Often referred to as the 'rice bowl of Asia' due to its plethora of emerald rice paddy fields, the Mekong River Delta is surrounded by fertile lands that showcase nature’s riches. On Vietnam’s mighty Mekong, sleepy floating communities live surrounded by an abundance of tropical fruits, buffalo wallowing in paddy fields, and mangroves rich with birdlife.
Attractions Along the Mekong Delta
The commotion of Ho Chi Minh City is easily forgotten as you float down the mud-brown waters of the delta. Highlights include the Cai Rang Floating Market, the largest of its kind in the area, where boats swell with fresh coconuts and exotic produce, and the UNESCO-listed Can Gio Mangrove Biosphere Reserve, where the river meets the South China Sea.
In the Thua Thua area, the delta transforms into narrow canals that snake past agricultural villages famed for their coconut palms and production of whiskey and wine. Travelers seeking serenity will be delighted by Ben Tre, where a sleepy waterfront and languid pace provide a welcome retreat. The region is also home to two spectacular religious landmarks: Cao Dai Temple and Cai Be Cathedral, whose distinct styles range from vibrant to austere.
How to Visit with Viator
In order to understand Vietnam’s past and present, a visit to the Mekong River Delta is essential. Travelers can combine a ride through Saigon’s canals with a sunset Mekong River cruise, or take a private tour of the unspoiled countryside in southern Vietnam. If you have more time to spare, set out on a multi-day tour to gain comprehensive insight into local life in the Mekong River Delta’s rural settlements—many longer tours also cruise through Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.
The famous floating markets of the Mekong River Delta are in full swing in early morning; if you’d like to attend, choose a tour that departs around sunrise from Hanoi, Vinh Long, or Ho Chi Minh City.
Bear in mind that a full day on the Mekong Delta can be hot and unshaded, so it’d be wise to bring a hat, some sunscreen, and plenty of water.