Ben Tre Province, only an hour and a half’s drive from downtown Saigon, is home to some of the Mekong Delta’s most picture-postcard-perfect scenery. For those constricted by time, there really is no need to venture further to get a flavour of the region.
You road takes you as far as Tien Giang, where you board a boat to cruise among the aptly named Dragon, Unicorn, Turtle and Phoenix Islands. You have opportunity to visit a small factory producing handicrafts made from coconut shells and also visit a tropical orchard, with plenty of opportunity to taste some of the exotic fruits. Alighting from the boat, you then ride on a horse-drawn cart along small rural roads to a local garden, famed for its honey. Finally you find yourself on an even smaller rowing boat, for a cruise through Xep Canal which cuts through a forest of palm trees.
In the early afternoon you head, by road, to the town of My Tho for a late lunch, before heading back to Saigon, visiting Vinh Trang Pagoda en route.