Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City. It used to be the “Pearl of the Far East” in the last centuries as it was an important trading center for Asian traders and Western merchants. The team of Vietnam Backroads will meet you at the Tan Son Nhat Airport and take you to Saigon downtown to check in the hotel. Have a rest until having dinner with your guide at one of the famous restaurants in town and a tour briefing.
Experience the mystery Cao Dai religion and the historic site of the longest tunnels in Vietnam, built by the Viet Cong. Discover the three levels of the fighting tunnels by visiting the most interesting Ben Duoc tunnels in Cu Chi Rural District, located about 60 km northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi’s head-quarter leads all the tunnels stretching to the Cambodia border and criss-cross the Saigon River. Viet Minh began to build this in 1948 when the French were here in Vietnam. Then Viet Cong made its extension until the War ended in 1975.
8:30 am depart from Saigon City with 2.5- hour-drive to Tay Ninh province. Makes some tops on the way, visit the Thai My village, in Cu Chi District, which specializes in producing plenty of products from bamboo and rattan, which are favorites in the domestic market and exported to some foreign countries. Then we travel to Tay Minh to see the noon prayer at Cao Dai Temple. Caodaism is an almost new religious movement established in Tay Ninh in 1926. The religion combines Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, Confucianism, and Islam. Watching pilgrims pray is one of the major highlights. Most of the followers are in white with long dresses. The pope, cardinals, archbishops and priests are in colorful long dresses. Afterward, enjoy local specialty lunch at a famous local restaurant before an hour’s drive to the most extensive tunnels in Cu Chi- Ben Duoc tunnels. This is the most mysterious tunnel’s head-quarter as original tunnels until recent days. On arrival at Ben Duoc tunnels, watch a documentary film, then explore the famous fighting tunnels on foot, traps, bunkers, and trenches and experience crawling a piece of the underground tunnels. There are plenty of remains of the War. See the weapon galleries, tanks, helicopters, artilleries….. Then we return to Saigon by car in the late afternoon.
Enjoy a full-day tour to explore Ho Chi Minh or Saigon, the largest city in Vietnam, situated in the south and covers 2,061 square kilometers. Ho Chi Minh City is the country’s largest commercial city and a central hub of activity, drawing on Asian and Western traditions to create its own unique culture. Spend a full day exploring Ho Chi Minh City and its historic places by vehicle. Visit the War Museum, City Hall- Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi Minh Post Office, and Emperor Jade Pagoda and enjoy lunch in one of the well-known restaurants in town. After lunch, we travel to Chinatown in the afternoon and visit Thien Hau Pagoda and Binh Tay wholesale market. Enjoy a walk on Dong Khoi Street, get a more Western atmosphere, and head to Dong Khoi Street, lined with stores selling jewelry, ceramics, antiques, silks, and furniture. Great time for endless photos, at City Halls, Opera Houses with a final stop at essential bazaars, busy shops, and narrow aisles where you can find everything from colorful scarves and wooden souvenirs to authentic cuisine and fruit vendors.
We set off at 8:00 am for 3 hours for vehicle drives on the road through Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai Province. Passing some small busy towns and rubber plantations, idyllic rural villages with a break stop at a friendly coffee before arriving at Nam Cat Tien Park around 11:30 am. Check in the hotel and have lunch at a nice local restaurant by the River. In the afternoon, walk along the jungle trails with your guide to observe wild birds, red jungle fowl, and snakes. Then enjoy a motorboat ride on the Dong Nai River, admire the fantastic view, and see many kinds of birds, cormorants, macaques, and civets on the trees along the peaceful River. It is excellent timing to wildlife on waterways through the forest and lovely sunset. Back to the hotel, join the night spotting tour by jeep to see wildlife that people rarely see. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight at Cat Tien Jungle Lodge.
Get up, take a walk on paths along Dong Nai River, listen to brid’s singing, immerse yourself into nature, and learn your After breakfast, you will have a jeep transfer of about 9km, where you hike on jungle trails to crocodile swamp. This wetland is a beautiful lake surrounded by the jungle and home to many crocodiles. You will immerse yourself in the beauty of the diverse flora species around the area. Take a break, and view the peaceful natural landscapes. Composite boats are available, and you can board on and paddle around to see many water plants and wild lotus and listen to bird’s singing. Then return to the hotel for lunch before you check out. We travel on the back road alongside the Dong Nai River to Ta Lai village, make a stop and visit the village and learn about the history and culture of tribes and finally, have a 3-hour driving back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Depart from the hotel at 8:00 am, relax, and watch the bustling Ho Chi Minh as you move throughout the city. Your guide will inform you about the rules of the roads and how your daily ride is going! Arrives in Tan An outskirts around 9:00 am, and we ride along scenic paths, enjoy picturesque hamlets, pass primary schools, and stop at the home of locals making hats and fruit bags from grasses. We ride towards My Tho, and pass the vast vegetable farmlands with an irrigation system. We will stop for lunch in My Tho city. Rest on the vehicle for 30 minutes and transfer to Ham Luong bridge to explore the home of coconut trees. The countryside of Mo Cay is the most beautiful rural District for traveling by bicycle. The routes are smooth concrete paths, zig-zag through the villages with lush green water palms, cross small rivers by ferry, and small suspension bridges for bicycle mopeds only. Enjoy ferry crossing with locals, pedal on shady pathways, and pass many small workshops that produce oily and jelly products from coconuts. This is a chance you experience the ways of making. Enjoy the last ferry across Co Chien River to Tra Vinh.
A morning ride allows you to get close to Khmer farmers. You bike across peaceful paddy field on concrete paths, pedal through rustic villages, admire the beautiful countryside, and views the surrounding area of Ethnic Khmers. Learn more about Khmer culture at their homes, experience daily living, and the differences between Buddhism’s Theravada and Mahayana branches. The routes are complicated and across the rice fields, connected village to village, and farms canals. There are many visits to beautiful Khmer temples, pagodas, and country farms, and these are your opportunities for endless photos—lunch en route at the small town. After lunch, we rest on a transfer to the next destination- Tra On, for the leisurely ride. Then We enjoy some ferry crossings to connect the island to the island, share space for kids on small ferries, explore the farmers’ life on the islands and taste seasonal fruit at local orchards. We will end today’s ride at Can Tho suspension bridge and have a short transfer to Can Tho City.
After breakfast at the hotel, our team will pick you up for airport transfer to Can Tho airport and take an internal flight to Tan Son Nhat Airport for connecting flight and boards on the international flight home. Tour Ends!