Saigon and Mekong in 4 Days

It’s always exciting whenever it’s seat sale season – it’s like buying items with foreign labels, you never know what you’re going to get. Originally we were aiming at a Korean vacation, but because tickets to Incheon sold like kimchi, we aimed at – well, whatever tickets we can purchase. And that’s how we fortunately ended up in Vietnam.

We knew little about historic Vietnam aside from that we were going to encounter some major language barriers, which was why we decided to do some research and book hotel and tours ahead. Lan Lan Hotel 1 (via Agoda) and The Sinh Tourist‘s online booking didn’t make it difficult for us at all. Three of our four days were spent with two of The Sinh Tourist’s tours which were inclusive of most of our meals, transfers and a night’s stay in a four-star hotel.

We can’t say we were able to exhaust all of Saigon within our short four-day trip, nonetheless the quick vacation had its own memorable highlights.

What: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) + Cu Chi + Tay Ninh + Mekong Provinces, Vietnam 4D/4N Trip
When: September 21-24, 2012 | Friday – Monday
Where: Southern Vietnam (from Manila, Philippines)
How Much: 15,000,000 VND + pocket money

Day 1 | September 21, 2012 | F

23:00 – 00:30 | 1.5 hrs | 885,170.33 VND
• Manila: NAIA Terminal 3 –> Ho Chi Minh City: Tan Son Nhat Int’l Airport
via Cebu Pacific Airlines

00:50 – 01:05 | 15 mins | 150,000 VND
•  Tan Son Nhat Int’l Airport –> Lan Lan Hotel 1
via Vinasun metered taxi

01:05 – 01:30 | 25 mins | 1,108,838 VND
• Check in at Lan Lan Hotel 1
*three-night stay

07:00 – 08:00 | 1 hr 
• Breakfast at Lan Lan Hotel 1

08:00 – 08:10 | 10 mins | 21,000 VND
• Lan Lan Hotel 1 –> The Sinh Tourist
Bus (additional 2 USD for two-way Hotel transfers)

08:10 – 08:20 |  10 mins | 130,000 VND
• Log in at The Sinh Tourist for Cao Dai Temple + Cu Chi Tunnels Day Tour

08:20 – 09:40 |  1 hr 20 mins
• The Sinh Tourist –> Handicapped Handicrafts in Tay Ninh Province
Bus (included in tour fee)

09:40 – 10:00 | 20 mins
Handicapped Handicrafts Stopover

10:00 – 11:40 | 1 hr 40 mins
• Handicapped Handicrafts –> Cao Dai Temple
Bus (included in tour fee)

11:40 – 12:40 | 1 hr
Cao Dai Temple

12:40 – 12:50 | 10 mins
• Cao Dai Temple –> Nam Thanh Restaurant
Bus (included in tour fee)

12:50 – 13:30 | 40 mins
• Lunch at Nam Thanh Restaurant

13:30 – 14:47 | 1 hr 17 mins
• Nam Thanh Restaurant –> Cu Chi Tunnels
Bus (included in tour fee)

14:47 – 16:54 | 1 hr 7 mins
Cu Chi Tunnels

16:54 – 18:40 | 1 hr 46 mins
• Cu Chi Tunnels –> Lan Lan Hotel 1
Bus (additional 2 USD for two-way Hotel transfers)

18:40 – 20:00 | 1 hr 20 mins
• Shower and rest
*Going through the tunnels call for some freshening up

20:00 – 21:30 | 1.5 hrs
• Dinner at Na Hang Mon Hue Restaurant
*The restaurant is walking distant from the hotel. A number of other restaurants are around the area.

