Mekong Delta travel guide

The Mekong Delta, known as the “Rice Bowl of Vietnam,” is a vast maze of rivers, swamps, and islands in southern Vietnam. This lush and fertile region is famous for its floating markets, diverse ecosystems, and intricate network of canals. Visitors can experience traditional rural life, sample exotic fruits, and witness the unique blend of Vietnamese culture shaped by the mighty Mekong River.

Weather in Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta in Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate characterized by two distinct seasons:

Dry season (December to April):

    • Warm to hot temperatures
    • Low humidity
    • Little to no rainfall
    • Ideal for tourism and outdoor activities

Wet season (May to November):

      • Hot and humid
      • Heavy rainfall, especially from June to August
      • Occasional flooding in low-lying areas
      • Lush greenery and full rivers

Year-round, temperatures remain fairly constant, typically ranging from 25°C to 35°C . The region experiences high humidity throughout the year, particularly during the wet season.

This climate supports the delta’s rich biodiversity and agricultural productivity, but visitors should plan accordingly based on their preferred activities and tolerance for rain or heat.

Highlights of Mekong Delta


The largest city in the delta is bustling with life. Known mainly for its enormous floating market, Cai Rang, you can wander the city to taste local specialties, visit the old prison, or simply observe local life. Staying at a family homestay is recommended to share traditions and culture with locals. Its airport is a definite advantage for traveling directly to the delta from other destinations in Vietnam.


Located at one end of the Delta, Ben Tre is surrounded by canals, which gives it its charm. A ride in a traditional boat is a must. Known for coconuts and orchids, you can visit farms to learn about cultivation methods. The Van Ho bird sanctuary offers a chance to witness the delta’s exceptional wildlife.


Only two hours from Ho Chi Minh City, Cai Be is one of the delta’s key destinations. Day tours are available, though staying overnight is recommended. Home to the second-largest floating market after Can Tho, it buzzes with commerce in the morning. Ideally located for visiting various fruit and orchid farms, you can lose track of time exploring the businesses lining the canal banks.


Though Phu Quoc belongs to Kien Giang province and is considered part of the delta region, it’s a destination in its own right. As Vietnam’s beach tourism hotspot, the island is developing rapidly. People come from all over the world to enjoy sublime beaches at 5-star resorts. You can also find tranquility in small homestays. The island has a large protected nature reserve in the center, offering an escape from the seaside hustle. All sorts of activities are available, such as boat trips, diving, safaris, amusement parks… Everything is designed to satisfy everyone’s desires.

Off beaten paths in Mekong Delta


This charming peninsula in the delta is accessible from Vinh Long. It’s a peaceful place where you can relax in one of the charming homestays, cycle around, and enjoy delicious local dishes. It’s an ideal stop for rest and relaxation.


There’s plenty to see and do in Chau Doc. Not yet very touristy, you can visit Sam Mountain, a sacred pagoda site with frequent ceremonies and a stunning view. You can take a boat trip to visit a Cham village. Don’t miss the Tra Su Nature Reserve with its flooded forest, home to beautiful flora and fauna.


Though it sees few international tourists, it’s a very interesting site to visit, especially before Tet (Vietnamese New Year). There’s a flower village where Saigonese come to buy flowers for New Year decorations.


The southernmost province of Vietnam, Ca Mau offers a multitude of sights. You can visit the cape, explore Nam Can mangrove or U Minh Ha forest, Thi Tuong lagoon, the bird park, or take a boat to visit nearby islands. The Khai Long tourist site by the sea is an opportunity to peacefully enjoy the ocean and contemplate the mangrove.


Tan Lap floating village was voted one of Vietnam’s top 10 ecotourism projects. A traditional boat ride offers a chance to admire the park’s magnificent vegetation. You can also walk around and participate in traditional fishing. While most tourists only stay for the day, you can find homestays or even pitch a tent for a night under the stars.

Food in Mekong Delta

  • Hu Tieu: While Pho is often the first soup that comes to mind when thinking of Vietnamese cuisine, Hu Tieu is another delicious option. It’s a noodle soup served with pieces of pork, quail eggs, and seafood.
  • Cá tai tượng chiên xù: Known as “elephant ear fish” due to its shape, this excellent fish is best enjoyed grilled. It’s a must-try!
  • Cá lóc nướng trui: Snakehead fish is cooked simply, served with fresh vegetables and either a salt/pepper sauce or fish sauce. Traditionally skewered on a stick and cooked over a wood fire, it’s very flavorful.
  • Bánh lá dừa: For a sweet touch, try this cake. Wrapped in coconut leaf, it’s made with white rice, banana, coconut, and beans. You’ll find these throughout the Delta, but they’re especially common in Ben Tre.
  • Bánh khọt: These small pancakes are simply delicious. Topped with shrimp, squid, green onions, or eggs, they’re made from rice flour, coconut water, eggs, beans, salt, pepper, and shrimp. An unforgettable bite!

What to see and do ? 

  • Experience the floating markets in Can Tho, Long Xuyen or Cai Be
  • Take a traditional junk boat through the Delta’s maze of canals
  • Visit fruit and orchid farms
  • Explore the flooded forest of Tra Su and Sam Mountain near Chau Doc
  • Savor the culinary specialties of the Mekong Delta
  • Enjoy a bicycle tour around the An Binh peninsula
  • Indulge in a beach holiday or adventure on Phu Quoc Island
  • Embark on a two-day cruise along the Mekong River

The Mekong Delta is the most captivating place in the South Vietnam. You can go for a short two days trip to a week long one. Plenty of things to do and places to explore.

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