Vietnam – The Life on the Mekong River Delta
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.
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.
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 in 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.
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
Today we are about to enjoy our last amazing trip in Vietnam, we originally intended to visit the Ba Vi National Park, but for time constraints we had to change our program because we need to reserve at least two days for this park. So we had a hotel counseling and planned a trip to a place that was not even mentioned in our book guide, although it is very popular for tourists (even for local people). Today, we go to visit the largest Vietnamese pagoda Bai Dinh and then explore the beautiful complex Trang An.
In the evening we arrive at the airport in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon). We are already busy only to lodge for a quick dinner in the busy streets of this largest Vietnamese city and sleep. The next day a very exciting war trip is waiting for us - we go to the Cu Chi tunnels.
Nha Trang is practically the most famous tourist resort in Vietnam, not so much for some landmarks, this coastal city of Khanh Hoa province is famous for its seven kilometers long sandy beach with adjacent islands. The city of approximately 392,000 inhabitants and this number is growing steadily.
We imagined the visit to the lake as relaxing time after quite a busy day. The reality was seriously different from our expectations. I have remembered the first impression until today. With my daughter and son, we dodged through the local traffic and it was not really easy. The flood of motorcycles was not to stop. We naively thought that someone might slow down or even stop. Don't expect that. Just walk to the other end of the road. And be brave.
Upon our arrival and first impressions of Vietnam, we take a tour of Hanoi. The guide first takes us to Ba Dinh Square, which is famous especially for Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
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As much as I hate to travel by bus, I would repeat the ride from Nha Trang and Da Lat. The former is the city of two hundred thousand. It is the most popular spot to spend honeymoon at in Vietnam. It is situated at 1500 meters in the Central Highlands. You can enjoy a number of great views while on the road. And it gets even better on bike …
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Someone loves it. Someone swears to not to come again. There is nothing in between. I am with the first group. From the first day on in Saigon, a hectic city, and I turned into a side street. We are about to introduce you to a new series where we tell you about interesting places in the city and the country. First of all, let’s talk some important facts about the country.
Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) is often regarded economic heart of Vietnam. It is not as hold as Hanoi (Hà Nội) but still it has some magic.
Every time I have the feeling I know something more about something I come to realization which tells me the opposite. I spent one year of studying and travelling in China. Bit arrogantly I had felt Asia couldn’t surprise me much more. Fortunately, I hadn’t boarded a plane to the Czech Republic, instead I boarded a plane to Vietnam.
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