Here is an “A to Z” travel guide for your trip to Mekong Delta

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Different from the Middle and Northern regions in Vietnam, Mekong Delta doesn’t impress its visitors with high mountains or beautiful beaches. However, it is famous for its wonderful riverscape and the hospitability of local people. If you wish to merge yourself with the peaceful nature, you should consider visiting Mekong Delta.

You want to go on a trip to Mekong Delta but have little experience in traveling in Southeast Asian countries? Don’t worry! This is a extremely helpful guide for your trip.

The myth of Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta, also known as the Western Region is the region in southwestern Vietnam. This is where the Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea through a network of distributaries. The region comprises 12 provinces: Long An, Dong Thap, Tien Giang, An Giang, Ben Tre, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, and Ca Mau, along with the province-level municipality of Can Tho.

The meaning of the name “Mekong”

Mekong Delta has a beautiful name in Vietnamese: Cuu Long river delta, which means nine dragons. In Vietnamese culture, dragon is a one of the summoned beasts, along with unicorn, tortoise, phoenix. And Vietnamese people believe that number nine is the most powerful number of all. It is said that this number will bring good luck and prosperity. Therefore, everything containing this number is believed to be lucky. The name Cuu Long river Delta presents for the aspiration of local people for a prosperous and adequate life.

Five suggestions for tourists in Mekong Delta

Enjoying all kinds of tropical fruits in local orchards:

With the favorable conditions of soil fertility in the two rivers, the Mekong Delta is one of the most suitable places for growing fruit trees. Therefore, people have planted various kinds of fruit trees in this area. You can easily find orchards full of fruits along the rivers. Here, people are promoting their products by open freely for tourists to come over and try their fruits. Tourists will have the opportunity to witness the process of taking care of the crops of the farmers as well as to pick juicy fruit bunches by their own bare hands.

Local orchards in Mekong Delta

You can visit the orchards in some of the following locations:

  • Cai Be orchard (Tien Giang Province): Specialized in tangerines, grapefruits, oranges.
  • Vinh Kim orchard (Tien Giang Province): Specialized in star apples, rambutans.
  • Cai Mon orchard (Ben Tre Province) : Specialized in durians, grapefruits.

Experiencing eco-tours:

An excellent option for environment lovers is eco-tour. When going on these tours, you will find yourself harmonizing greatly with the marvelous ecosystem. There are several ecotourism destinations in Mekong Delta for you to visit. Here is the list:

Trang Chim National Park:

For bird-watchers, this park is absolutely the most suitable choice! With the total area of 7,588 hectares, the park is home to many botanical species and nearly 200 species of water birds which account for about a quarter of the birds in Vietnam. There are many rare and precious species of water birds. Among them, the most well-known are the red-headed cranes, one of 15 endangered species of cranes in the world. If you wish to catch sight of flocks of red-headed cranes returning to the park, late December to early May is the most suitable time to visit.

Tan Lap floating village:

About 100km from Ho Chi Minh City, Tan Lap floating village is one of the most popular tourist attractions of tourists. When in Tan Lap village, you will feel as if you are lost in a fairyland with the dappled sunlight of the forest, murmuring of leaves, song of birds. Also, you will find the longest passing-through-a-cajuput-jungle road in Vietnam here. Tourists can either take a walk on the road or row on the canal while enjoying the peacefulness of the village.

Tan Lap floating village

Tra Su Cajuput Forest:

Tra Su forest is about 30 km from Chau Doc city. This forest is considered as the most typical and unique natural habitat conservation area of the wetland ecosystem in the Mekong delta. The forest is most beautiful from late September to November. The canal’s surface is covered with tiny duckweed, making it a fantastic green water path in the forest. On the canal sides, the cajuput trees reach the branches forming a leaf arch. You will never find such amazing spectacle anywhere in this world!

Tra Su Cajuput Forest

Lotus fields in Dong Thap Muoi:

In Vietnamese literature, people usually say: “ There is nowhere to find more beautiful lotuses than in Dong Thap Muoi”. You may think that this is an exaggeration but it’s actually true! Dong Thap Muoi is a wetland of the Mekong Delta with an area of 697,000 hectares, spread over three provinces of Long An, Tien Giang and Dong Thap province. Because of the favorable natural conditions, this land is very suitable for lotus to grow. If you come here between June and August, it will fascinate you with immerse lotus fields. Hundreds of lotuses here blossoms swinging in the summer breeze, which will surely touch anyone’s heart at first sight!

Lotus fields in Dong Thap provice

Exploring the local religion:

Although Mekong Delta does not have the majestic landscapes as other regions, this place has the beauty of harmony between nature and people. Religious architecture here is the most obvious example. Hence, it is not too difficult to find a pagoda or a temple in Mekong Delta. These architectures are extremely unique. If you are interested in finding more about the local religions, this list may help you much.

Ba Chua Xu Temple – An Giang Province:

Ba Chua Xu (The Great Goddess) is a legendary figure worshiped in Sam Mountain in An Giang province. Every year, this relic attracts nearly two million visitors to do the worship and visit. Natives believe that if they sincerely pray, the Great Goddess will be able to listen to their prayers and help them to fulfil their wishes. Especially, there is a festival from the 23rd to the 27th of the fourth lunar month to commemorate the Great Goddess’s merit. If you are lucky, you will possibly see how long the line of believers is!

