Things to do in Mekong Delta - Restaurants & Bars

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Things to do in Mekong Delta

1. Mekong Delta's Attractions

Floating market

It is also in this delta that are seen every morning, hundreds of sampans converging toward the famous floating market of Phuong Hip at the crossroad of seven channels in the direction of Can Though to Soc Tran, or toward lesser known markets such as Cain Rang and Phuong Dine. Also seen are merchants with conic hats trailing their mountains of fruits, legions of ducks, chickens and pigs to the market on their small boats, or other rudimentary means of transportation (bicycles, rickshaws). It is thanks to the orchards of the delta that one finds a great number of fruits: sapodillas, ramboutans, caramboles, corrosoles etc... at the markets of Saigon. It can be said that the delta feeds Saigon and a greater part of Vietnam. In the northeast of the peninsula lies the Plain of Reed which was a Viet Cong refuge yesterday and which becomes the Asian Camargue today. 

Palm trees

The region of the Mekong Delta is the third rice producer in the world. The orchards of the region also produce the majority of the fruits sold in Vietnam.
The tropical fruits season is rather short. In Vietnam, fruits are not picked until they are ripe. Farmers pick the fruits and sell them to wholesale dealers in the floating markets. Most of the fruits are cultivated during the South's rainy season, from June to September.
In the Mekong Delta are cultivated most of the flowers bought throughout Vietnam during the New Chinese Year's celebrations.
If you ever come to the Mekong Delta, bring a good camera. The photographic possibilities here are immense. The fields around the canal, the local people, the floating markets, the houses around the river, you will find hundreds of opportunities to take unforgettable pictures.

Can Tho city

This city is the industrial center of the region. It is 120 miles south of Saigon (170 km). The city has a nice center with a big port, where big boats dock. Next to the port, there are some nice restaurants and good hotels. There is also a great floating restaurant, with live music. Can Tho is a great place to spend a relaxed evening.
Port Ninh Kieu, in Can Tho, is the center of local activity. A ferry crosses the river from this port to the local island of Xom Chai. This island is a nice visit, especially during the sun set.

Phoenix Island

One of the tourist sites in the Mekong Delta is the Temple of the Coconut Monk, on Phoenix Island. On this temple lived a French monk who preached a fusion of Buddhism and Christianity. He was locally famous because he only ate coconuts for more than three years.

Snake farms, My Tho

The region of My Tho is famous for its snake farms. The Dong Nam Snake Farm was originally funded by Colonel Tran Van Duoc in 1977 with research purposes. The farm has several of the local venomous snakes on display.
Snakes are very popular among Vietnamese, as a meal. The area of the Mekong Delta is one of the best places to taste this local specialty. You will find snakes cooked in different manners in restaurants in Can Tho and My Tho. The snake meat has the flavor of meat, but the texture of fish.
Snakes are also used in Vietnam to produce medicinal liquors. In some cases poisonous snakes are used. Bottles with snake liquor are sold throughout Vietnam as a souvenir.
Sam Mountain
Sam Mountain is the town of Chau Doc. 85,000 people live in this city by the Cambodian border. The Sam Mountain is another of the local tourist attractions. Several temples and pagodas can be visited on this mountain. Sam Mountain is the highest point on the Mekong Delta.

Long Xuyen

Long Xuyen is the center of the commerce in the area of the Mekong Delta. 100,000 people live in this city, the capital of the An Giang province. Not far from this relaxed town are the ruins of the The Oc Eo civilization. Long Xuyen is also famous for its Christian population.

Cat Tien National Park

Cat Tien National Park gathers the diversity of fauna and flora typical for ecosystem of wet tropical forest in the provinces in South East of Vietnam. The park is estimated as the reserve of natural resources in Vietnam with lots of rare, specious and endemic genes of fauna and flora, as plentiful site for scientists, domestic and foreign tourists.

