The best launching pad for your tour will be from Ho Chi Ming City, There are lots of ways to get to the Delta from HCM which is a 3-hour bus ride from the city center. I think the easiest and possibly the best is to simply book a tour through your hotel or one of the many travel agents that line the backpackers district. They will arrange transport and accommodations for you, which takes a lot of pain out of the process. Although it is a bit touristy your guide will take you to a coconut factory, rice paper factory, fruit farm, a tropical fruit farm and of course the floating market as well as a trip down the Mekong in a traditional Vietnamese boat. There are 3 options, a one-day tour, a 2-day tour and a 3-day tour with a homestay or a hotel stay. We chose the 2-day tour on a smaller 18 passenger bus with a homestay which cost us $45 and had a wonderful experience.
Although it is a bit touristy the guided trips will take you to a coconut factory, rice paper factory, a tropical fruit farm and of course the floating market as well as a trip down the Mekong in a traditional Vietnamese longboat.
There are 3 options while booking: a one-day tour or a 2 and 3-day tour with a homestay or a hotel stay. We chose the 2-day tour with a homestay which cost us $45 per adult and a discounted rate per child, we had a wonderful experience. We stayed at the
Our Mekong Homestay
We stayed at the Hung Homestay where the family made us feel at home. This culminated with their 18-year old son coloring our son’s hair green! This may have been a lapse of judgement on our behalf, but it made for a great cultural experience!
The Rice Factory and Tropical Fruit Farm
Visiting the noodle factory and the tropical fruit farm were fun. Our guide walked us through the farm explaining all the curious produce and we had an hour break to relax and enjoy the region. The rice noodle factory was a real roadschooling adventure for us all and I will never eat a rice covered spring roll without appreciating it’s origins again.
The Mekong Delta
You will tour two floating markets: One is for bulk purchases and wholesale and the other is a smaller market where you can purchase items from your boat. The first day includes the wholesale market and on the second day you will go to the smaller market – my wife purchased a Vietnamese iced coffee and I cringed as she drank up the ice from the fishing boat… She didn’t get sick! To top it off the coffee supposedly was the best she every had.
If you are on the line of whether or not to take a detour from Saigon to the Mekong I would say go for it. This 2-day adventure included a lot of bus time for sure, but it is an adventure I will never forget.