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Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta, in the south, boasts the richest agricultural land in Vietnam as well as the hottest and most even climate. Temperature in the summer range to 38 degree Celsius with very humidity and in the winter season the lowest is in the high of 23 degree Celsius. The delta is covered with green rice paddies and orchards coconuts, mangos pineapples, bananas and oranges. The Mekong River is offered to as the "a mystic dragon with nine tails". This river which is a braid of nine branches by the time it reaches the Mekong Kampuchea. Most Vietnamese call it "Cuu Long" - the river of Nine Dragons - which protects communities as well as isolating them. Now the area, one of the rice bowls of Vietnam which has experienced more than its fair share of savagery, welcomes visitors from all over the world. Visitors may enjoy various fruits grown. Tourist can arrange tours to Mekong Delta all year round including the rainy season (from April to November).
 

Mytho

This town has been rebuilt since receiving almost unimaginable pounding during the Vietnam War. Row upon row of neglected wooden buildings overhang the waterfront: junks, sampans and other curious craft glide by on the river. During September or October, the muddy waters of the Mekong look extremely threatening but still the river life goes on. One of the things which first strikes the visitor is the abundance of river and canals. Everywhere there are fish farms where "Tai Tuong" (Elephant's ears), a variety introduced from Indonesia, are kept in their thousands. My Tho is dotted with Buddhist pagodas and surrounded by rice fields and fruit gardens. The 150 year old Vinh Trang Pagoda combines Vietnamese Khmer and French architecture which reflects the religion and history of the land.

With its capital, Mytho, only 75 km away from Hochiminh City, this province can be visited on a day trip from the city. Easily accessible by car and bus or ferry boat, this capital city of Tien Giang Province receives more tourists than any other in the delta.

Highlights of Mytho

  • Orchard Island (Phung Island, Thaison Island),
  • Vinh Trang Pagoda,
  • Snake Farm,
  • Truong Dinh's Tomb.
 

Long An (Plains of Reeds)

Dong Thap Muoi (Plain of Reeds), 75 km southeast of Hochiminh City and stretching over 6,000 hectares in Long An Province alone is an area covered by cajuput swamps. It used to be a guerilla stronghold during the Vietnam War. After the war, people displaced by the flights began to come back there in increasing number to start their life anew. The atmosphere is peaceful and quite-away from the noisy chaos of urban life

Highlights of Long An

  • Cajeput forest
  • Boat ride on Vam Co Tay River
  • Marshall Nguyen Huynh Duc's tomb.
 

Vinh Long

The provincial capital, easily reached within three hours (140 km) by bus or car from Saigon, lies on the river Co Chien. Lacking character and containing few points of interest, it is still an attractive place where tourists will linger for long. Another ideal place is Tra Vinh where tourists can visit the Khmer people's villages or their hamlets along route 7A in an easterly direction from Vinh Long until you reach a wide canal, the Mang Tri. Traveling through the province visitors will notice smaller Khmer Shrines dotted around the countryside. Some look very dilapidated but many are still used.

Highlights of Vinh Long Market

  • Vinh Long Market
  • Boat ride on the Mekong River
  • Khmer Pagodas and Khmer villages in Tra Vinh
  • Phan Thanh Gian's Temple.
 

Cantho

The capital city of Hau Giang Province, Cantho is located on the right bank of the Hau River, the lower branch of the Mekong. Because of its cosmopolitan nature and highly successful business ventures, this city was once called the "Western Capital". It was established towards the end of the 18th century and expanded greatly. Now, it is the political and transportation center, a sprawling mass of rather ramshackle buildings which house its 220,000 habitants. You can take a boat ride on the river for about USD 1/hour and see what the City looks like from the water. It takes about 170 km from Saigon to Can Tho by car or bus.

