We had pre-planned the Mekong Delta Day Tour. I booked the tour on Klook, the previous day during my free time at Da Nang Airport (due to flight delays). Mekong Delta has many tour options ranging from a day to a week. The most popular trip was 2 & 3 day trips.
Since the floating market actually starts very early in the morning, if you want to see it, then an overnight stay in Mekong Delta is a must. I have had some experience with floating villages in Thailand in Krabi as well as Bangkok. Also, I have been to Alleppey in India. From these past experiences, I wasn’t very keen on spending an extra night just to see the floating market. So we opted for the day tour.
The tour I booked – Mekong Delta Tour, Klook.
More about Mekong Delta – Mekong Delta, Wikipedia
Mekong Delta Day Tour Itinerary
- Total Duration: 10 hour(s) and 0 minute(s)
- Hotel pick up around 7-7:30 AM. Departure around 8AM.
- Depart for My Tho.
- Boat ride along the Tien River
- Stop over at Unicorn Island, go walking around country lane and see orchards, enjoy tropical fruits, honey tea, and listen to folk music performed by the local people
- Ride a hand-rowed sampan through Thoi Son canal
- Visit a sample coconut candy family business
- Have lunch at a local restaurant
- Ride a bicycle around the Tan Thach village, meet the local villagers, and experience the local daily life in the Mekong Delta
- Vinh Trang pagoda
- Return to HCMC
- Hotel drop off
Mekong Delta Day Tour – Our Experience
The pickup point for the trip was 200m from our hostel. So we got up had some breakfast and left the hostel by 7:30 AM. We reached the point and the bus showed up punctually at 7:45 AM. The bus had around 15-20 people and some of them had booked the 2 day tour.
The first day sightseeing was common for all of us and while we would return back, the 2 day tour folks would stay overnight and enjoy the floating market next morning. We departed to My Tho. Our guide Titi was fun and exuberant and gave us good background on the bus journey.
First Stop – A local handicraft shop
As with most group tours, first stop was a handicraft shop, where we were shown some artefacts made from coconut and some other local clothing stuff. The whole tour lasted approx. 30 mins.
Next Stop – Unicorn Island & Coconut Candy Factory
After the ride on Tien River, we were dropped at Unicorn Island. After a brief walk of 5 mins meandering thorugh the village, we reached a restaurant. Here, we were served some seasonal fruits like watermelon, dragon fruit and some other fruits which I can’t recall.
While we were eating, a group/choir was performing some songs in Vietnamese folk music. With all due respect to the artists, I am not a big fan of this kind of music. So I basically was praying for it to end soon.
Next we visited a local coconut candy making factory. We saw the entire process of making candies and how coconuts are peeled and flakes extracted. Pretty standard stuff that you would see in most places in Kerala & Karnataka.
Short boat ride – Sampan Ride
Next up was one of my favourite parts of the trip. A hand-rowed sampan ride through Thoi Son canal for 10 mins. It was a good experience going thorough the narrow canal and watching the houses constructed on stilt. Our boat lady was too charming to the extent of being cheesy. Imagine her calling me handsome at least 5 times during the ride :D. And I thought my job was tough. Even though I knew she was buttering me up, I still tipped her well because the ride was fun and enjoyable.
The boat dropped us at another island, which was supposed to be our lunch spot. The food included was basic rice, pork/chicken dish & some spring rolls. We decided to order deep fried Gourami fish as extra.
Cycling Post Lunch
Post lunch we were dropped by our big boat to another village called Tan Thach. We rode a bicycle around the village and got a chance to meet local villagers and experience the local daily life in the Mekong Delta.
This cycling trip, reminded me so much of the cyclic tour I did in Hoi An. It was a similar experience. After spending some good 1-1.5 hour on the island we headed back to My Tho.
Vinh Trang Pagoda
It was evening by the time we were at Vinh Trang Pagoda. Depending on the tour you book you might cover it in the morning or the evening part of the tour. The pagoda itself is very peaceful and has some nice architecture. There are a couple of big buddha statues outside the pagoda as well.
After the pagoda, the bus took us straight back to the city and dropped us at the same place from where we were picked up.
Dinner & Shopping
After we returned from Mekong Delta, we headed straight to Ben Thanh market. We did some shopping of souvenirs and clothes for friends and family back home. Be prepared to bargain hard, just like you would do while street shopping in India. The rates are comparable to India after bargain or even cheaper. I got some t-shirts for around 200 INR each and lots of fridge magnet, post cards and some coffee beans grounded on the spot.
After that we had some delicious sea-food based dishes – Prawns fried rice, calamari chilly & fried chicken spring rolls. Returned to the hostel around 10 and partied late in the night. It was probably the last day of partying as day after tomorrow we would be leaving for Cambodia early in the morning.