Some floating markets like Cai Be or Cai Rang is one of the two famous Mekong Delta attractions, so it is slightly more touristy here but still worth visiting. The vibrant colors, bustling sounds, and unique culture of the floating market leave an indelible mark on your travel memories.
However, I want to recommend to you some hidden gems of the Mekong Delta with 10+ unique things to do that go beyond the floating markets. Immerse yourself in the region’s rich culture as you explore ancient temples, cycle through picturesque countryside, and indulge in authentic local life. From off-the-beaten-path destinations to eco-adventures, our guide unlocks a world of extraordinary experiences in the enchanting Mekong Delta.
Unique things to do in the Mekong Delta
Visit M Duras House
If you are a culture lover, I would like to advise you to visit M Duras House, which is a historical heritage with a timeless love story in the Mekong Delta.
This beautiful mansion was once the home of a wealthy Chinese family. The adult son Huynh Thuy Le had a romantic relationship with a poor French teenage girl. And finally, they didn’t end up together because of racial and class barriers.
After that, the girl became a famous author with her bestselling novel titled “L’Amant” (The Lover, in English, by Marguerite Duras). It is also a movie of the same title. Once you come here, you will be amazed by the way the guide describes, so beautifully, the “Love Story” of the son of the owner.
Upon entering, you will be overwhelmed by the ornate carvings and decoration. The pictures are quite beautiful. Much of the original land around the house has been sold for development, but the original building is intact and is being well cared for. This house is really beautiful especially historic valuation of the home, so you should make sure you have a tour guide to explain this home.
If you have planned to visit the Mekong Delta or Saigon, Huynh Thuy Le ancient house is really worth-well seeing!
Tra Su Mangrove Forest
Jump on a mesmerizing journey through the enchanting Tra Su Mangrove Forest, a natural wonder that will leave you breathless! You will step into a world where emerald-green canals weave through a lush tapestry of towering trees and vibrant foliage.
Glide serenely on a traditional sampan boat as the expert local guides navigate the winding waterways, revealing the secrets of this hidden paradise. Be prepared to encounter a symphony of wildlife, from elegant herons gracefully taking flight to mischievous monkeys playfully swinging through the branches. Tra Su Mangrove Forest is a must-visit destination for those seeking solace in nature’s embrace, photographers seeking that perfect shot, and adventurers yearning for an immersive experience like no other.
Cam Mountain – Forbidden Mountain
Embark on a mesmerizing journey to Forbidden Mountain, where breathtaking landscapes and ancient wonders await intrepid travelers. Here, you can expect to be immersed in a world of natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Explore lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and hidden temples tucked away in the mountain’s embrace. As you ascend, you’ll encounter mystical ruins and sacred sites that whisper tales of the past. This hidden gem offers a serene escape from the bustling tourist crowds, allowing you to truly connect with nature and soak in the tranquility of your surroundings.
To get to Forbidden Mountain, make your way to the nearest city or town and arrange transportation to the mountain’s base. From there, embark on a scenic hike or join a guided tour to experience the magic of this extraordinary destination fully. Prepare to be inspired as you climb higher, uncovering the secrets of Forbidden Mountain and creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.
Sam Mountain & Temple
Nestled in the heart of Chau Doc City, An Giang province, this mountain offers you a profound connection to nature, a chance to embrace tranquility, and a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Vietnam. This was a really interesting ride as we saw tons of pagodas and temples all the way up the mountain – some of them quite elaborate. At the top, you will have great views of the rice fields all the way to Cambodia.
To reach this enchanting destination, you can take a taxi or rent a motorbike from Chau Doc town, which is about 6 kilometers away. Remember to bring comfortable shoes, as there are steps to climb, and don’t forget your camera to capture the mesmerizing sunset or sunrise. Let Sam Mountain be your gateway to a transformative experience where nature’s beauty and spiritual serenity intertwine to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Ba Chua Xu Temple
If you are planning to have a 3-day Mekong Delta tour stop here on the way to Sam Mountain. The street outside is a typical Asian “temple street” with many colorful shops selling items to be used as offerings as well as pilgrim souvenirs.
