Mekong delta is the biggest delta in Vietnam, which has a very authentic environment, people, lifestyle and culture. Visit Mekong Delta is a must when you travel to the South Vietnam. Being working as a tour guide in Mekong Delta for more than 2 years, below are my recommendation about things to do in Mekong Delta.
1. Get on the boat
Mekong delta is a large delta region with complex rivers and canals system. Which also make getting on a boat and explore the region on boat is one of the most interesting things to do in Mekong delta.
There are a few kinds of boat that you can choose to explore this region. The most popular one is the mid size wooden boat with engine.
2. Visit the Phoenix Island
Together with 3 other islands as Turtle Island, Unicorn Island and Dragon Island, they create a suitable complex for you to have a first look at the Mekong Delta region. You can visit the Coconut temple where they have the coconut religion in the past.
Coconut workshops is another highlight in the Phoenix island. The local people here will show you the way they make the tasty coconut candy, one of the iconic product of Mekong Delta. You can go through the process from the begin to the end, then taste the final product instantly. This also can be a great gift for you friends and family.
Beside coconut candy, the shop here also have many things for you to bring back home as a gift for you loved one. They are rice wine, coconut wine, rice paper, banana cracker, kitchen implements made by coconut wood.
Get on a sampan to go through the small canals inside the island. This is a great way for you to experience the main kind of transportation of the local people in the past in Mekong Delta.
Notice: these island can be really touristy because this is the classic way for people to explore the Mekong Delta. So be aware that you can experience the “traffic jam” when you go on the small canal with the sampan or visit local workshop crowded with a lot of tourists.
3. Visit the fruit orchards
Fruit orchard is an another must-do in Mekong delta. With a rich source of alluvial came from the water of Mekong river, the soil in this delta is suitable for a lot of kind of tropical fruits. You can get on a small sampan, or a horse wagon to visit the fruit orchards.
The variety of fruit there is amazing. This region is famous for its fruit such as longans, grape fruits, rambutan, lady finger banana, soursop, papaya, durian (some people said that durian here is better than the durian they try in Thailand), mangosteen, pineapple.
4. Listen to the southern amateur music
In Mekong delta area, the local people here have a special kind of traditional folk music named Don Ca Tai Tu (Đờn Ca Tài Tử) – “music and song of the amateurs” when you translate to English. The amateur part in this case does not mean unprofessional but the more about the spirit of the artist when they sing the song or play the song – a musical entertainment for scholars and music lovers at all levels of society.
This type of traditional music is performed with a small group of artists. The band normally has one or two singer who can be man or woman. There are a few unique instruments played in the band,an adapted guitar called ghi ta phím lõm, a đờn kìm moon-shaped lute, a đờn tranh 16-string zither, a đờn cò 2-string fiddle. Other instruments can be played, such as the đờn bầu monochord, other lutes and flutes.
The songs of Don Ca Tai Tu, such as da co hoai lang,
Since 2013, UNESCO has officially recognized the art of don ca tai tu in the South of Viet Nam as the intangible cultural heritage of Humanity.
5. Visit the floating market
Mekong delta is a large area with a complex rivers and small canals system. In the past when the inland roads system was not developed, the bridges were built yet, the main kind of transportation in this area is on boat. The floating market also developed during the this time.
It is a type of market meeting on the river, where both sellers and buyers use boats and boats as means of transportation. The market runs all day, but is usually the busiest in the morning. On the boat filled with goods. The most popular are agricultural products (such as vegetables, cucurbits), fruits (such as mango, grapefruit, melons …). A special feature of the boats is that each boat has a few pole, on which dangles the products they sell.
There are a few famous floating market such as Cái Bè (Tiền Giang), Cái Răng (Cần Thơ), Vàm Láng (Phong Điền), Ngã Bảy Phụng Hiệp (Hậu Giang), Gành Hào River (Cà Mau), Vĩnh Thuận (Kiên Giang), Long Xuyên (An Giang).
The most famous floating market is Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho city. You can get on a boat which a local river from the Ninh Kieu pier or from An Binh market.
When visit the floating market you can see the activities of the local people when they get on the boat and purchase products.
You also can have a special breakfast on boat with the delicious Vietnamese noodle such as Hu Tieu Nam Vang or Bun Rieu from the lady that they sell the noodle from a small boat. Note: Gordon Ramsay went to the floating market, he fell in love with the noodle here. Then after that he bring back the noodle recipe to the US master chef final.
You also can go to the noodle workshop, fruit farms that close to floating market to observe the noodle making process.
Con Son island also have many fun activities for you to try when you travel there.
For more information please contact me through:
Nguyen Minh Bao
Whatsapp: +84 165 549 8277