The Mekong Delta
Travel from Saigon through the myriad waterways of the picturesque Mekong Delta and up the Mekong by boat to Cambodia's vibrant capital, Phnom Penh
1-week Vietnam and Cambodia Tour
Our Vietnam and Cambodia tour, The Mekong Delta, is an exciting 1-week tour taking you overland and upriver through southern Vietnam and the picturesque delta region of Southeast Asia’s greatest river.
The tour begins in Vietnam’s bustling Ho Chi Minh City, still more commonly known by most residents as Saigon, where we’ll explore some of the city’s sights, including markets, pagodas and historical sites, as well as discovering the vibrant street life and fabulous cuisine. From here we’ll head south, via the famous Vietcong tunnel systems at Cu Chi, to the picturesque and evocative Mekong Delta region.
Journey by boat and land through the maze of waterways with visits to traditional floating markets and check out local handicrafts, livelihoods and cottage industries. From the bustling river port of Chau Doc, we’ll continue our tour with a boat journey up the Mekong River itself to the chaotic but fascinating and fun Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.
This short Mekong Delta trip is designed as a stand-alone, 1-week tour although, for those with a bit more time to spare and wishing to see more of Cambodia, we offer a 12 day Saigon to Angkor tour travelling from Ho Chi Minh City through the Mekong Delta and upriver to Phnom Penh followed by an overland journey to the World Heritage-listed temples and ruined cities of Angkor, (Finishing at Siem Reap International Airport.) Alternatively, there’s a slightly longer, 2-week (15-day), version Vietnam and Cambodia Overland tour – also beginning in Saigon and travelling from the Mekong Delta to Angkor – but which then completes a loop by boat up the picturesque Sangkar River to Battambang Province before continuing by land to Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh.
Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.
Day 1 - Saigon - arrival and introductory walking tour
Morning check-in to your Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) hotel, with a leisurely, introductory walking tour to get a feel for this sometimes hectic, but always fascinating city. Explore the area, browse the markets or relax in cafes before a local-style welcome dinner.
Overnight: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) Transport: Walk, Meals: D,
Day 3 - Cai Be - the Cu Chi tunnels and on to the Delta
Departure from Saigon for a visit to the fascinating Vietcong tunnel system at Cu Chi before continuing south to the scenic riverside, Delta town of Cai Be with some free time to explore the area. Overnight in a converted, colonial-period villa on a river island near Cai Be Town.
Overnight: Cai Be Transport: Minibus, Boat, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 4 - Can Tho - the Mekong Delta
Morning visit to Cai Be’s traditional floating market from where we’ll continue by boat through the Delta’s myriad waterways, with stops to visit some of the region’s cottage industries and fruit farms. A fascinating canoe tour of the former Vietcong jungle base at Xe Quit is followed by a drive to Can Tho Town – with time at leisure to explore this friendly, riverside town or check-out the interesting Mekong Delta Museum?
Overnight: Can Tho Transport: Minibus, Boat, Meals: B, L,
Day 5 - Can Tho to Chau Doc - floating market and sacred mountain
Early morning boat ride to check out another floating market, – one of the busiest and most photogenic of the Delta’s – before heading west to the small riverside town of Chau Doc near the Cambodian border. Visit sacred Sam Mountain and its myriad shrines and temples for sunset and spectacular views.
Overnight: Chau Doc Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 6 - Phnom Penh - by river up the Mekong
Back on the Mekong for a morning departure by boat for Phnom Penh. Lunchtime arrival, and check-in to a small, comfortable, downtown hotel. Time to stretch our legs with an introductory walking tour, taking in the historic French Quarter and the lively waterfront area as well as giving you a feel for the bustling street-life, finishing perhaps, with sundowners at the famous Foreign Correspondents Club?
Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Boat, Walk, Meals: B, D,
Day 7 - Phnom Penh - morning at leisure and end of tour
Morning at leisure, relax by the pool, perhaps some last minute shopping or try out some spa treatments and end of tour.
Airport transfers are included if you purchase the ‘with flights’ package. If you purchased your own flights, airport transfers can be arranged.
Extra accommodation in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) before or Phnom Penh after your tour is available if required.
Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package.
Overnight: Departure Transport: Walk, Meals: B,
The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.
