The Mekong River, the longest river in Indochina, is divided into nine tributaries within Vietnam and has spawned the vast Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta is often referred as the 'rice bowl' and the 'garden of heaven', because of its rich soil which is ideal for growing fruit, vegetables and flowers. However, periodic floods have forced the local people to adapt their way of life to the vagaries of the delta and this tour allows you to experience their precariously balanced 'life on the water'. Visiting their floating houses, floating schools and floating markets, you will be amazed by their wet rice civilization. Our team will provide you with a wealth of fascinating information about the region as we sail downstream through the canals of the Mekong River. Join the lively floating market, visit luxuriant orchards, enjoy tropical fruits in the gardens where they are grown, sample delicious local dishes and spend the night on board in this unique setting.
In fact, the Mekong Delta is o¬ne of the most beautiful of all Vietnam's landscapes. Now you can discover the region for yourself in a more profound way than was previously possible. Our special cruise not only takes you deep into the delta but also enables you to experience local life in all its many facets. Immerse yourself in the rich culture of the Mekong Delta and enjoy your overnight stay on board our luxurious boat with every home comfort at your fingertips.
The suggested itinerary that you will find on this page is just a common example of what your trips could be like. Our programs are flexible and can be changed upon your request. Kindly advise us your special requests - TNK Travel is always at your services!
Some information about our boat:
||20 pax (twin/double cabin, adjoining cabin)
||2: Main, Upper (75m2)
||420 HP (inboard)
Day 1 : Ho Chi Minh city - Cai Be - Can Tho ( _ / L / D )
- Pick up at your hotel in HCMC. Depart for Cai Be by air-conditioned private car.
- 11.30am: Board LE COCHINCHINE boat. Enjoy a welcome drink.
- Explore the lively Cai Be floating market. Cruise through the intricate maze of waterways to visit the handicraft villages, meet the local people, see inside their homes and sample various tropical fruits.
- Arrive at Vinh Long island where we embark on a walking or cycling sightseeing tour of the Islets BINH HOA PHUOC.
- Le Cochinchine sets sail to Cantho via Cho Lach and Tra On.
- Disembark at Cho Lach village and begin a pleasant walking or biking tour along the footpaths of the countryside to discover tropical fruit orchards and the local people's activities. Visit a cottage industry, a local farm and sample seasonal fruits.
- Take a leisurely cruise up the Mekong River to Mang Thit whilst enjoying aperitifs and the magnificent sunset over the river.
- Dinner and overnight on board in Tra oN.
Day 2 : Tra on - Can Tho - Vinh Long ( B / _ / _ )
- Wake up to the sounds of the Mekong Delta coming to life at the start of another glorious day.
- After breakfast, cruise along the canals and visit a Co Chien village to experience the lifestyle and hospitality of the local inhabitants.
- Take a leisurely cruise up the Bassac River (Hau Giang River) while enjoying the beautiful scenery
- On arrival at Can Tho, explore Cai Rang market, one of the most lively floating markets in the Mekong Delta where hundreds of small boats laden with fruit jostle for space as owners attempt to sell their goods. Cruise through the palm-shaded creek to see the traditional-style houses in which the local people live as well as the lush orchards, busy ship-building yards and bustling markets where they make their livelihoods.
- 11am: Check out and disembark the boat. Meet the car. Have lunch in a local restaurant. Return to HCMC with a stopover at the bonsai garden in Mytho. Finish the trip at your hotel at around 5pm. End of services.
Tour price includes :
- A/c private car/van for pick up, transfer & sightseeing as per program
- Full board package as indicated in the program (B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner)
- 1 night on board in Twin or Double share
- Boat cruise
- English / French speaking guide on board
Tour price excludes :
- Travel insurance
- Drinks & other meals not mentioned in the program
TRAVEL TIPS on OUR CRUISE
Traveling is always an exciting time - new places to visit, people to meet and things to do. However, you are bound to have many questions. To help answer those questions, we have created this list of Travel Tips. It provides full details about life o¬n board a barge.
We hope this information will help you prepare for your barge cruise and make it your most memorable and rewarding vacation experience ever.
Passport and Visa Information
Currently most people require a visa to enter Vietnam. Holders of other nationality passports should check with their country's embassy to establish whether visas are required. Each traveler must be in possession of a valid signed passport that will remain valid for at least six months beyond completion of the entire trip. Asean (South East Asian Nations) citizenship passport holders do NOT require a visa for Vietnam.
Vietnam and Cambodia are 6 hours ahead of GMT and 5 hours ahead of European time in the summer time. In winter, please add 1 hour.
Le Cochinchine Cruises
In selecting our river cruise, you have chosen o¬ne of the most relaxing and fulfilling ways to tour the extensive tributaries of the Mekong Delta. Admire the ever-changing scenery as you explore a world of waterways and picturesque landscapes, floating markets, lush bonsai gardens, rice fields, villages, pagodas and temples, fruit-filled orchards, and boat bazaars.
