Colours, spices, smells and curious eyes are all around you in the local market. You are intrigued by the sheer amount of ingredients you never knew existed – and even more amazed knowing that you will be able to juggle these yourself in just few hours and be able to cook up delicious Vietnamese delicacies. And this is only the beginning. In the days to come you will be doing the same together with your local host in the outskirts. And this time it may even be from vegetables you have helped produce, grains you have set or fishes you have just caught. With these fine memories in your head you are able to lean back and just appreciate the local life along the Mekong Delta, the great floating markets, the dense natural surroundings and the welcoming smiles that will meet you wherever you turn. And these smiles will go with you as you leave the delta behind, stay in your memory long after.
Included: Meals: 3 x breakfast, 2 x lunch, 1 x dinner.
Accommodation: 2 nights in 3-star standard hotels, 1 night homestay in Mekong delta
Entrance fees: All entrances fees, boat fee included in the trip
Transport: Car, Van according to itinerary
English speaking tour guide: Included for the entire tour according to itinerary Not included: · Personal travel insurance (compulsory)
· Tips to guide and driver
· Drinks and personal expenses
All other expenses not stated as included in the above
· Perfect hands on introduction to the mouth-watering Vietnamese cuisine
· Discover the local and natural environment in the impressive Mekong delta
· Get up and close to local village life in your homestay while farming and fishing
· Pay a visit to the biggest floating market in the Mekong delta
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City Arrival
Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as SAI GON, the largest and busiest city of Vietnam with the population of 10 million people. Transfer and check in to your hotel and overnight in Ho Chi Minh city where the day is free for you to enjoy.
Overnight at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City – Cooking Class
Though supermarkets have become so popular and familiar to citizens, supermarkets cannot replace traditional markets. This is where locals exchange experience in agriculture, discuss and share secrets about ingredients and how to create delicious dishes or simply go there to say Hi to each other. The market is the place where local citizens start their day by buying and selling homemade products, food or daily needs for their whole day before going to work. You will today meet some of the inspiring people who can give you an understanding of the most important Vietnamese vegetables and spices. Enjoy special noodles before heading back to central Saigon for a cooking class. Here a chef will demonstrate the preparation of typical Vietnamese dishes before you 'become the chef' as you prepare and sample the dishes you and your fellow classmates create. The tour finishes after you've enjoyed eating your own creations.
Overnight at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta
Pick up from your hotel at 08.30 AM, start a full day trip to Cai Be, the watery world of the Mekong Delta. Upon arrival, you go on a boat trip along narrow waterways overhung with dense vegetation. You will try exotic fruits in one of the many orchards and visit the floating market CAIBE. You will stop at by the local pop rice, rice paper workshops to take part in making popcorns. Not least, to taste the warm crispy ones right after they are made.
You will have late lunch in a bonsai garden and do look forward especially to try the local Elephant Ear Fish. Go directly from here to Can Tho, where your home for the night awaits –a local home stay, where you can find your most favorite place to rest. The landlord will guide around the neighborhood and visit the garden. You could walk around the village, visit the rice paddy, talk to local farmers or join their daily activities. This is also a great opportunity to take part in the local farming work. Test your farming abilities when bailing water into rice paddy balancing a bucket of water by four strings, plough the fields, seed vegetables or catch fish and crab for your own dinner!
You can learn to cook simple local dishes with fresh ingredients collected in the garden or a small market nearby for your own dinner under your host's instructions. After dinner, your host may need your help to make sticky rice cakes for breakfast and enjoy the traditional folk songs with a cup of rice wine in your hand.
Overnight at homestay in Can Tho.
(B, L, D)
Day 4: Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City
After breakfast, you will visit the biggest and busiest wholesale floating market of Vietnam where not only local people but people from all over the Mekong delta come to exchange their farming products. You can visit handmade noodle workshop or shipyard to more thoroughly understand the Mekong delta life. Drive back to Ho Chi Minh City from Ninh Kieu quay, where your tour will end around 16:00
(B: breakfast, L: lunch, D: dinner)
Child age: 3 – 9 years old. Infant below 3 years old.
Child price: See under “rates”. Infants are free of charge
This tour is recommended for: All ages
· 3-star standard hotel with private bathrooms.
· Homestay in local house.
Private car or van
Mar-May: Some days have light rain; Clear with blue sky.
Jun-Aug: Hot months! Some days have heavy rain that is mostly quickly over.
Sep-Nov: Rain sometime with cooler weather.
Dec-Feb: Nice time to visit the South of Vietnam with nice weather.
This product may be affected by Vietnamese TET (New Year) – normally in Jan/Feb. Specific dates are blocked in the booking calendar if and when not bookable.
What can you expect during TET? The lunar New Year is very important to the Vietnamese. The days are spent together with family and relatives in private homes to celebrate. Expect the streets to be fairly empty and life at street level to be very limited.
Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon, Saigon local food market, Cai Be, Vinh Long, Can Tho city
· Original passport,
· Mosquito lotion
· Sun lotion in summer time