The south of Vietnam enjoys a culture distinctly different from the rest of the country. Exploration of the Mekong Delta, from your base in Ho Chi Minh City, offers insight into an agrarian culture that is quickly modernizing, while remaining true to its history. This itinerary also offers a look into contemporary Vietnamese culture with an art tour through galleries in the City, as well as a street food tour. After the cultural education, jet off to Nha Trang to spend a few lazy days snorkeling and lounging on the beach.
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.
While much of Vietnam is set in its traditions, and content to live life at a slower pace, HCMC is where the nation's urban warriors congregate to work hard and play harder. The city that some still call Saigon has been the driving force leading Vietnam into the 21st century, and the result is a whirlpool of activity that one cannot help but be swept into. Remnants of Vietnam's history pockmark the city, creating a charming contrast of old and new.
Around 8:30am your driver will pick you up and take you to the meeting point. The first stop on the tour is a private collection of houses with colonial era artworks. Using visual aids, you will see how European styles fused with traditional Vietnamese materials to give birth to modern Vietnamese art. Guests are then driven to the next gallery, a space connected to the largest private collection of propaganda art in Vietnam. Here they will learn about how propaganda was produced and distributed during the war and how it was influenced by China and Russia.
The tour continues to HCMC Fine Arts Museum, an impressive example of Sino-French Architecture; where guests will be able to look at the work of wartime artists. These sketches demonstrate how artists have been essential tools of government, in resistance, revolution and reconstruction of a nation. The Fine Art Museum also houses modern works by Northern and Southern artists. Guests will be invited to see the difference between pre and post re-unification artworks and also learn how politics lead to Vietnam’s 90’s art market boom.
The last stop is one of the city’s leading contemporary art galleries which houses changing exhibitions of works by Vietnamese and international artists. Guests will learn how these spaces are nurturing experimentation and creating opportunities for emerging artists. Here the future of Vietnamese art and the next generation of Vietnamese artists are discussed in an international context. This tour is the result of extensive research and collaboration with renowned researchers, historians, artists, gallery owners, curators and collectors.
At noon we will stop for lunch on your own at a local restaurant. After lunch, we will head towards the famous Cu Chi tunnels. The tunnels are 75 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, in an area that played an important role during Vietnam's wars for independence and reunification. More than 200 km of tunnels were built here by the Vietnamese guerrillas
After breakfast, you will head towards Ben Tre. Upon arrival, enjoy a boat cruise along the river which is a branch of the Mekong. We will start the day taking a short walk through various local workplaces where you will be able to picture how local people work. We will also visit the brick kiln, the fruit orchards, a coconut candy workshop and other local cottage industries.
The boat will then stop at a quiet village where you may have a short walk and experience the village life, visit a mat weaving house, where straw mats are woven by hand – you can even try weaving yourself. At noon, you will take a xe loi (a kind of motorized rickshaw) to a riverside local restaurant for lunch.
After lunch, it’s time to board a sampan for a relaxing trip along narrow canals. Later, you will pick up your bike and start cycling through the orchards to 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, you will head towards Cho Lach Homestay for check-in and enjoy the rest of day free at leisure.
After breakfast, enjoy bicycle ride in the countryside and visit the local market of Cho Lach, where you will discover fruit garden and you will meet a local arborist. He will explain to you his work and his daily life. Lunch will take place at a local house with homemade meals.
In the afternoon, we will head towards Soc Trang, check in hotel and enjoy the rest of day free at leisure.
In the very early morning (4:30 am), your guide and driver will pick you up and depart to Nga Nam floating market. Nga Nam market in Soc Trang province 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 not being well-known like other floating market like Cai Rang, Cai Be. This helps floating market Nga Nam retains its wild beautiful from the hundreds 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. Next, you will head towards Mat house, a characteristic of the Khmers and the unique funeral house that was built by family with thousands of Buddha on roof grave.
After lunch on own, you will 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 large numbers 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.
We will later drive to Can Tho after visiting the 4 faces Buddhas pagoda with handicraft villages (painting on glass) and colonial houses.
Upon arrival to Can Tho, check in hotel and enjoy your free time to relax.
After an early breakfast we will board our local boats 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 will further venture through small canals visiting a rice husking mill and a shop where rice noodles are being produced. At noon, we will have lunch at a local restaurant on own.
When the tour finishes, you will head towards Ho Chi Minh City where you will have the rest of the evening free at your leisure.
The tour will start when your tour guide meets you at a place specified by you at 5:30pm. Each of our guests receives a friendly personal English speaking tour guide who is both licensed and trained. You will then be given safety instructions on how to ride on the back of a bike properly in order to ensure the safest experience.