When you are on the way to get to the summit of Sam Mountain, you will find Hang Pagoda. It’s really worth the visit! There is no entrance fee. If you visit there around 5:00 PM, you may be seriously the only tourist around. The views from the surrounding areas are breathtaking, especially at sunset. There is a great cave complex with statues of Buddhas and other characters, which was pleasant to explore. This place is not advertised, so I really recommend you to visit it if you want to avoid the crowds.
The Tiger Island is a captivating destination where every corner offers a glimpse into the island’s rich history and traditions. You can expect to discover traditional villages showcasing skilled artisans practicing the crafts of carpentry, blacksmithing, and mat weaving.
You can also visit the revered Ong Ho Pagoda, a spiritual sanctuary exuding tranquility and adorned with intricate architecture. Stroll through lush fruit gardens, where you can taste the succulent flavors of tropical fruits straight from the source. Moreover, ancient houses are considered one of the famous attractions of Tiger Island. It is estimated that there are up to 100 ancient houses on the island, over 100 years old. That’s why you can marvel at the beauty of them, each telling a story of the island’s past.
Cross the border by waterway in Chau Doc
Embark on an incredible journey and cross the border by waterway in Chau Doc, Vietnam. Brace yourself for an adventure filled with cultural immersion and stunning landscapes as you navigate the beautiful Mekong River. Hop on a boat and feel the gentle sway as you glide through picturesque scenes and witness the local life on the water.
As you approach the border, excitement builds, offering you the chance to step foot into a new country. Explore the captivating city of Phnom Penh in Cambodia and discover its rich history and cultural treasures. This experience combines exploration, cultural discovery, and the thrill of crossing borders. To get there, simply arrange a boat tour from Chau Doc. Don’t forget your passport, travel documents, and necessary visas for a smooth journey.
Cham Village at Tan Chau, An Giang Province
Cham Village is located in Tan Chau, An Giang Province, where a world of cultural wonders awaits you. Step into the realm of the Cham people, you can explore their traditional houses and soak in the serene atmosphere of their ornate temples.
Don’t miss the chance to witness the art of traditional ethnic brocade weaving, where skilled artisans bring intricate designs to life. This would be one of the highlights of your trip to Cham village. You can experience the warm hospitality of the locals as they share their stories and traditions with you.
To get to Cham Village, you can easily arrange transportation from Tan Chau town. Remember to bring your camera to capture the vibrant moments and unique cultural experiences that await you. Prepare to be inspired as you delve into the enchanting world of the Cham people, where ancient traditions and authentic encounters will leave a lasting impression on your journey.
Rickshaw Ride at Tan Chau, An Giang Province
Get ready for a delightful adventure with a rickshaw ride through the charming streets of Tan Chau, An Giang Province. Hop aboard these traditional pedicabs and let the rhythmic sounds of the wheels transport you to a bygone era. As you leisurely explore the town, you can take in the sights and sounds of everyday life.
The rickshaw ride offers a unique and immersive way to experience the vibrant culture and rich heritage of this enchanting town. This journey allows you to interact with the locals, soak in the authentic atmosphere, and create cherished memories.
To experience this delightful journey, you can easily find rickshaws available for hire in Tan Chau or Chau Doc. Remember to negotiate the fare beforehand and bring your camera to capture the picturesque scenes along the way.
Tram Chim National Park
Tram Chim National Park is located in Dong Thap province, which is almost 150 km from Ho Chi Minh City and 125 km from Can Tho. This will be a paradise for nature lovers and bird enthusiasts. Step into a world of vibrant wetlands and lush landscapes, where an abundance of wildlife awaits your discovery. As you explore the park, keep your eyes peeled for the majestic Sarus Cranes, the park’s iconic species, as well as countless other bird species that call this place home.
Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of the wetlands as you ride on sampan along the serene waterways and witness the harmonious coexistence of flora and fauna.
Cycling at Tan Phong Island
Cycling in the Mekong Delta along picturesque paths that wind through lush rice paddies, charming villages is a must-do. As you cycle through this idyllic landscape, you have a chance to explore the authentic culture and warm hospitality of the locals. It allows you to truly connect with the region’s natural beauty, explore off-the-beaten-path destinations, and create unforgettable memories.
To get this experience, you can easily arrange transportation to Tan Phong Island in Tien Giang province. From there, rent a bicycle or join a guided cycling tour to enjoy the beauty of the region fully.
