Mekong Delta, often known as “Mien Tay” by the locals, is perceived by foreign visitors as being off the main path. However, it ends up being a perfect location with lots of interesting encounters. The finest activities in the Mekong Delta for visitors are boat cruises down the Mekong’s tributaries, shopping at floating markets, savoring the flavor of fresh fruits, and socializing with the welcoming locals to feel at ease and relaxed. The lines that follow will give more in-depth explanations of each.
Enjoy the Mekong Delta cruise trip
The need for canal transport has been demonstrated in that delta, which is primarily covered by wetlands and twisting rivers. The cruise voyage is not the only element that makes it one of the best things to do, though.
A cruise excursion may give you scenic and cultural opportunities in addition to being a wonderfully fun and easy way to travel. Life in the delta is centered around the rivers since the Mekong River flows through Vietnam and has created a sophisticated river system. Sceneries on both sides are the ideal fusion of humankind and nature; as a result, a peculiar style of daily existence has arisen. Additionally, taking a cruise does not need you to merely view things up close. You may visit more locations on a cruise than you think. When it reaches its destination, you are free to explore the surroundings and engage in activities.
You can reserve a Mekong River cruise or a package tour that includes cruising in its itinerary to enjoy a cruise vacation. A package trip will typically only feature cruising as one activity during the day, along with numerous other inland or water-related activities, whereas a cruise will typically give you an overnight experience with many water-related activities and more sites.
A boat down the Mekong River is the greatest option if you enjoy being in nature. Cruises like the Mekong Eye Classic Cruise, Bassac Cruise, and Le Cochinchine Cruise, which travel through Mekong regions, cost between $260 and $300 per person. The cost of the luxury, which may carry you farther and out of the delta to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, ranges from $1000 to more than $2000.
Alternatively, you can choose a package tour like Mekong Delta Gateway 3 days or Insight Mekong Delta full day, both of which cost only about $200 per person, if you prefer participating in various activities to both appreciate the natural beauty and get to know the locals.
Overnight in a homestay in Mekong Delta
Homestays may be found all over the country, but those in the delta’s serene islands, encircled by vast orchards, and brimming with friendly smiles and mouthwatering home cooking are particularly alluring. Traveling up the Mekong to stay with a charming local family will give you a glimpse into daily life and a better understanding of why this region is referred to as the “rice basket of Vietnam.”
During the day, you can cycle with the neighborhood kids around the village’s trails to reach bustling markets, buy some fresh items from the garden for yourself, and haggle with vendors to get a sense of how hospitable the locals are. You’ll feel at peace watching the sun set from the river bank while lounging in a hammock at evening and enjoying the fresh juice. You can spend the evening talking with the host’s family and enjoying the home-cooked meal together. Homestays generally involve a two-way exchange of cultures because you can learn about the local way of life from your host and impart your own on them.
Most delta provinces offer this form of lodging, which costs $4.35 to $43.46 per night and is accessible. You are free to decide which one best suits your needs and stays. However, choose the best host might be challenging because there are so many possibilities that could result in experiences that are not authentic. A Mekong Delta homestay tour would be more appropriate in this situation since all of the activities are geared on giving you the finest experience. You will only spend $166 per person for a 2-day package with lots of activities.
Visit Mekong Delta floating markets
The floating markets in the delta are renowned as well. When you get to the delta, you can start the motorized boat and go to the nearby floating market to see how people trade things while they’re on the water. The noises of boats and people trading fill the markets at three in the morning. The market is reached by boat, where every good is brought and exchanged by being ferried from one to another. Purchases and sales are conducted directly on the water. Vendors will suspend their goods on top of a long pole so that everyone can see what is being sold.
You should experience the dynamic atmosphere at least once in your life. Get here to discover more about the local culture and see how closely tied to the Mekong River local life is through the floating market.
Some of the markets include:
Cai Rang floating market (Can Tho)
Cai Be floating market (Tien Giang)
Nga Nam floating market (Soc Trang)
Nga Bay/ Phung Hiep floating market (Hau Giang)
For your breakfast, you can purchase fresh fruits, dishes like bun rieu and banh mi, as well as beverages like coffee, soy milk, and coconut water when you visit the market. It is best to visit between 4 and 5 am. The costs are affordable. For instance, you can have a bowl of noodles for just $0.65. So there is no need to haggle.
You have two options for hiring a boat to visit floating markets. One is traveling alone or with one to two pals and sharing a large boat with others. The alternative is to hire a private room for your family and friends (10–12). Depending on the number of people, the price per boat ranges from $15.21 to $39.11. In addition, two-day trips of the Mekong Floating Markets from Ho Chi Minh to Can Tho cost about $168 per person and include lodging and transportation.
Some things you have to take note of when traveling to floating markets are:
- Frequent weather checking
- Bargaining plus talking clear about the time and destinations when hiring a boat
- Combining the market with other destinations in your itinerary
- Ask for the price before eating anything as rip-off can still exist
- For fresh fruits, getting to know about price or joining the following activity for a better experience.
Fruit Buffets in Mekong Delta Orchards
The delta is renowned as the world’s largest fruit granary because of the lush alluvial soil and a temperate environment. This clarified why sampling the local fruits is one of the best things to do. Fruits of every kind are offered at floating markets. It is impossible for those sold to you to remain as fresh as those hanging on trees due to the short growing season and the laborious picking and transportation processes. So the ideal way to eat them is right there in the orchard. The activity is a component of agro-ecological tourism, which is seen as one of the answers for the development of a sustainable tourism industry. You may lessen the damaging effects of traditional tourism on the environment by participating in it.
