A glorious end to a 5000 kilometre course, the Mekong Delta River has been one of Southern Vietnam’s prominent attractions since the 1970s. Beginning its journey from the midst of the Tibetan mountains, the Mekong River meanders through China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Southern Vietnam, before opening up into the Gulf of Thailand, making it the 12th longest river on Earth. The river splits into two near the border of Cambodia and Southern Vietnam and shortly after, divides into numerous smaller rivers and streams. Deposited sediments from these rivers have turned the surrounding land into an incredibly fertile environment, which could also be described as an agricultural heaven. This region is responsible for more than a third of Vietnam’s annual rice output, however coconut palms and a variety of fruit orchards develop wonderfully in this nutrient rich soil. The area itself is a stunning picture for the eyes and a Mekong Delta tour can be arranged with Your Vietnam Travel.
The diversity of this region make it incredibly popular with tourists and although some aspects are manifested on the itinerary in black and white, surprises will still come thick and fast during a Mekong Delta tour. The sights of monks congregating near the pagodas or children perched on top of water buffalo are everyday occurrences here, however this complex labyrinth of rivers leads to numerous inspiring towns and villages, some of which can be visited during the Mekong Delta Tour.
Although some of the towns are rarely visited by tourists, many assets of the Mekong Delta tour boast excellent facilities for curious travellers. My Tho is within close proximity of Ho Chi Minh City, so even if you only book a day long Mekong Delta tour, you will be able t0 spend a few hours here without having to check the time every five minutes. This market town boasts an appetising glimpse of the Delta’s most northern tributary, Tien Giang, and has always played a significant role in the history of Vietnam. During this part of the Mekong Delta tour, you will learn about the Chinese immigrants who established themselves here after fleeing from Taiwan due to the collapse of the Ming Dynasty at the end of the 1600s. Two centuries later, the French were blown away by the myriad of rice and crops that were sold here and so built a rail line from here to My Tho to Saigon, which is now defunct. There was also a dense military presence during the war against the Americans in the 1960s and 70s.
The serene, sleepy town of Sa Dec is another humble addition to the Mekong Delta tour and was actually the inspiration for the Marguerite Duras novel ‘The Lover’. A true undiscovered diamond of any Mekong Delta cruise, Sa Dec offers an abundantly romantic setting for anyone who wishes to escape the crowds. Merchant homes and old mansions feature some wonderful architecture from the colonial period and there is an authentic Vietnamese market near the river. The Kien An Chung pagoda can be visited on request and although this was once a prison, it is now complimented by a myriad of surrounding flower gardens, something the town is generally renowned for.
After spending a day or two exploring the smaller tributaries during your Mekong Delta tour, a visit the Can Tho will feel like a meander through a metropolis. This is the largest of the Delta’s cities and is the epicentre of the region. As the economic, cultural, and political centre of the Mekong Delta, the transportation links to the nearby floating markets and other attractions are excellent. Can Tho is a world of wide boulevards, sculpted gardens and narrow back streets, a truly mystical place with something humble to offer every traveller.
There are more than twelve inspiring towns and villages which you can drop by during a Mekong Delta tour, each with something magnificent to offer. If you’re interested in visiting Cambodia or the island of Phu Quoc, the town of Ha Tien is an ideal starting point. Cao Lanh is perfect for bird lovers and Soc Trang is a barrel of fun in December when the Oc Om Boc festival takes place, a spectacle on long boat races and cheery faces. Due to the seasonal flooding, the best time to enjoy a Mekong Delta Cycling Tour is in the dry season, between December and May.