Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
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Approximately 8 hours
This full-day excursion offers an in-depth foray into the Mekong River Delta, home to more than 25 million people. Considered one of the great rivers of the world, the Mekong flows 2,790 miles to the South China Sea. In Vietnam, the rich river delta is a patchwork of brilliant green rice paddies, fields of sugarcane, and orchards of bananas, coconuts and mangos.
From the port, you'll drive by van past farming communities before arriving at one of the river's nine branches, Cai Be. After the two-hour drive, take a short break to stretch your legs before boarding a long boat, covered overhead and open on the sides. Sit back and relax as you cruise the canals through natural greenery, passing villages and homes fronting the waterways.
Stop at the Cai Be floating market, where boats filled with fruits, vegetables and other products gather on the river waiting for traders and customers.
Cross the Mekong River to Binh Hoa Phuoc village to visit a local farmer's house. Stroll through a garden of flowers and fruit trees, and safely enjoy the local fruits and tea while mingling with your host and his family.
Proceed to a workshop where rice or corn is popped in a huge iron vat filled with blackened sand; then sweetened with honey, sugar and peanuts. Try a few samples, before relaxing over lunch of Mekong fried fish and other Vietnamese delicacies at the Mekong River Resort.
Well rested, re-board your transportation for the journey back to the pier.
Please note: The "floating Market" in Cai Be is where the trade boats of farmers gather to sell their farm products. It is not a large floating market as in Thailand or at another province. On some occasions, the trader boats may not be present. Due to the change of tides, the cruise might take place in the small canals or on the Mekong River only.
Travel time to the Mekong Delta is approximately two to two and a half hours each way, or longer depending on traffic conditions.