Immersing yourself into Mekong Delta, Vietnam with zig zag rivers and canals, lush fruit orchards and bee farm, stretching paddy fields and coconut palms, women in Ao Ba Ba and Non La could make you step into a different world. Mekong Delta is a around 40,000 km2 region stretching from Ho Chi Minh city to the Gulf of Thailand. Mother Nature gives this land a nutrient-rich soil developed for over long periods of time by the system of tributaries of Mekong River. There are nine tributaries of Mekong River in this region so that locals usually call their homeland “Cuu Long (Nine Dragon)”. Mekong Delta is known as “the rice bowl” of Vietnam for producing more than a third of annual crop of the country although its square is equal ten percents of the country’s total land mass. Besides rice fields, the region is also famous for coconuts, fruits, sugarcane and lots of fishes, shrimps, crabs in the rivers and swamps. Delicious traditional food made from the freshest ingredients plays important part in Vietnamese cuisine. It could be considered as the the richest and most beautiful land in our country which shouldn’t be miss by any tourists.
It’s worth visiting the Mekong Delta to learn more about a new places with green sights, kind people and unique culture. There are lots of activities in this region that you shouldn’t miss: cruising though complex system of rivers and narrow canals, experiencing floating market, trolling into lush orchards with thousands of fresh fruits, riding around villages on dirt paths, interacting with indigenous locals and eating specialties you may not tasted before. It’s a big chance to take nice photos of children playing kites on paddy fields, girls wearing Ao Dai and Non La and riding bycicle to school. How about plug fruits, making rice paper or catching fishes yourself to feel like Mekong Delta people?
In Mekong Delta, there are 1 city (Can Tho) and 12 provinces: Long An, Ben Tre, Tien Giang, Vinh Long, Dong Thap, Can Tho, Soc Trang, Tra Vinh, Kien Giang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau and An Giang. Each has its own characters and has facilities for tourists although only some are popular because they’re on the way from Ho Chi Minh city to Phu Quoc Island of Kien Giang province.
My Tho city in Tien Giang province is the most popular destination in Mekong Delta because it’s the nearest one from Saigon with enough activities for a full day trip. There you can cruse on river around islands and islets, row sampan through narrow and zig zag canals under nipa palm’s shade, explore lush fruits orchards with lots of tropical fruits, riding bicycles to see rice paddies and quiet villages. You can also visit interesting floating market in Cai Be district, Tien Giang province, interact with sellers wand learn more about local life. Dong Tam snake farm, bee farms, fish farms… in Tien Giang province are also worth visiting on your trip to Mekong Delta.
Ben Tre province – the kingdom of coconut tree is next to Tien Giang province but it’s further than Tien Giang from Saigon. You can do as many activities as you can do in My Tho. In addition, you will have chance to see thousands of coconut trees in this region and most of people there make their living by producing products from coconut. You can learn more about the process of making coconut candy, handicrafts, glutinous cake with coconut creme…
Vinh Long province is famous for fruit orchards and local markets. There are many good homestays where tourists can stay overnight on their Saigon – My Tho – Can Tho – Phu Quoc package tour.
In Cao Lanh district, Dong Thap province, you can visit ecological and historical Xeo Quyt site. Huynh Thuy Le ancient house, flower village and Sa Dec market are worth-visiting attractions in Sa Dec town, Dong Thap province.
Can Tho city is considered as the pearl of Mekong Delta with many facilities for citizens and tourists. There are a lot of restaurants, hotels, homestays, cruises for you to choose. Cai Rang floating market is one of the most popular attractions in this city.
Ca Mau province with Mui Ca Mau that signals journey’s end in the country is next to Can Tho. There you won’t see rice paddies or coconut tree lines but swamps, rivers and mangrove forests. It’s totally interesting to drive along rivers in green mangrove forests and see how locals grow shrimps, prawns and crabs on swamps.
Soc Trang is one of the most beautiful province in Mekong Delta with customs, character and personality of the cambodian people of Khmer people. There aren’t not lack of unique buildings such as pagoda made of rock, pagoda decorated with crockery, pagodat made of clay… It will be great if your trip coincides with the colourful Oc Om Bok festival with lots of cultural activities, including the spectacular longboat races.
Chau Doc – town in An Giang province with mysterious Sam mountain – the highest mountain in Mekong Delta with lots of caves and pagodas hidden in the caves. Many tourist stay in Chau Doc for a few days before leaving Vietnam and going to Phnom Penh (Cambodia).
Ha Tien and Rach Gia are the places where you can hop on a boat to Phu Quoc islands.
Given its seasonal flooding, the best time to visit the delta is, predictably enough, in the dry season, which runs from December to May.