SOUTH VIETNAM EXPERIENCE
In this trip, you will enjoy a mix of activities- from a cyclo tour of Saigon, have chance to experience local culture, explore Mekong beauty on an overnight cruise through waterway then hike in Dalat’s highlands, appreciating Vietnam’s beautiful landscapes.
Route: Ho Chi Minh – Cai Be – Can Tho – Ho Chi Minh – Da Lat – Nha Trang – Ho Chi Minh
Upon arrival to Ho Chi Minh City, you will be warmly welcome by Lighten Travel staff and transfer to the hotel for check in. After checking in, enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure to relax at the hotel or explore the city independently. At dinner time, you will be pick up for welcome dinner at a nice local restaurant. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Ho Chi Minh City is a destination rich in activities that will keep all members of the family entertained. Begin the 9-day tour with a 1.5 hour drive to Cu Chi for exploration of its infamous tunnels (as an optional extra the return journey can be taken by speedboat along the Saigon River). The famous Cu Chi Tunnels consist of an incredible underground network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters (Viet Cong) during both the French and American wars. Visitors can crawl through the tunnels, learning about how the soldiers and their families lived during wartime periods.
Return to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon for a special tour of Cho Lon, the city’s Chinatown district. Travel by xe lam, local trucks with long benches in the back perfect for zipping around the city. During the tour, discover the markets and shops of the area, and also the Cantonese Thien Hau Pagoda. Here children can light some incense coils that can burn up to 10 days and make a wish at the same time.
At the end of the day, return to the hotel late this afternoon for a chance to relax.
This evening have dinner at a popular BBQ restaurant for a ‘grill your own meal’. The whole family will join in, preparing their own food in the lively atmosphere. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
This morning, leave bustling Ho Chi Minh for the 2.5-hour drive to the delta town of Cai Be. The brilliant colors and bustling markets of the Mekong Delta will delight kids as well as adults.
Arrive in Cai Be at noon, then board the Bassac. A welcome drink will be given on arrival followed by an introduction to the ship and crew. Depart towards Cho Lach on the Tien Giang River and enjoy lunch on the upper deck while en route. Rest on the deck while the ship branches into the Cho Lach Canal for 30 minutes through the traffic of sand and rice barges, passing fruit drying facilities and around wooden ship building yards.
Visit a village on the banks of river Mang Thít to soak in the way of life here in the Delta. There will also be a chance to visit one of the orchards or rice fields nearby.
Back on board the Bassac a complimentary drink will be served; sit back and enjoy the sunset overlooking the Mekong’s magical waterways.
Dinner will be served whilst the Bassac cruises the Mang Thit River towards the Bassac’s anchorage point for the night, downstream from the little market of Tra On. Overnight aboard the Bassac Boat.
Begin the day with a delicious breakfast while the boat cruises towards Can Tho. Upon arrival to Can Tho, check out of the cabin and transfer onto a local boat to visit the Cai Rang floating market.
Cruise through the floating market which bustles with wholesalers on large vessels. Here, during the early morning market hours, larger sized boats anchor and create lanes that smaller boats weave in and out of. The main items sold here are fruit and vegetables, with each boat advertising their goods for sale on long, upright poles at the ship’s bow. The waterway becomes a maze of boats packed with mango, bananas, papaya, pineapple, and even floating pho vendors.
Return to land and have lunch in Can Tho.
This afternoon, spend time cycling around the quiet laneways and dirt paths of Can Tho. Biking is the perfect way to discover the countryside with the family. The roads are flat and the sites are amazing: cottage industries, small farms harvesting or planting rice, hidden temples and lots of friendly locals who will come out to interact. Overnight in Can Tho.
After breakfast, resume the drive back to Ho Chi Minh City (the journey takes about 4-hours). Upon reaching Ho Chi Minh City, our guide and driver will provide transport to the hotel. The remainder of the day is free at leisure. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Begin the morning with an early flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Dalat. Dalat was a popular hill station retreat during French Colonial times and since then has been a popular destination for domestic tourists. Dalat is known as the ‘City of Eternal Spring’ for its cool climate and rich variety of agricultural produce (including coffee, vegetables and flowers.) The surrounding region is flush with mountains, waterfalls and pine forests. Upon arrival, our guide and driver will provide transport to the hotel for a check in and a short rest.
Today enjoy discovering the fresh air and countryside of Dalat on foot. Start hiking along locally cut trails meandering along pine trees. The trail ultimately leads to the stunning Tiger Waterfall. Continue on to the Phoenix Waterfall flowing slowly through colossal old trees. The river that feeds the falls is the main source for water supplying the coffee and vegetable farms of the area.
After crossing the hill, stop to visit Lieng Tro, a local minority village, for a first hand-look at their daily activities. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the top of the hill with fantastic views of the river rushing along the beautiful valley. After lunch, follow trails down the hill and enjoy the adventurous feeling of crossing hanging bridges. Kindly note that the trekking route and distance may be adjusted depending on weather conditions as well as the age of the children and fitness and energy levels.
Return to the hotel. The remainder of this evening are at leisure. Overnight in Dalat.
This morning enjoy a cycling excursion to discover more of the scenic Dalat countryside. After breakfast, our private vehicle and guide will provide pick up around 09:00 for the transfer to the biking starting point. Begin cycling for a stretch of approximately 7 km with fantastic views of Xuan Huong Lake and Victory Lake. Continue to cycle through the hilly pine forest to the top of the mountain to catch the endless green forest near the Valley of Love. Enjoy a picnic lunch here with breads, typical fresh fruits and vegetables of Dalat. Kindly note that the cycling distance and route can be adjusted depending on weather conditions as well as the age of the children and fitness and energy levels.
After lunch, bike back to the starting point and then transfer approximately 3 hours by road to Nha Trang city, located on the coast.
The remainder of today and this evening are at leisure. Overnight in Nha Trang.
Start from your hotel to Cau Da port. Tri Nguyen Aquarium on Mieu Island is the first place to visit, many sea species of Nha Trang/Khanh Hoa province make a small ocean world there. Mun Island is the best island for snorkeling where you can see lots of lives colorful corals and fish. You will also be able to see caves in which the sea swallows make their nests from the boat. Then relaxing, swimming & doing water sports or other activities at Mot Island, Tranh Beach Island or on a small island calling “Mini beach”. Taking a fresh lunch at the island. On the way back you will visit a fishing village before going to the shore for transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Nha Trang.
This morning our driver will pick up you to Nha Trang’s airport for the flight south to Ho Chi Minh City. From Ho Chi Minh’s Tan Son Nhat, catch the departing flight. End of great holiday.
- Private tours with Experienced Englishspeaking guide
- Private A/C transport throughout the tours
- Entrance fee to any applicable tourist sites
- Meals as indicated in the program
- Cruise program
- Cold water and towel during the trip
- Government tax & Service charge
- Compulsory Gala Dinner on 24 Dec and 31 Dec
- Any flights
- Other meals not mentioned
- Tips & personal expenses
- Other not stated above
- Travel insurance