Photo: Floating around.

Mekong Delta boat trip

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The most common reason to visit My Tho is for the Mekong Delta boat trip, a tour on and around a few islands in the Mekong river.





At first glance the destination has terrific potential as it’s just two hours from Saigon—imagine rural scenery and photogenic waterways within easy reach of the big city. On the downside, the tourist boat-trips are controlled by the Tien Giang Tourist Office who funnel all visitors through a set, uninspired program, one tourist stop (or trap, depending on your outlook) after the other.

The reality. Photo taken in or around Mekong Delta boat trip, My Tho, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

The reality. Photo: Cindy Fan

Whether you choose to do the Mekong Delta boat trip arranged from Ho Chi Minh City or locally at the pier, the official boat takes visitors to the Dragon (Con Tan Long), Tortoise (Con Quy) and Unicorn (Con Thoi Son) islands to see the cottage industries, which can be interesting if you’ve never seen a tropical fruit orchard or coconut candy being made before.

In a typical itinerary, the first stop is a tasting of local fruits like jackfruit, pomelo, guava or perhaps some tea, local honey or banana liquor. Next up (and it’s all very hurried) is a quick ride in a sampan—a row boat piloted by ladies in conical hats— and, hats off to them, they navigate with ease down narrow waterways congested with other tourist boats. The women paddle quickly however, all too eager to dispose of you in order to queue for the next fare.

Paddling with a smile. Photo taken in or around Mekong Delta boat trip, My Tho, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Paddling with a smile. Photo: Cindy Fan

The Mekong Delta is famed for its abundance of coconut trees and coconut milk is an ingredient in the toffee-like candy. Buy a box at the candy factory (your next stop)—resistance is futile. Then it is time for lunch, which will vary depending on the tour you booked—it can range from basic and bland to decent, perhaps featuring a Mekong Delta speciality like elephant ear fish deep fried whole.

Then it’s back on a big boat to reach the bigger boat back to the mainland and ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Location map for Mekong Delta boat trip

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around My Tho.
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