Discover the highlights of south Vietnam on this exciting getaway
Observe the contrast between Vietnam’s urban and rural regions while taking in cultural highlights of the south. Negotiate the labyrinthine streets of Ho Chi Minh City on a morning walk, make a sobering visit to the War Remnants Museum and make your tastebuds swoon over lunch at a traditional Vietnamese restaurant. Head to the city’s outskirts to scramble through the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels before diving back into the fray at one of Ho Chi Minh City’s lively markets. Then for a welcome change of pace, jump on a boat and explore the meandering waterways, islands and fruit orchards of the mighty Mekong Delta.
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Basix, Original, Comfort
- Short Breaks
- Physical rating
- Min 12
- Group size
- Min 1, Max 16
Why we love this trip
Discover local life on the delta, which can only really be appreciated through a homestay experience
Cycle along local paths on a bike ride to the colourful market, and chat with locals while gathering supplies for lunch
Explore Ho Chi Minh City on a full day tour – from major sites like the War Remnants Museum and ancient pagodas, to areas full of authentic city life, like Chinatown, the markets, and a traditional lunch like the locals
Experience Vietnam’s past first-hand with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels – descend into the (now widened) tunnels and learn about the vast underground network that the Viet Cong once inhabited
Is this trip right for you?
This trip includes one night in simple homestay accommodation, and there a few better ways to better understand a country and its people. You will sleep on camp beds in a communal room, so it's mixed gender and multi-share. Homestay facilities can vary as we stay with several different families, but expect simple but always welcoming.
Activities on this short break include cycling in the Mekong Delta and a walking tour in Ho Chi Minh City. Please make sure you pack walking shoes and clothes appropriate for these activities and local weather conditions.
This trip is operated by one of our local partners in Vietnam and therefore you may be joined by a mixture of Intrepid-booked passengers and other travellers during activities and the homestay.
Local guide are likely to different for each day tour and the Mekong Delta, but they will always be Intrepid knowledgeable local experts.
Included activities for the Basix, Original, and Comfort style short break are the same. However, in Ho Chi Minh City your accommodation will vary depending on the trip style.
About 2.5 hours away is the city of My Tho, a former naval base that is now a bustling port city in the Mekong Delta. The area is the final destination of the mighty Mekong River, which winds its way from Tibet, through China, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and finally into Vietnam. An incredibly fertile region, the Mekong Delta's prime industry is food production, producing approximately half of Vietnam's total agricultural output. Local life for villages in the area revolves around the rivers and canals that make up the delta, so much so that people are more likely to transport by river than road. Upon arrival into My Tho, board a private boat for a cruise on the Mekong River. On this Mekong tour, you’ll visit an island with lush tropical gardens, where you’ll have a chance to sample tropical fruit. Continuing to another island in the Mekong Delta, learn more about another cottage industry, coconut candy. Your local guide will take you to a factory and explain the process of making the sweet. Meander down the Mekong and have a chance to visit local villages in the area and learn more about the traditional lifestyles, culture, and customs of people who call the Delta their home.
Next, travel by Xe Loi (motorised cart), and visit a bee farm, then jump in a smaller rowing boat to help get deeper into the smaller canals of the Delta. For lunch, hit up Diem Phuong restaurant, where your local guide will provide you with some advice on the finer points of local cuisine and assist with ordering some of these delicacies. After lunch continue by boat on narrow water creeks, passing one of the Mekong River's most beautiful islands, Phoenix Islet, where fish farming takes place. Sometimes you may transfer to the homestay by tuk-tuk. Towards the end of the day, arrive at the home of a local family, where you’ll stay in dormitory-style accommodation. The pleasant surroundings consist of a 2 hectare garden with seasonal tropical fruits such as longan, durian, mangosteen, banana and grapefruit. The local owners will be your welcoming hosts for the evening and can tell you more about life in the Delta.
Notes: Facilities at the homestay are basic. We sleep on camp beds in a communal room for all members of the group. Bedding and mosquito nets are provided. Homestay facilities can vary as we stay with several different families.
- Homestay (1 night)
- Hotel (1 night)
- Hotel (1 night)
Continue on to the Cu Chi tunnels. The location of the tunnels was of significant strategic importance: they're at the end of the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail, and within striking distance of the southern Vietnam capital. Initial construction started in 1948 when the Viet Minh required somewhere to hide from French air attacks, and by 1965, the tunnel complex was estimated to consist of 200 km of tunnels. It included, hospitals, schools, meeting rooms, kitchens, and sleeping quarters. Life was difficult for the inhabitants, and to protect against outside intruders, booby traps were laid throughout the complex. Today, the Vietnamese government have preserved approximately 75 km of the Cu Chi tunnels as a memorial park, and in some areas the tunnels have been widened and low powered lights installed so that visitors can now fit through the complex.
Your local guide will take you on a fascinating tour of the Cu Chi tunnels, where you'll learn more about the conditions the people lived in, the hardships they faced, and the amazing ingenuity employed to maintain life in the tunnels. Walk past huge bomb craters, evidence of the heavy bombing campaigns in the region during the Indochina conflict, discover hidden entrances right beneath your feet, wander past tiny little chimneys in the ground that dispersed smoke from the underground kitchens, sample some of the simple cuisine that local fighters would have survived on, and have an opportunity to venture into the tunnels and explore the complex. You'll end this historical Ho Chi Minh City tour with a greater understanding of the local impacts of the conflicts of the 20th century. Following this step back into modern history, return to the chaos of Ho Chi Minh City. Your South Vietnam Getaway adventure ends upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh at around 2pm.
Meals3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner
TransportBicycle, Boat, Private vehicle
AccommodationHomestay (1 night), Hotel (2 nights)
Dates & availability
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1.This trip will begin on Day 1 at 8am at the Opera House. Please make your own way to the meeting point - refer to the trip notes for further information.
2. Please note that this trip is available in Basix, Original and Comfort styles.