Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City arrival (D, G). Arriving at Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. In the evening, you’ll have tickets for a performance of traditional Water Puppetry (an art form unique to northern Vietnam, and an interesting, light-hearted introduction to its rural culture), followed by a welcome dinner, before taken back to your hotel. You’ll spend the night in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City/My Tho/Ben Tre/Vinh Long (B, L, D, G). After breakfast, you’ll be picked up at your hotel at about eight o’clock to travel to My Tho. On arrival, you’ll board a boat to cruise on the Mekong River, then to Xep canal, where you’ll disembark and walk along a small village road to visit a dried Longan factory, fruit gardens and orchards. You’ll then take a ride in a horse and cart for about 2km to Quoi Son Village where you’ll visit local beekeepers on their farm. You’ll also have a chance to sample some of area’s tropical fruits, watch a traditional music show and ride on a sampan through the small canals before lunch. In the afternoon, you’ll drive further to Vinh Long where you’ll sleep in a family house.
Day 3: Vinh Long/Can Tho (B, L, G). In the morning, you'll pick up your bike(s) and ride along the shadowy zigzag road, passing villages, orchards, ancient houses and many bridges - some quite small and narrow. Later, a boat ride will take you to a traditional family-run brick kiln, and other traditional cottage industries - a workshop making the huge coffins unique to the Mekong is particularly interesting. In the afternoon, you’ll drive to Can Tho where you’ll spend the night.
Day 4: Can Tho (B, G). The day begins with a cruise to Cai Rang floating market on the Mekong Delta – both the journey and the market will provide deep insight into the Mekong rural lifestyle. The rest of the day will be free for relaxation.. You’ll spend the night in Can Tho.
Day 5: Can Tho/Ho Chi Minh City (B, G). After breakfast, you’ll be free until your driver and guide arrive at your resort to take you back to Chi Minh City where you’ll spend the night in a restored colonial building. You’ll have a private cook who will prepare the dinner for you in a cosy atmosphere. You’ll spend the night in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City/Dalat (B, L, D, G). After breakfast, you’ll be free until your car and driver arrive to take you to the airport for the flight to Dalat. Upon arrival, you’ll be met and driven to a local house where you’ll spend the night in the company of a local family. During the afternoon, you’ll visit Dalat market, followed by dinner.
Day 7: Dalat (B, L, D, G). In the morning, you’ll share in the experience of your local family hosts, caring for, planting and picking some of the produce. In the afternoon, you’ll ride on the back of a motorbike to explore Dalat. Your guide will take you to Linh Phuoc Pagoda, Emperor Bao Dai’s Summer Palace and the ‘Crazy House,’ imbibing the atmosphere of its curiously unconventional design. You’ll spend the night in Dalat.
Day 8: Hiking around Da Lat (B, L, D, G). After breakfast, you’ll drive along picturesque scenic roads to the famous ‘chicken village’, aptly named due to the large chicken statue in the centre of the township. The women of this minority village are famous for the bright designs of their fabric weaves. The first section of the trail passes through land farmed by small ethnic minority communities. You’ll hike between Elephant Mountain and another large peak from where you’ll have an overview of the agricultural scene of the valley floor.
Lunch will consist of some of Dalat’s tasty produce. After a breather, your path will take you through an abrupt change in scenery from brush to dense forest. The track follows rolling hills populated with broad-leafed trees and vines. If you’re lucky, you may see a wild orchid in bloom or perhaps a few monkeys. Leaving the forest, the path winds across a meadow towards Tuyen Lam Lake. Don’t be alarmed if you meet an elephant along the way - they live at the lake and are tame. You’ll finish your walk at a lakeside campsite, with time for a swim in the lake (weather permitting). In the late afternoon, you’ll drive back to your local house for overnight accommodation.
Day 9: Dalat/Ho Chi Minh City (B, DP). Your time will be your own until your private car and driver arrives to take you to the airport for your flight back to Ho Chi Minh City. When you arrive, a private car will be waiting to take you to your hotel in the city centre. After checking in, you’ll be free for a preliminary wander around District 1. Your overnight will be in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City departure (B, DP). Your time will be your own until your private car and driver arrives to take you to Tan Son Nhat airport for your departure flight. Trip ends.
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Asia Vietnam Local Culture Sightseeing
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