Saigon and the Mekong


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ITINERARY:

Day 1:

Saigon:

Welcome to Vietnam and the start of your mini adventure. Now formerly known as Ho Chi Minh City, the original ‘Pearl of the Orient’ is a bustling metropolis with bundles of history seen in the fascinating museums and the patchwork of buildings that line the streets.

On your arrival at Saigon’s international airport you will be met by our local representative and transferred to your hotel for check in (available from 2pm onwards) with the remainder of the day free.

Overnight in Saigon.

Day 2

Saigon City Tour (B)

With the services of a knowledgeable English-speaking local guide, spend the day touring Saigon’s most famous attractions, kicking off with the Reunification Palace, the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War and now a museum and venue for official receptions. You can visit the War Room from where the South Vietnamese forces were controlled, and most poignantly, the room where the North Vietnamese army took official control in 1975. Nearby stands the 19th century Notre Dame Cathedral, a major centre of Catholicism in modern Vietnam and one of the city’s major landmarks. Next to the cathedral stands the Saigon Post Office, a classic French colonial structure with huge ceilings that still functions as a post office today.

Finally head to Ben Thanh Market, packed to the rafters with everything from fruits to nuts, tourist kitsch to true bargains – it’s the perfect place to pick up souvenirs for friends and family back home. In the evening take a walking tour of the city’s popular Pho Tay (“Streets of Foreigners”) area where you can sample the unique flavors of south Vietnamese gastronomy including Hu Tieu – pork noodle soup, and Banh Xeo – savory fried pancakes. End the day with a cold beverage watching the world go by from one of the many streetside cafes and bars.

Overnight in Saigon.

Day 3

Saigon –Mekong Delta (B,L)

This morning travel to the Mekong Delta for a day exploring the many waterways and local cottage industries. Travel by road to Ben Tre where you’ll embark on a river boat trip making a stop at a brickwork factory to see how bricks are traditionally made from molded clay. Next visit a coconut processing workshop located along the canal and a family workshop run by women making sleep mats. There’ll be the chance to enjoy fruit and tea, and chat with the locals.

Leaving the canals behind take a motor cart (xe lôi) ride on shady roads, passing by rice fields and vegetable plains where farmers tend their crops. Enjoy a home-cooked lunch with a local family in Ben Tre before returning to the waters in a row boat leisurely cruising along palm-fringed creeks. Later return to the pier where a car will be waiting to return you back to Saigon.

Overnight in Saigon.

Day 4

Saigon (B)

Final day in Saigon:

Today marks the end of touring arrangements and you are free to make your own way to the airport for your onward departure flight.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:

Saigon – now known as Ho Chi Minh City and a thriving metropolis in south Vietnam

Ben Thanh Market – the city’s largest shopping destination and perfect for souvenirs

Reunification Palace – important landmark that witnessed the end of the Vietnam War

Mekong Delta – cruising the waterways on row boats and visiting cottage industries

INCLUDED:

Breakfast daily and 1 lunch

Guided sightseeing on days 2 and 3 conducted by an English-speaking local guide

Entrance fees to included sites

3 nights superior hotel (standard and deluxe options available)

Airport arrival transfer on day 1

All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles

NOT INCLUDED:

International flights and visa

Laundry, drinks, items of a personal nature

Tipping – an entirely personal gesture


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