Just a few of the many highlights
Situated between the contrasting cities of Vietnam's Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and Cambodia's Phnom Penh, we'll discover the picturesque and evocative Mekong Delta by river, road and on foot
- Visit the markets, street-life, pagodas and famous sites during a fascinating tour of vibrant, bustling Saigon
- Travel by boat, checking out the fascinating, photogenic and still very traditional floating markets of the Mekong Delta
- Journey up the mighty Mekong River from Vietnam's border town of Chau Doc to Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh
- Go underground at the famous Cu Chi Tunnels - the vast, former underground Vietcong base
- Explore the picturesque labyrinth of waterways and islands with traditional villages, orchards and cottage industries
- Sample the region's awesome and highly varied cuisine with the emphasis as usual on the authentic local food
Air Departures (UK)
- 15 February 20 1,475 GBP
- 14 March 20 1,475 GBP
- 11 April 20 1,475 GBP
- 9 May 20 1,475 GBP
- 25 June 20 1,475 GBP
- 25 July 20 1,475 GBP
- 22 August 20 1,575 GBP
- 22 September 20 1,475 GBP
- 22 October 20 1,475 GBP
- 23 November 20 1,475 GBP
- 24 December 20 1,675 GBP
- 16 February 20 625 GBP
- 15 March 20 625 GBP
- 12 April 20 625 GBP
- 10 May 20 625 GBP
- 26 June 20 625 GBP
- 26 July 20 625 GBP
- 23 August 20 625 GBP
- 23 September 20 625 GBP
- 23 October 20 625 GBP
- 24 November 20 625 GBP
- 25 December 20 625 GBP
Guaranteed Places Left Special Price Solo Traveller Closed
*Air departures are from the UK. Land departures start from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh)
*Land departure dates correspond to the FIRST day of the itinerary.
We choose our hotels based on a combination of location, comfort and convenience. Here is a *selection of the types of hotel/rooms you can expect to stay at on this tour...
Sonnet Hotel, Saigon, (Ho Chi Minh City) view
- Smart, new and comfortable the friendly Sonnet Hotel
- Great location in the heart of Saigon City
- Convenient for our city tour as well as leisure time
Ba Duc Ancient House, Cai Be view
- Our night's accommodation on a Mekong Delta island
- A delightful old, converted French period villa
- Comfortable rooms and superb local cuisine
Kim Tho Hotel, Can Tho view
- Greta riverside location for the Kim Tho Hotel
- Our first choice in the Mekong Delta's Can Tho Town.
- Don't miss sundowners at their wonderful roof-top bar!
The 252, Phnom Penh view
- Small, boutique-style and low-key
- Quiet but central location near cafes and restaurants
- Garden setting with pool and cafe
Villa Langka, Phnom Penh view
- Lush garden setting with pool
- Very convenient central but quiet location
- Helpful, friendly and efficient staff
*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.
Visa Info & Notes
Cambodia: For the majority of nationalities a visa on arrival is issued at international airports and all land borders including arrival from Laos and the Mekong entry point from Vietnam. Visa fees and conditions are subject to change but are usually $30 payable in cash in US dollars although certain land crossings may cost a few extra dollars in random ‘service fees’. A passport photo is required. Tourist visas are issued for 30 days from date of entry into Cambodia.
When entering Cambodia make sure you get an entry stamp in your passport and keep your departure card.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Cambodia. You may be refused entry if your passport is damaged, in poor condition or does not have at least 2 blank pages remaining.
Vietnam: Visas are no longer required for citizens of some countries including France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the UK for single-entry visits of up to 15 days. For longer visits, and for visitors from some countries, a visa must be obtained before arrival in Vietnam. They are available from your nearest Vietnamese embassy at a cost of about £40 (c. $60). Further information, as well as e-visas on arrival, are available on the internet, for example, www.vietnam-visa.com or www.vietnam-immigration.org
Tipping: we recommend a kitty system for smaller, daily tips such as hotel/restaurant staff and local drivers but which could also include minor expenses such as group tea/coffee breaks etc. Amounts inevitably vary with group size but would generally be in the region of $2 per day or $30-$35 total per person for the 16-day tour. For your guide/tour-leader tip, who will accompany you for the duration of your tour, we’d recommend approximately $15-$20 per person total though of course, this is always discretionary and performance related.
Meals: breakfasts are generally hotel buffets with lunch and dinners based on local food. Vietnamese food obviously is based around rice and noodles, is generally mild and both vegetarians and vegans are very easily catered for. For any other likes and dislikes please remind your tour-leader at the start of the tour. A number of meals are not included, which allows you to ‘do your own thing’ or take a break if you’re feeling ‘riced out’.
Accommodation: all choices fall into the comfortable 3* range and are en-suite and air-conditioned. We have posted a selection of sample accommodation on the left-hand hotel tab but please note that as we try and avoid the larger hotels, availability, in high season particularly, means we use several options in each destination.
Activities: note that no activities are compulsory and that any offered can be tailored for various fitness levels or alternatives suggested.
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