Mekong Delta - the rice bowl of Vietnam

1. General info

Mekong Delta or “Western Region”, also known as the rice bowl of Vietnam, is one of the best destinations that attracts a lot of tourists who interested in the peace of the countryside, the simple life. It is a network of distributaries in Southwestern Vietnam where the Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea. The river starts in the Himalayas and passes through China, Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia before reaching Vietnam.
Today, the region consists of 12 provinces with an area of over 40,000 square km and a population of about 20 million people. The life of locals in the Mekong Delta areas in Vietnam revolves around water, from the famous floating villages and markets to the vast agricultural industries. Coming here, you will see an amazing variety of fruits, flowers, and livestock grow. Currently, Mekong Delta is not only the most significant agricultural and fishing region throughout the country but also one of the popular tourist destinations where you can enjoy a cruise on boats and sampans, try going fishing, taste fresh tropical fruits directly from the local gardens, say hello to morning floating markets, view the daily activities of the residents along the tributaries of the Mekong River and more.
It’s fascinating to know that the locals here are very friendly and approachable with smiley faces, who are enthusiastically willing to instruct and lend you a hand whenever you need their help. That’s why you always feel free to wallow in the colorful wildlife and unforgettable views. This is the most ideal and accessible destination from Ho Chi Minh City.


2. Best time to visit Mekong Delta

Mekong Delta is in the tropical monsoon climate area with high humidity. With the weather portrayed by many characteristics of a sub-equatorial climate, the Mekong Delta River has two distinct seasons: the rainy season from May to November and the dry season from December to April. However, the weather here is pleasant for most of the year. The average temperature here is 24°C – 27°C and the disparity between day and night temperatures is not high. Even when it rains, you will still see interesting aspects of local life.
The best time to visit Mekong Delta is the dry season from December to April, especially around the time of the Tet holiday (Vietnamese Lunar New Year). At that time, you will be able to see how locals prepare for their festivities. They will decorate their homes and cook many special dishes during this time.
From May to August, you can visit the Mekong because it’s summer in Vietnam, and this is a good time for you to visit the fascinating orchards and try the fresh fruit.
From September to November, it is the rainy season with a lot of floods. Transport will be a bit difficult since boating is the main form of transportation there. If you are having a plan to Mekong Delta, please take note to avoid this time.

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3. Attractive places in Mekong Delta

My Tho
My Tho is the capital of Tien Giang province. Located on the northern bank of the Mekong, about 75km from Ho Chi Minh City, this town is close to the largest city in Vietnam, it’s very convenient for travelling. Therefore, My Tho has become one of the most favorite day-trip destinations for a river life experience.
Vinh Trang Pagoda: Coming to My Tho, you can visit Vinh Trang pagoda that has a combination of Chinese, Vietnamese, Khmer, and European architectural styles. The pagoda is located in My Phong village, My Tho city. It was built in 1849 with an area of 2,000m2. You can find beauty, solemnity but purity at this pagoda.
Thoi Son Island: also known as Con Lan island or Unicorn island, it’s the largest island in My Tho. This place is famous for its beautiful landscapes, ancient house and special dishes. Taking a boat ride to this island is a great experience to enjoy the fresh and cool atmosphere and take photos of the green tree, garden. You can visit tropical fruit gardens or explore the candy-making factories and see the process to make coconut candy.

Ben Tre
Located 85km south of Ho Chi Minh City in the Mekong River Delta, Ben Tre is a province nestled between two main branches of the Mekong’s largest tributary, which diverges to create a fertile agricultural region and beautiful coastline. This place is also known as thousands of coconut plantations, tourists could enjoy a variety of tropical fruits while listening to traditional South Vietnamese folk songs performed by local artists. You can come here to explore and learn about rural life and enjoy some candies, coconut juice.

ben tre tour

Vinh Long
Vinh Long is situated between the Tien and the Hau rivers. The majority of inhabitants live on farming, fruit planting, and cattle raising. Coming there, you will have a chance to walk among the trees, relax in hammocks, try all kinds of delicious tropical fruits in the gardens of An Binh and Binh Hoa Phuoc islands, the islands are an attraction in their own right. Vinh Long has many popular places such as Mr. Sau Giao's Flower Garden, Mr. Muoi Day's Stilt-House, and Mr. Hai Hoang's Old House, many pagodas, communal houses such as Van Thanh Temple, Long Thanh Communal House, Tinh Xa Ngoc Vien, Phuoc Hau, Tien Chau, Vinh Long’s central market, Cai Be floating market.
Can Tho
Can Tho is the biggest and main city in the Mekong Delta, is an industrialized city but it also serves as the cultural center for the surrounding rural areas. About four hours driving from Ho Chi Minh to Can Tho, you can a buzzing town and nearby floating markets, the major attraction for tourists who come here. This is home to Cai Rang floating market and Ninh Kieu Wharf.
Cai rang floating market is an amazing sight on the river with lots of products, in which the typical fruits are the main items of Mekong delta such as coconut, rambutan, durian fruit, pomelo, … The locals bring their goods (vegetables and fruits) to market and sell them to other locals and dealers. The market is opened in the early morning. Coming here, you will be interested in its extremely lively and crowded trading atmosphere as well as local lifestyle.

