Vietnam’s ‘rice basket’, the Mekong Delta is a watery landscape of green fields and sleepy villages, everywhere crisscrossed by the brown canals and rivulets fed by the mighty Mekong River. Its inhabitants – stereotyped as friendly and easygoing – have long toiled on the life-sustaining river, with their labours marked by the same cycles governing the waterways.
The delta, which yields enough rice to feed the country with a sizable surplus, was formed by sediment deposited by the Mekong. The process continues today, with silt deposits extending the shoreline by as much as 80m per year. The river is so large that it has two daily tides. Lush with rice paddies and fish farms, this delta plain also nourishes the cultivation of sugarcane, fruit, coconut and shrimp. Although the area is primarily rural, it is one of the most densely populated regions in Vietnam and nearly every hectare is intensively farmed.
Day 1: SAIGON – CAN THO
Depart for Vinh Long, in the Mekong Delta. There we will board a boat to take us for a ride on a major branch of the Mekong River. Visit the Cai Be floating market. We will stop on a small island to visit a shop that produces rice cakes and sweets made with coconut milk. Our boat ride will continue along small tributaries of the river that are sheltered by lush vegetation. An exotic lunch featuring a fish called “elephant ears” will be served in a park planted with tropical fruit trees, which will be followed by a dessert of local tropical fruits. After lunch we will travel by road to Can Tho, the biggest city in the Mekong Delta (35 km). Dinner and overnight in Can Tho.
Day 2: CAN THO – CHAU DOC
Boat ride on the Hau Giang, a lower branch of the Mekong River, visiting Cai Rang, the largest and most well-known one in the Mekong Delta. Transfer to Chau Doc, where we will have breakfast at the hotel. Afterwards there will be a boat trip on the Mekong, visiting farms and meeting the inhabitants of the Muslim village of Ham. Dinner and overnight in Chau Doc.
Day 3: CHAU DOC – PHNOM PENH
Boat ride to Phnom Penh on the Mekong River. End of our services.
Have a good journey!