Recommended tours Mekong Delta
Southern Vietnam covers the Mekong Delta, the extreme southern end of the Mekong River, and the area around Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
As all deltas, it receives the bounty of the siltation from the upper Mekong, and as such is a very rich and lush area, covered with rice fields. It produces about half of the total of Vietnam's agricultural output (in fact the delta produces more rice than Korea and Japan altogether), and is the place for timeless sceneries of farmers planting or harvesting rice.
The Mekong splits in Cambodia into two main rivers, the Bassac (Hậu Giang) and the First river (Tiền Giang), then in Vietnam into a more complex system, creating a maze of small canals, rivers and arroyos interspersed with villages and floating markets.
Life in the Mekong Delta revolves much around the river, and all the villages are often accessible by river as well as by road.
The high times of life in the Mekong delta are the lunar new year (Tet, or Tết), and the mid-autumn festival (Tết trung thu), where children will set hundreds of candles on their way on the river on as many tiny skiffs.
If you know how to take your time, or are guided by an able guide, you will certainly enjoy your stay in the Mekong delta.
- Ho Chi Minh City
- Cai Be
- Can Tho
- Chau Doc
- Con Dao
- Long Xuyen
- Mui Ne
- My Tho
- Phan Thiet
- Tay Ninh
- Tra Vinh
- Vinh Long
- Vung Tau
If the most populated places are rather much visited, as soon as you get away from the crowds, you are getting in touch with the nice people of the delta and their always welcoming attitude. Consider a trip to sleepy Ben Tre just over the river from My Tho or Khmer-culture influenced Soc Trang in the very southwest to get that real life feeling.
- Ben Tre
- Cat Tien National Park — a major protected area of lowland rainforest about 150 km north of Ho Chi Minh City.
- Phu Quoc
- Soc Trang
In the villages there are not many people who speak languages other than Vietnamese or Khmer, though in the cities you will find more that do. Try to bring a book with common phrases if you are venturing out away from a tour or into places that are not listed in your guidebook.
The Mekong delta is near Ho Chi Minh City, and Can Tho (Cần Thơ) is merely 4 hours' drive away, so it is easy to access by road, although there is only one main road, and as such it is rather crowded.
There are some flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Rach Gia, and also between Ho Chi Minh City and the island of Phu Quoc. Rach Gia can also be reached by boat or plane from Phu Quoc.
There used to be hydrofoil connections from Ho Chi Minh City to My Tho(Mỹ Tho) then to Can Tho(Cần Thơ) in about 4 hours, but the option does not exist any more. Alternatives are speed boat transfers, or for those who would enjoy unspoilt nature, cruises from Cai Be(Cái Bè) to Can Tho or back.
The Mekong delta is also a natural passageway from southern Vietnam to Cambodia, which can be entered overland or by river. Visas on entry to Cambodia are possible at some (but not all) entry points, however visas for Vietnam must be obtained in advance.
You can travel from Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital, to Chau Doc on a boat-bus journey. You can also enter at the border crossing on the way from Kampot in southern Cambodia to Ha Tien. Bus connections are also now available between Phnom Penh and Can Tho.