A one day excursion will begin after boarding a luxury wooden boat, the Mekong Queen at the Vinh Long pier to cross the Co Chien River, one of the two branches of the Mekong. Stop to visit Mr. Tam Ho (No. 8 Tiger) family, where you take a short walk through his nursery garden to learn how seedlings of several tropical fruit trees are grown. You then listen to traditional music (subject to availability), called Tai Tu and performed by the local band while enjoying different tropical fruit and snake wine. Return on board the Mekong Queen for a one hour cruise through An Binh, Binh Hoa Phuoc and Dong Phu to Cai Be. These Islands are still un-known to many people and you will have a big opportunity to observe the beautiful and peaceful sceneries together with the typical life of the Mekong region. Stops and visits can be made during the excursion if requested.
On arrival in Cai Be, you then continue the cruise to a local factory to visit and learn how pop rice, pop corn, rice paper and coconut candies are made. You also have a chance to taste these products, served with hot green tea. Returning to the boat to go through the colorful Cai Be floating market, where you can witness all of trading activities of local traders with several kinds of agricultural product from one boat to another. The Cai Be floating market is one of the many well-known and the biggest wholesale markets in the western region of Southern Vietnam, which was formed during the Nguyen Dynasty in the 19th century. The market is always busy, bearing all the characteristics of the Southern local’s life in the Mekong region. All the goods are transported to the market by boats. The floating market lies in the Tien (Upper) river, and is divided into two parts: buying and selling places. Boats are anchored along the two sides of the river for kilometers. From the floating market, goods are shifted for selling at inland markets or small boats take them for delivery along canals in the Plain of Reeds. Approximately 400 to 500 boats filled with fruits, vegetables, and other products are anchored here and make it very busy from 05:00 am in the morning until late in the afternoon. Traders live on the river and some link their lives with boats like their mobile houses for generations. The products are hung on a pole in front of the boats to attract customers and it is also easier for customers to see the products they want to buy from a far and no need to go from one boat to another to save their time. Continue the cruise about 20 minutes to Dong Hoa Hiep for lunch.
A 10 minute walk through a local village and fruit gardens, you will be able to stop at a local family scaled Longan process factory, where you have another opportunity to take photo of and interact with the so friendly and hard working local people before coming to an old Mandarin house, built hundred years ago and it is where at least four generations of the family have been living. A so delicious Vietnamese lunch will be served by the owner, Mrs. Kiet. One of the highlights after lunch is to walk around the orchard to get to know what the main contribution to the economy of her family is based on.
You can take a choice of walking or rowing a small Sampan back to the Mekong Queen for another half an hour cruise on the Dong Hoa Hiep canal to Cai Be pier, where you board your own car to drive back to Saigon. The excursion will end at the Cai Be pier around 15:50 pm.