The first part of the tour features three diverse street vendors where you will get to sample some of the many foods that they offer and learn about the history and cultural significance of each dish. Your guide will explain the many different sights that you will pass along the way as we travel to the different street vendors spread throughout Saigon. We will then take you to a night market where you will have a chance to sample more foods and snacks as well as the many exotic fruits found in Vietnam.
Your personal tour guide will also assist you with any purchases you wish to make. Our tour ends with one the most popular Vietnamese food traditions; “The Street Barbeque.” Here you will get a chance to gorge yourself on as many different kinds of foods as you can eat. As long as you keep eating, we will keep ordering. In addition, you will have the option of sampling some of Vietnam’s famous rice wine including snake wine, ginseng wine and goat wine. At the end of the night (around 22pm) when you have eaten your fill we will drop you back at your hotel. Our tour is designed to give you a taste of as many different kinds of food as possible and is suitable for all travelers to Vietnam.
After breakfast, you will be free at your own leisure until your driver picks you up and transfers you to Tan Son Nhat Airport for your flight to Nha Trang.
Upon arrival, you will be transferred to hotel for check-in and enjoy the rest of day free at leisure.
Nha Trang's tropical days flow directly into party fueled nights, and the cycle continues through most of the year. A gentle ridge of hills frames a crystal blue bay, and the resorts, restaurants, bars spas and shops are sprinkled throughout. Whereas the rest of your trip to Vietnam can still be an adventure, Nha Trang is your chance to enjoy a laid back vacation in every sense of the word.
At 8am, your guide and driver will pick you up and they will transfer you to Cau Da Port, where your journey visiting beautiful islands in Nha Trang Bay will start. First, we will visit Mun Island where we will do some snorkeling on the amazing coral reefs covered with multicolored fishes. We will then explore Mot Island where we will also snorkel for a while. You can also do some fishing with the crew or relax on board. At noon we will stop at Con Se Tre Island where we will explore the village and have lunch. After relaxing for a while in the beach, we will start heading to Tri Nguyen Aquarium where you will be able to learn about the life of marine creatures under water.
Around 4pm, we will start heading back to the pier and you will be then transfer to your hotel.
Enjoy this free day at your leisure.
After an early breakfast, your driver will pick you up and transfer you to Cam Ranh Airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City.
Upon arrival to Tan Son Nhat Airport, you will take international flight to back home.
Villa Song Saigon (Saigon River Villa), a 23-room boutique hotel located on the banks of the Saigon River, offers luxuriously appointed rooms and suites decorated with unique pieces of art and photography. No two rooms are alike with every room having its own individual characteristics and charm. All rates are inclusive of a complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi Internet access, a mini bar, and a boat shuttle from its own private pier straight into the heart of District 1. All Art Suites have Nespresso machines and Apple TVs as well. Bistro Song Vie is the villa's restaurant, and it offers an eclectic International menu focusing on traditional Vietnamese, Asian, and Western dishes. The villa also offers two private meeting rooms. Gardens and outdoor areas are also ideal for intimate weddings, family gatherings, and special events. Villa Song Saigon (Saigon River Villa) is also the only boutique hotel in District 2 that has a 30-meter long outdoor swimming pool, a gym, plus its own in house spa offering a range of therapies and treatments from professional manicures to revitalizing body wraps.
You will spend the night in a traditional house with a local family.
When visiting Soc Trang, you'll feel right at home at Que Toi Hotel, which offers quality accommodation and great service. Only 3.1 km from the city center, the hotel's strategic location ensures that guests can quickly and easily reach many local points of interest. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations.
Sitting in the middle of Ninh Kieu pier - the leafy hub of Can Tho, right next to the Mekong River - the boutique Nam Bo hotel offers wonderful views of the river, and excellent access to the Delta via the nearby water transport connections. Accommodation consists of seven unique suites, each with a lounge area, separate bathroom and all the latest amenities. Rooms are finished in a French Colonial style, with high ceilings and Vietnamese furnishings and artwork. The effect is somehow swanky but home-like, making it a good choice for families. We particularly enjoyed the impressive breakfast menu, served on the roof (or in your suite) and the hotel's two well-received restaurants. The Nam Bo restaurant downstairs focuses on classic Vietnamese cuisine, while the roof-top L'Escale serves a high end European menu, complemented by an enticing wine cellar, and beautiful sunset views across the water.
Nestled in the mountain pass between Cam Ranh Airport and Nha Trang, on the slopes surrounded by pristine aquamarine waters, lies the beautiful Mia Nha Trang resort. Powdery white beaches and crystal clear water lap the private beach that the resort is set on. Indigenous gardens filled with the scent of frangipani mixed with fresh sea air make for a rejuvenating experience. Based on eco-friendly principles, Mia boasts rooftops studded with manicured grass and shrubs instead of tiles or differing roof coverings, enhancing the environmental appeal.