Mekong Delta Travel Information Vietnam

m_1The Mekong delta – an intricate life line of Southern Vietnam. Twelve provinces are connected by a network in excess of more than one hundred rivers, canals and roads. Three yearly rice harvests make the fertile swampy countryside the rice basket of the country. The Nguyen rulers already laid the drainage in the delta.

m_2The Mekong is also named the Cuu Long Giang – river of nine dragons by the Vietnamese due to its nine estuary arms. With a length of between 4,350 and 4,909 kilometres (depending on the location of the source chosen in the tibetian mountains) it is one of the ten longest rivers in the world and one of the five with the largest number of species – more than 1,300 different types of fish. Approximately 15 million people live in this area of 70,000 km≤.

m_3Life revolves around the river. Floating markets with everything that the delta offers alongside rice and fish: soya beans, sweetcorn, sesame seeds, peanuts, pineapples, coconuts, bananas, pumpkins, potatoes, mandarines, melons, cabbage, durian fruits and tobacco. Trading centres are Can Tho, My Tho, Soc Trang and Cai Rang.

m_4From each larger market there are ferries or rental boats for outings to islands or sightseeing. From My Tho you can go to the tortoise island Con Qui, to the dragon island Con Long or the unicorn island Con Lang, known for its fruit gardens. The phoenix island Con Phung accommodates the temple of the coconut monk, Ong Dao Dua – who supposedly survived by only eating coconuts for 3 years.

m_5There is no reliable information about the number of waterways in the delta – but this doesn’t matter, as there are always new ones materialising and old ones getting sanded up. The Mekong delta is an enormous living biotope – the chemical defoliation of some regions during the Vietnam war has been overgrown for a long time. And each year the delta expands nearly 80 metres further out into the South China Sea.