Boutique hotels are surprisingly tricky to find in Vietnam, yet these carefully selected riverside properties radiate character and opportunities to remain curious. This holiday touches upon all elements of life on the river: from bustling floating markets and smaller tributaries to the modern residential suburbs close to the heart of Saigon. Best of all, the presence of water throughout the holiday helps to keep a sense of calm, proving that you don’t always need the beach to unwind.
Arriving in Saigon after your international flight, you will head straight to Can Tho in The Mekong Delta - the ‘Rice Bowl’ of Southeast Asia. The Azerai, set among mangroves and perched on the banks of the Hau River is an idyllic setting in which to unwind after a long journey. The riverside location offers many opportunities to explore the beauty of the local area; from countryside walks and sunset boat cruises to romantic dinners by the lake.
OVERNIGHT FLIGHT // 5 NIGHTS AT AZERAI CAN THO
Whether you choose to focus your stay on wellness by making the most of the spa and yoga pavilion, or simply take a break from the chaos of everyday life, the heartwarming landscapes of the Mekong Delta act as the perfect setting. Be sure to take advantage of the complimentary afternoon tea and riverside tennis courts, too.
Life on the Mekong is best experienced at a slow pace. There is no better place to enjoy a leisurely cycle than along the riverbanks and through the surrounding countryside of Can Tho. With your local guide leading the way, you’ll meander through rural villages and floating communities, stopping as you wish to admire the local scenes.
Although just a short boat ride across the river from the city of Can Tho, the hotel's location on a small islet surrounded by lush gardens helps to give it an exclusive feel. The property itself is stylish and contemporary in design, yet decorated with wooden furnishings and a natural colour palette which complements the ambience of the Mekong.
Today, board the elegant Bassac Cruise - a lovely, comfortable way to discover the smaller waterways of the Mekong Delta. With lunch served en route, you’ll stop to explore some of the Mekong’s most colourful floating markets and riverside scenery before the boat anchors for the night on the Mang Thit river. Enjoying a G&T on the deck while the sun sets behind the paddy fields is an experience not to be missed.
1 NIGHT ON THE BASSAC CRUISE
This morning, watch Mekong life begin to bustle as you edge closer to Saigon. By midday, you’ll have disembarked the boat and be in a car to Villa Song, a true hidden oasis within the city. Here, days at leisure can be whiled away with a good book by the pool, or simply by enjoying a coffee on the terrace and admiring the river scenes.
4 NIGHTS AT VILLA SONG
Included during your stay at Villa Song are two unique experiences that will allow you to explore the many different sides of Saigon. Our signature experience takes you to the rarely explored District 4, a bustling explosion of markets and city life; and District 7, where modern homes and large open spaces are a stark contrast. Your second ETG experience is an exhilarating speedboat ride to the infamous Cu Chi tunnels, an impressive construction used by the Vietnamese during the war.
Be sure to get the hotel speedboat into central Saigon for an evening of delicious street food and vibrant nightlife. When you're feeling more low key, the restaurant at Villa Song has excellent food and lovely views of the river, so we'd definitely recommend a meal here too.
Boutique hotels are a rare find in Saigon, and so Villa Song is a real hidden gem. The French colonial design and riverside setting create a real romantic feel, making it the perfect haven to relax following a busy day exploring. Plus, though it feels wonderfully tranquil, the colourful buzz of the metropolis is always just short river transfer away.
While Vietnam’s complicated weather system can often make travel planning quite troublesome, this holiday focuses only on the south of the country, making it pretty straightforward. The rainy season tends to come during our summer months, meaning that the best time to visit is from November - April. Journeys along the Mekong are particularly pleasant between November to February when not only are temperatures cooler, but the high water levels allow for easy passage and scenic vistas.
As Vietnam has three main weather systems in play at any one time, it can be a little complicated to get your head around it. So feel free to read our handy guide to weather in Vietnam.
By booking with Experience Travel Group, you receive the fifth night at Azerai Can Tho on a complimentary basis, plus 20% off all additional food and beverage during your stay. At Villa Song, your fourth night will be free, plus complimentary late checkout on your final day, so you may make use of your room until your transfer to the airport, even if it is very late at night.
Revitalise is a culmination of 16 years’ work, research and client feedback. Our travel team take annual trips to each of our destinations, testing the experiences and inspecting the hotels (someone’s got to do it, right?). We are passionate travellers in our own lives, and we have all visited Asia with our friends, family or backpacks. Basically, we’ve done the legwork: we know travel. And that’s why these trips are nothing short of magical.
We understand that while you may be itching to travel again, committing to a trip right now feels daunting. That’s why we have introduced our COVID-19 promise. We promise that if you book a holiday with us, but for any reason cannot travel due to COVID-19, we will refund you the bulk of your money, up to the day of your departure. We hope that this will give our travellers a little peace of mind and help you enjoy the magic of travel anticipation once again.
An ETG experience cannot begin unless our travellers feel secure in every respect. Financially secure: we are fully ABTA and ATOL bonded. Fully supported: our friendly team is on hand to help 24/7 before, during and after your trip. Free from hassle: we will ensure your trip runs like clockwork. Plus, all our experiences are tried and tested by our discerning team, so you can rest assured every excursion you book with us is both worthwhile and ethically sound.
With ETG, the experience starts the moment you pick up the phone. We are committed to seamless service at every stage of your journey. Before you depart, your dedicated travel consultant will provide all the information and insider tips you need to get you prepared (and excited!). Your in-country experiences will be distinctive, tailored to you, and always reveal the fabric of the destination. And you will come home with memories to share - not just photos to show.