Photo: Don’t miss the market.

Introduction

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Motoring south, the traffic congestion begins to thin out, the intense concrete jungle fades as pockets of green, then wedges of watery rice fields appear. A mere two-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City and you’ll arrive at the Mekong River and My Tho, the provincial capital of Tien Giang Province and the gateway to the Mekong Delta.


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Its proximity to Ho Chi Minh City and its position on the northern bank of the Mekong is the key to My Tho’s importance. It should come as no surprise that in the late 19th century, French colonialists, in their quest to exploit and export, built the Saigon-My Tho railway line to connect the then capital to the river highway. It was the first railway line of French Indochina, part of a dream for a network across the Mekong Delta. Though the dream and line faded (stopping altogether in 1958), roads and bridges now move the goods and the city remains an important commercial hub for the region.

No need to paddle yourself. Photo taken in or around My Tho, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

No need to paddle yourself. Photo: Cindy Fan

Today, My Tho’s proximity to Ho Chi Minh City means huge potential for tourism as it can be done in a day. In fact, an organised day tour is how the vast majority of people find themselves here. If booking a “Mekong Delta one-day tour” from Ho Chi Minh City, it’s almost always My Tho, the bus zipping through the city to its pier where a boat shuttles visitors to a number of islands in the Mekong for a glimpse of typical Delta scenery and the region’s agricultural cottage ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,000 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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