Not far from Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong winds its way through southern Vietnam before it splits again and again forming the Mekong Delta. This stretch of land before the river Reaches the sea is an eco-tourist’s dream.

Rich farmlands and lush mangroves along the river dominate the landscape. With regular flooding, the area is rich in fertile land and lush vegetation.

With Temples, floating markets, and narrow streets to bike along, while being only a short distance from Vietnam’s capital, there is much to appreciate and enjoy about this off-the-beaten-track gem.

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What To Know About The Mekong Delta

From where it begins in the Tibetan Himalayas, the Mekong River flows through China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and finally, it ends in southern Vietnam. For years fertile land has been home to farmers whose emerald fields still dominate the landscape.

The community and culture that has grown up around the Mekong Delta are full of much to discover. With floating markets, mangroves to explore, boat tours, bike rides through the natural setting, and more, tourism to the delta has steadily grown.

The Mekong Delta is an escape into nature and culture, just a short distance away from Ho Chi Minh City.

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What and Where to Explore

Can Tho

Can Tho is the fourth-largest city in Vietnam, but because of the relaxed atmosphere, it has a small-town feel. This is often the city prioritized by travelers due to its size and accessibility to everything it has to offer. With an established food culture, and accessibility by road, Can Tho is a fun city to explore. It is recommended to rent a motorbike so that you can easily access the different islets of the city. You can also rent a rowboat and journey along its many canals and channels.

  • Renting a Rowboat - Chau Van Liem Street, Tan An Ward, Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho city, hello@nucuoimekong.com, +84 983704949
  • Renting a Motorbike - 42/24 Tran Viet Chau street, Ninh Kieu, Can Tho +84 0907769680
  • Locations of Interest - Can Tho Floating Market, Binh Thuy Ancient House, Ong Temple
  • Food to Try - mangoes, mangosteens, rambutans, dragon fruits, longans, bun rieu, and Vietnamese coffee

Cai Be

Cai Be is a small city less often visited by tourists. It has many quiet charms that reward the few that do venture here. The Tan Phong Islet is the primary destination being completely surrounded by the Tien Phong River. Ferry rides are commonplace, and an excellent method for traversing the branches of the river. Floating markets are another excellent place to enjoy. You can rent a sampan or a bicycle to help increase the amount of Cai Be you can explore.

  • Renting a Sampan - Many can be found along the piers of the city, prices may vary but most are used to renting to tourists.
  • Places to Explore - Cai Be Floating Market, Tan Phong Islet
  • What to Eat - Ginger candy with peanuts, banh mi with chili sauce, slippery banh canh noodles in fish broth

Chau Doc

Chau Doc is a border town along the Hua River. Its floating market is perhaps its greatest attraction as merchants will sail down the river from far away just to sell their goods. With merchants from different countries, there’s a multicultural feel to the market. Chau Doc is also a refuge for several religions that have been able to worship side by side for years. The result is beautiful Islamic mosques, Buddhist pagodas, and Taoist temples to visit.

Sa Dec

With a great deal of connection to the French, Sa Dec brings a taste of European architecture and romantic French energy to the delta. The house of Duras’ lover, Huynh Thuy Le, which was an influence on the writer Marguerite Duras is still there to be visited today. The riverfront streets and canals are dotted with mansions as well as temples. The market is the center of activity in Sa Dec and is unique from the usual markets found in and along the Mekong Delta region. There are also flower nurseries and greenhouses here that nurture thousands of tropical plants.

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Ben Tre

Being the closest of these five cities to Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Tre is often the destination most common for day trips to the Mekong Delta. It is even popular to turn it into an overnight trip by staying at one of the riverfront homesteads. Popular activities to take advantage of while in Ben Tre are Kayaking and boat tours along the canals that a line with nipa palm. You could also rent a bicycle too, and enjoy riding around the area.