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Mekong Explorer - 7 days/6 nights

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) – Mekong Delta – Chau Doc – Phnom Penh

Explore the mighty Mekong River from the heart of Southern Vietnam to Cambodia. In this cultural and historical journey, you will meet a war time photo-journalist and explore the Mekong Delta up close with a luxury private cruise. Visit rustic countryside villages, home workshops and beautiful French colonial villas. Learn about the culture and cuisine of the Cham people who once ruled an ancient kingdom in Central Vietnam.

Privately-Guided! Whether you are a single person, a couple, or a group, you'll have your own guide and driver for all airport pickups, drop offs, and daily excursions. 
Choose Your Own Dates! This is not a fixed-departure-date tour. Just let us know the dates that work best for you and we will arrange everything.
Customizable! Need more time? Less time? Want to see or do something that isn't included? Just let us know, and we will arrange it for you and let you know the change in costs.
Click here to read what our clients have told us after they return.

Trip Highlights

  • Visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels built during the Vietnam War
  • Meet Mr. Hoang Van Cuong, a former United Press International photojournalist
  • Overnight on board your private river cruise boat
  • Bicyle ride in the countryside
  • Speedboat ride to Phnom Penh




Day 1: Arrive Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, you will be welcomed by our representative and transferred to your hotel for check in. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City
Optional: make an early morning visit to Tao Dan Park where you can join many local people for morning exercise or Tai chi. After, return to the hotel for a hearty breakfast before visiting the Reunification Palace - the former Presidential Palace of the Southern Vietnamese Government before 1975.


Proceed for photo opportunities at the Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, City Hall and Opera House. Head up to the observation deck at the new Bitexco Financial building for a bird's eye view of Saigon at 627 feet high. Later stop by the iconic Ben Thanh market and interact with local vendors selling an array of handicrafts, household goods, grocery items and typical local snacks. End the day at the roof top bar of the Caravelle hotel, a popular gathering place for journalists during the Vietnam War. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City. (Breakfast)

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City
This morning, drive to visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an important base during the American War. The Vietcong built a 200km long network of tunnels connecting command posts, hospitals, shelters and weapon factories. Dug out of hard literate by hand tools without the use of cement, this amazing network was never discovered.

Afternoon, return to Ho Chi Minh City and visit a private museum of war photography by Mr. Hoang Van Cuong, a former United Press International photojournalist during the war. Most American journalists departed with the US Embassy staff when North Vietnamese troops took over Saigon on April 30, 1975. Mr. Cuong was one of the few journalists who stayed behind and documented this momentous period with his photos. Listen to his encounters with combat troops and imprisonment in a re-education camp for seven years. Later, enjoy a Vietnamese coffee break while having your portrait sketched by a professional local artist. A lovely memento from your visit to Vietnam! Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City. (Breakfast)

Day 4: Ho Chi Minh City to Ben Tre to Tra On (Start of your private cruise)
After breakfast, drive about 1.5 hours to Ben Tre where you will board your private boat cruise at 10am (guide will accompany guest to Ben Tre). After enjoying a refreshing welcome cocktail on the deck and meeting your crew members, your boat will start cruising west towards Mo Cay District. Your first stop will be Phu Tan Village, where you will enjoy a bike ride through village paths, giving you an up-close look at local activities along the way.  Stop by a coconut-processing mill where you will see how various coconut products are made. After your bike ride, return to your boat and enjoy the afternoon sun while cruising through the scenic Vung Liem canals. Your last stop for the day will be in the town of Vung Liem, where you will cycle to a brickwork, and visit the local Cao Dai Temple. Evening time, you will have a cooking demonstration onboard before enjoying a delicious, 5-course dinner onboard. Your boat will moor at Tra On for the night. Overnight on board your private boat. (All Meals)


Day 5: Tra On to Can Tho to Cho Moi
Get up early in the morning to see the Tra On floating market before heading to Can Tho. Stop at the spectacular Cai Rang floating market (the Mekong’s largest & busiest), where you will transfer to a smaller boat and mingle amongst the thousands of trading vessels. After, transfer back to your boat for breakfast. Cruising will resume with a stop at Ong Ho Island to visit the Ton Duc Thang Museum, named after Vietnam’s second president after Ho Chi Minh. Later, stop at another small village for a bike ride where you will visit some traditional local workshops: mat weaving, rice-flour making and rice husking.  At this point you can extend your bike ride, enjoying the lush, peaceful beauty, or you can return to your boat and relax until lunch is served on board.

