon, we'll take a xe loi (a kind of motorized rickshaw) to a riverside local restaurant for lunch (included).

After lunch, it’s time to board a sampan - a traditional river boat - for a relaxing trip along narrow canals. We'll disembark downstream and pick up your bike and start (easy) cycling through the orchards to colorful Mr. Khanh’s house. Khanh is a passionate antiques collector and his house is full of fascinating artifacts from Vietnam and many other places in Asia. He also has some fascinating family albums dating back to French colonial time. You will then get on your bike and cycle back to the river to board your boat and return to the dock.

When the tour finishes, we'll head on toward your Cho Lach homestay for check-in. Here enjoy the rest of day free at leisure hanging out with the locals and seeing daily life.

  • Meals: BL
  • Budget Lodging: Cho Lach Homestay

Day 4 : Culture and countryside of South Vietnam

Visiting: Soc Trang, Vietnam

After breakfast, enjoy a leisure, sunny bicycle ride in the countryside and visit the local market of Cho Lach, where you'll discover a lush fruit garden and meet a local arborist. He'll explain his work and daily life. Lunch will take place at a local house with homemade meals (included).

In the afternoon, we will head towards Soc Trang, check in hotel and enjoy the rest of day free at leisure. If you're interested, try to visit Chua Dat Set pagoda, loaded with brightly painted clay statues of the Buddha.

  • Meals: BL
  • Standard Lodging: Que Toi Hotel, Deluxe room

Day 5 : Nga Nam Floating Market and Pagodas / Can Tho

Visiting: Can Tho, Vietnam

Early this morning (4:30 am), your guide and driver will pick you up and together depart to Nga Nam, a fantastic traditional floating market. Nga Nam market is special because it is the convergent point of five rivers which flow into five different directions: onto Ca Mau, down from Phung Hien, through to Thanh Tri, in from Vinh Quoi and across from Long My – and so it acquires its particular name “Nga Nam”. Nga Nam is less well-known as some other floating market like Cai Rang and Cai Be. This helps the floating market at Nga Nam retain its traditional beauty it's enjoyed for hundreds of years.

On the way you will visit Chen Kieu pagoda (Pagoda of Decorative Bowls) with thousands of bowls of all sizes attached to its roof, walls and pillars. Then we'll head towards Mat house, a characteristic style of the ancient Khmers and the unique funeral house that was built by family with thousands of Buddhas on the roof grave.

After lunch (on own), we'll visit Ma Toc Pagoda (Bats Pagoda) which is known for its architecture, an ancient Buddha and a number of Buddhist books written on sugar palm leaves. However, its main claim to fame is the presence of a thousands of fruit bats. These bats have wingspans of more than a meter and roost in the trees behind the pagoda, resembling large ripe pears as they hang upside down from the upper branches.

After our visit, we'll drive to Can Tho after visiting the 4 faces Buddhas pagoda with handicraft villages (painting on glass) and colonial houses.

On arrival to Can Tho, check into the hotel and enjoy some free time to relax.

  • Meals: B
  • Standard Lodging: Hau Giang Hotel, Superior room
  • Luxury Lodging: Nam Bo Boutique Hotel, Junior Suite room

Day 6 : Delta explorations / Speedboat transfer across the sea to Phu Quoc

Visiting: Phu Quoc, Vietnam

After an early breakfast we'll board our local boat to visit the Cai Rang Floating Market, the most famous floating market of the Mekong Delta. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and the bustling activity of the market. We'll further venture through small canals visiting a rice husking mill and a shop where rice noodles are being produced.

Next, you'll head toward Rach Gia for your speedboat transfer across the sea by speed boat to your gorgeous beach destination, the island of Phu Quoc (approximately 2.5 hours).

On arrival in beautiful Phu Quoc, meet the driver and car waiting for you at the dock. Transfer to the resort for check-in. The balance of the today is free at leisure to enjoy the beach.

  • Meals: B
  • Standard Lodging: Arcadia Phu Quoc Resort, Deluxe room
  • Luxury Lodging: Mercure Phu Quoc Resort, Superior room

Day 7 : Free day on the beach

Visiting: Phu Quoc, Vietnam

All day is free to enjoy the beach. Alternatively, we can reserve a fun snorkeling trip for you today. The rate is US$80/person.

From November to April, snorkeling is enjoyed in North Phu Quoc Island however the south end of the island has snorkeling trips year-round. Let us know if you are interested and we can send you more details.

  • Meals: B
  • Standard Lodging: Arcadia Phu Quoc Resort, Deluxe room
  • Luxury Lodging: Mercure Phu Quoc Resort, Superior room

Day 8 : Free day on the beach

Visiting: Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Enjoy a full day free at leisure.

  • Meals: B
  • Standard Lodging: Arcadia Phu Quoc Resort, Deluxe room
  • Luxury Lodging: Mercure Phu Quoc Resort, Superior room

Day 9 : Transfer to airport / Depart

Visiting: Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Free time at leisure until it’s time for your transfer to the Phu Quoc airport. Most travelers may want to fly to Ho Chi Minh City for the international departure but there are also flights back to Hanoi. There, connect with your flight onwards to either home or your next destination (Angkor Wat is right next door).

  • Meals: B

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