Top Attractions Along The Mekong Delta
Recently I completed a three day tour along the Mekong Delta in the southern most region of Vietnam. Unlike our city tour of Saigon, this particular tour was somewhat of an exercise in futility, as I’ve honestly never seen such inefficiency in an itinerary in my entire travels. We literally were spending hours on end traveling by bus, waiting for passengers and backtracking for various reasons. I could write an entire essay on this subject; however, my lovely girlfriend Audrey recently penned a fantastic summary of our Mekong delta misadventures on her blog. Although the tour itself was less than stellar, we did capture some great footage and certain fragments of the journey (when added up as a whole rather than considered as distinct parts) wasn’t as bad as the tour overall. The following is a list of activities to consider doing when doing a tour of the Mekong Delta which we recommend wholeheartedly you consider doing independently:
1) Paddle Down The Mekong Delta
Whether you jump in a rowboat all by yourself or have a local Vietnamese wearing a conical hat act as skipper, paddling down the Mekong Delta was one of our favorite experiences on our three day tour.
2) Visiting A Floating Market
The hectic parade of activity that’s also know as the local floating markets is a fascinating spectacle to behold that reminded me of the Uros from Lake Titicaca. From pineapple tossing to fishing the market is as lively as they come. What’s fascinating is that all of this takes place on the water where you have an opportunity to experience all of it for a couple of hours.
3) Mingle With Friendly Locals At A Cham Island Settlment
The opportunity to visit with local minority Cham villages was probably my favorite experience. As a visible minority group (Islamic in their beliefs) the Cham villagers are radiant warm people who will smile and pose for photos while waving at you. Their distinct clothing and headdress is quite impressive.
4) Feed Catfish at a Fish Farm
Throwing pellets of fish food into a tiny open space of water and watching a plethora of catfish fight over the scraps wasn’t one of the highlights of my journey but it’s likely a stop along the way if you’re on a tour. If going it alone we’d recommend skipping this.
5) Listen To Traditional Vietnamese Music
Listening to a traditional Vietnamese music and singing performance is something we relished after spending hours out on the boat. The soothing and distinct sound of the music along with fruit refreshments and tea helped us to cool down and recharge for the rest of the afternoon.
6) Climb Cave Pagoda
Finally, for those who make it all the way to Chau Doc (nearby the Vietnamese – Cambodian border) make sure to climb all the way up to Cave Pagoda for some breathtaking views of rice fields, stilt villages and greenery. With a Buddha decked out in sunglasses it’s just the kind of quirky place we recommend highly.