Ba Chua Xu temple in Angiang province

Vinh Trang Pagoda – Tien Giang Province:

Apart from Ba Chua Xu Temple, Vinh Trang Pagoda is another choice for who want to learn about Buddhism in Mekong Delta. Located in My Tho City in Tien Giang province, Vinh Trang pagoda is a super famous one in the region with its certification of national historical-cultural relics. Its architecture is a harmonious combination between Eastern and Western style. In particular, tt is a blend of architecture from France, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos. What’s more? Vinh Trang Pagoda is more than one hundred years old. Interesting, right?

Vinh Trang pagoda

Bat Pagoda – Soc Trang Province :

Continuing with the list is Bat Pagoda. Bat Pagoda or Mahatup Temple is a typical Khmer religious architecture, located about 3 km southeast of Soc Trang. Here, visitors not only admire the unique beauty of the ancient temple more than 400 years old, but also immersed in mysterious nature with the bat hanging around the trees in the temple. But be careful with your shoes because there are sometimes remaining the waste of the bats.

Bat Pagoda or Mahatup Temple in Soc Trang province

Don’t skip characteristic floating markets in Mekong Delta:

In Mekong delta with a network of channels and canals, people are attached to the river life so the floating market is a unique form of trade of people in the Southwest region. Unlike floating markets in Thailand, floating markets in Mekong Delta are carried out in opener space. The canoes are aslo larger than ones in Thailand. There are some famous floating market that you should put it in your list.

Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho province

It takes about 30 minutes from Ninh Kieu wharf, sitting on a motor boat along the Hau river to the Cai Rang floating market early in the morning. The market of floating market from 5 to 9 am, specializing in trading agricultural products, fruits, goods, food, etc. This is one of the most famous floating markets in Mekong Delta, which makes it attract a great amount of tourists every day.

Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho province
Vibrant Cai Rang floating market

Cai Be floating market in Tien Giang province

Cai Be Floating Market takes place in a section of Tien Giang River where it borders on the three provinces of Tien Giang, Vinh Long and Ben Tre. This is one of the largest wholesale markets in the South West. Here, the business is very diverse from cloth, household items to poultry, seafood to the food and drink. Trading activities are busy from early morning until noon every day.

Cai Be floating market in Tieng Giang province

Phung Hiep floating market in Hau Giang province

Although Phung Hiep floating market is not as famous with tourists as the others, it is quite popular with the local people. The specialty of this floating market is in the commodities exchanged here. Besides the usual commodities, here are also the purchase of animals, especially reptiles. People sell snakes, turtles, birds, squirrels, lush,… in public. And of course most of these are legal so you can purchase some if you like!

Don’t forget to try specialties in Mekong Delta

Traveling to the Mekong Delta, visitors not only discover or experience the beauty of nature and culture of the locals but also have a chance enjoy the unique, attractive cuisine only here.

Hu Tieu My Tho:

If Pho is a popular dish in the north of Vietnam, Hu tieu (or chewy rice noodle) is widely loved by people in Mekong Delta. The main broth is minced meat, pork and bone marrow. Then people dip noodles into broth and add the ingredients such as chives, chives, minced meat and pig intestines. This dish is so delicious that Chef Gordon Ramsay had made it a challenge in the Master Chef show!

hu tieu my tho

Siamese mud carp hotpot:

Hotpot is one of the most favorite dishes of the locals. In Mekong Delta, there are several kinds of hotpot but the Siamese mud carp hotpot is the best to try. Siamese mud carp is a special fish species, only appear when the wetland is flooded. The fatty taste of mud carp mixed with the sour riverhemp will make the diners can never forget.

Siamese mud carp hotpot

Fried voles:

It is not strange to eat small animals like mice, snakes, locusts, frogs,… in Mekong Delta. One of the local specialties is fried voles. Voles are the mice that live in the rice paddle fields. Farmers here usually catch these voles and fry them. It may sound like a terrible dish at first but it actually turns out to have spectacular taste. Believe me, give it a try and you will see what I mean!

Vietnamese pancake:

This is a very typical Vietnamese dish that tourists should try when they visit Vietnam. In a funny way, Western people usually describe it as halfway between a crêpe and an omelette. In fact, its batter is made from rice flour and coconut milk. However, in Mekong Delta, they add some turmeric so that the dish looks more eye-catching. This dish is served with pork, scrimp and mushroom. The crunchy crust will definitely amaze anyone with the first bite.

Vietnamese pancake

Where you should stay when in Mekong Delta:

Usually, there are not many choices for accommodation in Mekong Delta. Tourists can stay in local hotels with a very modest price, around 20 to 40$ for a night. Unfortunately, the night life in Mekong Delta is quite limited. Therefore mostly travelers will return to Ho Chi Minh City to rent hotels or homestay instead of staying there.

Unlike the hustle and bustle of the cities, Mekong Delta is charming with its rustic beauty and the hospitability of its locals. With the favor of nature, this land has become one of the most peaceful tourist attraction in the world. You are dizzy of the busy urban life? Just come here and refresh your mind now.

For more information, you can find in this website:

https://inspitrip.com/ho-chi-minh-city/the-best-non-touristy-mekong-delta-tours

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