Highlights of Cantho:

  • Floating Markets in Phung Hiep and Phong Dien
  • Original Khmer pagodas in Soc Trang
 

Dong Thap

Another interesting place in Mekong Delta is Dong Thap with its capital of Cao Lanh at 145 km from Saigon. This province is the home of nearly 150 species of bird. 15 of which are considered rare and precious, especially flamingoes (called red-headed cranes by the locals). You will enjoy the wild maiden landscape of this province in visiting the national reserve of sarus red headed cranes (in February, March and April) and a sanctuary for thousand of stocks; cross immense rice fields flooded by Mekong swelling water; visit boundless cajuput forest and pink lotus ponds. Also belonging to this province is Sa Dec, a town lately made well-known by a French film "L'amant" (the Love).

Highlights of Dong Thap

  • National reserve of Tram Chim
  • Stock sanctuary
  • Cajeput forest and pink lotus ponds
  • Flower village at Sa Dec
  • President Hochiminh father's tomb
 

Chau Doc

The town is situated in an idyllic spot on the west bank of the Hau River, five kilometers away towards the west is Sam mountain where many people head along here on the 23rd to 26th the fourth lunar month when the Lady Chua Xu Festival is held on Sam mountain. This is the highest place on the delta and can be seen from every direction. You can't miss the Tomb of Thoai Ngoc Hau, where the Hero of the war of resistance against French colonialist was worshipped as you walk down from the Lady Chua Xu, you will see a huge head, this marks the entrance. Don't forget to look at Phuoc Dien Tu Pagoda with its interesting architecture. Chau Doc is reached in six hours (245 km) by car or bus from Saigon.

Highlights of Chau Doc:

  • Sam Mountain
  • Temple of Lady Chua Xu and Thoai Ngoc Hau's Tomb
  • Floating village of fish-breeding raft on Vinh Te Canal
  • Cave Pagoda (Phuoc Dien Tu Pagoda)
 

Ca Mau

Being the south most in the Mekong Delta, Ca Mau is surrounded by brackish water; the area is home to an abundance of birds and insects which live in the swampy forest. Traveling by "vo lai" along Khmer sampan which reaches speeds of 30km/hour, tourists can visit bird sanctuaries in the cajuput reserve of U Minh or the mangrove reserve at Cape Ca Mau. Camau with its lush tropical rain forest is the perfect place to study Vietnam's natural landscape and fascinating wildlife.

Highlights of Ca Mau

  • U Minh cajuput forest
  • Shrimp breeding pond and bird sanctuary of Ngoc Hien
  • Mangrove forest at Cape Ca Mau.
 

Rach Gia

Situated on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, this large town of Rach Gia impress visitors by the bustling market set up on the wharves at the edge of Kien Giang River. From here, fishing boats depart in fleet, their decks laden with folded nets, for the warm fishing waters of the Gulf. Long low - lying passenger ferries shuttle to and from crowded hamlets can then out of the surrounding island of Tho Chu, Hon Tre, Nam Du and Phu Quoc. Rach Gia is famous for its historical temples and pagodas.

Highlights of Rach Gia:

  • Nguyen Trung Truc Temple
  • Big Buddha Pagoda
  • Khmer pottery village
 

Ha Tien

338 km southeast of Hochiminh City; it is reached by a floating bridge over the Chau River. As well as having many important sites which have affiliations with the Mac family, it has countless glorious landscapes that years of weathering have molded into fantastic shapes

Highlights of Ha Tien

  • Limestone cavern
  • Mui Nai Beach
  • Father - Son Islet
 

Phu Quoc Island

This island, which is under the jurisdiction of Kien Giang Province, is the largest one of which are scattered from North to South in the Gulf of Thailand. Phu Quoc has 40,000 inhabitants who are accommodated in five villages and one town. Its capital is Duong Dong, where is the center of exploring the island. Boats are available at the quay which will take you on a three-hour journey into its interior. During the cattle fish season, many boats arrive here from Singapore and Thailand. An exciting time to arrive is from January to April. The island can be reached by flying from Saigon. Another way to get here is use one of the motor boats hired out but it takes a long time to reach to Phu Quoc.

Highlights of Phu Quoc Island

  • Primeval forest
  • Fishing villages
  • Fish Sauce Factory
  • Pepper Gardens
  • Khmer Beach
  • Sung Hung Pagoda
  • Su Muong Pagoda.

 
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