The mighty Mekong River flows more than 4000km from its source in the Tibetan Plateau and provides fresh water to millions on its way down to the sea via Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. In the Mekong Delta, Vietnam’s southernmost province, the area is predominantly flat, fertile ground where the bulk of Vietnam’s rice and orchards are grown. The river has huge amounts of fish and these are often farmed under floating houses.
Highlights of the Mekong Delta are undoubtedly found in its countless backwater canals and busy waterways. A simple trip on a typical small wooden boat down one of the hundreds of canals, surrounded by overhanging tropical foliage, simple houses and small kids waving at you is definitely a memorable experience or an early morning tour to the floating markets in Can Tho is a photographer’s dream. If time is short, a night in Can Tho followed by a visit to the floating markets is a minimum. Day tours from Ho Chi Minh city are also available but really, you’d be missing out on so much.
The border town of Chau Doc is a quaint little place where life centres round the riverside market. The river is a busy scene with hundreds of wooden boats tootling up and down, fish houses and ferries. Chau Doc is a good stop off point between Vietnam and Cambodia and boat trips between here and Phnom Penh make a scenic and interesting alternative to flying.