Did you know, that you can see more of the stunning Mekong Delta tour 2020 one brief day trip than you thought? There is more than one pagoda and a floating market to explore. The Mekong Delta is home to unique ecosystems, as well as diverse communities unlike anywhere else in the world. It really does deserve a spot in your Vietnam itinerary — and our guides will show you the best of the stunning Mekong Delta tour 2019.
Mekong Delta introduction
- 1 Mekong Delta introduction
- 2 Best time to visit Mekong Delta
- 3 Transportation
- 4 Top things to do in Mekong Delta
- 5 Tips for traveling to Mekong delta
The Mekong Delta is a network of distributaries in southwestern Vietnam, between Ho Chi Minh city and Cambodia. The river itself starts in the Himalayas and passes through China, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia before reaching Vietnam, which partly explains why the waters are so murky. More than half of Vietnam’s rice and fish comes from the delta region.
Life in the area revolves around water, from the famous floating markets to the vast agricultural industries. An amazing variety of fruits, flowers and livestock grow in the region. The Mekong River Delta is the rice basket of Vietnam, providing the sustenance for millions.
Best time to visit Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta is a year-round destination in Vietnam. Even when it rains, you will still see interesting aspects of local life. If you visit Mekong Delta on Tet holiday(around February of every year), you will see how the local people prepare for Vietnamese Lunar New Year.
The best time to visit Mekong Delta is from May to August due to the season for many fruits to grow in the area. September to November or December is the rainy season with lots of floods because the water levels of the river branches will rise. Transport will be a bit difficult since they have to use boats most of the time, and they will not be able to grow as much product with high levels of water. However, the water brings a lot of seafood as well as the rich mineral soil for the next harvest.
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There are three ways to travel to Mekong Delta from Ho Chi Minh City: by bus, private car, and by motorbike.
There are plenty of bus lines in Ho Chi Minh city such as Phuong Trang (Futa orange bus line), a really well-known bus operator in the city providing very good service. The price varies from 100,000 VND to 200,000 VND depending on which province you choose to visit.
By private car
This choice is suitable for those who travel with family or in a group of friends. The average quote for a seven-seat car is 75 USD – 80 USD a day and 90 USD – 95 USD for a minivan with 16 seats for a day. It will be slightly cheaper if you rent the car for more than two days. You can easily find a car rental online and use the price provided for reference. But it’d be better if you can ask a local help you get one.
It is also a common way to travel in Vietnam. However, if this is your first time in Vietnam and you do not know how to drive a bike, we would not recommend this option because it is dangerous. Do not try when you are not ready.
Last but not least, the best way to visit to Mekong Delta is to book a tour. Not only do you save your budget, but you also explore several beautiful spots in Mekong Delta. Just a click to take more info: The highlights in Mekong Delta tour
👉👉👉Learn more: Explore the best eco-tourism in one-day trip Ben Tre 2019😍😍😍
Top things to do in Mekong Delta
Visitors will explore the lively water world in Mekong Delta tour 1 day. Houses are built on stilts in order to withstand the floods that happen regularly, ferries can carry people, vehicles, and food, markets are not held on land but on boats and instead of walking from stall to stall, you will paddle your way through the river or walk on planks balanced between two boats to buy food. It is pretty easy to find a boat to help you explore the area once you arrive at one of the provinces in the region.
Here is a list of the six best floating markets in the Mekong Delta for you to consider:
- Cai Rang floating market, Can Tho Province
- Cai Be floating market, Tien Giang Province
- Phong Dien floating market, Can Tho Province
- Nga Bay floating market, Hau Giang Province
- Nga Nam floating market, Soc Trang Province
- Tran On floating market, Vinh Long Province
As usual, these floating markets open early in the morning (3 AM – 4 AM) and become busy around 5 AM – 6 AM since people will work on farms or paddle fields during the day. Make sure you wake up early enough to catch these.
Mekong Delta Specialties
Trying tropical fruits is one of the best things to do in Mekong Delta. There are a dozen different kinds of tropical fruits that are grown here so it’s a bit impractical to list them all but here are a few: pomelo, orange, coconut, water coconut, mango, star apple, pineapple, longan fruit, rambutan, jackfruit, mangosteen, soursop, plum, banana, dragon fruit, and durian. By the way, you can even eat these fresh from the tree if you pay a visit to a local orchird.
