Mekong Delta Attractions
Lying between Tien Giang river and Hau Giang river, Mekong Delta is the rich and beautiful land which the potential of economics and tourism is on the road of rising. With the successive rice fields coming to the horizon and the broad long river system, Mekong Delta is worthy to be called the river delta, the granary and the fisheries. Mekong Delta attracts thousands of tourists annually.
Most tours out of Saigon will take you to some of Mekong Delta recommended attractions. You'll travel by minibus with a bunch of other travellers and tourists, you will stay at pre-arranged guesthouses. It will be easy, cheap and you will probably meet a bunch of other travellers. Mekong Delta is an ideal destination for tourists, particularly those who love adventure tour.
Place to visit
1.My Tho My Tho, just 2 hours from Saigon by bus, is the most accessible Mekong Delta town. This proximity makes it a favourite with the tour groups that pile into town from mid-morning to late-afternoon. The organised tours disgorge their passengers by the river from where they take a boat across the Tien River to Tuoi Son Island and Ben Tre where they can boat through boat canals, visit coconut candy factories wander through fruit orchids and feast on fresh seafood. All of these things can be done independently-either by chartering your own boat, getting the car-ferry over to Ben Tre or by getting a boat across the river and just wandering around. Aim for being on the river by mid-afternoon-say 3 p.m. That way, you will still be out when the light is great for pictures and long after the groups have left to return to Saigon. Regular buses to My Tho leave from Saigon's Cho Lon bus station and the trip takes 2 hours. 2.Ben Tre Ben Tre is smaller and farther than My Tho. However, it is also an interesting plan for adventure. To reach Ben Tre walk along the river out of My Tho to the car ferry pier-step onto the ferry and once you've crossed the river you'll see the buses that do the milk run across the island to Ben Tre town. Door to door you're looking at between one and two hours from My Tho. Ben Tre itself it a compact little market town-if you've not seen a wet market before, be sure to check this one out - but also wander the myriad of little laneways to the east (to your left when looking at the river, back to the market). As with My Tho, the main activities are boat trips along the Delta canals - in fact you may well be taken to the very same places you'd be taken to from My Tho. However, wander down to the river late afternoon and grab a sampan to take you into the canals very late afternoon or early evening - if you're in luck you'll have the whole shebang to yourself - and the fireflies - which Ben Tre is famed for. Off the water, Ben Tre town back to the ferry pier by My Tho, but we went the "back way" with the ride taking a good two hours. We were rewarded with stunning rice paddy scenery, seas of smiles, friendly people and not a tourist in sight. 3. Vinh Long While it is possible to travel further south from Ben Tre, most regular transport favours a back tracking to My Tho, and then jumping on a regular bus to Vinh Long. While Vinh Long has it's own floating attraction - Cai Be floating market - the real attraction here are overnight homestays available on cluster of island across the river from town. The homestays are available in a range of places, from purpose-built guesthouse style lodging to small family homes. If you're looking for an authentic Mekong Delta experience, a homestay in Vinh Long is a very good start. While these can be organised al fresco by the river bank, the local Tourist Office warned us off those, saying "using an outside operator carries no insurance should very bad things happen" - we would say it is pretty unlikely bad things would happen, and would stick with negotiating a deal by the river - be sure to get an early morning trip to Cai Be thrown into the deal. 4. Can Tho From Vinh Long, push on, again by local bus, to the big daddy of the Mekong Delta, Can Tho. Can Tho as the largest city in the Mekong Delta has a lot to offer: sampan-cruises, several pagodas, the most beautiful hotel in the Mekong Delta (Victoria Can Tho), the floating market in Cai Rang, an airport with the direct flights to Phu Quoc, Rach Gia, Saigon and Hanoi. 5. Rach Gia Once you've had your fill of floating markets and river scenery, it's time to hit the coast. Grab a bus from Can Tho west to Rach Gia - a substantial fishing town which doubles as the main gateway to Phu Quoc Island. It gets short shift in most guidebooks, but we really liked it. There are a lot of places to stay and eat, the fishing boats make for nice pics and there are some excellent dessert stalls by the canal. Aside from the launching point for Phu Quoc, it is als but a hop skip and a jump from the town of Rach Soi which has massive market - so if you've never seen a large market (unlikely if you've already made it this far) - then take a xe om the 7 km out to take a poke through Rach Soi's. There are also the beaches around Hon Chong - though we've not seen them with our own eyes - so check them out and tell is what you find! 6. Phu Quoc Island Last but not least, leave the mainland by air or boat to the glistening beaches of Phu Quoc Island. We are a great wrap on this place and while it is one of the premier locations for sunning and swimming in Vietnam. With a road running all the way round its edge, there is ample scope of exploring by motorbike and there is an handful of easily accessible small fishing villages. There is also diving (in season) fish sauce factories and enough eating and drinking to content even the most demanding of traveller. Best of all it is connected to Saigon by flight so you can round off your exploration of the Delta here - or return to the coast and head to Ha Tien and the border, to cross into Kep in Cambodia.