Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

HCMC through Mekong Delta to Phu Quoc?

Posted by dougiepunk on 26/7/2010 at 17:29

Posted from within Vietnam.

Hell0! Anyone got any ideas about the best wayto do this? Best I've come up with is bus to Can Tho then boat to Ca Mau, then boat boat to Rach Gia and boat to Phu Quoc. Anyone got any better / more fun ideas / sugestions? I'm in Hoi An at the mo, leaving for Da Lat in an hour, with about two weeks left in Viet Nam before hopefully crossing to Cambodia via Ha Tien after Phu Quoc. Help would be fab as I can'r seem to find much about doing this anywhere else... Cheers!

#1 dougiepunk has been a member since 1/6/2010. Posts: 3

Posted by somtam2000 on 27/7/2010 at 11:59 admin

Sounds cool - don't get a lot of questions about down there, so you've got a good trip on the way! I'd suggest stopping at at least Ben Tre rather than heading straight south to Can Tho. While Tra Vinh certainly isn't the centre of the universe, it is worth a lookin, plus you've got the whole area west of My Tho, heading up towards Chau Doc ... I know that isn't in the area you're looking at, but they're all worth a lookin. Also there are boats know from Phu Quoc Island to Ha Tien or Hon Chong so that works well with your exit strategy.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,575
 Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Google+   Instagram   Pinterest 


Posted by eastwest on 27/7/2010 at 12:32

I'm with Somtam. Spend some time in the Mekong Delta off the beaten track and you'll be rewarded with a great experience. Area east of Can Tho is also worth visiting but if you don't speak the language it might be difficult (not impossible).

It's my favorite thing to do in Can Tho: just find a boat to go on a few rivers around Can Tho (1 day or several days). Not the tourist daytrips but organize it yourself. It's a bit more difficult but very rewarding. My experience is that Can Tho is the easiest since you will find some people who speak english. Other areas it might be possible as well but language will be a bigger issue.

For your information: the most efficient route would be to take a direct bus (I know that Mai Linh does this) straight from HCMC to Rach Gia.
You would however miss a lot of fun if you did that.

#3 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778

Posted by dougiepunk on 29/7/2010 at 16:33

Posted from within Vietnam.

Thanks guys! I'll do a bit more research with your advice in mind! :).

#4 dougiepunk has been a member since 1/6/2010. Posts: 3

Posted by dougiepunk on 29/7/2010 at 16:46

Posted from within Vietnam.

Ok, so I've had a quick look. HCMC to Ben Tre then Can Tho . Is it worth going down to Ca Mau and getting a boat up to Rach Gia or should I just cut across from Can Tho (assuming this is possible.. bus? boat?...)? Any idea how much it would cost to hire a boat around Can Tho?

Cheers for the info!

#5 dougiepunk has been a member since 1/6/2010. Posts: 3

Posted by eastwest on 30/7/2010 at 17:54

It depends a little on your plan.
I don't have first hand experience with the boat Ca Mau to Rach Gia.

What I do know is that the Mekong river ways are all much alike so if you are going to spend a few days already touring in the delta I don't see the need of taking that boat. Minibuses (I have excellent experience with Mai Linh) leave regularly between Can Tho and Rach Gia. Easy, fast and cheap.

As for the boat trips around Can Tho:
- several hotels, guesthouses agencies offer trips. these are mostly with a group of tourists. some of them very touristic with obligatory visit to fruit farm etc. the tours aren't bad, well organized and cheap. some good ones (I can't remember which ones exactly) can even arrange homestays and don't have such a touristic feel. shop around as soon as you arrive.
- on the main riverfront in the little park there are ladies who you can approach directly for hiring a boat. these trips are the tourist trips to the floating markets and well worth it. you'll have to bargain and get up early but the sight of the markets is beautiful in the morning. It's been a while since I did this but I thought it was around $15 or so for a morning trip.
- if you want to go further off the beaten track the ladies on the waterfront are the best way to start. I speak a bit of the language so I had a distinct advantage. They'll probably say that it isn't possible and so on but if you persist in a friendly manner it should be possible and they might refer you to a person who's willing to take you on. I once ended up on a boat full of pineapples and spent a few days on board with the farmers. To find something like this you'll have to be patient and lucky. Price was very decent ($40 for 3 days which included food and a spartan sleeping place). In all fairness: nothing happened during that trip. A lot of stops (trying to sell pineapples) and at very slow pace but for an "observer" as me it was great. I just love to hang around and watch local daily life go bye

have fun

#6 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778

Posted by ljdeshayes on 9/8/2010 at 02:26

Hi Ill be travelling in late Nov and also want to see the Mekong sights, Phu Quoc before heading to Phnom Penh. Anyone have an opinion about whether its best to see the Mekong before or after phu quoc if headed to PP? From HCMC I thought seeing the Mekong would be the best way to make it down to Phu Quoc, but have read other posts about taking the Mekong in while heading from Phu Quoc to PP. Also, is there a way to set this up ahead of time or any suggestions for a good place to go for arrangements while in HCMC?

