The Mekong Delta
4 days / 3 nights
Day 1: Vietnam's 'rice-bowl' the Mekong Delta is a rich fertile region of flat farmland interlaced with thousands of waterways and tributaries of the mighty Mekong. The river provides a lifelong flurry of activity and commerce among its waters and is interspersed with seemingly endless rice fields, colorful floating markets, isolated villages accessed only by boat, and a populace of constantly smiling people. From Saigon, journey south to the Mekong River town of Cai Be, board a motorized sampan cruising across the upper reach of the river to a maze of tributaries and fruit plantations. Barges ply the route, overloaded with rice husks used as fuel for the regions numerous brick kilns. Enjoy lunch at a local farmer's home before rejoining your craft for the leisurely cruise to Vinh Long. From here, transfer by car and ferry to the Delta's economic hub city of Can Tho.
Day 2: Early this morning cruise to Cai Rang, a bustling market town. Enjoy a sampan ride through the colorful congestion of women and children jostling for space and vying to sell their wares. Visit the Khmer monastery of Kh'leng". Inhabited by a group of young Buddhist monks, the temple is a learning center for the many members of Khmer race that have remained here for centuries. The monks study English and Vietnamese within the grounds, and are keen to talk to foreign visitors.
Day 3: Transfer to the town of Chau Doc with a visit to Bang Lang Stork garden and Binh Thuy Ancient house en-route. Visit Sam Mountain, a popular pilgrimage Centre for many Vietnamese and home to a collection of ornate and colorful temples and pagodas. The Mekong River in this area is decorated with hundreds of floating homes, each a self-contained farm, where local families raise and sell fish to passing boats.
Day 4: Return to Saigon or continue by ferry to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.