Morning, pick up from the hotel in Saigon and by bicycle from Saigon to My Tho
Overnight in My Tho
Sightseeing in My Tho with boat trip on the Mekong. My Tho is the capital of Tien Giang Province, a quiet city of 100,000 and one of the poorest cities in the Mekong Delta.
Overnight in Vinh Long
MY THO CHURCH: a solid pastel-yellow building built about a century ago. The stone plaques set in the church walls express 'merci' and 'cam on' to Fatima and other figures.
CAO DAI TEMPLE: a smaller temple than the one at Tay Ninh, but well worth a visit.
MY THO CENTRAL MARKET: the streets are filled with stalls selling everything from fresh food and bulk tobacco to boat propellers.
CHINESE DISTRICT: on the eastern bank of the Bao Dinh Channel, there are still many people here of Chinese descent.
VINH TRANG PAGODA: a beautiful and well-maintained sanctuary. The charitable monks here provide a home to orphans, disabled and other needy children.
MEKONG DELTA: this is the southernmost region of Vietnam and it was formed by sediment deposited by the Mekong River. Silt deposits extend the delta shoreline at the mouth of the river by as much as 79m per year. The area is known as Vietnam's 'bread basket' and produces rice to feed the entire country.
DRAGON ISLAND: the island has many longan orchards which can be visited and the lush, palm fringed shores of the island are lined with wooden fishing boats.
PHOENIX ISLAND: until his imprisonment and the consequent dispersion of his flock, the Coconut Monk (Ong Dao Dua) led a small community on this island. By bicycle from My Tho to Vinh Long
Journey west in the Mekong Delta parallel to the Tien Giang River.
Excursion by bicycle to Tra Vinh. Bordered by the Tien and the Hau branches of the Mekong River, Tra Vinh's location on a peninsula makes it somewhat isolated. There are over 140 Khmer pagodas in the province and approximately 3000 ethnic Khmer live here.
Overnight in Vinh Long
ONG PAGODA: a very ornate, brightly painted building, it is a fully Chinese pagoda and still a very active place of worship. Founded in 1556 by the Fujian Chinese Congregation, it has been rebuilt a number of times with funds from visitors from Taiwan and Hong Kong.
ONG MET PAGODA: located in the center of town, the monks here are friendly and happy to show anyone around.
CHIM PAGODA: an interesting monastery southwest of town with friendly monks who claim the pagoda was built 500 years ago.
AN PAGODA & MUSEUM: located southwest of Tra Vinh is this pagoda and the Khmer Minority People's Museum.
BA OM POND: this is a spiritual site for the Khmer and a picnic site for local Vietnamese. Tall trees surround the pleasant square-shaped pond. Nearby is the An Vuong Pagoda, a beautiful structure built in the Khmer style.
UNCLE HO TEMPLE: located in Long Duc commune, north of Tra Ving town, worshippers continue to flock here.
By bicycle from Vinh Long to Can Tho. Sightseeing in Can Tho and boat trip on the Mekong
Overnight in Can Tho
CAN THO is the capital of the province and the political, economic, cultural and transportation center of the Mekong Delta. Rice-husking mills provide a major local industry.
MUNIRANGSYARM PAGODA: the ornamentation of this pagoda is typical of Khmer Hinayana Buddhist pagodas, lacking the multiple Bodhisattvas and Taoist spirits common in Vietnamese Mahayana pagodas. Built in 1946, the pagoda serves the Khmer community of Can Tho, which numbers about two thousand.
CANTONESE CONGREGATION PAGODA: this small Chinese pagoda was built by the Cantonese Congregation and built with funds recently donated by overseas Chinese. The pagoda occupies a splendid location facing the Can Tho River.
CENTRAL MARKET: many local farmers and wholesalers arrive here by boat to buy and sell. The fruit section is particularly notable and stays open until 10pm.
HO CHI MINH MUSEUM: the only museum in the Mekong Delta devoted to Ho Chi Minh.
CAI RANG FLOATING MARKET: reached by boat, this is the biggest floating market in the delta with a bridge that provides a great vantage point for photography.
Day 5 Can Tho
Morning at leisure, by vehicle from Can Tho to Saigon. Journey first across the Hau Giang River by ferry between Can Tho and Vinh Long and then past Vinh Long and My Tho.
VINH LONG: capital of the province, this is a medium-sized town along the banks of the Mekong River about midway between My Tho and Can Tho. From Vinh Long, one can access all the islands in the river, all of which are totally given over to agriculture.
MY THO: capital of Tien Giang Province and one of the poorest cities in the delta. The economy is based on fishing and the cultivation of rice, coconuts, bananas, mangoes, longans and citrus fruit.
End of Services **Note: Itinerary subject to change due to flight schedules.