It’s all about Mekong Delta Vietnam!
Mekong Delta Vietnam, or “Nine Dragon River Delta” as the way the residents here usually call it, is located in the South-West of Vietnam that derives from the mountain of QingHai through YunNan province (China), Myanmar, Laos and Thailand before reaching Vietnam and flowing to the sea through the distributaries network.
The Delta every year receives the abundance of the siltation from the upper Mekong, covered with rich and lush rice fields. This land is also titled as “The Rice Bowl” for it produces about half of the total of Vietnam’s agricultural output, in along with spectacular countryside sceneries of endless storks spanning wings on the white blue sky.
Mekong River diverges in Cambodia into two main rivers, Hau Giang and Tien Giang before reaching Vietnam into a more complicated system, creating small maze canals, rivers networks which are interspersed with fishing villages and featured floating markets. Therefore, life in the Mekong Delta revolves much around the river, and all the villages are often accessible by both river and road.
Local people in the Mekong Delta
Being nurtured from the first moment of life in the middle of immense water space, Mekong locals have got used to their living on boats for their homes are nowhere but nearby waterways and their livelihoods are provided also by all specialties of Mother Water. When a son is born, he is taught to cherish all the waterway values in terms of local languages, humble culture as well as life spirits until they pass away and then hand down to their next generations all the full, priceless morals.
The characteristics of residents are influenced by the geographic features or surrounding environment as well. Southern Vietnam, naturally blessed with favorable climate, fertile soils, endless green paddy fields and lush fruits orchards, is motherland of warmly-hearted, easy-going and hospitable residents. That all together creates the beauty and cultural characteristics of the locals here which are shown in traditional poems and music for the past years.
Mekong Delta is the multi-cultural region of a wide range of ethnic groups. They live together through many centuries, sharing strong and comprehensive relations among community.
Villages in Southern Vietnam, not like other rural communities in the North, are usually located among maze canals and channels networks due to its geographic reasons. Moreover, small hamlets here will be set along the river banks, among luxuriant gardens or be interleaved with the waterway instead of being surrounded and insolated by bamboo ranges or tall, brick walls. As a result, this brings to the different society structure and communication ways among them.
“Ba ba” shirt is popular for both males and females in Mekong Delta when they are working in the fields, going to the market and hanging out for pleasure. These shirts are dyed in black for the convenience it brings about for farmers when they can freely do everything without afraid of getting muddy and messy.
Best time to visit
Tourists can visit Mekong Delta River anytime, however the best times to reach are Lunar New Year (Tet Nguyen Dan or Tet) and Mid-Autumn Festival (Tet Trung Thu) when there are a variety of traditional celebrations are hold with bright candles in along with other colorful decorations.
Getting to Mekong Delta
By road: Mekong Delta is about 4-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh and Can Tho so it is rather easy to access this region by road although sometimes the road is quite crowed due to vehicles overload on this main route.
By plane: There are some flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Rach Gia (the place that can be reached by boat or plane from Phu Quoc) and also between Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Quoc Island where tourists can then start Mekong Delta tour from here.
Mekong Delta is also a natural passageway from Southern Vietnam to Cambodia, which can be entered through mainland and/or by river. It is not so difficult to get a visa to Cambodia (but not for all entrance points), but you also need to obtain Vietnam visas in advance.
You can travel from Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, to Chau Doc on a boat-bus journey; or You can also enter at the border crossing on the way from Kampot in Southern Cambodia to Ha Tien since bus stops are also now available between Phnom Penh and Can Tho.
There used to be hydrofoil connections from Ho Chi Minh City to My Tho, heading to Can Tho in around 4 hours, but this option does not exist anymore. Alternatives are speed boat transfers, or cruises will be the better choices for those who are interested in unspoiled nature, from Cai Be to Can Tho or backward.
Should bring to Mekong
Visitors who are planning to visit should consider carefully this information. It is highly recommended that tourists bring comfortable walking shoes and lightweight long pants for both normal tour and Buddhist temple excursions because women will need to cover their shoulders and knees when visiting sacred places.
In addition, a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, bathing suit, extra socks, and mosquito repellant, and of course, camera with charger and extra batteries are also should-bring stuffs in this promising trip.