Photo: Unloading pineapples at Long Xuyen.


The capital of An Giang province, Long Xuyen boasts a sprawling and rather interesting riverside market, a huge cathedral and a smattering of colonial relics, but it is otherwise a nondescript spot that features on close to nobody's travel itinerary through the Mekong Delta.

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While a steady trickle of travellers and backpackers pass through, or stay in, nearby Chau Doc, precious few choose to stay in Long Xuyen and it is easy to see why.

Some come for a transport connection, but that's close to the end of the appeal for most. Despite this, there is ample accommodation, albeit primarily aimed at travelling business people rather than backpackers and independent travellers. There's also a bunch of dodgy places outside town, but we can't imagine Long Xuyen ever being that busy you'd need to contemplate a stay out there. There's also a smattering of restaurants scattered across town.

The most interesting attraction in Long Xuyen town itself is the massive wet market that runs along the river's edge to the east of the central pier.

You could easily lose yourself for a couple of hours in the market, but it is not worth travelling specifically to Long Xuyen to see.

From the nearby pier you can also organise short boat trips into the surrounds, priced by the hour. You needn't look for a boatman or woman -- they will find you.

Aside from the market and a boat trip, start planning your escape to a more interesting destination.

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