Beautiful Scenery of Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta, or the Nine Dragons River Delta, is the region in southwestern Vietnam. It has been known as a biological treasure trove recently. With the total area of 39,000 square kilometers, over 10,000 new species have been discovered, including a species of rat thought to be extinct.
13 provinces of Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta comprises 13 provinces, Can Tho, An Giang, Bac Lieu, Ben Tre, Cà Mau, Dong Thap, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Long An, Soc Trang, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Vinh Long.
With the climate of close-equator area, Mekong Delta has the best advantage in developing the agriculture by cultivating rice field and growing plants which produce food. Mekong Delta is considered as the most productive region in Vietnam. It specializes in agriculture and aquaculture while the role in industry and foreign direct investment are limited.
Mekong Delta at Sunset
Due to the geographical characteristic along with sunny and rainy seasons, Mekong Delta has so many attractions that the tourists could choose what to visit first. Especially, there are some typical attractions which the tourists often go there
Cong Tu Bac Lieu and His wife
“Cong tu Bac Lieu” (real name is Tran Trinh Huy) is a well-known person during the French governance in southern Vietnam. He was known for his playboy characteristics as much as for his family affluence: gambling, buying luxurious things and even burning money to compete with another rich man for a beautiful girl. At that time, there were only two people owning private helicopters in Vietnam: King Bao Dai and Cong Tu Bac Lieu.
Cong Tu Bac Lieu Hotel
Cong Tu Bac Lieu’s House was built in 1919 with most materials being transported from France and considered to be the most gorgeous house in the region. After 1975, the house belongs to Vietnamese government and is turned into Cong Tu Bac Lieu Hotel. There remain his pictures and some souvenirs on sales.
Ba Chua Xu Temple in An Giang province
Ba Chua Xu Temple
Temple of Ba Chua Xu is located right at the foot of Sam Mountain. Legend has it that around 200 years ago, the area was still cover with woods and it was invaded by outsiders frequently. Once the invaders found a beautiful stone statue of a Hindu Goddess on the mountain and managed to bring it home but they couldn’t move it. Before leaving, they broke its left hand. One day, a little girl in the village claimed herself to be the Goddess and told villagers that only 9 virgins could move the statue. Reaching the mountain‘s foot, the statue suddenly became so heavy that the girls had to put it down. Villagers saw it as an omen and built a temple there.
Ba Chua Xu Festival
Today, pilgrims come here to touch the sacred statue and pray for luck and fortune, especially during its festival. Ba Chua Xu Festival is annually organized at the end of the 4th lunar month; worshippers touch her statue and ask for her protection and benediction.
Sam Mountain in An Giang Province
The mountain gets its name since it resembles a black horseshoe crab. Climbing or riding a motorbike to its peak at sunset is a must for any visitor, especially backpackers. There, you would have a chance to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and gulp in the fresh mountain air. This is also a good place to discover Cham, Khmer and Chinese ethnic culture.
Shrines on Mountain
Dozens of temples and shrines are built on Sam Mountain, making it a well-known place for pilgrimage.
U Minh Ha National Park in Ca Mau
U Minh Ha National Park
U Minh Ha National Park (Lower U Minh) is situated in the north and west of Ca Mau. It is one of the most important sites of Melaleuca swamp forest in Mekong Delta. To some extent, U Minh Ha is in better condition than U Minh Thuong though it is much smaller. So far, 23 species of mammals, 91 species of birds, 36 species of reptiles, and 11 species of amphibians have been recorded.
The area is subject to tropical monsoon climate with a dry season from November to April and a rainy season from May to October. This is also the best time for tourists to visit this park.
Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho Province
Cai Rang Floating Market
One of the greatest surprises the Mekong Delta can offer. There are many floating markets in Mekong Delta in which Cai Rang is the closest one to Can Tho. This market is open all day but the busiest time is from the sunrise to 9AM. A maze of hundreds of boats packed with mangos,pitaya, bananas, papayas, pineapples, and the like.