21:30 – 22:30 | 1 hr
• Shopping at Cho Ben Thanh Night Market
*The Cho Ben Thanh Night Market is open until midnight

Day 2 | September 22, 2012 | S

07:00 – 07:30 | 45 mins
• Breakfast at Lan Lan Hotel 1

07:30 – 07:40 | 10 mins | 21,000 VND
• Lan Lan Hotel 1 –> The Sinh Tourist
Bus (additional 2 USD for two-way Hotel transfers)

07:40 – 07:50 | 10 mins | 960,000 VND
• Log in at The Sinh Tourist for Mekong Delta (Ben Tre + Can Tho + Cai Rang + Vinh Long) Overnight Tour

07:50 – 09:50 | 2 hrs
• The Sinh Tourist –> Ben Tre Province
Bus (included in tour fee)

09:50 – 10:05 | 15 mins
• Rest stop

10:05 – 10:45 | 40 mins
• Rest stop –> Bee Farm
Sampan ride (included in tour fee)

10:45 – 11:20 | 35 mins
• Bee farm; Servings of local fruits and tea with honey

11:20 – 11:40 | 20 mins
• Bee Farm –> Coconut Candy Makers
Sampan ride (included in tour fee)

11:40 – 12:00 | 20 mins
• Coconut Candy Makers

12:00 – 12:20 | 20 mins
• Coconut Candy Makers –> sampan port
Tuktuk ride (included in tour fee)

12:20 – 12:30 | 10 mins
• sampan port –> local restaurant
Sampan ride (included in tour fee)

12:30 – 13:30 | 1 hr
• Lunch at a local restaurant (included in tour fee)

13:30 – 14:00 | 30 mins
• local restaurant –> Ben Tre
Sampan ride (included in tour fee)

14:00 – 17:00 | 3 hrs
• Ben Tre –> Can Tho
Bus (included in tour fee)

17:00 – 18:30 | 1 hr 30 mins
• Check in at Van Phat Hotel 1 and rest

18:30 – 19:30 | 1 hr
• Dinner at Van Phat Hotel 1 (included in tour fee)

19:35 – 19:50 | 15 mins
• Van Phat Hotel 1 –> Can Tho Night Market
Bus (included in tour fee)

19:50 – 21:00 | 1 hr 10 mins
• Can Tho Night Market
*We stopped by Viva Cafe for some drinks

21:00 – 21:20 | 20 mins
• Can Tho Night Market –> Van Phat Hotel 1
Bus (included in tour fee)

22:00 – 00:00 | 2 hrs | 100,000 VND + tip
• Van Phat Hotel 1 Jacuzzi and Massage Services

Day 3 | September 23, 2012 | Su

07:00 – 07:30 | 30 mins
• Breakfast at Van Phat Hotel 1

07:30 – 08:00 | 3o mins
• Van Phat Hotel 1 –> sampan port
Bus (included in tour fee)

08:00 – 08:10 | 10 mins
• sampan port –> Cai Rang Floating Market
Sampan ride (included in tour fee)

08:10 – 08:45 | 35 mins
Cai Rang Floating Market

08:45 – 09:00 | 15 mins
• Cai Rang Floating Market –> a local’s land
Sampan ride (included in tour fee)

09:00 – 09:50 | 50 mins
• Snack on local fruits and tour the local’s land
Walk around the lotus pond and dragonfruit trees

09:50 – 11:15 | 25 mins
• a local’s land –> Van Phat Hotel 1
Sampan ride (included in tour fee)

11:15 – 12:10 | 55 mins
• Lunch at Van Phat Hotel 1

12:35 – 13:52 | 1 hr 17 mins
• Van Phat Hotel 1 –> Vinh Long Market
Bus (included in tour fee)

13:52 – 14:20 | 28 mins
• Vinh Long Market

14:20 – 16:20 | 2 hrs
• Vinh Long Market –> Mekong Rest Stop
Bus (included in tour fee)

16:20 – 16:30 | 10 mins
• Mekong Rest Stop

16:30 – 18:15 | 1 hr 45 mins
• Mekong Rest Stop –> Lan Lan Hotel 1
Bus (additional 2 USD for two-way Hotel transfers)

18:15 – 18:25 | 10 mins
• Check in at Lan Lan Hotel 1

18:25 – 18:30 | 5 mins | 21,000 VND
• Lan Lan Hotel 1 –> Saigon Square
Vinasun metered taxi

