Photo: Into the Delta we go.

Mekong Delta Day Tour

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The Mekong Delta is the region where the Mekong River empties into the sea through many distributaries, a vast watershed of over 40,000 square kilometres across 12 provinces—how much can you really see in a day?





Anyone and everyone in Pham Ngu Lao, Ho Chi Minh City’s backpacker hub, will be selling a “Mekong Delta day trip”, some as ridiculously low as 160,000 dong. A tour is the most time efficient and cheapest way to get a taste of the Mekong Delta, but considering the size of the region, what exactly does it entail?

Off we go! Photo taken in or around Mekong Delta Day Tour, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Off we go! Photo: Cindy Fan

The majority of Mekong Delta day trips involve a bus to My Tho, 70 km southwest of Ho Chi Minh City, then hopping on a boat on the Mekong to visit several islands where they have turned cottage industries into tourist attractions (or traps, depending on your outlook).

Trips depart early from Pham Ngu Lao. It’s about 90 minutes one-way, with a toilet break in the middle. Usually you’ll be in a group of 20, though sometimes there can be more, especially during the high season. In My Tho, groups hop onto a boat to cross the Mekong.

Traffic levels: light to moderate. Photo taken in or around Mekong Delta Day Tour, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Traffic levels: light to moderate. Photo: Cindy Fan

The boats and the tourism experience here are managed by local authorities and it’s a set, uninspired program. The boat takes visitors to the island of Con Phuong and the first stop is a tasting of local tropical fruits like jackfruit, pomelo, guava (and durian if you dare). There are of course souvenirs stands. Someone may come and perform a traditional song in hopes for a tip.

Next up (and it’s all very hurried) is to the sampan, a row boat piloted by ladies in conical hats. Amazingly they easily navigate down narrow waterways congested with other tourist boats. It is a fun experience with pretty scenery and it really should be the highlight of the trip. However, the women paddle quickly, all too eager to dispose of you in order to queue for the next fare. What should be a leisurely scenic boat trip lasts no more than five minutes. Upon docking, it’s all smiles and a hand held out for ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Mekong Delta Day Tour
Daily 8:00 to 18:00
Admission: 160,000 dong and 300,000 dong

Location map for Mekong Delta Day Tour

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