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Overview

Bike through the Mekong Delta to savour the laid-back pace of life and to delve deeper in to the local culture. Stay on a quiet river island surrounded by fruit orchards, venturing out to explore charming villages, see traditional family workshops and meet with the friendly locals.

Trip Highlights

Mekong Overnight Active Escape to Unicorn Island

Bike through the Delta

Pedal off-road through a myriad of villages and orchards, getting a closer look at authentic Delta life.

Stay on Thoi Son Island

Appreciate the solitude of the Delta with an overnight stay in a charming lodge on a quiet river island.

Discover traditional cottage industries

Visit family workshops producing rice noodles, creating products from coconuts, making sticky rice and other small businesses in the Delta.

Itinerary

1

Ho Chi Minh City - Ben Tre - Thoi Son Island

HCMC to Ben Tre (85 km): 1 hours 45 mins Ben Tre to Thoi Son Island (20 km): 30 mins

At approx. 08:30 this morning leave the noise, hustle and bustle of Vietnam’s biggest and busiest city behind as the scenery gradually changes to rolling rice paddy fields while on a private vehicle transfer down to the Mekong Delta.

Arrive in Ben Tre Province, and first take a ride on the back of a xe loi, part two-benched cart and part motorcycle, through back paths, coconut trees, lush rice paddies and fruit farms.  Next step aboard and begin the private “Mango Cruise” along a picturesque canal to soak up the Delta scenery enjoying fresh coconut juice en-route. Stop at a small brick workshop where locals still use centuries-old traditional methods to make the bricks by hand.

Back on the boat, cross the river to start a 4 km bicycle trip exploring Phong Nam village riding along flat lanes. Visit a local house to see coconut processing by hand.  Continue cycling to a “hu tieu”, a rice noodle factory, to watch the noodle making process.  Take a short walk to Mrs. Huong’s home where the family lives on fishing, shrimp and farming.  Enjoy tropical fruits and honey tea before taking a smaller sampan to explore a hidden maze of small, sun-dappled canals gaining an insiders perspective on daily river life.

Back on board the “Mango Cruise” boat and continue to the Mango Home Stay restaurant to enjoy a Vietnamese lunch on the garden terrace.  After lunch, take a leisurely walk to the house of Mr Sau Tuong, Have a chat with him and learn how to make rice paper which is the most famous specialty of My Long village. Continue to a nearby house of Mr Hung, a famous sticky rice maker in the village to feed his stock of catfish and walk through his fruit garden.

Mid-afternoon depart Ben Tre and transfer by road a short distance further to tranquil Thoi Son Island, otherwise known as Unicorn Island. The Island is located on the river in between My Tho and Ben Tre, and although just 90 minutes from Ho Chi Minh City it is seemingly a world away! The island is lush and peaceful with modest homes nestled amongst the multitude of coconut palms, and locals who still predominately grow tropical fruits such as longan, mango, pomelo, and banana.

On arrival, transfer to the charming Island Lodge, a boutique property tucked away in between the fruit and palm trees on the banks of the river. This secluded property with onsite owner/managers has just 12 well equipped and comfortable guest rooms, ensuring the peaceful and relaxed atmosphere is maintained and that guest comfort is not compromised.

The style is relaxed Indochine style with local influences throughout, and the owners’ passion and lodge’s commitment to both sustainability and the surrounding local community is evident.

After check-in take some time to freshen up and perhaps a refreshing swim in the pool.  The remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure to relax and enjoy the facilities and soak up the ambience.

Overnight at The Island Lodge, Thoi Son Island.

2

Thoi Son Island – Ho Chi Minh City

Thoi Son Island to HCMC (80 km): 1.5 hours

After an early breakfast at the lodge, this morning enjoy a more active and off-road cycling experience accompanied by either the resort’s owner or one of their local staff. Start with a short relaxing boat ride on the vast Tien River, passing by some local fish farms on the water and observe this important waterway - the life-blood of the Mekong Delta. Arrive at a small disembarkation point and here hop on a mountain bike to explore the area. Cycle through the lush coconut and cacao plantations on narrow roads and quiet un-sealed countryside pathways. Stop by a local cacao farmer’s house to see planting, harvesting, fermenting and drying processes before the cacao beans are sold. Enjoy the fresh air and immerse in the tranquility in this part of countryside in Mekong Delta, still untouched by tourism. Continue a bike ride through lush coconut plantations and fruit orchards on the small shady tracks, stopping by a local pagoda for a short break to enjoy some refreshments. Cycle back to the starting point and transfer back by boat back to The Island Lodge. This excursion takes approx. 3 hours and the cycling route is about 8 kms but it may be challenging for some due to the unsealed paths and some rougher ‘off road’ terrain, especially if there are some muddy patches.

NOTE: An easier boat & cycle excursion is available on request with cycling distances ranging from 7km-13km visiting either Coconut Plantations or the Fish Farms. Alternatively guests who would like a more leisurely morning may prefer to take a more leisurely walk or bicycle ride around the island at own pace, or instead relax and enjoy the facilities at the resort. For best arrangements please discuss  preferences for this morning in advance with the travel consultant, so the necessary services can be pre-reserved. Bicycle numbers and sizes are limited.

Late morning return to the Lodge to freshen up and check out before 12 noon, there is some time to relax or for a swim and lunch (your own expense). Mid-afternoon depart and transfer by road back to Ho Chi Minh City.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner), excluding drinks.
  • Transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle with English or French speaking guide
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits
  • Boat trips and cycle rides as mentioned in the itinerary on Day 1 with English or French speaking guide
  • Boat trips and cycle rides as mentioned in the itinerary on Day 2 with Island Lodge manager/staff (English or French speaking)

Our services do not include:

  • Other meals than mentioned or other services than mentioned
  • International or domestic Flights
  • Drinks, laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Tips, Travel insurance  

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