Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Mekong Delta and Cambodia

Posted by Stigron on 16/3/2009 at 16:24

We are travelling in 3 weeks to Saigon then on to Ankor Wat. My agent in HaNoi has told me ....""Mekong : you will need a guide tour anyway cause you cant organise the boat trip..etc yourselves.

And in Siemreap: you still have to hire a guide and car to visit temples. ""

I would prefer to do this independantly as the cost and "dumb tourist" values are quite high.

We're experienced with Sth east Asia and I'd love some tips about getting from siagon - can tho-chau doc. I believ its a great place to stop a couple of days.

Thanks in advance

#1 Stigron has been a member since 15/2/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 28

Posted by tuyet on 16/3/2009 at 18:16

done the mekong run down to cantho several times to see my girlfriend dont need guides used the my linh bus express you can book and pick up in bui vien street district 1 dont need tour guides for trips up to the floating markets just wander down to the river you will find many boat owners willing to take you out. shop around for price but go very early to see the best trading..reccomend the buffet breakfast at the ninkeo 2 hotel best in vietnam..cantho to chau doc again by mai linh bus. not done that yet next trip in march. hope this helps

#2 tuyet has been a member since 16/3/2009. Posts: 2

Agoda coupon: Get an extra 7% off selected properties with the coupon code

Posted by tuyet on 16/3/2009 at 18:36

just come back from siem reap again you can do it independantly get a moto 3 wheel frommyour guesthouse they are all experts on angor wat or so they say mine charged me 12us for the day its a short run out to angorhe took me to the different places of interest . worh taking a guide at angor when you get there unless you have done youe cambodian can spend the day there then enjoy great food at night in siem hotels guesthouses along the riverside. stayed at the riverside hotel .quite nice staff andgood guide to angor but bloody hot at angor suncream for sure.

#3 tuyet has been a member since 16/3/2009. Posts: 2

Posted by brucemoon on 20/3/2009 at 15:44


What you've been told is partly right.

There are two options. Either, take an organised tour (quite OK, eg. Sinh Cafe - but only book from Saigon [hate using HCMC, prefer Saigon, more romantic]), or make your own way (OK if you're a sort of seasoned tourist).

The organised trip from Saigon takes you by bus to the Mekong (4 hours straight), puts you on an overpopulated boat mostly comprising day trippers to/from Saigon for a 'tour' of 'must see' places. They then give you the most horrible lunch, pack you onto another bus for a further 4 hours of travel to Chau Doc . Once there, youstay overnight and they place you onto the boat to Cambodia and say bye-bye.

So, if you can arrange to get yourself to Chau Doc, you can also arrange to buy a ticket on the trip to Cambodia.

The boat trip to Cambodia from Vietnam leaves Chao Doc (refer Lonely Planet p. 441: 9th Ed).

The trip is VERY worthwhile, and you get deposited in Phnom Penh.

At Phnom Penh, it is easy to get a bus to Siem Reap.

At Siem Reap, all tourists are obliged to use a tuk-tuk (or similar).

Before going there, read up and work out what you want to do. In this regard, see my contribution at:


Getting yourself to Chau Doc can also be an enjoyable experience, as long as you have enough time to get there from Saigon (HCMC).

#4 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by amazon_blonde on 24/3/2009 at 09:10

Posted from within Vietnam.

We just did the Mekong Delta on our own two weeks ago. It was very easy to arrange boats in Chau Doc and Can Tho - we wandered along the riverfront and the boat drivers found us. Local transport by bus/mini bus is fairly safe and quick. Mai Linh mini buses are fine if you don't have any luggage but if you're tall or have lots of luggage the big buses are better (the big orange bus run by Phrung Trang or something like that is recommended). Bus from Can Tho to HCMC was 70,000 dong and from Can Tho to Chau Doc is 50,000 in the Mai Linh express mini bus. HOpe that helps.

Also did Siem Reap/Angkor on our own. Very easy to organize. Do not go with a tour group unless you want to be lead around the sites instead of looking at what you want to look at.

#5 amazon_blonde has been a member since 20/12/2008. Posts: 116

Posted by brucemoon on 24/3/2009 at 09:25

Gee, am

You're having an amazing trip.

I envy you.

#6 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by Stigron on 27/3/2009 at 14:06

Thanks to all who replied. Got some great info.

Only 13 more "get ups" to go.


#7 Stigron has been a member since 15/2/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 28

Posted by brucemoon on 27/3/2009 at 14:24


Great, eh?

I've got 4 wakey's (as Australian veteran's called them) till I depart: KL > Chiang Mai > overland > Chiang Khong > Gibbon Exp > Luang nam Tha > Luang Prabang > DBP > SaPa > HaNoi > ???

May bump into you. Will you be the one with the big smile?


#8 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by aejae212 on 1/4/2009 at 00:58

Hi -
I've just inquired with an agency specializing in Mekong trips. They came back to me wit a customized 3 day itin starting in Saigon. Day 1: bus Saigon to My Tho, boat trip on Thien River, drive to Vinh Long where we homestay the night. Day 2: Car from Vinh Long-Can Tho- Chau Doc , visits at Cai Bei and Sam Mount, overnight in 2 star hotel in Chau Doc. Day 3 we make our way to Phnom Penh. Cost for this is $182USD pp, not including the additional $45 pp speed boat from Chau Doc to PP. Am I alone here is saying that this sounds REALLY $$$$$???
My husband and I are traveling together with our young son; and I am beginning to think we want to do this on our own, rather than book thru a company.

#9 aejae212 has been a member since 31/3/2009. Posts: 1

Posted by somtam2000 on 2/4/2009 at 08:07 admin

Hi aejae212,

Yes that strikes me as very expensive. As long as you're comfortable roughing it a little while travelling, you could do that same trip solo for a fraction of the cost. ie.,

Bus from Saigon to My Tho - boat trip can be organised independently, though My Tho can be pricey - perhaps $20-25 for the boat -- less if you're lucky.

Bus from My Tho to Vinh Long . Vinh Long homestays can be arranged through freelancers on the river bank, or through the tourist office there. From memory we were offered a homestay for about $30 for the night.

Bus from Vinh Long to Can Tho -- I'd suggest breaking the trip here with an overnight stay and doing an early morning boat trip to the floating markets. Get a bus later that day to Chau Doc , overnight there and then get the speedboat the next morning to Phnom Penh -- any agent in Chau Doc can point you in the direction of the speedboat.

Hope that helps!

#10 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
 Send somtam2000 a private message   Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Instagram   Pinterest 

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.