The Four Islands Mekong Day Tour – Vietnam

The Four Islands Mekong Day Tour – Vietnam

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.

Need accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City? Check out TripAdvisor.


Four Islands Mekong, Vietnam.

Get ready for an action packed Four Islands Mekong Tour.


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.


Four Islands Mekong

Exploring the Four Islands Mekong with the family.


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 guide of Four Islands Mekong

The guide is a hoot.



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.


Tour Rest Stop, Vietnam

The Tour Rest Stop.


Tour Rest Stop, Vietnam.

The Cafe at 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.


Ving Trang Pagoda

State of Budai at Ving Trang Pagoda, Vietnam.


Ving Trang Pagoda

Ving Trang Pagoda



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.


Mekong River, Vietnam

Cruising the Mekong River.


Mekong River, Vietnam

Not the cleanest part of the river as you can see by the banks.



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.


Making candy, Vietnam.

Busy at work making candy on Unicorn Island.


Unicorn Island

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.


Unicor Island, Vietnam

Canoe the canals on Unicorn Island, Vietnam.


The snake handler

The snake handler.


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.


Toroise Island on the Mekong

Tortoise Island on the Mekong River.

Four Islands Mekong

Resting on the hammocks at Four Islands Mekong.


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.

Need accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City? Check out TripAdvisor.
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Mekong Delta Islands

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The Bitexco Financial Tower Skydeck- The Best view in Saigon

The Bitexco Financial Tower Skydeck- The Best view in Saigon

The Bitexco Financial Tower Skydeck- The Best view in Saigon


The Bitexco Financial Tower stands out large amongst many other high rises in the Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh City and the unique design of the Bitexco building only clarifies it’s firm hold as tourist zone in the city. From ground zero, the building bares down at you like a giant standing out from the pack and the unique sky rise is quite a spectacle on the gazing eye.

It is the viewing area of the Bitexco Financial Tower Skydeck of the 49th floor, or the Saigon Skydeck,  that will leave you speechless the most. From the moment you get off the elevator, you step out and stare in the distance at a city that is full energy amongst a mass of traffic, and from above, you can’t help feel in a bit piece when admiring the best views in Saigon from the comfort of the skydeck.

Let’s climb the Bitexco Tower together and discuss a few of the basic information required to help your Bitexco trip to the top, a helpful trip with this rough guide to the Bitexco Financial Tower Skydeck.

Heading to Vietnam? look for accommodation on TripAdvisor!


Bitexco Financial Tower

The stands with its unique design stands out above.

Bitexco Financial Tower skydeck

Getting ready to visit the top.



Where is Bitexco Tower

Bitexco is in a popular tourist spot in district one of Ho Chi Minh City, with plenty of other nearby attractions such as Ben Thanh Market, Saigon Centre and Nguyen Hue Walking Street all situated close by.

Once you’re in the general vicinity of the building, look up and you will see the uniquely designed finance tower. From that point finding the building won’t be problem as you visit the Skydeck tickets counter and up the express elevator to the Sky deck.


Skydeck hours and tickets

The Bitexco Skydeck hours operate from 9:30am to 9:30pm, therefore, there is a good dosage of hours during the day to visit the skydeck, with no doubt, the sunset times being the most popular time during the day to visit. Be sure to use your time wisely when wanting to take the elevator trip to the top and visit the Bitexco Financial Tower on a clear Saigon day.

The Bitexco Financial Tower skydeck price is probably the one thing in Vietnam that comes with bit of a cost (although is still relatively cheap). The cost up to the Skydeck is 200000vnd, which in other currencies is about $9USD or $12AUD. So yeah, not much really and worth it for the low price.

Do you need to pre-purchase your Saigon Skydeck tickets? The you can grab affordable prices from Klook with this link.


Bitexco HCMC

Views from Bitexco HCMC.

Bitexco Financial Tower

Great views from the Bitexco Financial Tower.



A little history of the Bitexco Financial Tower

The Bitexco Financial Tower is a new building in the schemes of the things with a short history in terms of completion date. The ground breaking began in 2005, the construction of the tower started in 2007 and it was officially opened October 31 of 2010. They don’t mess around with construction in Vietnam.

Upon completion, the Bitexco Building was the tallest building in Vietnam, but that reign was short lived with the Hanoi Landmark Tower taking over in January of 2011. Although Landmark 81 in Ho Chi Minh City now holds the title of the biggest building in Vietnam.