Join us to discover the real Vietnam, meet the friendly local people, learn about their traditional culture, sample authentic local food, and enjoy an unforgettable vacation as your "floating hotel" transports you into the heart of the awe-inspiring, life-sustaining Mekong Delta.
Your all-inclusive, value-packed cruise includes:
- Cabin accommodation on all ships
- All meals aboard
- Bicycles on board
- Row boat on board
- Sight-seeing excursions
- English and French spoken onboard
Your cabin has its own air-conditioning unit, which can be adjusted for your comfort. We recommend you do not over-cool your cabin as the sudden change from the outside temperature to a chilled cabin can bring on colds, respiratory illnesses and even stomach upsets. When you go out, we recommend you turn the setting to 'Lo Cool', set at about 4, and then when you return you can readjust the temperature to your preference without having to wait for cool air. At night you may prefer to use the fan only, and have the windows open. Insect netting covers the windows allowing you to do this. Please do not leave your air-conditioner on with the window open as this results in energy loss (the equivalent of switching on the heating and opening the windows in a cold country!)
The cruise bar is always open. Bar drinks are not included in the tour price.
Meals on board Le Cochinchine are taken at one sitting. It is not necessary to sit at the same table each time and we have tables for individuals and couples as well as for larger groups. We offer a delicious range of local cuisine with rich flavors to tempt even the most discerning palate. Passengers requiring special diets, such as vegetarian, low salt and low cholesterol, may make their requests to the chef when on board. The chef will always endeavor to oblige. Exotic fruit, fresh organic vegetables, locally caught fish and prawns are the preference of most passengers.
Room service is available on request.
Hairdryers are available in the cabins.
There are laundry facilities on board. The charges will go on your bill in US$. If there is an item that you do not wish ironed, please advise us.
A small constantly changing library of French and English books and magazines is carried aboard our vessels. We lend books free of charge and kindly ask that you return them before the end of your cruise. We also carry playing cards, Scrabble and other games for your enjoyment. We have a CD/radio cassette player with a choice of classical and modern music. Clients are welcome to bring along their favourite CDs.
Barges do not generally have safes o¬n board. Since the dress code is casual it is not necessary to bring along valuable jewelry. In general, it is not wise to travel anywhere with your valuables. Always exercise caution when handling or stowing your passport. It is a good idea to travel with a photocopy of your passport. Leave information of your credit cards at home with a trusted friend or relative, and make a note of the stop usage (800#) contact number in case your cards are lost or stolen.
These are kept in the wardrobe in your cabin.
Fire Risk and Smoking
Smoking is not permitted in your cabin or in the Dining Room or Saloon i.e. inside. Smoking is permitted in outside areas only, namely the Observation Deck and Promenade Decks. This is a wood-finished barge and the danger of fire should never be ignored.
The spacious sun deck is located at the top of our boat and contains plenty of deck chairs for your relaxation and sunbathing.
Bicycles are carried onboard. The crew will be happy to help you with bike adjustments and getting them on and off the barge. Please remember to exercise caution when riding along towpaths or into villages. A decision to go cycling during the cruise constitutes your acknowledgement of the risks and agreement not to make a claim against the barge owners for any personal injury, death or property damage that may result.
Water and Towels
The boat's water supply comes from a well after passing through a sterilization plant. This water is suitable for washing and brushing teeth but should not be drunk. To save water and reduce detergent use we will only change towels daily if they are placed on the floor. There are copious supplies of hot water available but you may have to run the water for two minutes before it gets hot.
Our boat uses continental 2 pin type sockets but adapters are available from the boat's office. The supply is the same as that in onshore hotels: 220 volts 50 Hz AC.
The onboard languages are English and French. Staff and crew speak English as do your tour guides.
An experienced, English / French -speaking Passenger Service Manager accompanies every departure. They are there to ensure your comfort, answer questions and make your vacation the most memorable trip ever.
We suggest that you leave your computers and telephones at home. Cell phones don't work in most of the barging areas. There are no phone hookups on the barges for checking email. There are payphones along the canal (if you must!) Being "out of touch" takes a bit of getting used to, but by day 2 you should have no "communication withdrawal" symptoms and you will be better able to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the cruise.
Vietnam offers the traveler a wide variety of goods such as lacquer ware, clothing and fabrics, in particular silk and cottons. Indo-China is one of the world's largest exporters of gems and jewelry, but you should purchase from a reputable dealer. Hill tribe craft ware, including embroidered goods, such as bags and clothing, and ornaments are generally good buys. However, please remember that the majority of items are handmade and may contain imperfections natural in goods that have not been mass-produced. It is worth taking a little time to check each item that you wish to buy in order to avoid disappointment. There is a small shop on board