Mekong Delta the endearing name Vietnamese people often call the land – has always been the most unique destination of Vietnam. With most of the land covered and divided by wetlands and , 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.
Things to do in Mekong Delta
- 1 Things to do in Mekong Delta
- 1.1 2. Discover Tan Chau Silk Village – An Giang
- 1.2 3. Discover Tra Su Cajuput Forest – An Giang
- 1.3 4. Taste freshness of fruits in Cai Be Fruit Orchard – Tien Giang
- 1.4 5.Bird Watching at Tram Chim National Park – Dong Thap
- 1.5 6. Sampan Cruise in My Tho
- 1.6 Just two hours from Saigon so it’s perfect for a sampan cruise from the city. Regardless 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 . A short sampan boat ride through coconut trees. You’ll visit a candy factory where candies made of coconut are so cheap and tempting to not buy. Lunch is also included in the sampan cruise to My Tho to it may be varied.
- 1.7 7. Visit the Temples in Mekong Delta Vietnam
- 1.7.1 Mekong river cruising tours are available from one day tour to 2-3 days, 4-5days and even up to 8-10 days, from exploring Mekong delta only to the upstream in Cambodia, from cruising only to combining with land tours.
- 1.7.2 Tours within the delta will sail on the Tien river (the upper branch of Mekong river) featuring sites such as My Tho, Cai Be, Vinh Long, Sa Dec, Cao Lanh, Long Xuyen, Tan Chau. The expeditions expanded into Cambodia’s land include major stops like Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Tonie Lake and Siem Reap.
- 1.7.3 8. What to eat in Mekong Delta
- 1.7.4 1. Duong Dua (Coconut Larvae)
- 1.7.5 3. Bong Dien Dien (Dien Dien Flowers)
- 1.7.6 4. Banh Pia (Pia Cake)
Mekong Delta is a large region with a lot of sites to check out and it’s understandable if you feel a bit overwhelmed. We list here all the must-have things to do and see in Mekong Delta for a trip under 9 days.
1. Visit floating markets to enjoy the daily life on Mekong River
Coming to the West, you definitely cannot miss Floating Market – a unique culture that only the people of the river have. Floating Markets are shopping markets where sellers and buyers are forced to use boats as means of transportation. Often the market will be held in the early morning at the intersection of canals and rivers and the water level is not too low, not too high. Floating Market is not only a place to buy fresh fruits, agricultural products and many other items, it also attracts tourists to visit and enjoy exploring the special lifestyle of the river.
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. Don’t forget to set your alarm earlier to catch the market that starts at 5:00AM every day. Tourists can move to Ninh Kieu pier, about 4km from the market and the journey takes about 30 minutes by boat or boat.
Cai Rang Floating Market is one of the most unique attention in Can Tho. This is a very unique culture in the Mekong Delta, attracting a lot of visiter
Nga Bay or Phung Hiep Floating Market has been around since 1915 as a key trading place for the locals in Nga Bay Town. This floating market is the most vivid and colorful markets in all Mekong Delta region. A perfect opportunity floating market if you don’t like the touristy Cai Rang Market.
Like any market, Nga Bay starts very early in the morning . Fruits, meat, vegetables and other household goods all stack up on the sellers’ boats, making it a wonderful view to behold. This market also selling birds and turtle.
You can get there by both taxi and taxi to get to Nga Bay province which is about 30km away from the city. Boat rental is available but it’s best to do it with a group to reduce the average cost.
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 other markets since the market opens until later hours of a day.
Cai Be province is located 80km away from HCMC through 1A highway. You can there by booking a private tour or getting a taxi. When you’re in arrive the province, ask the local people or the tour guide for directions to the market.
Boat rental is available for a 2-hour tour with tour guide costing 2-5$/person. Private boat for group of 10 cost 20-25$/boat.
Nga Nam floating market is the junction of five rivers – Ca Mau, Vinh Quoi, Long My, Thanh Tri and Phung Hiep. And for its special spot, Nga Nam market is bustling with all the colors and the sounds of the locals. This floating market is very much untouched by the tourism and still remains the unique of a Mekong Delta floating market.
Come to Nga Nam floating market, you’ll countless of boats selling local goods like vegetables, meat fruits, seafood and more. Each boat has a tall bamboo stick hanging what types of goods they selling.
Nga Nam market starts at 3:00AM, become busiest at 5:00AM and dismisses at 8:00AM. Buses are available to Ca Mau, Nga Nam market, costing about $8-$9 for one way ticket.
Boat rental is available for cost at $1/person and you can visit the whole market.
*Fun facts about the floating markets:
There is only one rule used in all floating markets of Mekong Delta – the sellers will hang the things they sell on a stick to let the buyers know exactly what the merchant is selling.
Yet there’re still some exceptions:
- Things that are hung but not for sale: a large number of residence in Mekong Delta live on a boat so they might hang their clothes for drying which can sometimes be mistake.
- Things that are for sale but not hung: mostly drinks and some type of food which are difficult to hang up a stick.
