mekong delta on your own? which towns?

Dec 4th, 2001, 06:39 AM
  #1  
texasgirl
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mekong delta on your own? which towns?

Hi, we are traveling around vietnam for two weeks in January, flying in//out of Ho Chi Minh. I really want to visit the Mekong Delta, particularly the floating markets. Is CanTho (sp?) the best village for that? Anyone have any other suggestions?
Also, I am thinking of taking the hydrofoil from Ho Chi Minh to the delta, then booking individual tours in the delta, or just finding a guy with a boat. Then taking a tourist bus back to Ho Chi Minh. Is this pretty doable? Or should we book an entire tour at one of the travel cafes? Or any other way you have done this?

We are fairly experienced travelers and do things on the moderate budget level _ usually stay not in hostels but two- or three- star-hotels. But we've never been to southeast Asia. Thanks for the help!
 
Dec 5th, 2001, 06:40 AM
  #2  
Mary Anne Cook
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Cantho is the place to go for the greatest floating market. Was there last year and am returning in February. Stay there near the water and at night go to the village square where people are especialy at night. went down with car driver and guide last year,but going 1 way by hydrofoil this year. Sure you can hire a boat right there to go to the floating market. We were on a customized tour,but I am sure you can do it on your own. Not sure i would want to take the bus. I am sure you can find a car and driver in Saigon or just do it by hydrofoil both ways.
 
Dec 5th, 2001, 09:10 AM
  #3  
texasgirl
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Thanks Mary Anne for advice, I think Cantho sounds like a good base. Do you think alloting two-three days for this trip is enough?
I just heard from someone else that the hydrofoils no longer run from Ho Chi Minh to the delta? Have you heard that or is it just a temporary thing?
 
Dec 5th, 2001, 11:19 AM
  #4  
Mary Anne Cook
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Yes, 2-3 days are enough. Looked at mu itenaray for next year. It takes about 4 hours by hydrofoil. Our tour people Vietnam Indochina tours has us there for 2 full days which we also did last year. They have scheduled us for the hydrofoil,but things can change. We stayed at the Ninh Kieu Hotel which is near the square-nothing grand,but comfortable. Vietnam is a real treat. The people are great. Still have a young man who emails me very often. Any other way I can help let me know as we did the country all the way to Hanoi over 17 days.
 
Dec 8th, 2001, 05:11 AM
  #5  
texasgirl
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Mary Ann, thanks again for the info, especially the hotel. I am still hearing that the hydrofoils are not operating at all to the mekong delta, so we will check into the car and driver situation. the tourist bus doesn't sound bad though.

We keep changing our itinerary _ there's so much we want to squeeze in, but here's what we are thinking now: Leave for Cantho after spending a day or so in Ho Chi Minh after arrival. Two days there. Back to Saigon and start going north _ night or two in Nha Trang, couple nights each in Hue and Hoi An, fly from there to Hanoi and spend five nights seeing Hanoi and either Sapa or Halong Bay, depending on the weather, then fly back to Ho Chi Minh for departure. What do you think of this itinerary? We are leaving out Dalat and spending very little time in Saigon, and I know it's a lot to cram in 15 days, but we are OK with sleeper trains and buses and we like to see a lot. Thanks, I really appreciate your advice!
 
Dec 8th, 2001, 04:11 PM
  #6  
Mary Anne Cook
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Your Itenarary sounds very good to me. I don't know about getting from place to place by way of bus. The roads in places are not really that good. We flew from Saigon into Danang where I would not suggest staying but going on to Hoi An as you have planned. Have not been to Nha Trang or will not go on this trip. We have opted for Dalat this time. We did travel by car from Hoi An to Hue. The roads into Hue are not that good,but it is worth the trip to travel through Hai Van Pass. Hanoi is my favorite city. Did not get to Halong Bay,but wish we had. You will have a great trip. To me it would be hard to plan without doing it before going as far as transportation,but it can be done,but takes more time when there.
 

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