#7 ljdeshayes has been a member since 2/5/2010. Posts: 6

Posted by oasisbarhatien on 13/8/2010 at 15:59

Posted from within Vietnam.

I've done the trip several ways.I live in Ha Tien now.You can get to Rach Gia from Saigon in a number of ways.Bus to Can Tho,then boat to Ca Mau.Or you could fly to Ca Mau,and get the boat to Rach Gia.I did that a couple of months ago,about 650,000VND to fly (1 hour)Then by boat from Ca Mau-Rach Gia 160,000VND about 3 hours.These are the rapid(but cramped) fibreglass boats.From Rach Gia you can take the boat to Phu Quoc.There are several different companies,and it's typically about 250,000VND and 2-3 hours. After enjoying Phu Quoc head to Ha Tien on a boat,that's a shorter trip, about 1-2 hours and 100,000-160,000 VND From there,you can either go by bus to Sihanoukville or Phnom Penh (both about 4-5 hours).Or you can get a bus to Chau Doc ,and get a boat up the Mekong to Phnom Penh The trip to Chau Doc is about 2-3 hours,the boat trip on a fast boat is about 4-5 hours and costs around 20-25 USD

#8 oasisbarhatien has been a member since 12/8/2010. Posts: 113
 Website 

Posted by oasisbarhatien on 13/8/2010 at 15:59

Posted from within Vietnam.

I've done the trip several ways.I live in Ha Tien now.You can get to Rach Gia from Saigon in a number of ways.Bus to Can Tho,then boat to Ca Mau.Or you could fly to Ca Mau,and get the boat to Rach Gia.I did that a couple of months ago,about 650,000VND to fly (1 hour)Then by boat from Ca Mau-Rach Gia 160,000VND about 3 hours.These are the rapid(but cramped) fibreglass boats.From Rach Gia you can take the boat to Phu Quoc.There are several different companies,and it's typically about 250,000VND and 2-3 hours. After enjoying Phu Quoc head to Ha Tien on a boat,that's a shorter trip, about 1-2 hours and 100,000-160,000 VND From there,you can either go by bus to Sihanoukville or Phnom Penh (both about 4-5 hours).Or you can get a bus to Chau Doc ,and get a boat up the Mekong to Phnom Penh The trip to Chau Doc is about 2-3 hours,the boat trip on a fast boat is about 4-5 hours and costs around 20-25 USD

#9 oasisbarhatien has been a member since 12/8/2010. Posts: 113
 Website 

Posted by ljdeshayes on 15/8/2010 at 00:26

thanks for the info. any opinion about which leg (into or out) I should use to tour the mekong? Also, any suggestions for a place to go for travel arrangements while in HCMC or it that not necessary?

#10 ljdeshayes has been a member since 2/5/2010. Posts: 6

Posted by oasisbarhatien on 15/8/2010 at 09:24

Posted from within Vietnam.

As to the route you take,it really depends where you are going on to after the Delta.As for booking,I've always used the hotel I'm in if I'm by myself, or my (Vietnamese) wife has done it if we are both there.I couldn't recommend any particular agent,sorry.The way I would travel,is to go by bus/minibus to Can Tho from Saigon,Then to Ca Mau,by bus or boat.Then Rach Gia by boat,Phu Quoc by boat,Ha Tien by boat,and then either into Cambodia at the Xa Xia border,or by bus to Chau Doc,from where you can either go back to Saigon,into Cambodia by Chau Doc,or take a boat up the Mekong to Phnom Penh.Of course it depends on the time you have,and what you want to see or do.Can Tho has floating markets,Ca Mau is good for bird watching,Rach Gia is just a stop off point really to transit to PQ,which is good for relaxing on a beach.If you need any more specific information,please ask

#11 oasisbarhatien has been a member since 12/8/2010. Posts: 113
 Website 

Posted by oasisbarhatien on 15/8/2010 at 09:25

Posted from within Vietnam.

As to the route you take,it really depends where you are going on to after the Delta.As for booking,I've always used the hotel I'm in if I'm by myself, or my (Vietnamese) wife has done it if we are both there.I couldn't recommend any particular agent,sorry.The way I would travel,is to go by bus/minibus to Can Tho from Saigon,Then to Ca Mau,by bus or boat.Then Rach Gia by boat,Phu Quoc by boat,Ha Tien by boat,and then either into Cambodia at the Xa Xia border,or by bus to Chau Doc,from where you can either go back to Saigon,into Cambodia by Chau Doc,or take a boat up the Mekong to Phnom Penh.Of course it depends on the time you have,and what you want to see or do.Can Tho has floating markets,Ca Mau is good for bird watching,Rach Gia is just a stop off point really to transit to PQ,which is good for relaxing on a beach.If you need any more specific information,please ask

#12 oasisbarhatien has been a member since 12/8/2010. Posts: 113
 Website 


Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.