The Mekong Delta is located in South Vietnam and has been formed by deposits of sediments carried by the Mekong over centuries. It's one of the largest rivers in the world, so big in fact that it has two daily tides. The river is known locally as Sông Cửu Long (River of Nine Dragons) since it breaks into 9 separate estuaries at mouth in the South China Sea.
The area is known as the "Rice Basket" because it produces enough rice to feed the entire nation and fuel exports. While it is still a rural area, it has one of the highest population densities in Vietnam and practically the entire surface area is used for rice cultivation.
The villages of South Vietnam are located on the banks of the Mekong and the people usually move around on boats along the network of canals spreading out from the river. There are floating markets and lots of houseboats. In other words, it's more than just a river...it's a way of life.
The Cai Rang Floating Market is one of the most interesting attractions in the Mekong Delta and it’s located 6km. downriver from Cần Thơ.
The market functions in a very interesting way: at 5 am, the market fills up with farmers in small boats carrying fruits and vegetables. The merchants, most of whom live with their families in house boats, stick poles in the bows of their ships. If the farmers see that produce isn't hanging from the pole, that means they can sell their produce to the merchant. After a few hours, the farmers leave and the local townspeople come in boats to buy from the merchants. The popularity of floating markets is, in part, due to the fact that they tend to offer cheaper prices than the dry-land market since they are tax-exempt. Anyways, the townspeople float along the market and check out what’s hanging from the poles.
At 9am, the market is basically closed…everything is already sold! To visit, it’s necessary to spend the night in Cần Thơ so you can wake up early enough to see the floating market.
Can Tho is the perfect place to set up "camp" to discover the Mekong Delta, an area with fishing villages and floating markets and one of the most interesting of Vietnam. If this city is your 1st first stop you will be surprised with communist flags hanging from every post, and the large number of bikes at all hours that causes traffic to collapse, not to mention those that are parked or "run" on the sidewalks.This is shocking, but soon you will realize that it is a feature of the country. Here children are born with 2 wheels under their arm! Can Tho is a big city, lively, and there is a big market where it is very fun and you can go bartering for goods like leaping frogs, a delicacy! A few meters from the market is the pier, where you can take a trip to the Cai Rang floating market, about 6 kilometers from the city, where every morning the locals buy and sell all kinds of products, mainly fruits and vegetables. Staying in Can Tho is no problem: the offers are plenty and there are prices to suit all budgets. For reference, I paid 4 dollars for a double room (no single) with bathroom, television and perfectly clean. For lunch or dinner, we return to the river area. On the promenade that runs parallel to the Mekong's many venues for all budgets. If your intention is to buy rice with prawns to eat at your leisure at the foot of the great statue of Ho Chi Minh, you will find it in every corner, but if you prefer to dine in a restaurant, the possibilities are also multiple. Can Tho was my first contact with the Vietnamese people, and the truth is I was delighted. Personally notice much difference in treatment to the "tourist" in the north or in the south of the country, and I think Can Tho was where I felt most at home, only behind Sapa.
In the middle of the Mekong Delta people cross the river to sell their belongings and their creations. There are thousands of boats and people spend the day in the sun selling and buying. The fruit boats go to Mekong and you can find exotic fruits (fruit in Vietnam is amazing!) ... You can see more at ... Www.Trips.Dsldiesel.Es / vietnam /
During the visit of Mekong River, it is normal to made a stop at a coconut candy factory. There you can see the manufacturing process, with old machinery. You see from the process of grated, kneaded, then make some plates with the mixture and cut it manually. The packaging is also manual. Besides candies also make liquor, which incidentally is quite strong.
Phú Quốc is the largest island in Vietnamese and it’s located in the Gulf of Thailand only 10km. south of Cambodia. There are regular flights from Ho Chi Minh City and ferries from Rạch Giá. Sao Beach (aka Bai Sao or Star Beach) is one of the last virgin beaches in Vietnam. It is located in the southeast of the island, kilometers away from the nearest village or resort. The only way to get there is a dirt road that doesn't have many signs. Actually, the best way to get there is on a bike. The beach has white sand, shallow waters, and is completely surrounded by jungle. There's nothing there except two small restaurants serving freshly-caught seafood at really cheap prices. There are basically no tourists on Phú Quốc, let alone at Sao Beach. The few Vietnamese who come to the beach go only to the restaurants and the rest of the beach is deserted. It’s like having a private beach all to yourself!
Chau Doc is a small city of about 110,000 inhabitants, very close to the Cambodian border and is one of the highlights of the Mekong Delta. We boarded a boat there and sailed around an area of houseboats and the small village of Cham (a Muslim community residing in Chau Doc). This place is definitely an example of the diversity of cultures and faiths that exist in Vietnam. It was one of the day's highlights as we met people who have nothing, but they never lacked a smile on their faces. They were maybe the poorest people we met in Vietnam. The houses are very modest, they are made of wood and stand on the Mekong River shanty-style - although children and elderly people smile happily. Some women gave us handmade items. A very interesting visit, a different Vietnam.
Chau Giang is a mosque whose main characteristic is a unique mix of Muslim and Vietnamese architecture. In fact it was the only mosque we saw throughout our trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. We were very impressed with the state of the surroundings of the mosque. You must bear in mind that this mosque is managed by the small Cham Muslim community, a minority in current Vietnamese society and they have very few resources. However, it is very interesting to see the diversity of cultures and faiths that exist in Vietnam. It's spectacular running into a mosque in the heart of the Mekong Delta.
Sam Mount is a sacred place for the Vietnamese and on its slopes there are numerous temples and pagodas. This hill is situated about 5 kilometers southwest of Chau Doc so you have to take a car or motorbike to climb it. However, it is better to go in a powerful car, as the climb is very steep and an engine or brake failure could have bad consequences. For me, the best things are the spectacular mountain views from above. It looks down perfectly on the Mekong Delta and the rice fields, even the Cambodian border. Throughout the journey to Vietnam and Cambodia, the rain held off but at the height of monsoon, it was normal that sooner or later we would have a shower. During one intense downpour, we decided to take refuge in one of the temples where we met the Chua Xu and the Phat Thay Tay W, which was a great and memorable experience.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you fed food to thousands of fish crammed into a farm situated in the heart of the Mekong Delta. You can learn the answer by watching this video and looking at these photos. Wild nature in its purest form. During our visit to Chau Doc, we went to visit one of the many farms located on the houseboats in the Mekong Delta. Many Vietnamese families breed these fish in order to export them to the USA. The retail price in American supermarkets is infinitely superior to the benefits that these poor farmers gain. For the tourist it can be a fun experience, but you better take a step back if you don´t want to get drenched by the fury of the fish.
On a stop during our trip down the [poi = 665751] Mekong River [/ poi], we stopped off at An Binh Island to see how people in this area live. We visited a house made entirely of coconut, even the furniture! We also saw an area with beehives and fruit. We also went around in a cart pulled by a horse through the streets.
These 15-meter-tall waterfalls are located near the village of Ham Ninh and offer a great chance for a refreshing swim. Getting there takes about 15 minutes of walking along a rock trail.
When we went, it was full of Vietnamese having a day out, swimming in the waters (fully clothed) and having lunch. The only downside is that they didn't tend to pick up their trash afterwards.
The entry fee is cheap (6,000VND/person) and if you come with a driver you’ll also have to pay for his parking.