Authentic Mekong sampan is designed according to the traditonal sampans which have navigated on the Mekong flows. Long of 23.0 m and wide of 4 m , made of ‘’Sao’’ wood, a variety of oak, very resistant to water, well appreciated by people who spend all their life working and living on water. For a pleasant and long cruise in comfortable conditions, the sampan is equiped with a well ventilated compartment which could be used as a diner room as well as bedroom with couchettes available for group of 2 to 16 passengeres maximum; besides one kitchen, couchettes with showers, one terrace on the deck, a five- person- crew included the captain, one mechanic, the chief cook, one sailor and one guide, are at your service. Passengers on Authentic Mekong will be amazed and integrated in their discovery of landscapes, of local daily life, of smiling and open hearted people of the Delta and of aquatic life anywhere they go with the sampan.
An early awakening allows you to contemplate the dawn on the Mekong River: fresh air, bird song, barges traffic, and bubbling activities of the inhabitants in the banks of the river. Breakfast on board while the boat sails slowly toward Can Tho. Check-out Le Cochinchine boat, say “goodbye” to our friendly staff, we transfer you by small boat for visit of Cai Rang, one of the most bustling floating markets in the whole Mekong Delta. The Cai Rang floating market is known as a high-light cannot be missed when you explore the Western rivers of Vietnam. Boat trip along the coves shaded by palm trees. You will be able to admire magnificent orchards, local dwellings, shipbuilding yards and the hustle and bustle of the river industry. Visit an orchard where you will find many kinds of tropical fruits such as: mango, dragon fruit, kumquat, jackfruit. Return and disembarkation of the boat at 11h00 am. End of the cruise.
10h30-11h00 A.M: Welcome you at our Cai Be pier. Join our large boat for a welcome drink and check-in your room. Le Cochinchine continues to Cai Thia. Landing at the island of Cai Thia where you will have a lovely cycling or walking excursion through the villages bordered by green orchards, rice field. Come back to our boat for lunch while the boat cruises toward Sa Dec, a charming and quiet town located on the bank of the Tien River. On arrival, we visit a brickyard at the entrance of the village. Continuation to the lively market of Sa Dec followed by a visit to the old house of Huynh Thuy Le – the lover of the French novelist Marguerite Duras, as well as Trung Vuong primary school founded at the beginning of the 20th century by Marguerite Duras’s mother. In the heart of the village of Sa Dec, we discover the Cao Dai temple, the garden of bonsai and flowers. Return to our boat and enjoy the foot massage while watching the sunset over the Mekong River and sipping an aperitif. Dinner and overnight on board.
Get up early in the morning to contemplate the sunrise on the romantic river before breakfast on board. Transfer by junk to explore the floating market of Cai Be which is specific to the aquatic area. Continuation by a visit of sumptuous traditional residence, former imperial residence where the descendants of the Kiet family open their doors to welcome you to discover the sublime interior and walk through the garden strewn with fruit trees. Tea is offered, accompanied by a tasty selection of tropical fruits. Continuation to the artisanal villages where we have the chance to discover products made from rice and coconut: rice alcohol, puffed rice cake, rice paper, coconut candy. Return to the boat, lunch on board while the boat is heading for the Co Chien River. In the afternoon, a walk or bike along the paths through the countryside and villages will allow you to discover the orchards, the river activities and get in touch with the local population. The boat continues in the direction of Tra On. The aperitif is offered on the upper deck while the sun sets on a splendid landscape. Taking part in a cooking class on the boat, you will have the chance to try to make Pumpkin flower stuffed with That Lat fish and learn how to cut vegetables for decorating dishes. Dinner and overnight on board.
Breakfast on board. The morning bobbling commotion of Mekong river life comes to life for another lovely day. Our boat sets sails to Can Tho through tributaries, canals and arroyos. Transfer by local boat to visit the market of Cai Rang, one of the most important floating markets of the region, crowded with small and big boats zigzagging on the animated waters. Following along the coves shaded by fruit trees, palm trees..etc.. You will come to an orchard where you will find many kinds of fruits: mango, star apple, papaya, dragon fruit, and coconut. 11h00 am. Disembark at the pier in Can Tho. End of nice cruise.
If the cancellation be announced by the Management Board of Halong Bay, depend on the timing of the cancellation, following policies will be applied:
The boat is lovely and very comfortable. Fresh fruit delicious. The itinerary varied: brickworks, coconut processing and rice paper making. It was so nice to switch to other transport for the mini excursions- tuc tuc, bike and rowing boat. We were perhaps exceptionally lucky to have Diep as our tour guide. She is knowledgeable, enthusiastic and speaks great English.
We had such a good day and saw lots of different things and had a lot more to do on this cruise than I was expecting, but still had enough down time to relax on the boat and have a very nice (and very large) lunch. It was also fun switching between transportation which included a tuc tuc, Samson boat, bike and rowing boat.
I did the Ben Tre Island joining overnight tour. It was an amazing experience. I visited places I otherwise would not have visited on my own or with any other touring group. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Plus, the crew were very friendly. They stuffed me full of excellent food, and made sure that my trip was special. Be prepared to spend some time riding bike on bumpy trails in the hot sun. But this is all part of the adventure!
Without doubt one of the best things were did on our trip to Vietnam. The boat is amazing, simply beautiful. The staff are expanding really look after you. The cook is fantastic and made us some delicious food. The boat stops along the way to visit local villages, markets and other sites. Don’t hesitate to book this, you won’t regret it.