can tho

Chau Doc
Chau Doc is one of the two cities of An Giang province, located in the Southwest of the country. It has an area of 104.7 km2 and shares the Northwest borders with Cambodia. Like most of the Mekong Delta, the surrounding areas are lush with rice paddies and spectacular rural scenes. Besides Chau Doc is a city associated with the nation's long history. Moreover, it’s known for its religious and ethnic diversity, which includes Khmer, Chinese, Cham, and Vietnamese people. Therefore, coming here, you will have the opportunity to visit many famous historical sites and explore the featured culture.
Tra Su Melaleuca Forest – An Giang
Located about 20km from Chau Doc city, Tra Su Melaleuca forest is the name of the forest with many Melaleuca trees located near the area of Tra Su Mountain in Tinh Bien District, An Giang. Tra Su's name is thought to mean a monk.
For those who love the beauty of wild nature, Tra Su Melaleuca forest will be the ideal choice for you. Tra Su Melaleuca forest is considered to be the most interesting and attractive destination of An Giang. Coming here, you will feel overwhelmed by the immense Melaleuca forest and you also have the opportunity to explore the typical wet forest ecosystem in the West of Hau River with many rare and precious species of plants and animals.

chau doc

Tram Chim National Park – Dong Thap
Tram Chim National Park is a prominent ecotourism destination of Dong Thap province. With the fourth largest area in Vietnam, Tram Chim National Park attracts a lot of tourists every year to visit not only for its beautiful natural scenery and delicious food but also because there are many species of plants and animals in the Red Book, the most prominent is the extremely rare red-headed crane. Tram Chim Park is also the place you can see a large number of the rare white lotus in Vietnam.

4. Interesting activities
Make a sampan cruise
The Mekong river insists on a complex system of channels, so the best way to explore the beauty and uniqueness of the Mekong Delta is by boat cruise on waterways. From the boat, you can feast your eyes on stunning sights of green rice paddies, lush orchards, lines of coconut trees, and quiet local houses. You will not only discover the bustling colors of floating markets but also experience the traditional lifestyle around the Mekong River when immersing in a boat trip. This is one of the must-do things when you have a chance to visit Mekong Delta.

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Visit floating markets and explore Riverlife
The most unique and peculiar thing about Mekong Delta is no other than floating markets where you can see 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. Thailand also has many floating markets, however, Mekong Delta’s floating markets in each country have their very own different beauties. In the past, these markets were opened just simply for local farmers to sell fruits and vegetables to the folks on the land. Nowadays, it’s an attractive destination for tourists.
Visit and taste fruits in the local orchard
The Mekong Delta has long been famous for its charming scenery, friendly locals, and fruit gardens that lie in the alluvial soils in the Mekong River Delta. This region is famous as it provides two-third of the fruit consumed throughout Vietnam. So visiting and tasting the fruits in a local orchard should be done when you travel to Mekong Delta.
The perfect places for that are the fruit orchards which can be found in most of the regions in the Mekong such as Cai Be Fruit Orchard is the largest fruit orchard in the delta, offers the tastiness of all kinds of tropical fruits; Cai Mon Fruit Orchard in Ben Tre; Vinh Long Fruit Orchard, the land is famous for Nam Roi grapefruit. During your trip to the orchard, you can pick up the ripe fruit right off the trees and enjoy them. It’s such interesting activity.

tour my tho

Have a river cruise trip
Unlike Halong Bay cruises, Mekong cruises are known for the river cruises with class and style in recent years.  There are plenty of cruise types and activities which attract tourists. However, the main reason why visitors choose to have a river cruise trip on the Mekong river is its peculiar charms of the scenery and the way of life along the river.
Depending on your time and interest, you can compare and choose short trip cruises (about 2 days if the perfect example) or long trip cruises in many countries. Each cruise has a different style, type, and equipment. But all bring you unforgettable memories.
5. Traveling to Mekong Delta
Most visitors come to the Mekong Delta from Ho Chi Minh city or Cambodia by some main vehicles: by air or by car or by bicycle sometimes. Once you are there, the best way to experience life on the river is by boat. Day trips and multi-day journeys are perfectly easy to organize and needn’t break the bank.
By air: the Mekong Delta has an only airport is Can Tho airport, you can fly to Can Tho airport and then get a car to other provinces. However, it’s inconvenient because there are not many direct flights here for you to choose from.
By car: this is a simple and fast way to Mekong Delta. If you are in the big cities in Vietnam or many countries in the world that have flights to Ho Chi Minh city, this will be an ideal stop to come to Mekong Delta. From Ho Chi Minh city, it’s convenient that you can have a Mekong Delta day trip or 2 nights, 3 nights.
By motorbike or bicycle: With a motorbike or bicycle, it’s great so that you can fully immerse yourself in the bustling life of the region. The Mekong Delta is one of the best cycling locations in Vietnam because of its quiet back roads, friendly people, and stunning scenery. You can enjoy your trip from Saigon to the Southern border with Cambodia, explore from modern city to quiet rural villages and small lanes slowly.
With any vehicle to Mekong Delta, this beautiful region always brings you authentic and interesting experiences. Hope that our information will help you to plan and prepare for your best trip.

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