Mekong Delta Tour for New SSIS Teachers

August 15-16: A two-day, super-nifty adventure!

(Note: This is a private tour for new teachers at Saigon South International School. If you aren’t one of them, and would like to organize an excursion, please feel free to drop me an e-mail and I can put you in touch with our tour guide, Phúc, for your own private tour.)

Day 1: Saturday, August 15: 

  • Vietnam 077Depart from Phu My Hung around 8 a.m. (This time might change slightly. Specific pick-up point to be announced.) Travel by air-conditioned van (around 75 minutes) to My Tho.
  • Visit the Vinh Tranh Pagoda in My Tho. This Buddhist pagoda was built in 1849 and features one of Vietnam’s most spectacular, giant Buddha statues.
  • Short visit to a local house to sample the local sweet-sticky-rice wine (potent stuff!) and munch on some local tropical fruits.
  • vietnam-mekong-sampanMeander through some of the Mekong Delta’s narrow tributaries on small sampan boats.
  • Four hour cruise on the Mekong River on a larger, private boat. Yummy lunch on board. If you’re “brave” (says Phúc) or “insane” (says Dave), you can take a splash in the river. Along the way, we’ll pass lots of small riverside villages and take in some great scenery. You’ll have time to chill, enjoy the views, and slurp some Vietnamese libations. (Boozy or non-boozy — your choice!)
  • Accommodations at the Ba Duc "homestay" are basic, clean, and comfortable with air-con and private bathrooms.

    Accommodations at the Ba Duc “homestay” are basic, clean, and comfortable with air-con and private bathrooms.

    In the late afternoon, we’ll arrive at our “homestay,” the Ba Duc Ancient House. We’ll have a Vietnamese cooking class (Duh! Because an Icelandic cooking class would be ridiculous), gobble a tasty dinner, enjoy some sparkling conversation with each other, and settle in to our rooms for the night. (The place we are staying is called a “homestay,” but it’s actually more of a guesthouse / small hotel. You’ll have your own, clean and comfortable, private room with a full bathroom and air conditioning. I (Dave) have stayed there before. It’s a great place in a delightful setting!)

Day 2: Sunday, August 16: 

  • Vietnam 2009 202Wake up early and catch a private boat to the Cai Be floating market. This is one of Southeast Asia’s biggest and most spectacular floating markets. People live and work on their boats. You’ll get an up-close look at Mekong River life. Make sure you have a well-charged camera battery and lots of space on your film card. The scenery here is incredible, as are the people!
  • Breakfast after the market. (We go to the floating market first because it is most lively and photogenic just after sunrise.)
  • SONY DSCVisit a local craft village.
  • Lunch at a local restaurant.
  • Bicycling for a couple of hours on an island in the Delta.
  • Visit to a brick factory and its “beehive kilns.” (Yes… a brick factory might sound like an odd activity, but we promise it’s cool!)
  • Arrive back in Saigon around dinner time.

What’s included:

  • 391Transportation to and from the Mekong in an air-conditioned mini-van
  • All entrance fees.
  • Mekong River cruise.
  • Small boats through the Mekong tributaries.
  • Boat to the Cai Be floating market.
  • Lunch and dinner Saturday. Breakfast and lunch Sunday. Cooking class Saturday evening.
  • All drinks: Water, soft drinks, beer, rice wine, and some delicious Vietnamese rum if we can find a bottle!
  • Singapore Vietnam 508Bicycle rentals.
  • Overnight accommodation at the Ba Duc Ancient House.
  • Phúc’s expert tour guiding. (He comes from Vinh Kim, a small village in the Mekong. His knowledge of the area and its culture is excellent!)
  • Tons of fun!
  • Please also note: In Vietnam, it is usually customary to tip your tour guide and driver on a trip like this; however, Phúc has said that all tips are included in this trip; you do not need to tip him!

 

Vietnam 2009 228Price: Phúc’s usual price for this trip is $160 per person; however, for this excursion, he is offering a special rate of $120 per person. Also, he understands that you’ve had to shell out a ton of cash for housing, deposits, etc., this month. If you prefer, you can pay half before the trip, and the other half after you get your September paycheck.

Wanna Go? Phúc yeah, you do! Space is limited to 12 people. To reserve your spot, just send Dave an e-mail.

Phúc’s Other Trips: Phúc can also put together day trips and private tours around Saigon, the Cu Chi Tunnels, the Mekong, and more. If you want to set something up, drop Phúc an e-mail and let him know what excites you!