Photo: Pull up a red plastic chair.

Eat and meet

At first glance, Vinh Long doesn’t jump out as a culinary fantasy, but wander a bit and you’ll find it is far from a nightmare.





We’re big believers in starting the day with a walk, a coffee and either some bread or a bowl. In Vinh Long’s case, we’ll save the bowl for lunch and go with a banh mi for breakfast, though do note we will be finishing the day with one of these too.

Oh so pretty.

Oh so pretty. Photo: Stuart McDonald

So, assuming you are staying at one of the three properties we recommended at the river (northern) part of Vinh Long, get up, walk out to the river and turn left. walk along the river front, past the small park (which if you get up as earlier as we do, will have exercising women in it) and keep going till you reach the bridge over the canal running south from the river. On the far side you’ll see a beautiful colonial villa (dating to 1913) which is now home to the School of Culture and Arts, go over for a closer look if you’d like, but then return to the east side of the river and walk down Le Van Tham.

A little way down, on your right, you’ll see another grandiose building, walk through the carpark and you’ll reach Cafe Sao Dem. Grab a table by the canal and enjoy your first coffee of the day here among the chattering local women and the overbearing sound system.

Queue and be thankful.

Queue and be thankful. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Suitably caffeinated, continue south along Le Van Tham till you reach the intersection with 3 Thang 2 and on your right, on the corner, is Banh Mi 72. Open mornings only, take our word for it, you will need to queue up and the queuing is worth it. Note if you prefer a vege banh mi, continue across the road and there is a vegetarian banh mi spot (just before the shrine). Once you have your sandwich in hand, continue a block further south and gobble it down on the grounds of Cua Huu Thanh Long Ho.

Ok, so that is breakfast sorted.

At Di Nam. One more please.

At Di Nam. One more please. Photo: Stuart McDonald

For lunch and general grazing, Vinh Long market is hard to beat. There is a dedicated section running along Chi Lang, running off Mot Thang Nam to the east, which is a cornocopia of coffee, noodles and desserts. We got waved down by the friendly lady at Di Nam (roughly the fourth stall in, south side) where she delivered us a delicious bowl of bun thit nuong (25,000 dong) which just about burned a hole through our tongue.

Another place we had a very good bowl was back down near Cua Huu Thanh Long Ho, at Diep Ky Hu Tieu. This place can be heaving in the early morning, so we swung by a bit latter when some semblance of calm had descended. The hu tieu was good, with a crispy won ton thrown atop and we loved the family shrine stuff throughout.

At Diep Ky Hu Tieu.

At Diep Ky Hu Tieu. Photo: Stuart McDonald

If you would prefer a more traditional restaurant style setting, with an English menu and more than just a single dish on offer, we have a few suggestions—good for lunch or dinner.

A little south of the market area, on Hoang Thai Hieu, Meo U has a short but sharp English menu in a modern setting. We only had an iced coffee here as they were having trouble with their air–con meaning it was (if you can believe it!) hotter inside than out. But, the menu looked solid, and the prices not unreasonable.

Fancy pants coffee? Head here.

Fancy pants coffee? Head here. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Up on the riverfront, the star of the show is Phuong Thuy, but it is a fairly low flying star. Prices are not outrageous given the setting, and they have an English menu and the outlook is terrific, right on the river, but well we didn’t eat here (though we did stop by for a drink) and online reviews are very mixed. If you just want a cold drink by the river, we much preferred Ca Phe Hoa Nang which sits just to the east of here, and offers the same terrific waterfront setting.

Walk along the waterfront to the west, and you’ll first reach Cafe Thoc—a modern and sprawling cafe that is good for a coffee any time of the day (though not cheap—our iced coffee was 23,000 dong) and is a great spot for just surveying the scene at the confluence of Le Lai and To Thi Huynh (what Phan Boi Chau turns into as it runs along the river).

Vinh Long night market.