There are many other strange trees in the forest: a red-wood tree having a diameter of 3.7m, a fig having a fasciculate root that runs along the stream and can shade about 20 people, a banyan tree having a hollow trunk which is large enough for 3 people. So far, in Cat Tien Park, 1,610 kinds of flora have been classified which belong to 75 species, 162 families and 724 branches, many of them listed in the Red Data Book of Vietnam.
Covering an area of 74,319ha, the Cat Tien National Park has preserved its original natural soil with a diverse ecological system and many rare and valuable species of animals listed in the Red Book of Endangered Animals.
To date, 76 mammals, 320 birds, 74 reptiles, 35 amphibians, 99 fish and 435 butterfly species have been confirmed to occur at the National Park; and there are unconfirmed records of an additional 32 mammals, 19 birds, 9 reptiles, 4 amphibians, 31 fish and four butterfly species. The park comprises of such impressive mega fauna as Javan Rhinos (only one of two populations in the world), Asian Elephants, Gaur, Sun Bears and, possibly, Banteng, and wild Water Buffalo.
Cat Tien National Park is part of the wet tropical forest complex and one of the specious natural forests remaining in Vietnam. That is why this area is significant not only in Vietnam but in the world as well

Hon Chong

Home to the Mekong’s best beach – perhaps the only worthy one – Hon Chong (30km east of Ha Tien) is a fun spot for a day of dining in sand-floor fish shacks on a couple clean brown-sand beach that curl to a limestone formations. Vietnamese love it, and weekends can get filled with revelers from Chau Doc, Rach Gia, Ha Tien and Can Tho. Some call it ‘little Ha Long Bay,’ which is code for ‘nowhere near as good as the original,’ but that doesn’t mean it’s not good.

My Tho fruit market

My Tho (pronounced mee-toh) is known for its huge district of exotic fruits and offers the best reality shows this side of the Pacific. Life happens and has no time for anyone to stop; you can be part of it or you can get out of the way.
The Mekong River Delta is the richest and most fertile area in Vietnam; the river itself has its source as far north as Tibet and passes through more countries in Asia than any other river. The name signifies the river “of nine dragons;” the atmosphere is languid and the heat is tough; the mangroves rule the swamps; and the canals’ dark waters have tales to tell.
My Tho is the first stop on our bus tour, and we are going to get a lesson on exotic fruit; even if you are not passionate on the subject, the mere color and shape of some of these delicacies will change your mind. It appears that the durian has earned its place as king among the peers; it is huge, green on the outside, and smells like Camembert cheese on the inside. Hold your nose and take a bite. We are also getting a culture lesson about wedding protocol: the betel leaf and areca fruit, which make teeth almost black, must be presented during the ceremony. The richer the family, the more betel and areca will be bestowed. The rambutan is very similar to lychee and tastes like a sweet, chewy apple. I just purchased some canned rambutan from a local Vietnamese market in New York, and it’s not quite the same. The most attractive to me was the dragon fruit, because it looked like a flower about to bloom. It has interesting black seeds inside and a white flesh, so that when it is cut, the red rind gives it a really lovely frame. We then stopped near a basket that held huge, brownish, seeded, pancake-like wheels, and surprise! It’s a special type of banana that is eaten as a vegetable and apparently does wonders for rheumatism and kidney stones. I love to hear about these medicinal remedies, all of which are handed down from the Chinese.
The nhan fruit is Vietnam’s most profitable: farmers in the Delta have already sacrificed coconut farming for this fruit, as it is favored by China, and considering the population of 1.3 billion, well, it’s mad fruit!!! The star apple or vu sua is very sweet and creamy. You will also see oi (guava), xoai (which is mango); dua (pineapple); and lots of others.
Van Thanh Mieu Temple (Vinh Long).

It’s half 19th-century temple devoted to Confucius, and half modern temple devoted to a local up-yours-France hero Phan Thanh Gian, who escaped capture in 1930 by drinking poison and dying. The temple is a few kilometers south of the center; go south along the Long Ho canal via 30 Thang 4 St, which later becomes Tran Phu St, to the large temple.

2. 24h in Mekong Delta

Begin your tour in My Tho, an inland port and commercial center for this rich agricultural region. Known for its vast orchards and immense rice fields, you’ll also find the elegant Vinh Trang Pagoda here.

Built in 1849, this Buddhist pagoda is nestled amongst native trees and beautiful gardens. Take a turn around the grounds to admire the gracefully blended Asian and European architectural styles. Peek inside to glimpse the many attractive examples of Mekong River Plains’ sculpture.

