December 20, 2017 by Mr Linh's Adventures Team
Vietnam’s land of waterways and floating orchards, pagodas and rice paddies, buoyant markets and island villages…the magical Mekong Delta is a region ripe for Vietnamese adventures. Here’s our insider guide to the region, including information on what to expect on a Mekong Delta tour.
The Mekong Delta is popularly known as the ‘Nine Dragon’ river delta in Vietnam, referring to the nine main tributaries of the Mekong River. In fact, the shape of the land on the Mekong Delta is constantly shifting, with plains made up of sediment and water channels that move gracefully with the seasons. Covering an area of more than 40,000km2 or 15,000 m2, the Mekong Delta is a huge biologically, agriculturally and culturally diverse region. There are more than 1,000 animal species and 12 provinces each with unique cultural traditions, while the agricultural land produces a third of Vietnam’s total crops.
Visiting the Mekong Delta can’t be compared to visiting anywhere else in the world. The feeling is of remote communities in corners of paradise, who come together at thriving floating markets and vibrant social occasions.
Tien Giang Province – one of the 12 provinces in the Mekong Delta – is a must-visit on any Mekong Delta tour. From the perspective of the water, there are various islets to explore in this province, called names such as Dragon Island and Unicorn Island. As the names suggest, there’s something mystical and otherworldly about them, and they mark areas of relatively unspoilt beauty. Quoi An Village is another unmissable spot. A community known for producing coconuts, locals use every single part of the humble coconut to turn it into something useful, ranging from sweets to whole coconut houses. This is a village where you can listen to local music, visit local orchards and even taste Mekong whisky! For a truly local experience, Mr Linh’s Adventures can even organise lunch at the house of a local bonsai gardener, where the local speciality of elephant ear fish is served.
Elsewhere in the Mekong Delta, Can Tho City is waiting to be explored. Despite the otherwise rural location, this is in fact the fourth largest city in Vietnam – and the largest in the Mekong Delta. No Mekong Delta tour is complete without a visit to the nearby floating markets. Thriving with activity, you could watch trade and transactions take place from boat to boat all day long. The pretty, waterfront stretch of Can Tho is beautifully lit up at night and is full of floating restaurants and bars. Can Tho is also the place to buy traditional rice paper, as it’s crafted by local residents.
While exploring the Mekong Delta, it’s a great opportunity to see some of what the rest of southern Vietnam has to offer. Ho Chi Minh City is just a short drive away, so any Mekong Delta tour is likely to include a stop in this urban centre. This is a place to enjoy nightlife and a vibrant food scene. The Cu Chi tunnels are also an important place to visit, where Viet Cong soldiers were based during wartime. From Ho Chi Minh City, the mountainous tea and coffee region of Da Lat and the coastal Nha Trang are all within travelling distance.
Adventures along the Mekong Delta give an insight into traditional cultures from Vietnam’s ‘rice bowl’. Striking out into contrasting neighbouring regions afterwards gives refreshing insights into Vietnam from all angles. Off-the-beaten-track experiences like these in Vietnam make memories that last a lifetime.
Mr Linh’s Adventures can take you to the Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Lat and Nha Trang in 10 days and 9 nights.