18:30 – 20:20 | 1 hr 50 mins
• Dinner at Uraetei Yakiniku Restaurant

20:20 – 20:30 | 10 mins
• Walk along Le Loi Street to Thuong Xa Tax

20:30 – 21:40 | 1 hr 10 mins
• Shopping at Thuong Xa Tax
*Good for purchasing grocery items like Vietnamese Coffee and instant Pho Noodles

21:40 – 21:45 | 5 mins | 22,000 VND
• Thuong Xa Tax –> Lan Lan Hotel 1
Vinasun metered taxi

Day 4 | September 24, 2012 | M

07:45 – 08:30 | 45 mins
• Breakfast at Lan Lan Hotel 1

08:30 – 08:55 | 25 mins | 123,000 VND
• Lan Lan Hotel 1 –> Binh Tay Market
Vinasun metered taxi

08:55 – 09:45 | 50 mins
• Shopping at Binh Tay Market

09:45 – 10:15 | 30 mins | 135,000 VND
• Binh Tay Market –> War Remnants Museum
Vinasun metered taxi

10:15 – 11:50 | 1 hr 35 mins | 15,000 VND
• War Remnants Museum

11:50 – 12:10 | 20 mins
• Walk from War Remnants Museum to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

12:10 – 13:30 | 1 hr 20 mins
• Lunch at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

13:30 ~ 13:50 | 20 mmins
• Walk from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to Reunification Palace

13:50 – 14:00 | 10 mins
Reunification Palace
*We opted to take a quick photoshoot outside and leave. If you wish to visit, entrance fee is at 15,000 VND and will take you around 2 hours to tour the whole place.

14:00 – 14:10 | 10 mins
• Walk from Reunification Palace to the Notre Dame Cathedral

14:10 – 14:20 | 10 mins
• Notre Dame Cathedral

14:20 – 15:00 | 40 mins
• Saigon Central Post Office
*The Saigon Central Post Office sits adjacent to the Notre Dame Cathedral.

15:00 – 15:05 | 5 mins | 20,000 VND
• Saigon Central Post Office –> Saigon Square
Vinasun metered taxi

15:05 – 16:20 | 1 hr 15 mins
• Saigon Square

16:20 – 16:25 | 5 mins
• Walk from Saigon Square to Trung Nguyen Coffee Shop

16:25 – 16:45 | 20 mins
• Trung Nguyen Coffee Shop
*Coffee-lover officemates requested for some famous Trung Nguyen blends to be brought back home.

16:45 – 17:00 | 15 mins
• Walk from Trung Nguyen Coffee Shop to Ben Thanh Market

17:00 – 17:55 | 55 mins
• Ben Thanh Market
*Pho 24 – said to be Vietnam’s best pho noodles place – is along Ben Thanh Market. They also sell packaged instant noodles – good as gifts back home.

17:55 – 18:00 | 5 mins
• Walk from Ben Thanh Market to Lan Lan Hotel 1

18:00 – 18:30 | 30 mins
• Rest at Lan Lan Hotel 1

18:30 – 19:00 | 30 mins
• Walk around Dong Khoi shopping area

19:00 – 21:20 | 2 hrs 20 mins
• Vincom Center Shopping Mall

21:20 – 21:25 | 5 mins | 21,000 VND
• Vincom Center Shopping Mall –> Lan Lan Hotel 1
Vinasun metered taxi

21:25 – 21:47 | 22 mins
• Rest at Lan Lan Hotel 1

21:47 – 22:03 | 16 mins | 130,000 VND
• Lan Lan Hotel 1 –> Tan Son Nhat Int’l Airport
Vinasun metered taxi

01:10 – 03:10 | 2 hrs | 885,170.33 VND
• Ho Chi Minh City: Tan Son Nhat Int’l Airport –> Manila: NAIA Terminal 3
via Cebu Pacific Airlines

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One response to “Saigon and Mekong in 4 Days

  1. Pingback: Surrendering to Cai Rang | The Chance Passenger·

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