Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam!
If you are arriving on day 1 you will be met and transferred to the group hotel. Please look for the WORLD EXPEDITIONS welcome sign in the arrivals hall. You have time to relax at our hotel and adjust to the pace of Saigon. This beautiful city is bustling with energy and will soon dispel even the slightest feeling of jetlag. This late afternoon, your tour guide will meet you at the hotel where a trip briefing will be held in the hotel lobby. In the evening you are invited by to a cozy restaurant for a warm welcome dinner. Taste and enjoy Vietnamese food.
Overnight at in Ho Chi Minh
After breakfast, transfer to Cai Be in the Mekong Delta. Arrive at Cai Be river wharf, we will get on our shuttle boat to reach Mekong Lodge, the green pearl of Mekong Delta. The boat transfer is part of the trip experience itself as it is your first contact with the Mekong's fertile alluvial water, which shapes the richness of the land. Disembark and welcome you to Mekong Lodge; our smiling staffs in local traditional costume await you at Mekong Lodge iconic front bamboo-shaped gate. Check in your private bungalows and enjoy a delicious lunch in our Mekong Riverside Restaurant.
Take some rest and begin our afternoon cycling tour to Tan Phong island, go to one of the orchard (approx. 10km along village paths, passing 3 wooden ferries, in about 2 hours).
In the evening, get some hands on culinary experience by joining our Vietnamese cooking class. Our chefs will instruct you to prepare the Mekong Lodge signature dishes. Have fun and some interesting recipes to take home with. Enjoy dinner in a cozy atmosphere.
Overnight in Mekong Lodge
Begin our second day with buffet breakfast, then getting on our rowed sampan to visit Cai Be floating market, a cultural feature of Mekong Delta. Visit handicraft villages, and Cai Be market on land, then transferred to Mekong Lodge for check out and our boat will transfer you back to Cai Be harbor for your drive back to Ho Chi Minh.
Spend the afternoon to explore highlights of Ho Chi Minh: Reunification Palace was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until April 30th 1975 when the North Vietnamese tanks came crashing through the front gates, bringing the American War to a dramatic end. Close to the Palace some of the best examples of French colonial architecture are represented in the forms of Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. Notre Dame Cathedral was built between 1877 and 1883 and the stone used to create it was exported in its entirety from France. Next to the cathedral stands the Central Post Office, finished in 1891. It is another fine example of French architecture and is Vietnam's largest post office. Don't miss the bustling Ben Thanh Market - a fantastic place for bargains of every kind!
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Today you drive to Cat Tien National Park. Check into the park's guesthouse and have lunch at Cat Tien National Park Restaurant.
In the afternoon visit Dao Tien Endangered Primate Species Centre, 5 minutes upstream from the boat landing. The centre specializes in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of endangered primates naturally found in our area: golden-cheeked gibbons, black shanked douc, silvered langur and pygmy loris. Most of the animals who are helped at this center were victims of the illegal wildlife trade. If you like mammals, the Bear Rescue Station is worth a visit. It is a rehabilitation center for Sun bears, Asian black bears, crocodiles and peafowl. See the bears in their semi wild area or volunteer as a bear keeper.
Night spotting by jeep with an opportunity to see nocturnal animals of the park including deer, civet, snakes, and feral cats after dark.
Overnight in Cat Tien National Park
Morning cycle for 9km on the main park road to the beginning of the trail then take 5km walk to Bau Sau (Crocodile Lake) and back the same way. You might see giant trees, rare peafowl, and water birds in the wild and enjoy the natural beauty and tranquility of this special wetland. After lunch in the park, depart to Da Lat. Breathtaking scenery along the way with coffee and tea plantations, jungle blanketed valleys and pine forested hills.
Overnight in Da Lat
The trailhead starts just south of Da Lat and a short 15 minute vehicle transfer. We head up from 1,500 meters in elevation to the ridgeline which meanders between 1,650 and 1,700 meters. The going is steep to begin with and both sides of the trail are dotted with pine trees. The reward for this steep uphill climb is a fantastic view of the town and surrounding area, with stunning views of Langbian Mountain in the north. This 8.5 km hike heads up along a jungle fringed ridgeline just south of town. This lonely trail charges up to its peak elevation early on and then gently rolls before heading down to the lake where our kayaks are located. After we reach the kayaks, which are only accessible by hike in, we spend the remainder of the day exploring the many inlets and secrets spots on the lake. After about 2 hours of exploring we make our way out to the far end of the lake for lunch. A picnic style lunch, taking advantage of the many fruits and vegetable grown in the Da Lat area is prepared by the guide. After lunch we explore the far end of the lake, which still has much of its jungle canopy intact and is one the most popular spots in Vietnam for bird watching. We slowly make our way back to the boat launch from here, enjoying more great views of the lush pine forested and jungle areas that border the lake. This fantastic trip is one that can be enjoyed by those of almost any fitness levels.
Overnight in Da Lat
Note: The kayak can accommodate maximum 8 pax per group so for bigger group we'll divide into 2 smaller groups: 1 group do hike & kayak & 1 group do kayak and hike (reverse order)
After an early breakfast, we say goodbye to the highland city and take the 300km drive back to Saigon through the scenic rubber, tea and coffee plantation. Our next stop is visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels. After an introductory video, viewing various mantraps, the remains of an American tank and numerous bomb craters, you will spend the next hour exploring the maze of tunnels to see how the Viet Cong survived in this underground network.
Overnight at hotel in Ho Chi Minh
The morning you have free time in Ho Chi Minh City and this is where our journey will come to a close. If you are flying home today you will be transferred to the airport in time for your departure.