Suggestions for visiting fruit orchards include
- Phong Dien (Can Tho)
- Cai Be (Tien Giang)
- Tan Quy (Tra Vinh)
- Tam Binh (Vinh Long)
- Cho Lach (Ben Tre)
Before beginning your vacation, become familiar with each as they are each known for a particular tropical fruit. Vinh Kim star apples, Cai Be tangerines, Vinh Long grapefruits, and Cai Mon durian are a few examples.
When you get to the orchard, just enter, choose, and feel free to eat whatever fruit you like. All freshly gathered fruits must be consumed straight away to preserve their pleasant, fresh flavor. Simply take a seat in the shade and savor your delicious, fresh-from-the-garden fruit buffet. Particularly, some orchards have inviting stop spots where visitors can eat and drink tea. In other places, fruit-based beverages and foods, including several Mekong region delicacies, can be purchased.
Fruit enthusiasts are welcome to remain and eat as much as they want throughout the day from 7 am to 8 pm, when the market is open. Some people are drawn to the quiet environment rather than the fruits.
On a visit to an orchard, you typically only have to pay for transportation and occasionally admission. In certain places, the entrance cost is $3.48 per person, but it’s free in others. One of the nicest things to do in the Mekong Delta is to enjoy fruit buffets in orchards because they seem to be a real deal.
Taste Mekong Delta local foods
The Mekong Delta cuisine is just as delicious as the rest of Vietnamese cuisine. As a result, sampling the local cuisine is among the best things to do. Like many other places, the delta is known for its regional foods rather than for fine dining. When visiting, make sure to try Hu Tieu, Bun Rieu, Pia Cake, a Vietnamese pancake, and, for the very daring, Coconut Larvae.
The foods presented here have the advantage of being prepared using any natural ingredients. You may occasionally hear of dishes made with flowers, such as common sesban, sesbania, or flower hotpot. They may have an odd sound, but they are excellent.
Apart from the low cost of $0.65 to $4.35 per dish, tasting local foods in the delta will give you an even more fascinating experience than in any other place. Instead of sitting on the street, you can settle on a floating boat in the market and enjoy your delicious dishes.
To enjoy Mekong Delta local foods, you can get to any floating market within the area. However, the markets are held early in the morning, so it will only serve breakfast. For other meals of the day, you can come to markets and restaurants in the local village. For some certain dishes, recommendations are:
- Banh beo at Hang Bong market (My Tho)
- Hu tieu at Chu 5 Hoa restaurant (My Tho)
- Baked rolls at Thanh Van restaurant (Can Tho)
- Crab hotpot at Co Ut restaurant (Dong Thap)
If you are still in two minds of where to eat during your trip, you can go on a Mekong package tour with a meal included for around $100 per person.
Try a sampan boat trip
It goes without saying that two of the top activities in the Mekong Delta are off-the-water pursuits because rivers occupy the majority of the region. Another option is to go on a sampan boat trip. The trip in a sampan boat is typically a more straightforward, conventional version of a Mekong river cruise. The sampan boat, sailed by the natives, will take you through mangrove woods to reach several tourist destinations after you take a seat. A voyage on a sampan differs from one on a cruise in that the locations and activities are unimportant; instead, the tranquility you experience while taking in the sights on both sides is a true joy. You can have lunch on some sampans, which is another fascinating experience.
You can start your sampan excursion in the delta to discover a number of locations, including Thi Tuong Lagoon (Ca Mau), Tra Su Cajuput woodland (An Giang), and Thoi Son Islet (Ben Tre). The cost of a small boat that can hold three to four persons will be about $3.36.
Take an hour to visit famous attractions in Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta is not only famous for its natural sites but also known for its several tourist attractions. Some includes:
- Tra Su Bird Sanctuary
- Tan Lap floating village
- Tram Chim National Park
- Dong Tam snake farm
- The prince of Mac Lieu’s Mansion
- Xiem Can Pagoda
- The Bat Pagoda
- Ba Chua Xu Temple
- The Seven Mountain
- Ca Mau Cape
Each attraction has its own unique beauty and has long been associated with a narrative. You can spend an hour touring the locations after days of traveling over large and small rivers to learn more about the history and culture. This is one of the top things to do in the Mekong Delta and will be yet another wonderful experience.
You can reserve a tour that will take you to all the area’s highlights for about $200 per person if you have no idea where to go or how to combine sites during your holiday.
You will have an excellent chance to cycle through the nearby communities while staying at a guesthouse. Early in the morning, when the air is cool and fresh, the activity can be carried out. You will be riding through the picturesque countryside on paved country roads with the local kids, passing many paddy fields and vegetable farms. Unlike biking in Ninh Binh, which involves climbing mountains, Mekong biking involves experiencing peace and refreshment instead.
You will need to rent a bike from the hotel where you are staying in order to participate in the activity. The daily rate will be about $4.35. The notion of having public bicycles has recently been discussed in Can Tho. Hopefully, we’ll be able to participate in free cycling here soon.
Our picks for the top things to do in the Mekong Delta are listed above. Please use our website’s contact form to get in touch with us for further information. We’re always available to give you the best experience possible. Let’s meet if you’re interested in one of our Mekong Delta tours. In the end, if you’re looking for a spot to escape your busy life, the Mekong Delta will be it.