Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City. Meet your tour guide and driver from Vietnam Backroads Travel, and have a transfer into the elegant Saigon. Check-in the hotel and take a rest after a long journey by air. Welcome dinner on the Saigon River Cruise.
Commence the day to explore the mystery Cao Dai religion and the original tunnels of Ben Duoc with a couple of hours of drives to Tay Ninh, 110 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh. To Cao Dai pilgrims, God is represented as an eye in a triangle, a symbol on the facades of the sect’s temples. The religion’s organization is patterned after Roman Catholicism, with a pope, cardinals, and archbishops. Worship involves elaborate rituals and festivals.
Depart at 8:30 am at your hotel for a scenic drive on roads, travel through small towns, farmlands of tapioca, peanuts, and rural landscapes. Arrive at Cao Dai Temple before noon mass with plenty of photos to explore the colorful Holly temple and surroundings.
Cao Dai is an indigenous religion encompassing Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, and Taoism. Religious followers hold several holy documents, and they have to wear a long dress at noon to pray. This belief practice began in 1921 when a man received a vision of the Divine Eye, a powerful symbol of Cao Daism. Most followers are white at noon mass, and the pope, archbishop, cardinal, and priest are colorful. After the noon mass, enjoy your lunch, and continue traveling through lush farmlands, rice paddies, idyllic villages, and rubber plantations to Ben Duoc tunnels.
Arrive at the Head Quarter of the original tunnels around 3:00 pm, and watch the documentary film about the war in Cu Chi from 1948 to 1975 before you tour the tunnels of more than 250 km. The tunnels of Cu Chi are an immense network used for hiding and fighting during combat and served as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches, and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters. The tunnel systems were essential to the Viet Cong’s resistance to enemy forces and helped counter the growing American military effort. Arrive at the Be Dinh tunnels around 3:00 am, watch a documentary film, then explore the renowned fighting tunnels on foot, traps, bunkers, and trenches and experience crawling a piece of the underground tunnels. Then return to Saigon by vehicle in the late afternoon.
Be met at your hotel at 8:00 am to escape the crowded Saigon to the Nam Cat Tien National Park, where you soak yourself in nature. Cat Tien is one of the perfect national parks for adventures, learning wildlife, and bird-watching destinations in Vietnam. After a couple of hours, the vehicle drives on Highway 1A, through small towns and industrial parks, then turn right on Highway 20, and through rubber plantations, mountain scenery with a nice coffee break. Arrive around 11:30 am, check in at the Jungle Lodge, enjoy lunch, rest until 3:30 pm, have 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 for 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 in the park.
Get up early, listen to birds singing, and take a 10-minute boat ride to the Dao Tien island to learn about rehabilitation centers that rescue the endangered primates; silver languor and douc languor, black, small Loris, and yellow-cheeked gibbons. Then return to the Lodge for breakfast and ready for hiking to crocodile lake and learn more about flora and fauna.
You will have a jeep transfer of about 9km, where you will hike on jungle trails to the 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. Finally, return to the hotel for lunch before you check out for a-3.5 hours drive back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Ben Tre is 90 km south of Saigon, located by Ham Luong River- Mekong Delta. It is famous for its coconut trees as a vast plantation. Since the coconut trunks, shells, and leaves had been used to make fibers, handicraft products, and coconut mats, family businesses also grew up. Begin the day trip with a 2 hours private vehicle drive south of Saigon to Ben Tre. The province is famous for its coconut trees as it looks like plantations. Arrive in Ben Tre around 10:00 a, and then you take a boat trip along the lively river bank before crossing the Cai River to visit the village, and stop at a coconut processing workshop. You can see locals making plenty of valuable products and experiencing daily life. Next, you will have a short tour through the village by an Italian 3-wheel vintage Lambro. This three wheels passenger vehicle will remind you and locals about Saigon City from 1960 to 1975. However, the War ended, and the Italian three-wheel cars were still used until late 1990. The vintage Lambro continues taking you to another family workshop producing coconut mats.
After the experience of making it with the family, take a walk to lush orchards, and taste some tropical fruit before you enjoy a leisurely small sampan rowed on a natural creek through green water palms alongside. At the next stop, you return to the boat and continue cruising. You will have a special lunch at your local home and continues to boat ride back to the dock. Say goodbye to the boatman for travel by car to Mr Sau Khanh. His hobby is collecting antiques, Altar vases made of bronze and ceramic, antique clocks, lights, and sculptures from different countries. His home now looks like a gallery/ showroom to display what he collected from 1980. Afterward, drive to My Tho and stop at Vinh Trang Pagoda before returning to Saigon in the late afternoon.
Today is your return home. After breakfast, spend the rest shopping on Dong Khoi St, Ben Thanh Market, and relaxing until a pick up for transfer to the International Airport to fly home. Tour End!
- Meal, 8 breakfast, 3 lunchs
- E - Bike
- Boats Cruise
- Travel Insance