Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Mekong Delta - doing it on your own

Posted by pjsolomon76 on 27/2/2009 at 16:00

Posted from within Vietnam.

Im in Ho Chi Min at the mo and been looking at various tours but they all seem pretty touristy or go to places that I don't want to go to.

How easy is it to organise yourself? I'm thinking My Tho, Ben Tre, Vihn Long incl homestay, Can Tho and then up to Chau Doc and onwards to Cambodia.

Is it only overland or can most of it be done on boat?

Any help would be great

#1 pjsolomon76 has been a member since 27/2/2009. Posts: 1

Posted by krisim on 27/2/2009 at 20:12


I can only tell you about Can Tho and Chau Doc (where we were in january) and that is pretty easy to do on your own. Just take a bus, the company Mailinh (or something like that) is good, and when you are there it's easy to find accommodation.
In Can Tho you just go down to the river and people will turn up and ask if you like to go on a trip on the river and canals. Going in a small boat, with no other tourists, in the small canals and to the floating markets is great.
In Chau Doc it is the same, just go down to the river and you will be asked if you want to take a trip in a small boat with a lady that row you around to see the floating houses the fish farms etc.
It's also easy to take a moto, cyclo or even walk to Sam Mountain which is a nice place with a great view of the rice paddies.
I've also been to My Tho and Ben Tre, but that was on an organised trip and I didn't like it half as much, could have been because of the big group but I don't think it was just that.
Have a great trip

#2 krisim has been a member since 20/7/2006. Posts: 36

Posted by onceuponthe on 28/2/2009 at 05:31

you can go easily with the bus to all this city.
and then organise in chau doc a boat or bus to cambodia with a guesthouse,
we fond or accomodation with moto driver in chau doc and cantho and from there you can find motorbike in cantho or chau doc for exemple.
i did nt do mytho but we took a boat in cantho to see the market there are two flaoting market nest to cantho one is less touritsic than the other but its more expensiveto go over ther then we went to the small cANAL IT was really peacefull and beautifull,
but chau doc is great it s small and you can walk around in the market.
TAKE A BAOT AROUND by yourself just go on the river side so easy,
and i hope you will have a great time in cambodia. i love this country so much, avoid to spend to much time in phnom pehn and just have a look at the countryside battambang kampot kep kompong cham for exemple the countryside is the best to see in cambodia no cars fels like time stoped over there

#3 onceuponthe has been a member since 28/2/2009. Location: France. Posts: 6

Posted by somtam2000 on 28/2/2009 at 09:26 admin

This story on the Mekong Delta gives some pointers on doing it independently. In general there is little reason to do a tour unless:
a) you prefer to do tours
b) you have very limited time
c) you are on a very tight budget

#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,644
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Posted by ngg18 on 15/3/2009 at 14:51

The tours offered are very cheap in the Mekong delta. I would still travel independently if I were you. It is more fun and you won't be as time constrained. You will have a lot more freedom. Buses are VERY easy to catch and link you between all cities. Transport really will not be a problem at all! I have spent a lot of time in Can Tho, and there is plenty of accommodation available. Try Tan Phuoc hotel, they have good clean rooms for reasonable prices ($10 for twin with aircon etc)

#5 ngg18 has been a member since 4/6/2008. Posts: 21

Posted by BDV on 15/3/2009 at 15:57

Just came to Phnom Penh that way.

Ho Chi Minh to Vinh Long with Mailinh Express cost 50,000 VND. They are located at 400A Le Hong Phong, a quick moto ride from district 1. Boat trips to through the island canals are nice. Boatmen hang around near a resteraunt on the riverfront...just where the road curves around coming from the market.

You can get a local bus from Vinh Long to Can Tho for 20,000 VND but they drop you off before the river crossing, so just jump on a moto and they will take you across on the ferry.

Ask your hotel/guesthouse to arrange onward bus to Chau Doc and you will get a ride into bus station. Can Tho to Chau Doc was 50,000 VND.

In Chau Doc you could try the Trung Nguyen Hotel just near market. Nice doubles for USD12.00. Fast boat tickets to Phnom Penh are available at Thuan Loi hotel...22.00 USD and four hours. There is another group selling fast boat tickets for 18.00 USD but have heard that you have to change boats at border then later a bus into Phnom Penh.

In Vinh Long and Can Tho tried to ask about Cargo boats going to Chau Doc but did not have much luck, so not sure if possible.

Enjoy your trip.

#6 BDV has been a member since 27/9/2008. Posts: 20

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