In the south of Vietnam, between Ho Chi Minh City, the border of Cambodia, the Southeast Asia Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, spreads the Mekong Delta, the huge and low plain, extremely fertile, crossed by nine arms of a river, the Mekong River.
The Mekong splits in Cambodia into two main tributaries: the Bassac (Hau Giang) and the First River (Tien Giang), then continues in Vietnam into a complex network of 9 major arms before throwing itself into the Southeast Asia Sea. Thus, in Vietnamese it is called the River of Nine Dragons.
In Vietnam, the Mekong Delta receives the bounty of alluviums and deposits from the upper Mekong and is thus a very rich and verdant area. It produces about half of the country’s total agriculture output (even produces more rice than Japan and Korean together). The Mekong Delta is made up of endless rice fields, a maze of small canals, luxuriant fruit orchards, small islands and isolated villages. Most of the villages are accessed by boat other than by roads.
Mekong Delta comprises 12 provinces (An Giang, Bac Lieu, Ben Tre, Ca Mau, Dong Thap, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Long An, Soc Trang, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Vinh Long) and 1 central city (Can Tho), each destination with its own appeal. A trip to Mekong Delta should include visits to its numerous fruit orchards and floating markets, a unique cultural feature of the region. The orchards are divided by arroyos and connected by delicate bamboo bridge called “Monkey Bridge” or “Cau Khi”. Boating and biking are greatest ways to get in touch deeply with local culture. Also, do some home-stay tourism if you have time to engage in local way of life that is truly fun and authentically Vietnamese experience.
Best time to visit
The Mekong Delta reveals its best during dry months from December to May when the sky is crystal clear, the land is lush and the water is calm. From June to September, it may be hot and humid but the greatest variety of tropical fruit is available only in these months. During October and November, occasional flooding is expected, especially in remote areas around Dong Thap and Tra Vinh, so stay informed of regional weather forecast ahead of your trip if you are travelling in these months.