Mekong Delta, rice fields floating on the river of Nine Dragons
Travelling to the plains, there are actually many ways to get there from waterways, road, and air. To journey from Saigon, you can use means such as the bus, speedboat, motobikes. If you are starting the journey from Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang; Travel agencies suggest you fly to Can Tho. One of the outstanding journeys for a long trip is the upstream or downstream between Vietnam and Cambodia.
If you only have 1 day to visit the Mekong delta, obviously you can only visit a small part of this place, such as My Tho is the closest, Ben Tre, Cai Be, and the furthest is Vinh Long. Because My Tho is the nearest destination, it is also the most popular and the most crowded, very touristy.
If your trip is more than 2 days, you and your companion can choose a trip to Can Tho, dubbed the Mekong Delta capital. Then visit Ben Tre, Cai Be, Vinh Long, do not miss the vast rice fields, diverse fruits, freshwater aquatic products, old houses under the French colonial period. Try the feeling of crossing the Mekong tributaries by boat or canoe. You can find overnight cruises, where facilities on board are very comfortable. Although cruises go through very few places to visit, they can take you upstream to Cambodia. They are expensive but the comfort is worth the cost.
Many tourists often skip staying in a homestay, but if you do spend time in homestays, you will be offered the chance to help the owner to cook rustic dishes so you can cook these at home after your trip; dishes such as braised fish with coconut caramel and sour fish soup. Travelling by road you can cycle through fruit-laden orchards such as mango, oranges, bananas, longans, vast rice fields, understanding the customs of ancestor worship, returning to rural life to hear the frogs and watch fireflies and stars at night.
New destinations you should not miss include Soc Trang, Ca Mau (the end of Vietnam), Dong Thap, An Giang (where you can continue to visit Cambodia by speedboat). To optimize your trip, take a rest after a long journey on Phu Quoc Island, beautiful azure blue sea and fine sandy beaches. Get there by hydrofoil boat from Kien Giang or plane from Can Tho City.
Visit the Mekong Delta
Overcoming the Mekong tributaries by boat:
Depending on your financial capacity, you can choose different services from local boat for group or family, honeymoon .. and high-end services for long journeys.
Rowing boats through small canals:
Women who are honest and hard working, wearing traditional clothes of the Southern region, exhibit their flexible and skillful rowing through peaceful canals. Hire on of these ladies to row you along the Mekong, watching orchards on both sides. This is a common mode of transport for people here.
Visit the old houses and craft villages:
Depending on the destination you choose, you can see the peaceful life of those living in wooden houses, some over 100 years old, not destroyed by tropical climate and insects. Traditional craft villages produce confectionery, coconut candy, rice paper, popped-rice, weaving mats and carpets from hyacinth, jutes, bamboo, …
Immerse in the Floating market on the river:
With the passage of time and the development of transportation, many floating markets gradually disappear. However, you can still visit the following floating markets: Cai Rang Floating Market is the most popular and nearest you can visit; Nga Sau – Nga Bay floating market, true to the remote rural market; Long Xuyen floating market is wide and long, where life is floating (to me, this is really a large floating market and least changed)
Explore bird sanctuaries and nature reserves:
Tram Chim, Xeo Quyt, Gao Giong, Tra Su Melaleuca forests, U Minh, etc. Typical and easy to visit are Tram Chim and Tra Su forests. and especially when traveling in September-December, it is the time of flooding season in the Mekong Delta. You will discover a rich and diverse flora and fauna, such as the red-headed crane, warbler, cuckoo, waterhen, lotus, waterlily, ..
Don’t miss homestay & farmstay:
There are lot of homestay in Vinh Long, Cantho, Dong Thap such as: Ut Trinh, Hai Đào, Bà Lình, It’s the best way to see real life in the villages and towns along the Mekong and to learn about Vietnamese culture. And of course, the money you pay to stay helps the local families directly.
The fusion of 4 ethnic groups:
There are many examples of the different ethnic groups living along the Mekong. Visit Chinese temples and shrines from Saigon to Can Tho, An Giang. Take a boat to visit Cham village in Chau Doc, go to a mosque and explore the muslim life of the people here. The Khmer live scattered on the plains and near the Vietnam – Cambodia border. Passing through the palm trees, be sure to stop roadside and take a sip of palm juice.
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