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Vietnam – The Life on the Mekong River Delta

Published: 9.12.2017
When visiting south Vietnam, go to the Mekong river delta. The river originates in China and runs across five countries. It is however in Vietnam where it enters the sea. The area lures in tourists who may experience boat rides here, a floating market, or see interesting life of the locals on the riverbank. Its brown color is not appealing for locals use it to their everyday activities – washing, cleaning etc. There are no dangerous animals in the river so you can swim in it.

Most tourists choose one- or two-day organized trip. You may reach the area by bus or motorbike (be careful here as the road is frequented). I coulnd't imagine how we would sail between the canals. Therefore, we chose an organized trip. You can buy it on the internet, at hotels Ho Chi Minh City and in other towns, or at travel agencies. The price for 2 days including breakfast and accommodation is about 100 USD.

úzké propojky

The delta is vast. There are many tributaries and canals floating into tributaries. This all makes a large water labytringh. My Tho market town is sitauted on the Tien Giang's riverbank (Upper River), the northernmost Mekong's tributary. This town is about 2 hours away from Ho Chi Minh City. It is a great experience to cruise local narrow canals. Water there is not still however, it flows in rather fast pace. The canals are not artificial and are lined with Nipa palm trees. The palms lean slightly above little boats. Riding on a boat there is great. You will certainly be interested in the palm fruits in shape of stars. Their milk is drinkable. You may taste the milk in a coconut candy factory. This place and a bee farm are two stops on the trip. Pagoda Vinh Trang is a beautiful pagoda in My Thu town. Three large Buddha statues guard this Hindu temple. The Buddha in front of the temple represents Buddha's presence, the Buddha on the side of the palace, represents the future, the Buddha in the back of the palace the past.

pagoda Vinh Trang v My Tho

Can Tho town is another point interest. This largest city in the river delta is situated on Mekong's branch. Covering an area of 1 400 km², the city is home to 1 500 people. I was quite surprised when being in the city as after a week long stay in Vietnam  I felt like inživot na deltě Mekongu Europe. The city center is modern and features shopping mals. You won't feel like in Vientam. In stark contrast to this are people living far in a boat on water (they don't have money to buy a house). On their boats they also sell their crops. This floating market vendors make the most interesting thing to see around the city. Cai Rang and Phong Dien markets are the most popular. You better visit these floating markets as early in the morning as possible for there are not many vendors to see after 11 a.m. These markets are ingenuine and very interesting thing to see. Your boat is mostly surrounded by smaller boats selling beverages and food. You may also see a mobile café or a breakfast boat. Mostly you will see large boats loaded with vegetables and fruits. The branch on the nose is used to hang some of their good on. A beverage costs around 30 CZK on a floating market.

plovoucí trh Cai Rang

plovoucí trh Cai Rang   plovoucí trh Cai Rang

The bridge leading to Can Tho  is another interesting thing here. It is 3 kilometers long making it the longest bridge on the delta. Built between the years 2004–2010, the bridge's construction was particularly long before one pillar collapsed in 2007. 50 workers died in this accident. To honor their sacrifice, a small pagoda was built on the east riverbank.

Enjoy your cruise here as well as rich life on riverbanks.

GPS: (Can Tho) 10°02'33.1"N 105°44'47.3"E

 

Text and photos: Martina Brožková



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