The Four Islands Mekong Tour in Vietnam
When time is not on your side to take a lengthy trip down to the Mekong Delta and further towards the famous floating Markets, The Four Island Mekong Tour is the next best option for a great day out in Vietnam. It’s a perfect tour for families of any size or age, small groups or couples looking to explore the southern part of the country and better yet, the popular day tour is real close to Ho Chi Minh CIty.
In a single day, you can cruise the mighty Mekong River, marvel at the four Islands (although you don’t stop at them all) and divulge in some Vietnamese Food made by the locals on the Mekong. It’s a hectic trip done within a 10-hour schedule and a tour that must be considered for all travellers who venture into Southern Vietnam region.
Booking a Four Islands Mekong Tour
Booking a tour to the Four Islands Mekong can be found in most travel agencies on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, especially the row of agencies that are lined up at the rear of the popular Ben Thanh Markets. For an affordable price you can have a fulfilled tour with lunch included.
For other Mekong River options, did you know you can also opt for non-mainstream and less-touristy local activities in Can Tho? LandedVibe for Can Tho has tons of well-curated activities for modern travellers in the area and around the Mekong Delta.
The Guide of the Tour
The guide on this occasion, almost makes the trip and that is not an understatement. Great English speaking, a fun sense of humour and very informative about the Mekong River and the 4-islands as you would expect for a guide working the area, but the way he passed on the information was very professional. Naturally, which guide you get depends on which group you end up with on any given day. But I hear most go that extra effort to entertain their guest.
The Tour Rest Stop
After an hour on the manic and chaotic bus drive through Saigon, you get to stop for a rest at the Tour Rest Stop, an area specifically created for tour goers. It’s a gorgeous setting with tropical style café’s and a lush gardens with a fantastic water feature providing a picturesque backdrop. You will want to get your camera out at this rest stop, with the chance to take many pictures of the nature and the tropical setting of the Tour Rest Stop.
Ving Trang Pagoda Buddhist Temple
Another day in Vietnam and a another large Budai. The Ving Trang Pagoda is one of many great Buddhist Temples that can be seen in Vietnam, or Southeast Asia for that matter. The Ving Trang Pagoda is no exception, with the State of Budai the main attraction amongst other popular statures.
Ving Trang Buddhist temple is on the Southern side of Ho Chi Minh City and is seen of the tour before reaching the boats. Take some pictures and marvel and the fine structures that Vietnam do so well, you can also do a little shopping and buy a few souvenoirs at the nearby markets.
Cruising the Mekong River
Cruising the Mighty Mekong River is an awesome feeling indeed, a well known river that begins in the Himalayas and makes its way through Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, before finishing in Vietnam, is an experience just to be in its vicinity of the famous river in Southeast Asia and to be aboard the slow boats while admiring the views.
The crocodile filled section of the river around the Four Islands Mekong may not have the most gorgeous scenery, the mucky waters and the commercial boats can be a little off putting as they are everywhere. It’s important to look past it and admire the Mekong for what it truly is.
Coconut Candy Mekong Style
Check out the locals make their coconut candy without the luxuries of a factory is quite fascinating. From shredding the coconut into powder, to the mixing and the packaging. It is a detailed process with mainly female workers involved, who work quick to get the job done and in a proficient matter.
On the taste if coconut candy itself, it’s okay, but they are cheap and why not reward those hard-working women by purchasing a pack or six. They could make great gifts for any relatives back home who love their candy.
Unicorn Island is where most of the tour activities take place. On the island you learn how to make and then try the tasty honey tea, then pose with a large python snake, before the unfortunate horse and carriage ride which is a strain on the horse(you don’t have to ride if you don’t wish), the activities on Unicorn Island begin to add up in quick succession and the time begins to get away from you.
A highlight of the day is the local villagers taking the group on a canoe ride through the canals, which is surrounded by many palm trees and local housing, creating a welcome relief from the heat, with full shade protecting the canal.
The canoe ride, while more than enjoyable amongst pretty scenery, it can get a little annoying when the villagers start spending more time begging for a tip, than letting their guest enjoy the experience. Which is the last thing you want to hear during a pleasant ride.
Food of the Tour
A basic lunch is served to the group on Tortoise Island. On this day, the group had marinated pork with rice and vegetables but I hear it can change from day to day. If you still feel hungry after the initial meal, you can purchase extra food or drinks at your own expense.
After lunch, you get a good hour to wander Tortoise Island, where resting crocodiles can be seen caged in large numbers, a few market stalls that sell local souvenirs and the best part is the hammocks, which gets a good workout with a few of the people in the group getting a bit of a shut eye after a feed.
Fruits of the tour and a Vietnamese concert
A bit of fruit with some tea was the last on the list in the Four Islands Mekong tour. You are treated to a marvellous performance of Vietnamese music by the locals, with the show running for about fifteen minutes and a variety of artist performing in the mini concert.
The enjoyable performance, contains a few basic instruments, their amazing soothing voices and beautiful women dressed in their traditional dress. It is a fantastic cultural experience to end a day, before heading back home and a sleep on the bus through the chaotic Vietnamese traffic.