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Getting to and Around the Mekong Delta

By Ruby ZhaoUpdated Apr. 25, 2021

Nestled in the southwest corner of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta region is a sweeping expanse of winding waterways and mysterious wilderness. The region is one of the most spectacular in all of Southeast Asia, the original home of many famous Vietnamese dishes and also home to many unique ways of life.

Getting to the Mekong Delta requires a trip to one of the port cities that services it, namely Cai Be or Can Tho. These places are best reached by private car from Ho Chi Minh City. From there, most travel in the Delta is done by bamboo raft or motorboat. Hire a tour or book a trip with Asia Highlights, to make the most of your time and money.

Mekong Delta


  • Travel around Ho Chi Minh City and to a port city in a private car.
  • Private cars are air-conditioned and Asia Highlights provides a guide to give you information along the way.
  • Take boat rides around the delta to see floating markets and other attractions.
  • Walk or rent a bike on the small islands dotted around the delta

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Getting to the Piers That Service the Mekong Delta

Once you are in Vietnam the next step is getting to the Delta Region. Asia Highlights tours will stop in Ho Chi Minh City before continuing on to one of the two piers that allow access to the region; Cai Be or Can Tho.

Traveling by private car is the recommended way to reach these piers. Buses in the region are unpredictable and can be crowded and hot. Taxis will likely refuse such a long trip from HCMC, or charge you an extraordinary amount for the trip.

A private car to either pier will only take around three hours and it will be three hours of air-conditioned comfort. Trained, professional drivers can take you on the fastest and safest routes, and eliminate any need to bargain or negotiate.

Moreover, if you book a private car with Asia Highlights, a guide will accompany you to take care of the rest of the details, while providing you with information about the countryside you pass through on your trip

Can Tho Pier

After traveling to Can Tho Pier it is recommended that you take a trip to Cai Rang floating market. Cai Rang is one of the largest and most active markets in the country. You can watch as locals sell fruit and flowers from their boats to people on the passing river traffic.

After a tour of the floating market, take a boat trip around the river islands, making a stop at a nearby orchard, where you can enjoy a fragrant and interesting experience. Canh cuai and many other local delicacies are available in this area.

Cai Be Pier

Cai Be is the other popular destination for travelers looking to enter the Mekong Delta area. It boasts a floating market of its own and is an hour-long boat-ride away from Vinh Long, the capital city of the area.

There are many old traditional houses in the area. If you have time, you can visit Dong Hua Hiep Old House, which was restored under an agreement between the Japanese and Vietnamese governments. These traditional houses will give you a true sense of Vietnamese history.

Getting Around the Mekong Delta

Once you have arrived, the best way to get around the region is by boat. The amount of water in the area fluctuates with the season but it is still invariably best to travel by boat. This is not easy to accomplish alone. Many local boat operators do not speak much English and it may be difficult to know exactly where you are in the delta.

As you float through the often misty and foggy rivers and tributaries that link the region, it will feel as if you have stepped back in time or been transported to another world. This serene and peaceful place, where everything feels languid and the locals seem friendly and interested, will surely earn your admiration and appreciation.

You are recommended to bring a knowledgeable guide with you. If you travel with Asia Highlights, our guides will ensure you are going in the right direction! They will also ensure you make the most of your time and money on the trip, as there are many wonderful attractions along the rivers.

What to Experience

  • Cai Rang Floating Market: as mentioned above this must-see market is one of the busiest in the country.
  • Can Gio Mangrove Bioshere Reserve: a UNESCO-listed reserve that will thrill any wildlife enthusiasts.
  • Thua Thua: here the river turns into irrigation canals used for palm and coconut farming. Exploring these canals, you can see villagers making wine, collecting honey from beehives, and making coconut candies.
  • Ben Tre: another important local town, famous for its easygoing pace of life and delicious fresh river fish.
  • Cao Dai temple: an old and magnificent temple that rises stoically from the misty river.
  • Cai Be Cathedral: another imposing work of architecture that is now protected by the Vietnamese government and has been a wonder to travelers in the area since the 1930s.

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