Move on to Dong Tan Snake Farm. Home to over 20 different species of both venomous and non-venomous snakes, the farm was created as a research facility for the medicinal uses of reptile venom.

Hop aboard your boat and wind through the Mekong to your next stop, Con Phung Island. Enjoy a traditional Vietnamese lunch and see the process of making various handicrafts from coconut trees.

The rest of your afternoon will be spent gliding through the streams and quiet villages of Ben Tre province. Disembark once more to visit an orchard and beekeeping farm. Listen to live traditional music while you sample fresh tropical fruit, natural honey, and homemade honey wine. Watch as locals adeptly create handmade sweet coconut candy. On your way back to Saigon, stop by a bonsai garden to amble by the many plants tended there.

Inclusions:

  • Private transportation
  • English-speaking guide
  • Vietnamese lunch
  • Entry fees

Available:
Daily

Duration:
Approx. 9 hours

Departure time and location:
8 AM; from the lobby of your Ho Chi Minh City hotel

Return time and location:
Approx. 5 PM; to the lobby of your Ho Chi Minh City hotel

24h in Can Tho:

Are you ready to cruise along the small and picturesque tributaries by rowing boat to see the Cai Rang floating market? Together with Cai Be and Phung Hiep, Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City is one of the three biggest in the Mekong Delta. Activities at the market are also an occasion for you to study the cultural aspects of southerners.

Besides Cai Rang Floating Market, you can visit other places such as Can Tho Market, Ninh Kieu Quay, Binh Thuy Temple as well as private tourist gardens. In these gardens, you can walk, breathe fresh air, enjoy different kinds of fruits and countryside specialties and stay at nice guest houses in the shade of trees. Take in the beautiful scenery and the daily activities of the locals who lives along the Mekong canals and you will roam through the village to visit rice husking mill and a rice noodles making shop.

24h in My Tho:

Begin a new day by visiting Vinh Trang Pagoda. You can see its structure was built in a mixture of Chinese, Vietnamese, and Angkor (Cambodian) architectural styles with 5 buildings, 2 ornamental yards, and 178 pillars. Now, before your eyes are extensive orchards and immense rice fields. Do not hesitate to enjoy a boat ride on the Mekong River and visit an orchard on an island, with lunch en route at a local restaurant.
Let’s continue our tour with a visit to Khamer temple which is recorded as the place with the most leaf prayer books in Vietnam in the Records Books, with about 150 series of prayer books on leaves.

24h in Chau Doc:

After some days cruising on the boat, it’s the time for you to meet and talk with local people in Champa Village. Furthermore, catching some fish is so easy. Is it excited, isn’t it? Do not leave out Sam Mountain. The 230m high mountain not only offers beautiful landscapes, but it is also where many historic remains deeply loved by the inhabitants of Nam Bo plain are located. From Sam Mountain, it is very convenient for you to Lady Xu Temple which is constructed according to the Chinese character "quoc", has 4 square roofs, roofed with blue pile-shaped tiles. For further culture experience, Thoai Ngoc Hau Temple, Tay An Pagoda… are most popular attractions.

24h in Vinh Long:

Heading out of town we travel by road to Cai Be in Vinh Long Province. On arrival we embark on a boat for a leisurely trip around the tributaries of the mighty Mekong River. Our first stop is the vibrant floating market of Cai Be where each boat usually sells one particular items such as pumpkins, pineapples, sugar canes... In order to be known by the customers, people hang that item from the highest part of the boat. Along the way, we also visit the many fascinating local cottages industries including rice paper makers, sweet factory, bonsai nurseries…

3. Shopping in Mekong Delta

Shopping in Chau Doc: The market is the best starting point for any shopping expedition in Chau Doc. It offers a fantastic variety of goods, both from around Vietnam, and also from neighboring Cambodia and Thailand. Some great bargains can be had, although you may need to haggle hard to get a good deal. The market spreads from the riverfront down and along Le Cong Thanh Doc, Phu Thu, Bach Dang and Chi Lang streets. Long Xuyen's riverside marketplace is also well worth a visit, and is probably the highlight of a trip to the city.
Some of the various things which you may wish to purchase here include silk, which is fashioned into various articles of clothing and bags, as well as purchasing some of the numerous antiques or handicrafts on offer, or even perhaps some of the local embroidery.