The world’s renowned travel guide, the Lonely Planet, has rated Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region ninth out of the 10 best value destinations for 2012.
Considered as the Vietnam’s biggest “rice bowl”, the Mekong Delta features a watery landscape of green fields and peaceful villages. The whole area is a complex system of brown canals and rivulets fed by the mighty Mekong River. The local inhabitants are really friendly and hospitable, although they have to work very hard on the life-sustaining river, with their labours marked by the same cycles governing the waterways.
The delta, which produces enough rice to feed the country with a sizable surplus, was formed by sediment deposited by the Mekong. The process continues today, with silt deposits extending the shoreline by as much as 80m per year. The river is so large that it has two daily tides. Lush with rice paddies and fish farms, this delta plain also nourishes the cultivation of sugarcane, fruit, coconut and shrimp. Although the area is primarily rural, it is one of the most densely populated regions in Vietnam and nearly every hectare is intensively farmed.
The uniquely southern charm with its welcoming introduction to life along the river is the real draw, and visitors can explore quaint riverside towns, sample fruits bartered in the colourful floating markets or dine on home-cooked delicacies before overnighting as a homestay guest. Other highlights include visits to local orchards, flower markets and fish farms. There are also bird sanctuaries, rustic beach getaways like Hon Chong and impressive Khmer pagodas in the regions around Soc Trang and Tra Vinh.
Those seeking an idyllic retreat will find it in Phu Quoc, a forested island dotted with pretty beaches, freshwater springs and empty dirt roads (ideal for motorbike adventures). Good diving and white-sand beauty have led to its growing popularity, with a mix of cheap bungalows and five-star resorts along an uncrowded coastline.
Nowadays, Mekong Delta become an attractive travel destination for not only domestic but also foreign tourists thanks to its primitive charming natural landscape. There is nothing more interesting than going on a boat trip on Mekong river and experiencing the daily life of local people.
One of the most outstanding features of travelling in Mekong Delta is visiting traditional floating markets, where people in this water land exchange goods mainly are vegetables and fruits on boats. It is totally different from normal market in land. Here travellers will have chance to know more about the colorful life of the locals.
If you really want to get on well with the Mekong Delta’s inhabitants, homestay must be a good choice. Stay with local family, listen to their stories as well as explore their diverse fruits orchards and enjoy fresh local foods, you will get closed to Vietnam’s culture and life.
This watery land has so much things waiting to be discovered!