Water Puppet Tours

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With its numerous national parks, white sand beaches, colourful villages, pagodas and ancient monuments, forests and islands, Vietnam is a land of often surprising beauty, offering cultural depth and history, increasingly combined with tourism-friendly areas offering all the facilities a modern traveller could wish for.

Vietnam’s people are its greatest asset: gregarious, friendly and eager to meet visitors. In the bustling cities, the often chaotic streets contrast ox carts with limousines, ancient rituals with sophisticated technology, and are ruled by the ubiquitous moped.

Our strength is in translating these opportunities into detailed, practical itineraries. We do luxury travel and event planning, as well as a wide range of beach, family, honeymoon, adventure, golf, veteran and cultural tours.

There is no better way to experience a destination than through the perspective of the local people. At Water Puppet Tours, this key element of local insight drives every step of our process of tour design and delivery. We provide tailor-made tours individually crafted for each client, achieving this by emphasizing the direct working relationship between the client and the tour designer and operator.


Travel Style

Travel Destination

Southern Adventure 13 Days

It’s time for a real life adventure in Vietnam! Discover the bustling Saigon metropolis with an interesting cycling trip to the vibrant Mekong Delta, miracles of nature in Nam Cat Tien national park with various activities of jungle trek, night safari. You will explore the diverse landscape and culture while enjoying the comfort of top hotels in the tour.

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City arrival (Dinner, Guide)

Arriving at Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. You’ll have time to relax after your journey before a Welcome dinner. In the evening, you’ll have tickets for a performance of traditional Water Puppetry (an art form unique to northern Vietnam, and a good, light-hearted introduction to its rural culture). You’ll spend the night in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 2: Saigon - Mekong Delta - Can Tho (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

After breakfast, you will leave Saigon for Cai Lay, Tien Giang Province. You will ride to Cai Be on back roads approx 1.5 hours. After that, you will start riding the flat scenic roads, passing fruit orchards and expansive, emerald rice fields en route to Cai Be. Upon arrival in Cai Be, board local sampan (boat) for slow drifting down the smaller branches of the Mekong River past waterfront villages and floating market, then pausing for lunch of local specialties on Binh Hoa Phuoc Island. In the afternoon, continued boating to Vinh Long and disembark for continued cycling through countryside roads. Transfer remaining distance to Can Tho. You will spend the night in Can Tho.

Day 3: Mekong Delta Biking (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

Rise early morning to witness the beautiful sunrise over the Mekong River. After breakfast banquet, board sampan to explore the vibrant, bustling Cai Rang and Phong Dien floating markets - some of the last authentic floating markets in Asia swirling with hundreds of boats zig-zagging on the river. Afterward, mount bikes for pleasant riding under the lush green, jungle canopy in one of the most scenic areas of the Delta. After passing through numerous villages, return to the hotel for cooling off in the pool. You will stay overnight in Can Tho

Day 4: Can Tho Biking (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

Biking distance: ~ 20 km (Can be adjusted to your fitness)

Depart from the Hotel jetty on a traditional boat with bicycles. You will then cross the Hau River, cruising on Cai Von canal and stop over for the visit of an incense making community. Continuing by boat you will arrive at a tiny village. Finally, you will start biking through the lush countryside. It's really a big challenge on the rough trails and dikes along immense rice fields. This trip brings you a great experience with a lot of rustic charms and the simplicity of farmers' life such as funny monkey bridges, water buffalos, duck keepers, fishermen and more. Then you will be back to your hotel to stay overnight

Day 5: Can Tho - Saigon (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

After breakfast, You will be continued biking (or optional boating by sampan) through the tranquil paths and lush canals of the area, along the scenic, back country roads stopping to visit local schools, markets and homes, and pausing for fruit tasting and tea at a longan tree orchard with a local family. After lunch, you will return to Ho Chi Minh City by a private car stopping briefly in My Tho for refreshments at a local cafe. You will spend the night in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City – Nam Cat Tien National Park (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Guide)

After breakfast, your guide and driver will take you to Cat Tien National Park, about 150 kilometers or a 3 ½ hour drive. Then you will check into the park and have lunch at Cat Tien National Park Restaurant. In the afternoon, you will take a jungle trek (8 kilometers) to see the abundant fauna and flora in the Park or bird watching option if you’re a professional birder. The best bird watching guide in Southern Vietnam works at Cat Tien.

After dinner, an hour jeep night cruise into the forest for the wild life spotting. You’ll be equipped a good pair of binoculars to see monkeys, deer and other small mammals. You’ll stay overnight in the guesthouse in the centre of the park.

About 150km from Ho Chi Minh City, Nam Cat Tien is one of Vietnam’s largest protected areas – a complicated network of wetlands and tropical forest nearly 74,000 hectares in two sections bisected by a river, the larger about fifty or sixty kilometres across in both directions. Its bio-diversity is considerable with over fifty endangered species listed in the ‘Red Book’ including the Javan Rhinoceros, the Siamese Crocodile and the Indochina Tiger. Of particular interest is its large bird population – well over three hundred species have been identified so far.

There are several trails through the forest. Although they avoid the deeper areas that are the habitat of the rarer species, they are well designed and offer good opportunities to see a wide range of flora and fauna. The best time to visit Nam Cat Tien National Park is the dry season from December to late May.