Go to the Skydeck on a clear day

It goes without saying. If you plan on going to any building or other venue with a view around the world, go on a clear day. Don’t waste your money on an overcast or foggy day. Ho Chi Minh City is quite picturesque with all the rivers and canals running through the city and it’s quite stunning to look over the city from great heights. It’s also exciting to see the cranes and new buildings in progress, it gives you a sense that Ho Chi Minh is a city that’s fast changing.

Check out more Fair Dinkum Traveller’s articles on Ho Chi Minh City, right here. 


Heading to Vietnam? look for accommodation on TripAdvisor!


Bitexco Financial Tower

Best views are seen on a clear day. Naturally.



The Verdict of the Bitexco Tower

I know what you’re saying, because I say it too, Sky decks can be an overrated thing, not really the case with the Bitexco Tower due to it’s fair admission price and once on top, you’ll appreciate all the action happening on the chaotic streets of Saigon down below and the views, if you visit on the right day, are fantastic.

Once you do visit the Bitexco skydeck for its stunning views, you can head back below to the shopping mall area to catch up on a little bit of a retail therapy, have a bite to eat or drink at a Bitexco Tower restaurant or watch the latest blockbuster movie at the Bitexco cinema on the lower floors. The Bitexco Financial Tower is an icon of the city and when time suffices during your visit Vietnam holiday it more than requires a visit to see the rapidly changing growth of Ho Chi Minh City before your very own eyes.



Capture the streets of Saigon from a birds eye view.

Bitexco Tower

The sun peaks over the Bitexco Tower on a sunny Saigon day.

Bitexco tower Skydeck

More views from Bitexco tower Skydeck.

Bitexco tower Skydeck

skydeck hcmc.


A Personal Experience of Getting a Hong Kong to Shenzhen Visa

Making the Most of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam – Saigon Tips

Making the Most of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam – Saigon Tips

The average holiday tends to be a week or two, unless you’re one of the fortunate ones and are able to travel for months on end with little thought of the real world. Now for a moment, let’s assume that we’re you average Joe person and you’re having a regular holiday, therefore, making the most of your short-lived holiday is paramount. It’s a situation I found myself in during my trip to Vietnam when I ventured into the city with my family. It was school holidays and we had little time in the crazy city of Ho Chi Minh City.

Isn’t that what holidays are all about anyway. Making the most of your time, making the most of your life, because it is all precious and so is travel. And f you blink, you will miss it. In that case, I’m going to give you a few little hints of making the most of your time in Ho Chi Minh City, one of the craziest cities in the world.

Heading to Vietnam? look for accommodation on TripAdvisor!


Making the Most of Ho Chi Minh City

Making the Most of Ho Chi Minh City.



Making the Most of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam – Saigon Tips


Book a Day tour or two in and Around Ho Chi Minh City

Day tours in Ho Chi Minh City are a blast and there are plenty to choose from. You can take amazing day tours that feature famous attractions in great locations and a fun English speaking guide’s that  are bound to entertain you the whole trip. Whether you elect to explore the beautiful coastal area of Vietnam, the Mighty Mekong Delta or get a little claustrophobic in the Cu-Chi Tunnels, A day is well spent exploring the Southern part of Vietnam that will have you back tour Saigon hotel in no time.

Check out these amazing tours from Get Your Guide and begin making the most of your time in Ho Chi Minh City.


Cu-Chi Tunnels.

Hideaway in the Cu-Chi Tunnels.

Making the most of a day trip

Book a day trip on the Mekong River in Vietnam.


Discover a chaotic city like no other

Ditch the motorbikes and forget the car. The best way to discover Saigon, is by your own two feet. Exhausting I know, but by walking the streets you can discover hidden alley ways, hidden restaurant, hidden stalls and truly discover what this fascinating city is all about.

Some of the best food I ate in Vietnam were the restaurants that found me and not the other way around. Or finding boutique marketplaces that are not well known but a bargain can still be found. It’s a great way to discover a chaotic city, which I can assure you is a city like no other in this world.


Ho Chi Minh City

Discover Ho Chi Minh City.

thousand words

You will be surprised at what you find when you discover a city by foot.


Eat Soup, lots and lots of soup

Soup, Soup and more soup, the famous Vietnamese soup is everywhere in this city. You can find your fulfilling bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup  in many stalls, whether it will be on street corners, in driveways, markets, restaurants and even located on the middle of the footpath where you walk. Soup in Vietnam is something you can’t escape. Don’t fight it, just eat whenever the stomach is craving.

making the most of soup eating in Vietnam.

Have Vietnamese Soup, freshly made.

Lots of soup (pho) in Vietnam.