After lunch, you will stop Long Giang village to visit Tay An Temple, where locals practice a branch of Buddhism called Hoa Hao. Get on your bicycles and ride along the village road where you can observe the daily activities along the canal. Have a brief visit at Cai Xoai market before getting back to your sampan. Freshen up, and relax.  Dinner will be served on board while the boat cruises to Cho Moi town where your boat will moor for the night.  Overnight on board your private boat. (All Meals)

Day 6: Cho Moi to Chau Doc (End of your cruise)
Enjoy breakfast in the morning while cruising to Hoa Hao en route to Chau Doc. Stop and enjoy a walk through beautiful orchards and fields, meeting the friendly locals along the way. Get back to your boat for lunch. While cruising, you can stop at local villages, cross the monkey bridges and chat with the cheerful local kids. Upon arrival in Chau Doc, a border town to Cambodia, you will visit a Cham Islamic village in Chau Giang where the locals speak both Vietnamese and Cham languages. Visit the Mubarak Mosque, one of the mosques in the Chau Doc area. The cruise will then make its way to the pier in Chau Doc town where you will be transferred to a resort by the riverside. Rest of the day is free to relax or explore the town on your own. Overnight in Chau Doc. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 7: Chau Doc to Phnom Penh
Rise early for breakfast before taking a 5 hour speed boat ride to the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. You will travel along the Bassac River, the west delta tributary of the Mekong. Enjoy rustic views of bamboo stilt houses on river banks, agricultural farm lands and life along the Mekong. (Breakfast)

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Cambodia Extension

While this itinerary ends in Phnom Penh,, we can arrange a tour of Cambodia as an extension to this tour. For tours in Cambodia, see our Cambodia page for recommended itineraries.



Per Person Rates (based on double occupancy) start from: $2,015

Contact Us for advice on hotels and a quote based on your choice.


Please note that peak season supplements for stays over Christmas and New Years may apply.

Rates Include

  • All airport transfers to and from hotel by private car
  • All tours and excursions as outlined in the itinerary
  • All surface transportation as per the itinerary by air conditioned car with bottled water 
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfast including taxes and service charges
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to indicated sites
  • Private river cruise in Mekong Delta
  • Speedboat ride from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh
  • Services of a local English speaking guide for all visits and excursions

Rates Do Not Include

  • Visa fees
  • International airfare
  • Tips
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Supplements for stays on Christmas or New Year's Eve and mandatory gala dinners at the hotels on those dates

To Book This Tour

Please call us toll free at 1-877-362-2793 and let us know that you would like to book this tour. Then follow these instructions:

  1. Download, print, and fill out the Reservation Form for each person.
  2. Fax the form to us at 206-529-4803, or mail it to:

    Red Lantern Journeys
    1000 N. Northlake Way, Suite H
    Seattle, WA 98103
  3. Pay a non-refundable $500 per person deposit and we will initiate your reservations.
  4. Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure.

If your reservation is made less than 75 days prior to departure, the non-refundable deposit will allow us to initiate reservations. Full payment will be due immediately upon confirmation of all hotels and transportation services. If the services quoted cannot be confirmed, alternate accommodation or transportation will be arranged and the price will be adjusted accordingly.


Payments can be made by personal check, bank wire transfer, or credit card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will initiate your reservations and send you a statement showing your payment. Approximately 4 weeks prior to your departure, we will send you a final confirmation package containing your itinerary and detailed information on the logistics of your trip.
Forms to Download (pdf file)
Reservation Form with Complete Terms and Conditions



Cancellation/Refund Policies


- Cancel more than 60 days prior to departure - forfeit your deposit.

- Cancel between 30 and 60 days prior to departure - forfeit 50% of the tour cost.

- Cancel less than 30 days prior to departure - NO REFUND of tour cost.

- Cancellations must be made in writing and sent via mail, fax, or email to Red Lantern Journeys.

- Refunds will be processed within 30 days of receipt of your written request.

- No refunds are available for unused services or tours during your trip.



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