The Mekong Delta is a vast area in southwestern Vietnam where the Mekong River leads to the South Chinese Sea through a web of tributaries. It is a fascinating water world where boats, houses and even markets drift upon the countless rivers, canals and streams that cut across the magnificent green landscape. The Mekong Delta is nicknamed Vietnam’s rice bowl, as it produces more than 30 percent of the country’s annual food crop from just one-tenth of its total land mass. Apart from rice, coconut palms, fruit orchards and sugarcane groves thrive in the nutrient-rich soil.
A visit to the Mekong Delta is highly recommended because of the region’s diversity. The bustling markets contrast sharply with the slow pace of life in the countryside. Mangrove forests burst with a wealth of bird life while off-coast islands offer white-sand beaches and tropical retreats. The delta is a real biological treasure, with over 1.000 animal species recorded and various new species of fauna and flora have been detected in previously unexplored areas.
The best way to explore the Mekong Delta is by bike. It is a great way to see everyday life in its purest form. Cycling enables you to visit unique places far away from regular tourism. Different cycling tours are possible and will take you to a unique experience: smiling children on the back of a water buffalo, floating markets, desolated countryside villages, single tracks along the tiny rivers in the Mekong Delta.
Most of the inhabitants of the Mekong Delta are ethnic Viet. As the region used to be part of the Khmer Empire, it is also home to the largest population of Khmers outside of Cambodia’s modern borders. The delta’s biggest towns are My Tho and Cai Be, located relatively close to Ho Chi Minh City and Vinh Long, Sa Dec and Can Tho more to the delta’s center.
As the Mekong Delta is situated in the south of Vietnam, is has a tropical climate with average temperatures around 30° Celsius. The monsoon season starts in May with short but heavy showers. The best time to travel to the Mekong Delta is from December to May when the sky is blue, the land is lush and the water is calm. It may be hot and humid from June to September, but this is also the time with the greatest variety of tropical fruit available.
It is a magical world and the Mekong Delta’s size, the variety and freshness of the food and the kindness of the local people will pleasantly surprise you.