Tucked away on the southern tip of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta is a dream destination for those eager to discover a richer travel experience. Steeped in history and full of local delights, the Mekong is home to countless mazed rivers, interactive floating markets, and miles of deep green paddy fields. It’s where coconut made boats float slowly on the canals and local villagers sells their best crafts at a bargain, providing a great opportunity to explore and get a first hand experience in a day in the life along the Mekong Delta.
Located roughly three hours from the fast paced Ho Chi Minh City, getting to the Mekong requires little effort. Tours can be arrange via your hotel or from one of many excursion stalls located throughout District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City. Below is my itinerary as I made my way to the south.
Vagabond’s Mekong Delta Itinerary
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho – Ben Tre – Can Tho
Depart Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy the scenic journey along the National Highway bordered by green rice fields. It’s a bit of a boring ride – bring a book, movies, or a decent playlist to keep yourself occupied. On arrival in My Tho, visit the Vinh Trang Pagoda, take a leisurely boat ride across the river and view stilt houses, fruit plantations and fishing villages along the river bank.
The afternoon begins with a boat ride to Tortoise islet where you’ll feast on fresh fish in an orchard garden. Then, as frequently seen in many travel magazines, enjoy a cruise on a hand rowed sampan under the shade of water coconut trees along the canals as you make your way to Ben Tre. Once in Ben Tre, you’ll visit a family business which epitomizes the idyllic rural lifestyle, taste delicious coconut candy and observe the pastoral life as you roam through fruit plantations and villages.
The night ends with a homestay with a local family in the village of Can Tho!
Day 2: Can Tho – Floating Market – Ho Chi Minh City
Take a leisurely boat trip and explore the picturesque tributaries of the Lower Mekong river (Bassac River), then proceed to Cai Rang floating markets, which are the liveliest in the entire region. This will be the absolute highlight – a first hand experience as to why the Mekong Delta is the heart of Vietnam!
Tour Cost: $38 USD!
The Cu Chi Tunnel Experience
Another short, exciting trip from Ho Chi Minh City are the Cu Chi Tunnels. Located approx. 50km from the city, the Cu Chi tunnel was a major battle ground for severals years during the Vietnam War. A trip through these extensive, interconnected tunnels are not to be missed!
After exiting the tunnel, try your luck with an AK47 at the shooting range! This will complete your ultimate Vietnam War experience!
Be sure to check out the Handicapped Handicrafts Market on the way to the tunnels. All crafts are produced by disabled people – prepare to be mind blown!
Tour Cost: $6USD
Have you visited the Mekong Delta or Cu Chi Tunnels? Share your experiences below.
Until next time, cheers to the Vagabonding life!