A Boat Full of Pitaya
There are also other kind of products including wines, cigarettes, and seasonal food. Sellers won’t need to cry out about their goods because they can be seen in a distance. When bargains are settled, goods will be transferred in baskets boat-to-boat or hand to hand over the air like the juggling game. This is a truly memorable scene of the local way of life.
Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province
A Flock of Birds
Tram Chim National Park is one of three significant sites for bird watching in South Vietnam. Covering an area of 7,588 ha, this park is a place for rare birds to survive, including the Sarus Crane which is listed in IUCN Red Book.
This park also protects many local species and maintains the suitable condition to conduct researches on natural environment. The best time for bird-watching in the park is from January to May and for photographing is at dawn and dusk.
Bat Temple in Soc Trang Province
Bat Temple has welcomed not only the local but also the foreign visitors. Initially, this temple was built with bamboo materials. After several renovations, restoration, and repair, it was roofed over. It is said that the temple is holding some great mysteries. From time to time, Bat Temple has attracted thousands of bats, including endangered bats. Another mystery is about the 5-hoof pig. People don’t know why this kind of pig can be like that.
Cai Be Floating Market in Tien Giang Province
Cai Be Floating Market
Cai Be Floating Market is among the three biggest ones in the region. It is not just a traditional practice; it is an integral part of local culture and an ever appealing attraction for travelers to Tien Giang. Every early morning, boats and rafts loaded with vegetables, fruit, flowers, and other produce from nearby districts gather here for trade until dusk.
A Boat Full of Fruit
Each boat sells one type of goods, indicated by a long vertical pole with sample product attached at the end. Household stuffs, production tools and food are also offered. From a certain distance, the market looks like a colorful painting of local life.
Phoenix Island in Ben Tre Province
Coconut Candy Factory
A boat trip in Ben Tre will bring the visitors to several islands and Phoenix Island is among them. With the area of 28 ha, visitors are always attracted by the coconut candy home factory there.
It is interesting to watch the entire manual making process of these Vietnamese fragrant sweets and taste some. The island is also famous with its coconut handicraft village.
Phung Hiep Floating Market in Hau Giang
Phung Hiep Floating Market
Located at the intersection of 7 canals, Phung Hiep is the biggest floating market in Mekong Delta. The greatest delight is that instead of climbing on decks of local boats, photographers can have bird’s-eye view over the market from the Phung Hiep Bridge. In addition, products on sale are more diverse and sellers can be the buyers at the same time.
Selling Food on Boat
Like other floating markets, each boat has a long pole with a sample good hanging at its end to indicate what is on offer. Phung Hiep is the furthest floating market from Can Tho; however, it never cease to attract the visitors coming to Mekong Delta .
Dong Tam Snake Farm in Tien Giang Province
With the total area of 30ha, Dong Tam Snake Farm is one of the largest snake-raising centers in Vietnam, where venom is produced for local use and export. There, tourists can see a lot of researched snakes which are extremely aggressive and even capable of spitting poison, and other snake-based medicines are produced to save lives. A lot of medicinal plants are raised here for several purposes.
Clay Pagoda in Soc Trang Province
Clay Pagoda - a cultural relic
Buu Son Pagoda or Chua Phat Dat is an interesting site to visit in Soc Trang. It is famous for a valuable heritage of over 100 clay statues in shapes of thousand arms and eyes Buddha, sacred animals (dragon, unicorn, turtle and phoenix), and so on.
A Statue of the Animal
Fascinatingly, there are 6 giant candles, two of which have been burning continuously for the past 70 years.
Ninh Kieu Wharf
Ninh Kieu Wharf
Ninh Kieu Wharf is the greatest landmark in Can Tho. It associated with the images of girls in “ba ba” shirts. Formerly, it was the station for all boats from other southwestern provinces coming to trade in Can Tho Market. Now, although there is a new harbor nearby with capacity to accommodate 5000-ton ships, Ninh Kieu is still very bustling.
A cruise in Ninh Kieu Wharf
This is also the most scenic site in the city. Here, you may enjoy a stunning sunset over the water along with panoramic views of the islands.
If you know how to take your time, or are guided by an able guide, you will certainly enjoy your stay in the Mekong delta.