Almost every trip of foreign tourists in the South of Vietnam always includes Mekong delta. It’s easy to understand. After you discover Vietnam and discover Mekong delta, you will surely remember about this region by these 5 “F” words in below:
The first thing you can feel when you travel to Mekong delta is the freshness. The high buildings of Saigon disappear, and you will see the green color of trees. This is an immense and fertile land created by Mekong River. Passing 4.500km from Tibet, at arrival to Vietnam this Mekong River separates itself in 2 big branches called “Tien Giang” (Anterior River) and “Hau Giang” (Posterior River), then continues to separate in 7 other branches and mixes with Sea East by its 9 estuaries (like 9 dragons’ heads). Besides that, there are also the thousands of small canals which wriggle through the orchards and rice fields. Thanks to green color of many trees and the rivers, you will feel the freshness in this beautiful natural landscape.
The very interesting thing for tourists in Mekong delta is that they have opportunities to pick up and taste the fresh fruits even in the orchards. On the way from Saigon to My Tho, Ben Tre, Cai Be, Can Tho, etc… you will see a large number of orchards where the local people plant many fruity trees like coconut, mango, mangosteen, rambutan, jackfruit, grapefruit, orange, guava, banana, plum, tamarind or even durian. Depending on your travel time, you will taste the fruits of the season. We met many people in our guests. They appreciate well the fruits in Mekong delta, because they realize that the fruits here are authentic, aromatic and tasty. It’s not exaggerative to say that Mekong delta is fruit paradise, although this region is famous as the biggest rice bowl of Vietnam.
Mekong delta is a new land, because the Vietnamese people are only present in this region since 17th century. After the diplomatic relations and the wedding between Ngọc Vạn princess of Nguyen Phuc Nguyen emperor (in Vietnam) and Chey Chetta II king of Chenla kingdom, this region was offered to Vietnam as a wedding gift. At that time, many Vietnamese people escaped the Court of the North to immigrate towards the South in order to find out the freedom. In your trips to Mekong delta, if you meet local people, talk with them, observe their simple life and try to live with them, you will feel their real freedom, although you see that they are not rich. It’s in the simple way of life they find out the freedom. If in the North of Vietnam you see the dykes which stop the stream to protect the rice field, in Mekong Delta you will see a system of the thousands canals people dug so that the water run freely in its current. It’s also a signal of freedom mind that you find out here.
Before 16th century, Mekong delta was a desolate and waste region. At arrival, Vietnamese people reclaimed this region and changed it become an abundant and fertile region, thanks to their hard-working. All of them always remember that they were immigrants. They help together to earn life and they are always open to new comers. In your trips in Mekong delta, no matter where you come from, if you talk with local people they will treat you as if you were their friend. Surely you will receive their smile, find out their open-mindedness and the friendship in your Mekong delta discovery. Along the rivers, you can see the children swimming and saying “hello”, “good afternoon” or “bonjour”, do not forget saying to express your friendship towards them.
Floating market is one of lovely characteristics of the Mekong Delta. Almost tourists feel funny when they visit the floating markets. There, the life on land happens on the rivers. Every early morning a lot of boats and sampans concentrate in an area of a river to sell, buy and exchange products. They create a unique lively atmosphere that you must experience. If you reserve a night in a homestay, you will have opportunities to do fishing, do garden and join to the cooking with the hosts and hostesses. In the evening, you can live in their family ambiance, talk with them about their life and play with their children. It will be very funny to join to local people’s activities, try cooking and taste the local dishes like an insider.
And the 6th “F” word you will remember is Flood, but this notion does not exist in Mekong delta. Read this article, you will understand why there is not “Flooding season” in Mekong delta, although Mekong delta's land is lower than Saigon and other regions in Vietnam.