Sinhcafe Travel’s Mekong Delta tour caught our attention because of its low rate. We booked online two weeks before our trip and paid 29 USD each via Onepay.
How was the experience?
The tour itself was nothing special, but for the price, we can’t complain especially because we felt we were treated like VIPs.
We were supposed to join other tourists in a group tour of approximately 22 people but got upgraded to a private tour. Aside from that, we were also picked up at our hostel located within a popular urban district in Saigon. If not for the upgrade, the meetup point should be at Sinhcafe’s office.
Here’s what to expect during the Mekong Delta tour with the agency. This tour preceded our self-guided walking trip in Saigon.
10:30 AM: Vinh Trang Temple
After a 2-hour bus ride, we made our first stop at Vinh Trang Temple, a wat near My Tho. If you check the itinerary on the tour’s webpage, this should be the last attraction.
At this beautiful temple, we witnessed a rare gathering of monks. According to our guide, a leader passed away and the monks have lunch everyday to contemplate on who the successor should be.
Be careful when buying from one of the stalls outside the temple. Always count your change, and as much as possible, pay only in smaller bills. One of our friends got shortchanged. Thanks to our guide, she was able to get back most of her money after a heated argument.
11:40 AM: Lunch
From the temple, we were led to a dock where a private boat took us to lunch at a not-so-touristy restaurant along the Mekong river. Lunch was served at around 12:10.
Along the way, we saw some floating houses and some structures that we assume were fish farms.
1:00 PM: Coconut Candy Factory
After lunch, the boat took us to a coconut candy factory, which was also along the Mekong. The guide showed us the process of creating the candies, starting from dehusking a coconut up to the finished product.
1:10 PM: Vietnamese Musical Performance
A few steps from the coconut candy factory, there’s an open resto where we were treated to a song number while eating some tropical fruits: pineapple, guava, dragon fruit, and jackfruit.
1:30 PM: Rach Xep Canal
This is one of the most popular attractions in Ho Chi Minh, so this is what we were looking forward to the most. Unfortunately, it was so touristy. Hanoi’s creek (at least the one we signed up for in 2012) was better and much wider.
2:40 PM: Bee Farm
It’s not really a bee farm. Just like the coconut candy factory, this spot is just an excuse to sell a product. Here, you can take a picture while holding a trap swarmed with bees. There are also free samples of honey products that you can try.
3:00 PM: Snake
Put a boa constrictor around your neck, and ask one of your friends to take a picture.
3:50 PM: Riding a Bicycle
We were led back to where we had lunch, from which we had to ride a bicycle towards a pick-up point back to the city. The bicycle ride was only 10 minutes.