Mekong Delta or ‘Mien Tay’ is one of the most destinations in the South of Vietnam. With most of the land covered and divided by wetlands and rivers, Mekong Delta has developed a unique way of life and culture adapting to the geography characteristics. There’re a lot of things to do in Mekong Delta Vietnam – the region that includes 13 provinces/cities with the immense beauties and cultural charms. So, if you’re planning a tour in Vietnam, Mekong Delta is one of the destinations you cannot miss. Check the list below!
1. Floating Markets – the Highlight of Mekong River
The most unique and peculiar thing about Mekong Delta is no other than floating markets where you can see all the way of life, daily activities, and culture of the people here. Floating markets are not a specialty that can only be found in Mekong Delta. In southeast Asia, Thailand also has many floating markets. However, Mekong Delta’s floating markets own different charms, which bring the culture of the people in the Southwest of Vietnam. These markets have been existing just simply for local farmers to sell fruits and vegetables to the folks on the land.
Cai Rang Floating Market – Can Tho
Cai Rang Floating Market is the most famous and also the most touristy floating market in Vietnam. You can visit Cai Rang Floating Market easily once arrived in Can Tho city. However, don’t forget to set your alarm earlier to catch the market that starts at 5:00 AM every day. Rent a boat from Ninh Kieu pier which will take you to the market in 30 minutes.
Cai Rang is a wholesale local market where farmers will hang their what they offer on a tall stick to let the buyers know. Some fruits of the land can be named as Nam Roi grapefruit, Vinh Long pink kiwi kumquat or Cai Mon durian. Visitors to Cai Rang market not only can watch the early activities of the locals but also can have breakfast right on the boat, dishes are mostly southern own noodle soups. Other snacks are also available like coconut-leaf-cake or corn or banana pancake.
Cai Be Floating Market – Tien Giang
At Cai Be District, there’s a floating market that caters transporting goods, fruits, veggies, and even seafood to not only Mekong Delta region but also to the rest of Vietnam. Cai Be is a perfect choice if you don’t have much time to discover the whole delta since its location is quite close to Ho Chi Minh City. To visit Cai Be Floating Market, you don’t have to wake up too early like the other markets since the market opens until later hours of the day.
Cai Be province is located 80km away from HCMC through 1A highway. You can thereby be booking a private tour or be getting a taxi. Once you’re in the province, ask the local people for directions to the market.
Boat rental is available for a 2-hour tour with tour guide costing $2/person. Private boat for a group of 10 at a cost $25/boat.
2. The Traditional Silk Village in Tan Chau, An Giang
You don’t have to go all the way to Hoi An for quality silk. In Mekong Delta, you also can buy the silk in the village, which has been around for a long time. Come to Tan Chau Silk Village to see the process the traditional silk-making.
Tan Chau silk is known for the softness, toughness and high absorbability. Tan Chau Silk Village is not to be missed in your trip in Mekong Delta.
3. Tra Su Cajuput Forest – the Soul of Mekong Delta
If you’re curious about what the wetlands of Mekong Delta look like, Tra Su Cajuput Forest is an ideal destination for you to explore. The whole forest is flooded with green water, making an incredible sight especially when the sunlight reaches down the water surface.
The forest is also the habitat for many colonies of water birds, bats and even rare and endangered animals and reptile species.
The only way to visit Tra Su forest is going by boat, paddled and guided by the local ladies. Entrance ticket costs 130,000VND per person. Best time to visit is, of course, the rainy season from September to November.
4. Taste Freshness of Fruits in Cai Be Fruit Orchard
Mekong Delta is home two-third of the fruit consumed throughout Vietnam, where you should try once when traveling to Mekong Delta. The perfect places for that are the fruit orchards which can be found in most of the region. Cai Be Fruit Orchard is the largest fruit orchard in the delta, offers the tastiness of all kinds of tropical fruits. During your visit to the orchard, you can pick up the ripe fruit right off the trees and enjoy them.
5. Bird Watching at Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap
Tram Chim National Park is another kingdom of birds in Mekong Delta, located at Dong Thap province and can be easily reached by motorbike or car. Spanning over the total area of 7,500 hectares, Tram Chim National Park is home to 200 types of birds, of which many are rare and endangered. This number makes up a quarter of the bird population in Vietnam. Tram Chim Park is also the place you can see a large number of the rare white lotus in Vietnam.
If you want to go bird watching, book a boat tour that costs 800,000VND per boat for a group of 12 people. The tour lasts between 30 minutes to 1 hour or more.
6. Enjoy the Stunning View in Sampan Cruise, My Tho
My Tho is just two hours from Saigon so it’s perfect for a sampan cruise from the city. Regardless of where you start the tour, the boat will take visitors to Dragon (Con Tan Long), Tortoise (Con Quy) and Unicorn (Con Thoi Son) islands. The first stop is local fruit orchards for visitors to taste the fruits like jackfruit, pomelo, guava, with perhaps some local drinks like tea. A short sampan boat ride through the thick leaves of coconut trees. You’ll visit a candy factory where candies made of coconut milk are too cheap and tempting to not buy. Lunch is also included in the sampan cruise to My Tho to it may be varied.
7. Visit the Temples in Mekong Delta Vietnam
Vinh Trang Temple
Vinh Trang temple is a very special time in the whole region of Mekong Delta, covering an area of 2000sqm, adorned with the greenness of the trees and colors of the flowers. Built-in 1849 in My Phong village, Vinh Trang is an excellent combination of European and Asian architectural styles. The splendid façade of the temple will give an impression on you immediately. With five buildings, two ornamental yards, 178 pillars, and two triumphal arches, Vinh Trang is a representative of the Buddhist temples in southern Vietnam.
You can walk to the temple if you’re staying in My Tho.
Bat Pagoda (Mahatup Pagoda)
Lying 25km southeast of Soc Trang downtown, Bat Pagoda is considered as one of the worthiest destinations you must see in Mekong Delta due to its enthralling Khmer architecture features. The name of the pagoda will make you wonder if you can find any bat in the pagoda. In fact, the answer is yes: a large number of bats have been inhabited on the branches of the ancient trees in the yard of the pagoda, which makes an interesting feature that you must-see site during your trip in Mekong Delta.
8. Mekong River Cruise
Unlike Halong Bay cruises, Mekong cruises are known for the class and style just in recent years. The diversity in tour types and activities can compare to those of Halong Bay cruises, yet the cruises on Mekong River attract with its peculiar charms of the scenery and the way of life along the river.
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