Another highlight of Mekong Delta is its cuisine. Some of them are just unforgettably delightful, and some of them will require a bit of time and bravery to get used to. Here are the 10 best dishes found in the Mekong Delta:
- Fish Noodle Soup – Bun Ca
This noodle soup is a mixture of thin noodles, green herbs, fish caught from the Mekong river and soup cooked using fish bones. This is a very common dish in the area and people often have it for breakfast.
- Snakehead Fish Thick-noodle Soup – Banh canh ca loc
Different from the thin noodle soup above, this kind of soup includes a fatty version of noodles made from rice flour or tapioca flour. The soup is thick and cooked with snakehead fish meat. You can easily find this in the area and it is the favorite meal of the locals.
- Sa Dec or My Tho Noodle Soup – Hu tieu Sa Dec/ My Tho
Hu tieu is a type of noodle that is very familiar to foodies. However, there are different ways to make it and those different methods reflect the different areas of the country
Hu tieu My Tho bowl is like a painting full of attractive colors with red shrimp, green celery, chrysanthemum, and red peppers. A very important spice creating the unique aroma of the dish is the minced garlic.
Although full of familiar ingredients such as shrimp, meat, and liver, hu tieu Sa Dec has its own distinction which helps it to stand out from hu tieu My Tho and hu tieu Nam Vang. If hu tieu Nam Vang noodles are white, small and soft, the noodles of hu tieu Sa Dec are big, slightly crunchy and chewy with a milky color.
- Vietnamese Pancake – Banh xeo
For those who don’t know, the Western region is the hometown of banh xeo, the famous Vietnamese pancake. Everyone loves it.
5. Fermented Fish Hot Pot – Lau mam
The hotpot is made from salted fish (mud carp fish and snakeskin gourami fish) cooked with coconut water or bone broth. Then shrimp, meatballs, blood cake, squid, and special greens (bitter veggies, bean sprout, eggplant, lemongrass, etc…) are added.
6. Mud Roasted Chicken in the Mekong Delta
The chicken is covered in mud from the rice fields. The mud should be perfectly moist – not too dry but not too wet. You need just enough slather the whole chicken. It will ultimately look like a dinosaur egg. Place this dinosaur egg under many thick layers of straw or hay, and then light it on fire. Let the chicken roast for about an hour. After this is done, the chicken is to be removed and the mud peeled off. The chicken will look absolutely delicious and taste even better. Soft, and juicy – not dry at all. Locals love to eat this with spicy chili salt mix with a few drops of lemon. Don’t miss this!
7. Snakehead Fish Rice Porridge (congee) – Chao ca loc
This is a simple dish with just two main ingredients: snakehead fish and rice porridge. It is simple but delicious and most people agree with me.
8. Mud Carp Fish Hot Pot with Sesban Flower – Lau ca linh bong dien dien
Unlike the salted fish hotpot, this hot pot is less salty, cooked with fresh mud carp fish, and the flowers of common sesban. The color is what will attract you to the dish but it is the flavor that will make you keep coming back for more.
9. Durian Cake – Banh pia
The best durian is found in the Mekong Delta and therefore, so is the best durian cake. It doesn’t come as a surprise that most people hate the smell of durian. Fun fact – durian is banned in subways in Thailand. To ease yourself into enjoying the taste of this fruit, start with durian ice cream. If you are okay with this, the next step is to try durian cake.
10. Coconut Worm – Duong dua
These beetle larvae pierce holes in coconut trees and lay eggs inside. The Mekong Delta, of course, will be an ideal place to find them due to the massive amount of coconut trees grown in the region. Eating the grilled larvae is the most recommendable way to enjoy this dish. If you want something challenging, try to eat it while it’s still alive! This is not the most common way, but it is the best way. I haven’t done it but my friend, Sonny Side, ingested one in his food review show.
👉👉👉Try this if you can Top 10 best dishes in the food culture in Mekong Delta🥰🥰🥰
And some sights…
There are many points of interest in the Mekong Delta. Too much to list here in fact so expect another article! But, meanwhile, there are hundreds of different orchids in the area. You’ll be able to walk along the rows of dragon fruit trees and watch farmers as they collect the fruit.
