1. Early morning on floating market
Waking up in the early morning is probably hard for some tourists due to the difference of time zone. However, floatings market in Mekong Delta is one of the most highlighted spots in the Southern Vietnam, that is why it is worth the try of getting up early. Such the markets become gathering places where the locals can trade goods while tourists spreading their eyes over the lively panorama view. In order to recognize what the locals are selling from far away, traders tend to hang their products on the top of long poles. It is possible to stop by and have a taste of iced cup of coffee, soft drinks or noodle soup. The floating markets last for about 2 hours from 05:00 AM to 07:00 AM when everything colorfully and vigorously harmonize.
Early morning Cai Rang floating market.
Trading boat on floating market
Selling items hanging on pole
Breakfast on the river
2. Slow boating on the river
After a boat ride on the floating market, tourists should spend time gliding over the flow of Mekong Delta River. Life here is simple. You will catch a glance of small boat house on river with some pigs or ducks on a side. Sometimes, there are children jumping from the boats into the river and play with others in the neighborhood. Travelling by boat down on the river is one of the best ways to access remote villages to get a glimpse of rural life relatively untouched by tourism.
Slow boatin' on the channels
3. Overnight at homestay
Normally, it is rare for southern people in Vietnam to invite foreigners into their homes and allow them to stay over for a night. Nonetheless, recently, people are now more opened and willing to have guests stay at their houses for a few days to introduce the local culture and lifestyles. Homestays in Mekong Delta attract tourists for theirs orchard trees stretching at the back of their house. You will have a chance to taste fresh fruits picked from the garden, a normal family-like meal cooked by the hosts themselves. Simple as it is, the trip will be an unforgettable experience.
Homestay in Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Home cook dinner at homestay in Mekong Delta
Monkey bridge in Mekong Delta
4. Visit fruit gardens
For a more diversity fruit tasting, tourists will be guided to gardens that expand up to hundreds hectares. Can Tho, Tien Giang and Binh Duong are the places that own favorable natural conditions, mild climate to produce fruits all year round. Here, visitors can stroll in the garden, breath in the cool fresh air and pick the ripe fruit to enjoy and savor gourmet garden without worrying about food safety. However, the amount of fruit that you can pick is limited to retain their fertility.
Strawberry garden in Can Tho, Mekong Delta
Durian fruit in the garden
Dragonfruits are everywhere in the garden
5. Visit local factories
Rice noodles, rice wrapping paper and coconut candy can be considered the southern's specialties. On the trip visiting Ben Tre or Can Tho, tourists can witness or even directly try how to make rice noodles and coconut candy. Since the 1930s, making coconut candy has become a traditional profession for the local people. The ingredients and the process are simple: coconut, white sugar and brown sugar, etc you'll know how when you see how. But, homemade coconut still cannot be compared with Ben Tre's coconut candy as the coconuts here are unique in taste thanks to the climate in the area.
Coconuts are harvested to deliver to factories
Coconut candy making process
Rice wrapping paper are dried by the sun
6. Enjoy the art of "Don Ca Tai Tu"
Like any other traditional musical art in Vietnam, "Don Ca Tai Tu" is an indispensable part of the spiritual activity and cultural intangible heritage of the people of Southern Vietnam. The music and lyrics evoke the people's life and work on land and rivers of the Mekong Delta region. "Don Ca Tai Tu" is often performed at events like festival, celebrations and death anniversary rituals. "Don Ca Tai Tu" also requires distinctive tradition instruments like moon-shaped lute, two-stringed, fiddle sixteen-stringed zither, pear-shaped lute, percussion, monochord and bamboo flute.
Performing Don Ca Tai Tu in fruit gardens