Day 7: Nam Cat Tien - Dalat (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

After breakfast, you will take the morning jungle trek out to Bau Sau (Crocodile Lake) and back (10 kilometers). You will have lunch in the park before departure to Dalat. You will enjoy the breathtaking scenery along the way with coffee and tea plantations, jungle blanketed valleys and pine forested hills (250 km or 4 hr drive).You will then check in to hotel and dinner at one of the great Dalat cafes and back to hotel for a good night's rest before next day's adventure.

Day 8: Off Road Mountain biking around Dalat (short and long options) (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

Your day begins at the north of Dalat. You’ll ride along picturesque scenic roads through farms to off-road single-track forest paths. The initial path is wide and inviting, very relaxing and quiet, but the trail soon narrows and obstacles such as large tree roots begin to appear. On the way, you’ll pass farms and houses. The occupants will watch your efforts with a bemused expression or blank astonishment – if you can manage a wave, you might be rewarded with the sympathetic smile that the Vietnamese reserve for apparently mad foreigners. After a picnic lunch, the route continues through the forest. There will be good view of the surrounding mountains including the 2,169m Lang Bian peak before you swing round to return to Dalat.

You can choose a two to three hour ride or a full three to five hours if you have sufficient stamina. Almost all the distance will be through hill country, sometimes requiring even experienced riders to dismount and walk some stretches. Although you will be accompanied by a specialist guide, please note that this trip involves semi-technical techniques and is very demanding. It might be advisable to check your travel insurance policy in case there’s a clause relating to strenuous activities.

Day 9: Kayaking in Dalat (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

This trip to the Highlands wouldn't be complete without exploring the beautiful lakes in the region. Nothing beats the stunning views of mountains and forests from the serenity of Tuyen Lam Lake. Head deep into the jungle on small rivers and tributaries that feed into the lake, the flat water kayaks offer the stability of a canoe and the speed of a more traditional kayak. Get out into areas that are accessible only by water and see some of the natural beauty and wildlife Vietnam has to offer then back to hotel and stay overnight in Dalat City.

Day 10: Bike to Nha Trang (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

This ride to Nha Trang starts with a 45 minute transfer 33km to the north east of Dalat on a new road and through the newest national park in Vietnam (Bidoup Nui Ba). It offers fantastic cycling in the highlands as well as down a 28 kilometer pass to the coast. The first section of the ride starts in pine forest and rolls through the hills with beautiful views of farms, countryside and Nui Ba Mountain. There is one final 3 kilometer climb to the top of the pass before some serious downhill. The 28 kilometer, uninterrupted downhill section is the longest section of downhill that we offer.

After reaching the bottom of the pass you’ll have picnic style lunch by a river. The section of riding after lunch offers a beautiful sampling of country living in Vietnam, passing through small villages and farms. This section of riding, although pleasant, can be challenging as the hills roll continuously. Average riding distance is 70 kilometers with an option to ride more, or less. The support vehicle can be used at any time if you need to.

Day 11: Full day private boat trip in Nha Trang (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

After breakfast, a car will take you to board a boat for a whole-day cruise to some of the small islands in the bay. You’ll anchor off Mun Island for snorkelling and a glass bottom basket boat ride to see colourful corals and the various marine life. You’ll then head to Mieu Island to enjoy a local basket boat ride and explore the life of fishermen at Mieu fishing village. If you wish, you can join other tourists for the ‘music entertainment’ with a wine and fruit party, followed by a seafood lunch on Tre Island. In late afternoon, you’ll return to the mainland and be driven to your hotel. You’ll spend the night in Nha Trang.

You’ll cruise on a private boat with Vietnamese crew members who will highlight the beauty of Nha Trang Bay. En route, plenty of wine and tropical fruits are available. The coral around Mun Island is good, provided you swim away from the area where the boats tie up.

Day 12: Cycling through rural villages around Nha Trang (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

After breakfast, you’ll mount a mountain bike to cycle across the countryside around Nha Trang City stopping off at several villages, a working brick kiln and a good example of typical 19th century Vietnamese architecture, en-route. You’ll meet the local people and gain an insight into their rural lifestyle and how they earn a living. Your journey will take you through rice fields worked by farmers and water buffalos, as well as visiting hamlets producing rice paper, conical hats, woven rice-stalk mats and charcoal stoves. Lunch will be at a riverside restaurant. You will spend the night in Nha Trang.

Day 13: Nha Trang - Ho Chi Minh City. (Breakfast, Guide)

In the morning, you’ll be free until your car arrives to take you to the airport for a flight to Ho Chi Minh City in good time to connect with your international departure flight.

Inclusive

  • Vietnam Visa invitation letter
  • Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room.
  • Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary above. For description, see below
  • Domestic flight tickets: Nha Trang – Ho Chi Minh City, including domestic airport taxes.
  • Road travel in an appropriate private vehicle for transfer and back up when cycling as itinerary (supplement luggage van to carry bike and baggage).
  • The services of experienced English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary.
  • Where necessary, entry fees for all visits as mentioned in the programme.
  • Lunches and dinners, as specified, in the best local restaurants, picnics where suitable restaurants are not available.
  • Good quality touring cycles for all cycling days in the programme.
  • Drinking water for cycling days as itinerary.
  • Snack, soft drink and local fruits for cycling days.
  • Simple first aid kit.
  • VAT and other taxes.

Exclusive

  • International flight tickets and airport tax.
  • Lunches and dinners, except as specified above.
  • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses.
  • Insurance
  • Surcharges for peak season (if any)
  • Compulsory meals (if any)

 

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