Learn how to make rice net for spring rolls with local people
If you are foodie then try to unlock the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine and join a journey to learn how to make rice-net for spring rolls with locals. This interactive experience offers a hands-on opportunity to immerse yourself in the culinary traditions of Vietnam. From grinding and soaking the rice to perfecting the technique of spreading the batter, you’ll discover the artistry behind creating the delicate rice-net.
Pack your appetite, curiosity, and enthusiasm as you embark on this inspiring journey of cultural exchange and gastronomic delight. You can try this experience after cycling along the paddies at Tan Phong Island.
Tip: Would you like to see a floating market? Because they start early, it is best to be in the area the day before. Check out our Mekong Delta tours to plan a multi-day trip, including a visit to a floating market.
Is the Mekong Delta Worth Visiting?
Yes, because it’s a region of incredible natural beauty with lush rainforests and rich culture with diverse ethnic groups and unique handicrafts.
But what really makes the Mekong Delta special is its people. The locals are warm, welcoming, and incredibly friendly. They’re always happy to share their culture and traditions with travelers. If you’re looking for an unforgettable travel experience, the Mekong Delta is the place for you.
Come to experience the diversified culture, sense people’s friendliness, and the Mekong Delta’s stunning natural beauty. You won’t regret it!
When is the ideal time to visit the Mekong Delta?
The Mekong Delta is a stunning destination that can be enjoyed throughout the year, making it ideal for travelers with varying preferences. The best time to visit depends on your personal style and what you wish to experience.
From December to April: If you prefer dry and sunny weather, these months offer pleasant conditions for exploring the delta’s natural wonders and engaging in outdoor activities. This period is also the harvest season, adding vibrancy to the region.
From May to November: On the other hand, if you’re captivated by the lush greenery and the unique charm of the rainy season, you can visit the Mekong Delta during this time and witness the annual flooding that nourishes the delta and navigate the waterways by boat.
How to get there?
To get to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, you have several options depending on your starting point:
Ho Chi Minh City: The most common starting point is Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). From there, you can take a bus or book a guided tour to reach various destinations within the Mekong Delta. Buses depart from the city’s bus stations, and tours can be arranged through travel agencies or online platforms.
Can Tho: If you prefer to head directly to a central city in the Mekong Delta, you can fly or take a bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho. Can Tho is a major city in the region and serves as a gateway to the delta. From Can Tho, you can explore nearby attractions and take boat trips to floating markets.
Chau Doc: It is located near the Vietnam and Cambodia border and is another entry point to the Mekong Delta. It can be reached by bus from Ho Chi Minh City or by boat from Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
How to get around?
Boat: The Mekong Delta is crisscrossed by numerous rivers and canals, making boat travel a popular choice. You can hop on a public ferry, join a guided boat tour, or even hire a private Mekong boat to explore the waterways and reach different destinations.
Motorbike: Renting a motorbike is a popular option for solo travelers who want to explore the Mekong Delta at their own pace. Be sure to have a valid license and wear a helmet.
Bicycle: Cycling is a great way to explore the Mekong Delta’s rural areas. Many guesthouses and hotels offer bicycle rentals so you ask them for the service.
Bus: The Mekong Delta has a well-connected network of buses that link major towns and cities. Public buses are an affordable option, but they may be crowded and have limited schedules. Private tour buses or minivans are also available for more convenience and comfort.
Taxi and Grab: Grab are available in larger towns and cities in the Mekong Delta. They provide an affordable and comfortable way to get around, especially for shorter distances.
Where to go next?
After exploring the Mekong Delta, you can head to Phu Quoc Island for beach relaxation or cross the border into Cambodia and Laos by cruise. It will give you a chance to explore the riches of culture and sense the slow pace of life.
If you are planning to visit Southeast Asia in 17 days, then you can spend 13 days in Vietnam with 2 or 3 days in Mekong Delta and 5 days in Cambodia to visit Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. This itinerary of Vietnam and Cambodia more than 2 weeks will cover all the highlights and local-touch experiences.
In another side, if you have about 3 weeks, then it would be an ideal duration to visit Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. This Far East Discovery in 22 days showcases you the best of all the bests in Indochina travel. It varies from the magnificent temples in Cambodia to exploring the beauty and dynamic Vietnam by starting in Ho Chi Minh City, then heading to the Mekong Delta, and finishing in Hanoi before unveiling the enchanting charms of Laos.