One of the world’s great rivers, the Mekong evokes images of calm and laid back aura…images that define Southeast Asia. Starting from the cold and high altitudes of the Himalayas it ventures through six countries and 4909 kilometers south, emptying into the South China Sea. This is where the majority of the program will take place, in the laid back, green, scenic and water world of the Mekong Delta. Here, the spirit of the river lives strong!
Head straight down there from Saigon. Your first stop, Cai Be. This is a great starting point for what’s to come, as the town’s mixed river-land nature and atmosphere should ease you in. You’ll visit the famous colorful floating market as well as the local cottage industries and be pampered with an insightful journey into the area’s numerous canals via the beautifully named Cai Be Princess boat.
Next up in your Mekong Delta experience is Can Tho, home to another locally popular floating market. You’ll arrive in the early morning. And during this time, larger boats anchor in, creating lanes in which smaller ones weave in and out of. This creates an interesting almost maze-line scene where hundreds of boats are moving in out and around trying to sell their stuff. These include fruits, snacks and even the famous pho soup. Try it here!
Can’t get enough of the Mekong Delta? Head over to Chau Doc. You’re approaching the Cambodian border, but we’re not headed there yet. Oh no, there’s still so much to explore and experience here. Check out the unique fish farms and visit a village of stilt houses belonging to the Cham minority. These guys’ ancestors were once proud rulers in southern and central Vietnam for more than a thousand years until 1832. A lot of their traditions still live on.
Spend your last evening in Vietnam at Sam Mountain. Not only are there dozens of pagodas and temples around here, you’ll also be duly rewarded with fantastic sunset views.
And now on to Cambodia. After clearing border procedures, head over to the capital. You’ll continue on with the water world theme there as the city is on the banks of the Tonle Sap, which connects from the Mekong River.
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