Hiking to National Park & Vintage Lambro Tour in Ben Tre
ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY:
Ho Chi Minh on Arrival
Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City. Meet your tour guide and driver from Vietnam Backroads Travel, and have a transfer into the elegant Saigon. Check-in the hotel and take a rest after a long journey by air. Welcome dinner on Saigon River Cruise
HCM – Cao Dai Temple – Cu Chi Tunnels
Commence the day to explore mystery Cao Dai religion and the original tunnels of Ben Duoc with a couple of hours of drives to Tay Ninh, 110 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh. To Cao Dai pilgrims, God is represented as an eye in a triangle, a symbol that appears on the facades of the sect's temples. The religion's organization is patterned after Roman Catholicism, with a pope, cardinals, and archbishops. Worship involves elaborate rituals and festivals.
Depart at 8:30 am at your hotel for a scenic drive on roads, travel through small towns, farmlands of tapioca, peanuts, and rural landscapes. Arrive at Cao Dai Temple before noon mass with plenty of photos to explore the colourful holly temple and surroundings.
Cao Dai is an indigenous religion encompassing Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, and Taoism. Followers of the religion hold several documents as holy, and they have to wear the long dress at noon to pray. This belief practice began in 1921 when a man received a vision of the Divine Eye, a powerful symbol of Cao Daism. Most followers are white at noon mass, and the pope, archbishop, cardinal, and priest are colourful. After the noon mass, enjoy your lunch, and continue travelling through lush farmlands, rice paddies, idyllic villages, and rubber plantations to Ben Duoc tunnels.
Arrive at the Head Quarter of original tunnels around 3:00 pm, watch the documentary film about the war in Cu Chi from 1948 to 1975 before you tour the tunnels of of more than 250 km. The tunnels of Cu Chi are an immense network and were used for hiding and fighting during combat and served as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches, and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters. The tunnel systems were important to the Viet Cong in their resistance to enemy forces and helped counter the growing American military effort.
Arrive at the Be Dinh tunnels around 3:00 am, watch a documentary film, then explore the renowned fighting tunnels on foot, traps, bunkers, trenches and experience crawling a piece of the underground tunnels. Then return to Saigon by vehicle in the late afternoon.
Ho Chi Minh - Nam Cat Tien
Be met at your hotel at 8:00 am to escape the crowded Saigon to the Nam Cat Tien National Park where you soak yourself into nature. Cat Tien is one of the perfect national parks for adventures, learning wildlife, and bird watching destinations in Vietnam. After a couple of hours vehicle drives on highway 1A, through small towns, industrial parks, then turn right on Highway 20, and through rubber plantations, mountain scenery with a nice coffee break.
Arrive around 11:30 am, check-in at the Jungle Lodge, enjoy lunch, rest until 3:30 pm, have a motorboat ride on the Dong Nai River, admire the fantastic view, and see many kinds of birds, cormorants, macaques and civets on the trees along the peaceful River. It is excellent timing to wildlife on waterways through forest and lovely sunset. Back to the hotel, join the night spotting tour by jeep to see wildlife that people rarely see. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight in the park.
Cat Tien Park – Ho Chi Minh
Get up early, listen to birds singing, and take a 10-minute boat ride to the Dao Tien island to learn about rehabilitation centres that rescue the endangered primates; silver languor and douc languor, black, small Loris, and yellow-cheeked gibbons. Then return to the Lodge for breakfast and ready for hiking to crocodile lake and learn more about flora and fauna.
You will have a jeep transfer of about 9km, where you hike on jungle trails to crocodile swamp. This wetland is a beautiful lake surrounded by the jungle and home to many crocodiles. You will immerse yourself in the beauty of the diverse flora species found around the area. Take a break, and view the peaceful natural landscapes. Finally, return to the hotel for lunch before you check out for a-3.5 hours driving back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Ho Chi Minh – Ben Tre
Ben Tre is 90 km south of Saigon, located by Ham Luong River- Mekong Delta. It is famous for coconut trees as the vast plantation. Since the coconut trunks, shells, and leaves had been used to make fibres, handicraft products, and coconut mats, family businesses also grew up. Begin the day trip with a 2 hours private vehicle drives south of Saigon to Ben Tre. The province is famous for its coconut trees as it looks like the plantations.
After an hour and half drives south of Ho Chi Minh, you arrive in Ben Tre around 10:00 a, and then you take a boat trip along the lively river bank before crossing the Cai to visit the village, stop at a coconut processing workshop. You can see locals making plenty of valuable products and experience daily life. Next, you will have a short tour through the village by Italian 3 wheel vintage Lambro. This three wheels passengers vehicle will remind you and locals about Saigon City from 1960 to 1975. However, the War ended and the Italian 3 wheels cars still using until late 1990. The vintage Lambro continues taking you to another family workshop producing coconut mats.
After the experience of making it with the family, take a walk to lush orchards, taste some tropical fruit before you enjoy a leisurely small sampan rowed on a natural creek through green water palms alongside. At the next stop, you get back on the boat and continue cruising. You will have a special lunch at your local home and continues to boat ride back to the dock. Say goodbye to the boatman for travel by car to Mr Sau Khanh. His hobby is collecting antiques; Altar vases made of bronze and ceramic, antique clocks, lights, and sculptures from different countries. His home now looks like a gallery/ showroom to display what he collected from 1980. Afterwards, keep on driving to My Tho and stop at Vinh Trang pagoda before returning to Saigon in the late afternoon.
Ho Chi Minh - Departure
Today is your return home. After breakfast, spend the rest shopping on Dong Khoi St, Ben Thanh Market, and relaxing until a pick up for transfer to the International Airport to fly home. Tour End!