These are six of the most famous temples in the Mekong Delta for your reference:
- Vinh Trang temple, Tien Giang Province
- Truc Lam Phuong Nam Temple, Can Tho Province
- Doi temple (Bat temple), Soc Trang Province
- Kh’leang temple, Soc Trang Province
- Khmer Pothisomron temple, Can Tho Province
- Phat Lon temple (Giant Budha temple), An Giang Province
Another amazing activity to do here is to sit on a xe loi (motorbike cart) and explore the area in your guide to Mekong Delta. Southern Folk Songs (Don ca tai tu) will be an inspiring activity for you. This special type of Vietnamese music is an art that reflects the local life of the Southerners. Through song, locals will tell you their story, their thoughts, and emotions. You will find yourselves instantly drawn in, calmed, and recharged after wallowing in the soothing sound of their music.
Swimming in the Swamps
Swimming in a swamp has been one of the wildest and most fun experiences you have ever had. From September to December, the water from upstream of the river flows to the provinces located near the border (An Giang, Dong Thap, and Long An). This washes away all the dirt and garbage left from the harvest and covers the fields with water and this will be the perfect time for everyone to enjoy their afternoon swimming in the swamps. You can also take part in the fishing activities of locals here and of course, your catches will be your dinner. If you are a nature lover, then this is for you.
Tan Chau (An Giang), Tan Hong (Dong Tap), and Tan Hung (Long An) are the three most famous places for swamp swimming. You can easily find a local to guide you and show you how to do it properly. This is an activity that’s hard to put into a tour itinerary because the water level and streams change and you have to be lucky to find a time the stream is calm and clean enough.
Net Fishing in the Mekong Delta
This process uses no modern equipment at all – it is done by your hands and a net. The net is cleverly placed in the water so the fish believe it’s part of the environment and is safe to swim in and around it. Once enough fish are seen swimming around, the net is simply pulled up with the unsuspecting fish trapped inside. The fish are separated from any plants and algae that are also caught in the net. You will find other animals too – sometimes frogs, sometimes crabs and sometimes even snakes! Best to toss out the snakes somewhere else. The small fish that are not big enough to eat are thrown back into the water so they can grow up and well, be caught again later to be eaten… The edible fish are then taken to the markets or you can prepare it yourself for lunch.
Tips for traveling to Mekong delta
There are no clothing codes in Mekong Delta. Overall, you should pack lightly, wear breathable and comfortable clothes to take on the heat and the humidity of the Mekong Delta. Sunscreen is also needed to combat the extreme sunlight during the day time.
A raincoat always comes in handy for sudden rains and splashes when traversing the rivers, with disposable options for less than 20,000 VND (almost 1 USD) available anywhere.
You must bring extra water, just to keep yourself hydrated when going on long trips. The heat is more tolerable than the central region during the summer, and the Mekong Delta will surely not let you starve, but a small bottle of water on your side is a great idea.
Avoid drinking, swimming or exposing an open wound to the river water. This way you can prevent parasites, from big (fat leeches) to small (tiny little worms), from entering your body. Only drink bottled water or boiled tap water.
Mosquitos carrying malaria is rare in the Mekong Delta, but Dengue fever does have occasional outbreaks. It is advisable to avoid mosquitos at all costs. Here are some tips for keeping away the mosquitos:
- Bring a couple of good insect repellents for a trip to anywhere in the country, and apply the spray before taking trips to the rivers, jungles, and swamps. Read the instructions carefully, as you may need to spray again after a certain period of time.
- Wear the neutral-colored clothes (e.g. beige, light grey), as bright and hot colors attract mosquitoes. Breathable long-sleeves are recommended also.
- Stay away from dodgy local water sources (wells and pots), always keep your water in a closed container.
- Make sure the windows and doors are completely closed during your night stay, and check to see the insect screens of the accommodation are intact.
- Please do not take any malaria or dengue preventing drugs without a detailed doctor’s note. Taking medications on your own can lead to masking the symptoms and misdiagnosis later-on due to possible wrong specification and drug resistant strains in Vietnam.
Dry season is the high season, as the Mekong Delta showcases its beauty. Getting everything booked and confirmed beforehand is a must for a flawless trip. One thing you know for sure that you check the weather and tide forecast, to plan and modify your day (and your stay) accordingly. In addition to that, you should have a plan B, as the weather and the tides are not the same all the time.
To wrap up, if you just want to rest, watch the scenery flash by, observe people making local goods, and explore the authentic Vietnamese (agricultural) culture then choose the Mekong Delta. Therefore, you cannot skip our highlights in Mekong Delta tour and so on. Visit us at Vinaday Go Reise