Most towns in Vietnam are grounded by history and imposing architecture, however the Mekong Delta is somewhat different. Its floating houses, markets and boats give this area a real sense of freedom. Everything feels like it might drift away in an instant.
The Mekong Delta is the point where the mighty Mekong river splits into several waterways before meeting the South China Sea. These waterways are the life-blood of the locals; without them their lives would be very different. This river flows from the top of the Tibetan Plateau and empties here. It connects most of the South-Asian countries, and is a magnificent sight.
The Delta is known as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, and you can easily see why. Look out for the bright green paddies, farmers and their water buffalo, and stilted or floating houses on the waterways. However, there’s much more to the Mekong Delta than immediately meets the eye. In addition to the sleepy countryside settlements, there are busy towns bursting at the seams which are just waiting to be discovered.
You have to kayak or hike to access most of them, so the Mekong Delta is a great spot for adventurers who want a short break to indulge in local culture. There are several local floating markets you should visit; Cai Rang and (less crowded) Phong Dien are among the most popular. Just be prepared to get up early to see them at their best.
The Mekong Delta also conceals a few historic remains in its mangroves. Search for Viet Cong bunkers, ornate Khmer pagodas and Buddhist temples through the verdant leaves. For a bit of excitement, head to Can Tho; it’s the cultural centre of the Mekong Delta and could be considered something of a metropolis. However, lots of tourists congregate here, so if you’re looking for something a little more ‘off the beaten track’, you might prefer to find a local village to stay in.
Plan your trip to the Mekong Delta today.