Mekong Delta, Vietnam

February 9, 2017

The Mekong Delta is where the Mekong River meets the East Sea in southwestern Vietnam. This “biological treasure trove” has been inhabited since prehistoric times by humans, more than 1,000 animal species and countless plants, fish, lizards and mammals. The river itself has been a valuable maritime trade center since ancient times and the Delta remains a productive agriculture and aquaculture region for the country.

To tour this incredible area, we contacted Khoa Nguyen with In Country Tours. From the start he was very responsive, working with us on the rate and picking us up from the airport. He even brought some medicine to help with John’s stomach bug and offered us nearly around the clock advice on where to eat, do laundry, get coffee… we cannot overstate the value of Khoa’s services. We booked a two-day itinerary with him to tour the Mekong Delta and Cu Chi Tunnels.

We were met bright and early at The Rex Hotel by our tour guide for the day, Nguyen. Khoa said we would get along well with her – what an understatement! We loved Nguyen. She has a wealth of knowledge about her country and speaks impeccable English, which she actually taught herself. We chatted with Nguyen for the entire 2.5 hour drive, learning about the history of the area, what we were seeing and the plan for the day. There were lots of questions from John, and lots of laughs from Nguyen in response.

It’s almost impossible to put into words what an experience it is to see the Mekong Delta, so we’ll focus on the photos and try to caption them as best we can.

We drove from Ho Chi Minh City to Cai Be Village. First order of business was visiting a family-run workshop with artisans making many local products, including coconut toffee, popped rice, rice paper… we loved taste-testing everything!


Can’t take a road trip without a Vietnamese iced coffee! Thank you, Nguyen!

We then boarded our boat to visit the floating markets – the vendors hang one of whatever they’re selling on a pole attached to the front of their boat, so you can easily find what you need on a crowded river market day.

We reached Tan Phong island and enjoyed a bike ride through the villages. We rode past traditional houses and stopped to see artisans making baskets, hammocks and more rice paper. We even passed a funeral – which looked more like a New Orleans jazz second line!

Then the best part – we got to have lunch at a beautiful garden house. The family patriarch greeted us warmly (and insisted we take shots of rice wine before our meal – “helps digestion”) and our delicious meal was prepared by the wife. The food kept coming. We don’t have words for how unforgettable this experience was. We are so grateful.

After lunch we hopped into a sampan boat for a tour of some of the many canals and tributaries that comprise the Mekong Delta.

We cannot recommend this experience highly enough to anyone traveling to the Ho Chi Minh City area. It was one of the coolest things we’ve ever done!


4 thoughts on “Mekong Delta, Vietnam

  1. Robin says:

    One of my favorite students name is khoa and he is from Vietnam. I will have to tell him about how much you loved his country. Glad to see the chacos are working out too! Keep blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

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