Visit Historical Sites in amazing Saigon

The French once had a large presence in the South and it is obvious with its stunning French architecture designed buildings located throughout district-1 of Ho Chi Minh City. The Notre Dame Cathedral and The Old Pot Office are a stone throw from each other and it is a tourist bonanza as the camera happy travellers take pictures of such beauty. The Opera House in the central part of the District 1 is another building that is worth your attention.

Often during your journeys in the city, you’ll come across epic buildings that are of historical nature and you can check out a great list of buildings to visit with this link to Wikipedia.


Notre Dame

Notre Dame Cathedral.

Making the most of Saigon.

Ho Chi Minh City has some amazing historical buildings.


Dodge Traffic, you can’t avoid it

Dodging motorbikes in Ho Chi Minh City is not an option, it’s compulsory. Whether you’re crossing roads, walking on footpaths or even in marketplaces, most times you are risking life or limb in doing so, in may or may not be an overstatement. But on the other hand, you couldn’t truly say that you were in Saigon if you didn’t experience a close call with a motorcyclist.

There you have, a brief explanation of making the most of Ho Chi Minh City, now all you need to do is book your airfare, find a suitable hotel and you too can enjoy the atmosphere of this truly chaotic city. 


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Just a normal day in a chaotic city.

Uber (Now GRAB) your way Around Crazy Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam

Uber (Now GRAB) your way Around Crazy Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam

As is widely known, Uber was taken over by Grab in most Southeast Asian countries and is now a popular choice for transportation in the region.

Is Grab safe in Vietnam? Straight off the bat, I say yes. I would never put myself in any danger, but more importantly my family also and while travelling in Ho Chi Minh City, I never had a bit of fear in using Grab ride-hailing transportation.

I do have a few pet hates in life. One is getting ripped off and being taken advantage of in life, especially when in a vulnerable situation. It’s life’s little cruel acts that happen to us all from time to time that annoy me. I know, I know, it’s only small things. But, we all have those little things that piss us off, and it is each to their own.

As a traveller, I am always mindful of such circumstances when travelling abroad, primarily locals who think they can up the price upon clumsy tourists — for example, getting the cost-driven up on you while shopping at a local market, or a taxi driver ripping you off by a deliberately taking a more extended route home.

You all know what I am talking about and I am sure you have been there and seen it all before.

Enter Uber in Vietnam, now Grab. You know, that new craze taking the world by storm. Where you order a driver through the Uber app on your phone, the fee is pre-determined and pre-paid by your registered credit card. From day one into Vietnam, Grab truly was my saviour when I ventured into Ho Chi Minh City, and it became a useful friend and my number one means of transports, so often I used it at least 20 times in a two week period.


Are you Heading to Vietnam? Check for hotels on TripAdvisor!



Is Uber safe in Vietnam? You bet it is.


The Ease of using (Grab) Uber in Vietnam

Convenience is the key when using Grab anywhere in Southeast Asia. You know the fee before you get in the car. No ifs, no buts, no arguments. You don’t get ripped off by the driver and vice-versa, you can’t cheat the driver. It’s a win-win situation for all involved.

Sure you may run into a little trouble from time to time, I didn’t, but we don’t live in a perfect world, but in my own opinion, Grab is safe in Vietnam and very convenient.


Save your coins

No need to get your foreign cash-out or go digging for your coins, save your money for shopping in the markets or a good meal where you take advantage of a delicious Vietnamese soup.

When you sign up, it’s valid in any Grab operating country, and your credit card is registered through the Grab app, and the rest is taken care of for itself, from the moment you click for a driver on the smartphone.


Grab is cheaper than a taxi

I used a taxi once in Ho Chi Minh City, what a fool, but to be fair it was when I first entered the city from the airport, and I was still getting my bearings right. In saying that, I know on average I saved from that trip with a taxi and it’s fair to say I saved a good 4-5 dollars per trip, using Uber over a standard taxi.

Maybe it doesn’t seem such a big deal for a single trip, but times it by ten and all the sudden you’re looking at a significant saving. That equals a heck of a lot of meals or singlets in a Southeast Asian country.


The drivers are quite cool and Friendly

The driver’s got me from point A to point B in a safe manner. In Vietnam as you are probably aware, the locals English is not so good, so the drive is rather quiet, but you get to your destination safely, and timely manner as the driver does his best to dodge the insane traffic of Saigon.

I had to get out of my comfort zone in a foreign country to get hooked on to Uber, I never use it much in Australia because I have no real need to do so, and while I know their services have been around a while, I’m just glad I got hooked on Uber in Vietnam and with the number of times I used their services, I saved a heap of cash and never had one bit of fear using the services.

