Travel ▻ Southeast Asia ▻ Vietnam9-Day South Vietnam: In-Depth
9-Day South Vietnam: In-Depth

9-Day South Vietnam: In-Depth

9 days

9-Day South Vietnam: In-Depth
from $1345 USD

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For travelers seeking some quality beach time plus a quieter, personal look deep into the traditional river cultures of Southeast Asia, our "South Vietnam: In Depth" tour beckons!

On this special trip, we explore the proud, deep traditional ways of life in the south, enjoying countless encounters with gentle genuine people living on the land and rivers, the lifeblood of the region.

As a stark and colorful contrast, we also tour bustling Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), the gateway for this trip. Saigon is a fascinating mix of Chinese and Vietnamese cultures, and is the undisputed economic hub for the country.

We wrap up the tour with relaxing days on the beautiful beach island of Phu Quoc. You're welcome to add days here if you'd like even more beach time.

You can request hotel upgrades, as especially in Saigon, refined 4 and 5-star options are available.

One easy way to extend your trip is to visit regal Angkor Wat, situated nearby in Siem Reap, Cambodia, just over the border and a quick flight from Saigon, on a quick 2 or 3 night extension.

The best time of year for this trip is November through May, the dry season and the time we see the calmest seas.

Full Itinerary expand all collapse all

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City Arrival

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 included: n/a
Mid-Range Accommodations: Lavender Boutique Hotel, Premier room

Day 2: Explore Ho Chi Minh City

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 day with a visit to Ben Thanh Market for people watching and fun bargaining practice.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Mid-Range Accommodations: Lavender Boutique Hotel, Premier room

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

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 to 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 included: Breakfast, Lunch
Mid-Range Accommodations: Cho Lach Homestay

Day 4: Culture and countryside of South Vietnam

After breakfast, enjoy a leisurely, 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 included: Breakfast, Lunch
Mid-Range Accommodations: Que Toi Hotel, Deluxe room

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

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 has 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 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 included: Breakfast
Mid-Range Accommodations: Victoria Can Tho resort, Superior room

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

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 produced.

Next, you'll head toward Rach Gia for your speedboat transfer across the sea 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 included: Breakfast
Mid-Range Accommodations: Cassia Cottage Phu Quoc Resort, Modern Deluxe room

Day 7: Free day on the beach

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 included: Breakfast
Mid-Range Accommodations: Cassia Cottage Phu Quoc Resort, Modern Deluxe room

Day 8: Free day on the beach

Enjoy a full day at leisure.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 9: Transfer to airport / Depart

Free time at leisure until it’s time for your transfer to the Phu Quoc airport. Most travelers 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 included: Breakfast

Pricing

9-Day South Vietnam: In-Depth
from $1345 USD

NOTE: Prices are per person in U.S. dollars based on double/triple occupancy. All quotations are based on the current rates of park fees, VAT, other government taxes, and current exchange rates. Should any of these be increased or a new tax introduced, these increases will be added on even if your trip has already been paid for.

INCLUDES:
  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary
EXCLUDES:
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Optional tours
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)
  • Low season price break (June-September): $50/person

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