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Only 24 hours in Can Tho - please advise

Only 24 hours in Can Tho - please advise

Nov 10th, 2019, 08:22 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 15
Only 24 hours in Can Tho - please advise

Hi Fodorites,

We only have 6 days to spend in Vietnam before heading to Laos. We spent a couple of weeks in Northern Vietnam a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it so wanted to get a taste for Central and South Vietnam. We realize it's not nearly enough time, but unfortunately that is all we have. We'll arrive in Da Nang and spend 3 days in Hoi An before heading south.

We fly into Can Tho on Tuesday, February 18. arriving at 12:40pm.

Things we would like to do (in order of priority);
1. Private tour of floating markets
2. Cycle around the villages
3. Rent a motorbike to see Ong Temple and other sites
4. Visit night market

I can't really get a good sense of Can Tho so I'm trying to figure out where to stay with such limited time. Mekong Rustic (and similar places) interest me more than staying at a big modern hotel like VinPearl but I'm wondering if they are too far out of the way for such a short visit. We will see if we can hire a private driver to take us to HCMC on Wednesday so there's not too much of a time restraint.

Would love suggestions for short itinerary in Can Tho and a Hotel (that would work logistically), Also any suggestions for tour guides or drivers would also be welcome.

Thanks in advance!
MonicaKD is offline  
Nov 10th, 2019, 08:34 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 152
Mekong Rustic was awful. We're used to roughing it, but there's nothing "rustic" about this place; it's just dingy and poorly run small hotel. Below is what I wrote about it in my TR:

- Can Tho - Mekong Rustic: Terrible. They consider themselves a “homestay” but there’s nothing “homestay” about it; it’s really just a hotel that happens to be in a rustic setting. The employees were apathetic and lazy. When we arrived, our bed was full of bugs/flies/ants. We showed a staffer, and he said to use the mosquito net. That doesn’t do much for the bugs already ON the bed. After a lengthy back and forth, they finally agreed to change the sheets and then put up the mosquito net immediately after. The porch light outside our room didn’t work; we pointed it out to the staff, and they shrugged their shoulders.
From: Trip Notes: 12 Days in Vietnam & Laos

Also from my TR, you can see we didn't think much of Can Tho generally -- the floating market is dying and is basically a tourist trap at this point. If you can get further into the Mekong and get over to Chau Doc (+ the Tra Su forest on the way), that would be spectacular.
LAX_Esq is online now  
Nov 10th, 2019, 07:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,555
I've been to Can Tho a couple of times. I think it is best as a stopping off point for activities in the Delta, not so much as a destination in itself. We stayed at the Golf Hotel, which is an impersonal hotel that my Vietnamese friend accurately called "too Communistic"( aka bureauocratic, rather than service oriented) but was actually comfortable and very conveniently located. Both times, we walked in and negotiated hard for 3 or 4 rooms. I have no idea what it goes for now. Definitely take a pass on the floating market. On one of my trips, we started a bicycle trip there that ended in Chau Doc, and Can Tho was definitely the least memorable of all the places we visited that time!
lcuy is offline  
Nov 11th, 2019, 04:20 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 15
Hi LAX Esq and lcuy,

Based on your responses and doing a little more research, I think we'll fly into HCMC instead and go directly to Ben Tre. With so few days, I want to make the most of our time so I really appreciate the feedback.
MonicaKD is offline  
Nov 11th, 2019, 05:48 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,652
With just 24 hours to play with, I do think Ben Tre is probably a better bet than Can Tho. Is is only two or three hours from Saigon. We spent a few days there on a much longer trip through the delta and really enjoyed it. We rented a boat for the day to take us through the small rivers and canals to see some of the cottage industries - coconut processing, brick making, candy production etc. Some info and photos on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/2015/02...delta-ben-tre/

With you flight timings part of your wish list is possible. A private boat to Cai Rang market is easily arranged through any hotel or just by turning up at the dock. NB you need to set of by 05.00 to see the market in full flow and it’s best . Again, more photos and detail on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/2015/03...oating-market/
You would need to stay at a hotel in the centre ( of which there are loads). You would be done by 09.00so plenty of time to gett back to Saigon for lunch. The night market is easily done teh night before but I can’t see how you could see any of the countryside without staying in a homestay. If you want to do that, I would check out Green Village or Nguyen Shack but, unless you can spare another day, I don’t think you have the time.

Like. LAX, I loved. Chau Doc, Tra Su, Sam Mountain. Etc.probably my favourite part of the delta, but at six hours bus ride from Saigon, you just don’t have time.
crellston is offline  
Nov 12th, 2019, 04:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 15
Hi Crellston,
Thanks for that info. I just booked 2 nights at Mekong Home in Ben Tre and feel much better about the plan.
Was about to switch my flight and thought it may be worth keeping it and hiring a driver to take us to Ben Tre. Do you know if there are any interesting sites on the way? And if so, do you know of any driver/tour guides in that area?
Thanks in advance,
MonicaKD is offline  
Nov 12th, 2019, 06:35 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,652
You are very welcome Monika.

We hired a boat in Ben Tre and went by river to Can Tho. It was a great trip but took around 7-8 hours and cost around $120 us for the boat which we split with an Aussie family and a German couple. We did stop for lunch in Vinh Long which was an engaging market town, apart from that, I am not sure. I would highly recommend the boat trip and renting a boat to go around Ben Tre. We rarely use tours or guides but where we do we usually just book with the the hotel we are staying in. In this cSe it was a very helpful lady in the Oasis Hotel in Ben Tre.

I had a quick peek at Mekong Home which looks great and I am sure they will sources boats and tours for you. They would be my first call to source a driver to perhaps pick you up in Can Tho airport and drive you to BT.

If you go from Saigon, it will likely be quicker and you could take a look at My Tho on the way, although being closer to Saigon it does see a lot of day trippers.
If it were me, in the first instance, I think I would contact Mekong Home and see what they have to offer in terms of transport and tours.
crellston is offline  
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