Yes, Grab or Uber in Vietnam is safe.


Is Uber safe in Vietnam

Uber your way around Ho Chi Minh City
Is Uber in Vietnam safe

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Uber in Vietnam safe

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Vietnam Destinations  – The Top 5 places to visit in Dalat

Vietnam Destinations – The Top 5 places to visit in Dalat

Dalat is a beautiful city in the Central Highlands of Vietnam that is surrounded with pristine lakes, stunning gardens, a number of waterfalls and a bubbling town centre that is full of life and character. The Dalat Region is a popular tourist choice for holiday goers who venture into Vietnam, with a number of activities to do, attractions to visit and outside nature to explore.

It may not have the razzle and dazzle of the larger cities in Vietnam like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh CIty, and to be truthful, that is probably a good thing. because this vibrant city will leave you with fond memories that will sit with you long after your holidays is done and dusted in the Southeast Asian Country.

During my own stay in Dalat, I visited some truly wonderful attractions that left a fantastic appeal on me that I personally needed to share it with you for future travel destination advice. Naturally, there is so much more to do and see in the exciting region than what is on this list, for this article however, I’m going to put the top 5 places to visit in Dalat, Vietnam.


Visiting Dalat for an unforgettable holiday? Look for affordable hotels at TripAdvisor.


Places to Visit in Dalat

The Top 5 Places to Visit in Dalat – Vietnam.


Top 5 Places to Visit in Dalat – Vietnam


1. Dalat star

The artist in you will love this truly magnificent place, the Dalat Star. The best way to describe the Dalat Star is a pit made of clay, carved out and designed to look like an ancient village with breathtaking sculptures, that will get you quickly getting your camera out. It’s a great chance for a couple of hours to take time to discover a truly unique attraction that has been well crafted to be a tourist hotspot.



Dalat Star

places to visit in Dalat

More of the unique Dalat Star.


2. The Dalat crazy house 

The architecture around the Crazy House is simply brilliant. Designed by one lady, The  Dalat Crazy House will leave your creative mind in awe as you stroll around this creepy attraction and grab a few great views of city of Dalat from heights. Not only is it a crazy place to spend an hour to view different structures and navigate the tricky mazes, it is also a hotel with a few rooms available for those wanting to holiday with a bit of difference, or dare I say it, a haunted house.



View from the top of the Crazy House.

Dalat Vietnam

Great views of Dalat from the Crazy House.


3. Xuan Huong Lake 

This leisurely and picturesque Xuan Huong lake is a popular spot to visit for a stroll or a little relaxation in the confines of nature next to the city-centre. A wonderful 5km walk around the lakes edge with beautiful pristine gardens and cafes to enjoy a coffee with a view, you’ll love to spend a few hours away from the hustle and bustle to just chill. While you’re chillin’ you can also take a ride on the pedal boats on the calm waters at a low cost, or take a horse and carriage to keep off your feet for a while.


Xuan Huong Lake.

Xuan Huong lake

Enjoy coffee at a lakeside cafe.


4. Dalat Night Market 

The Dalat night markets open at 5pm daily and it is not too different to any other markets in other parts of Vietnam, meaning it’s chaotic and full of life and character. The Markets has all the basics you need when seeking a bargain in Vietnam, fruit and vegetables, dried fruit, local coffee, butchers with a large selection of meat, poultry and seafood, a busy food court, a selection of clothing and other merchandise that may put a dent in your wallet. The atmosphere is electric in the evening and it is a great way to enjoy the nightlife of Dalat.



The busy Night Markets.

Dalat night markets

The Dalat night markets begins to open up.


5. Dalat flower Park 

Anyone want a little colour in their life? Then a gorgeous stroll through the Dalat Flower Park with a pristine lake and stunning gardens will give you the the colour you are seeking in the great outdoors of Dalat. This special Flower Park is beautifully landscaped and blooming in fresh flowers, that it makes it feel like spring all year round, Dalat is after all the garden capital of Vietnam. The Flower Park is the perfect spot for two lovers to visit and rekindle the magic, while you enjoy the scenic views inside the ever-popular Dalat Flower Park.

It’s five of the best places to visit in Dalat, not that Imean to narrow it down to five, because there is so much more going in the busy centre and surrounding region that you may need a few days to fit it all in. For a detailed list of things to do in Dalat, check the link to this article for a comprehensive list. 

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Dalalt flower park

The colour of Dalat Flower Park.

Dalat flower park

The Dalat Flower Park.

James Bond Island

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