Vinh Long night market. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Come the evening, this northern stretch of Le Lai turns into a quite respectable night market, with everything from bbq squid to chicken feet on offer. Low slung tables and chairs are set up along each curb and it is a bit of an eating bonanza—and best of all the road is pedestrianised, making it all the more pleasant. On the downside, pretty much everything is served in styrofoam.

If you started the day with a banh mi, there is no better way than to finish it with the same, in which case you must head to Ba Thu Banh Mi for their banh mi thit nuong on 3 Thang 2. It is just a street stall on a bit of a grubby and muddy street corner, but OMG these banh mi are the business. We’re almost ashamed to admit we ate four in 30 minutes—well, yes, we are ashamed to admit that. At 12,000 dong a pop, they are a steal—do not leave Vinh Long without trying one (or four). Apparently they sell over 500 daily—open 14:30 to 22:30 only.

Ba Thu Banh Mi: Smokin.

Ba Thu Banh Mi: Smokin. Photo: Stuart McDonald

As far as nightlife goes, we have to confess we didn’t look too hard, but if you’re after some interesting beer and a steamboat style dinner, Bia The Ky gets very busy in the evening, and, well, has lots and lots of beer.


Map of eating options for Vinh Long
Map of eating options for Vinh Long
Legend
(1) Ba Thu Banh Mi (2) Banh Mi 72 (3) Bia The Ky (4) Ca Phe Hoa Nang (5) Cafe Sao Dem (6) Di Nam: (7) Diep Ky Hu Tieu (8) Meo U (9) Night market (10) Phuong Thuy (11) Thoc Cafe

Ba Thu Banh Mi 3 Thang 2, Vinh Long.; .
Banh Mi 72 Corner of Le Van Tham and 3 Thang 2, Vinh Long; .
Bia The Ky Corner Nguyen Thi Ut and Le Van Tam, Vinh Long; .
Ca Phe Hoa Nang Phan Boi Chau, Vinh Long; .
Cafe Sao Dem Le Van Tam, Vinh Long; T: (0703) 830 182; .
Di Nam: Chi Lang, Cho Vinh Long; .
Diep Ky Hu Tieu Hoang Thai Hieu, Vinh Long.; .
Meo U 1/7 Hoang Thai Hieu, Vinh Long; T: (0702) 220 168; https://www.facebook.com/bepmeou .
Night market Le Lai, Vinh Long; .
Phuong Thuy 1 Phan Boi Chau, Vinh Long; .
Thoc Cafe 19 Le Lai, Vinh Long; T: (0270) 377 7979; http://www.thoccafe.com .

Ba Thu Banh Mi
3 Thang 2, Vinh Long.; Vinh Long, Mekong Delta
Under $2
Banh Mi 72
Corner of Le Van Tham and 3 Thang 2, Vinh Long; Vinh Long, Mekong Delta
Under $2
Bia The Ky
Corner Nguyen Thi Ut and Le Van Tam, Vinh Long; Vinh Long, Mekong Delta
Under $2
Ca Phe Hoa Nang
Phan Boi Chau, Vinh Long; Vinh Long, Mekong Delta
Under $2
Cafe Sao Dem
Le Van Tam, Vinh Long; Vinh Long, Mekong Delta
T: (0703) 830 182; Under $2
Di Nam:
Chi Lang, Cho Vinh Long; Vinh Long, Mekong Delta
Under $2
Diep Ky Hu Tieu
Hoang Thai Hieu, Vinh Long.; Vinh Long, Mekong Delta
Under $2
Meo U
1/7 Hoang Thai Hieu, Vinh Long; Vinh Long, Mekong Delta
T: (0702) 220 168; Under $2
Night market
Le Lai, Vinh Long; Vinh Long, Mekong Delta
Under $2
Phuong Thuy
1 Phan Boi Chau, Vinh Long; Vinh Long, Mekong Delta
Under $2
Thoc Cafe
19 Le Lai, Vinh Long; Vinh Long, Mekong Delta
T: (0270) 377 7979; Under $2
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Popular attractions in Vinh Long

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Vinh Long.


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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Vinh Long? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Vietnam.


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