The Mekong Delta, often known as the West, is a 35,000 square km triangle formed by alluvial flats and calm rivers directly west of Ho Chi Minh City. This place is known as the “rice bowl” of the country with more than 50% of rice and is an ideal destination with many fascinating experiences.
Shopping at the floating market
The lively floating markets every morning are one of the most exciting experiences for travelers to observe living in the West. Morning boat fairs, a significant aspect of culture and trade in the Mekong Delta region that appears to have remained untouched since the 1800s, run along these crowded rivers.
The market is usually conducted in the early morning near the junction of canals and rivers when the water level is neither too low nor too high. The trading of ripe fruit, fresh food and many other goods all take place on the river with the means of sampans, also known as three-leaf boats, used by the people.
The market is not only a place to purchase and sell, but it is also a place to learn about the river’s unique way of life.
There are five floating marketplaces in the region: Cai Rang, Cai Be, Phong Dien, Nga Nam, and Long Xuyen. Cai Rang and Cai Be are the most well-known and popular destinations.
The main disadvantage of these floating markets is that they are not suitable for people who find it difficult to get up early in the morning. The optimum time to attend any floating market is as early as possible – as early as 3 a.m. when hundreds of vendors begin to sail their dinghies to the market.
In My Tho, Tien Giang, visit Vinh Trang Pagoda
The 150-year-old Vinh Trang pagoda, with its intriguing blend of Eastern and Western styles, is a symbol of Vietnam and is acclaimed for its architectural, historical, and religious significance.
There are two big and spectacular martial arts-style three-door gates in front of Vinh Trang pagoda, built in 1933 in the traditional architectural style. The special feature of this three-way gate is in the art of joining pieces of porcelain to illustrate the history of the Buddha with all shapes of dragons, unicorns, turtles, phoenixes, fish, Tieu, Canh, Muc, etc. impressive and unique.
There are 60 Buddha images cast in bronze and jackfruit wood from the early twentieth century inside the main hall of Vinh Trang Pagoda. The statues’ exteriors are adorned with iridescent gold paint. Inside, there is a treasure called Dai Hong Chung, which stands 1.2m tall and weighs more than 150kg, as well as 20 antique paintings.
Visit Tan Lap Floating Village, Long An
This is a well-known ecotourism area in Vietnam that attracts the most discerning guests. About 100 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, travelers can arrive by car or motorbike and return during the day. Those who require more time to immerse themselves in the serene relaxing surroundings and nature can locate many homestays in the hamlet.
Nestled between a mysterious floating forest and swampy rivers, Tan Lap floating village is a peaceful place with tropical beauty that is not too influenced by tourists. The boat ride through the wetlands and twisting trails to explore this place is full of surprises. Mangrove flora and tall trees form dark canopies that provide relief from the hot Western heat.
Discover the true sound of the Mekong Delta region
Although not known for its lavish feasts, the region is tempting for its distinct native food, which is unrivaled in Asia. Interestingly, the utilization of natural ingredients is what distinguishes the meals of the Mekong Delta.
Explore the upstream region by cruising on the Mekong River
The Mekong Delta region, being a land covered by rivers, provides the best aquatic sports and is also a place for you to explore life here. A river sail down the Mekong River is one of the most exciting journeys.
Participating in this event allows you to discover the activities of the local people in addition to sitting in a boat and going down the river to admire the natural scenery.
Other luxury ships allow you to travel further away for longer periods of time, carrying visitors not just to areas of the Delta but also to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
The most basic Mekong river cruise is a three-boat journey driven by locals, and it is an experience that no discriminating tourist should miss when in the Mekong Delta. In addition to exploring tourist attractions while surfing through the green mangrove woods, guests can also enjoy the feeling of calm while floating on the pure canals.
Some noteworthy attractions include Tra Su Melaleuca forest (An Giang), Thi Tuong lake (Ca Mau), and Thoi Son island (Ben Tre).
Visit Khmer pagoda, Tra Vinh
The Khmer people are dispersed throughout the western regions, with Tra Vinh having the highest concentration. This location is especially known for its more than 100 traditional temples with soaring roofs. These are the well-known Khmer temples in Tra Vinh, including Hang pagoda in Chau Thanh district, Ang pagoda in Tra Vinh city, Vam Ray pagoda and Co pagoda in Tra Cu district…
All of the temples in this area feature architectural works that are represented and ornamented with many works of art such as statues of gods, owls, birds, and legends of Shakyamuni Buddha with bold lines and patterns.
Visiting the Tra Su reserve in Chau Doc, An Giang
Visitors should try to visit Tra Su forest during the floating season if possible. This is a typical season for the Mekong Delta in general, as well as a feature of river tourism in An Giang province’s watershed. This is also the nesting season for wild birds that have been migrating to the Tra Su nature reserve for a long time.
This 800,000-hectare sanctuary is home to over 70 different kinds of waterfowl, each with its own nesting and breeding grounds.
The freshest fruit in the orchard
The Mekong Delta’s magnificent tropical climate has generated remarkable fruit gardens; in addition to rice, it is the country’s greatest fruit basket. There are numerous orchards to visit in the area, with Tien Giang having the largest fruit plantation in the entire region due to the lush surrounding topography of the Tien River. Mango fans should not miss out on the experience at Tien Giang’s Hoa Loc Cat Mango Garden.
Read more: The 10 best cities in Vietnam to visit
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