- Hang one but sell another: if traders hang coconut leaf on the lateral bar, it says that they want to sell the boat.
2. Discover Tan Chau Silk Village – An Giang
Hoi An is not the only place have quality silk. In Mekong Delta, there’s a village that has been around for a long time making natural silk material. Come to Tan Chau Silk Village to see the process making traditional silk making.
Tan Chau silk is known for the softness, toughness and high absorbability. Tan Chau Silk Village is the most visit place in your trip in Mekong Delta.
3. Discover Tra Su Cajuput Forest – An Giang
If you’re curious about what the wetlands of Mekong Delta look like, come to Tra Su Cajuput Forest an ecotourism site turning green by the water ferns during the rainy season every year . The whole forest is flooded with green water, making an incredible sight especially when the sunlight reaches down the water surface.
The forest is also the habitat for many colonies of water birds, bats and even rare and endangered animals and reptile species create a balance ecosystem
The only way to visit Tra Su forest is going by boat, paddled and guided by the local ladies. Entrance ticket costs 5-6$ 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 – Tien Giang
Since Mekong Delta provides two-third of the fruit consumed throughout Vietnam, tasting the fruits should be while in 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 – 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.
To go bird watching, you’ll have to book a boat tour that costs 35$ per boat for a group of 12 people. The tour took between 30 minutes to an hour or more.
6. Sampan Cruise in My Tho
Just two hours from Saigon so it’s perfect for a sampan cruise from the city. Regardless 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 . A short sampan boat ride through coconut trees. You’ll visit a candy factory where candies made of coconut are so 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 is a very special temple in the whole region of Mekong Delta, covering an area of 2000sqm, adorned with the greenness of the trees and colorful flowers. Built in 1849 in My Phong village, Vinh Trang is an excellent combination of European and Asian architecture styles. The splendid façade of the temple will give an impressive 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 always included as one of the worthiest destination to visit 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. This is such an interesting feature that makes Bat Pagoda a must-see site during your trip in Mekong Delta.
Mekong Delta Tour – River Cruises
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.
Cruises’ AmenitiesThe cruise ships on Mekong vary greatly on style, type and equipment.
– Daily cruise tours: imagine a huge restaurant placed on a ship like La Perle de l’ Orient cruise ship of Indochina Junk can offer capacity for up to 200 guests and doesn’t have private cabins.
– Short trip cruises: Panorama Cruise of Mekong Eyes Cruise 2 Days is the perfect example – affordable and still maintain a level of luxury. While Le Cochinchine cruise ranges in the middle tier with much more comfortable private cabins.
– Luxury cruise ships: they impress with their outstanding design of French colonial steamers. Jayavarman and The Jahan are just the masterpieces of luxury Mekong cruises.
Mekong river cruising tours are available from one day tour to 2-3 days, 4-5days and even up to 8-10 days, from exploring Mekong delta only to the upstream in Cambodia, from cruising only to combining with land tours.
Tours within the delta will sail on the Tien river (the upper branch of Mekong river) featuring sites such as My Tho, Cai Be, Vinh Long, Sa Dec, Cao Lanh, Long Xuyen, Tan Chau. The expeditions expanded into Cambodia’s land include major stops like Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Tonie Lake and Siem Reap.
8. What to eat in Mekong Delta
1. Duong Dua (Coconut Larvae)
This is the specialty cause you only found it in Mekong Delta and not every tourist would willing to try this dish. To protect the biological environment, the mass consumption of Coconut Larvae is prohibited by local government. However, you still can try the dish cooked with Duong Dua if you really want. The most famous dish is raw coconut worms dipped it in salty fish sauce. The young white milky coconut worms are kept alive, put in a bowl of fish sauce and eaten alive just like that.
However, Duong Duong taste so good with the greasy, rich flavor just like an slowly dissolving an egg yolk.
2. Hu Tieu My Tho
Originated from My Tho, Hu Tieu My Tho is a famous variation of Hu Tieu which is a very popular noodle soup in South Vietnam. The broth used in this soup is made from boiling pork bones and cooked with ground pork. The toppings are stir-fried ground pork, pig intestines, couple of prawns and finished with onions and bean sprouts. Come to My Tho to try this delicious bowl of noodle soup.
3. Bong Dien Dien (Dien Dien Flowers)
When the rainy season comes to Mekong Delta, it’s also the time for Dien Dien flowers bloom. The flower so familiar to Mekong Delta dwellers so that it appears on so many dishes from hotpot, salad to soup…
The flower buds have light yellow color, taste sweet with a pleasant fragrance when cooked. Bong Dien Dien is often used in fish hotpot to complete the dish’s taste as well as its appearance. The flowers are mostly grown by the locals but you still can find it in wet market.
4. Banh Pia (Pia Cake)
This is the most famous gift to bring back from Mekong Delta. Originated from Soc Trang, Pia Cake has conquered the whole country and even abroad with its addicting sweet taste and aromatic durian’s fragrance. The cake is creamy, nutritious and you can’t get enough of it after tasting the first time.
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