Mekong Delta, known as the Western Region, is one of the most unique tourist attractions in Southern Vietnam. During our last trip to Vietnam, we took a day tour to explore it. Check the review of our experience of taking Mekong Delta day trip from Ho Chi Minh City.
The Mekong River originates high in the Tibetan plateau and passes through 6 countries from China to Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The journey to Mekong Delta lets you see the beautiful landscapes and agricultural heartland of Vietnam. You will take a boat down the Mekong River, row a sampan down a canal, visit a bee farm, enjoy tropical fruits, and see how the local people live outside of Ho Chi Minh City.
Highlights of our Mekong Delta Day Trip:
- Boat ride on the Mekong River
- Visiting the biggest pagoda in the region
- Visiting the coconut processing workshop
- Tasting seasonal fruits
- Listening Vietnamese folk music
Check out our Ultimate 4 Days in Ho Chi Minh City Itinerary that will take you through Saigon's main highlights such as Cu Chi Tunnels, Mekong Delta and much more!
Booking Mekong Delta Day Trip
The Full Day Excursion to Mekong Delta is managed by local travel agency but we booked it online via our partner as the price was significantly cheaper than booking the day trip directly. You can easily book the excursion to Mekong Delta with an English-speaking guide to see the beauty of Southern Vietnam and visit many interesting places on the way here: Full Day Excursion To Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta Day Trip Itinerary
This is the full review and detailed itinerary of our experience of taking Mekong Delta day trip from Ho Chi Minh City during our last trip in Vietnam.
7:30 Arrival at the meeting point
We started our full day trip to the Mekong Delta from Ho Chi Minh City quite early. We booked the tour online and our meeting point was the tour agency in District 1, which was not far from our hotel, within just 5-10 minutes of walking. There were many tourists on that day, but the company was well-organized.
8:05 Leaving to My Tho
The tour guide appeared and led us to the bus. The bus was full bus spacious enough and had air-con as well as an excellent Wi-Fi.
We began the journey to My Tho which is about 2 hours away from Ho Chi Minh City. On the way, we could see the countryside view with some green rice fields along both sides of the road.
My Tho is a former naval base that is now a bustling port city in the Mekong Delta. The area is the final destination of the mighty Mekong River, which winds its way from Tibet, through China, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and finally comes to Vietnam.
10:10 Arriving at Vinh Trang Pagoda
Our first stop was Vinh Trang Pagoda in Tien Giang province, about 3 kilometers from My Tho city.
This is the oldest temple in Southern Vietnam and the temple with the most special architecture in the Mekong Delta. The beautiful structure of pagoda features a mixture of Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodian architectural styles.
11:05 Boat ride along the Tien River
We departed from Vinh Trang Pagoda and continued our trip to My Tho. Upon arrival, we boarded our boat for a cruise on the Mekong River. Along the river, we could see the peaceful scenery on both sides of the river. We were passing the 4 islands that are called the Dragon, Unicorn, Phoenix and Tortoise Islands and admired the view of Rach Mieu Bridge.
11:30 Going to Tortoise Island for lunch
We stopped at the Tortoise Island for lunch at the restaurant surround by lush tree. The restaurant area had pomelo trees, huge jackfruits, beautiful flower gardens and coconut farm where you can take many photos.
The guide led us to the table. They served a simple dish, just fried pork and rice and fried egg as this meal was included in our tour price. It is also possible to order traditional meals or Vietnam specialties for extra cost. Fried fish of Mekong Delta was the preferred choice of most people.
Beverages were not including in the price of our meal. Our guide recommended trying pomelo juice for 50,000 VND. We’ve ordered lemon juice for 20,000 VND instead. Actually, we were trying to order more beverages but the local waiter couldn’t understand any English. It looked like that they were not available to serve us normally since there were too many group tours coming to this restaurant.
12:39 Visiting a sample coconut candy family business
After lunch, we returned to our boat and continued to another destination in the Mekong Delta. During our cruise, the guide provided various interesting information about the area. We also got a chance to witness the daily life of locals.
After 20 minutes boat ride, we said good bye to our tour boat and went to visit the family business that produces coconut candies.
The guide took us to their small factory and explained the process of making the sweets. Here you can also buy freshly made candies as gifts for friends and family. This is also the place where you get an opportunity to take free picture with a python and drink local scorpions wine.
13:35 Riding a hand-rowed sampan through canal
Next, we boarded small rowboats that can take maximum 4 passengers each. We were also given the traditional straw hats to avoid the heat. We were taken by the boats through the natural canals lined with coconut water trees and the simple local landscape.
This could be the most impressive part of the day trip but the boat ride was just too short. The boat was rowed by an elderly man and it took less than 10 minutes. In the middle of the canal, motor powered the boat as the tide was extremely low. Therefore, this was not a very authentic experience that it should be. At the end of the ride, we gave our rower some tips but he didn’t look happy and still asked for more to get off the boat. Not the most pleasant way to finish the ride.
14:08 Enjoy tropical fruits, honey tea, and listen to folk music
Following the boat trip, we walked along the village paths to another local house. This place was more like the bee-raising establishment to get honey. We enjoyed a cup of hot tea mixed with pure honey and learned how to raise bees to get honey at the garden. There were also various honey-based products you can buy back home.
Mekong Delta is also famous for fruit plantations as it provides about 70% of the fruits consumed throughout Vietnam. Moreover, some of the fruits are exported to other countries. So here, we also enjoyed tasting several tropical fruits such as banana, dragon fruit, watermelon, pineapple and papaya.
At the end, there was Southern Vietnamese folk music performance with traditional Vietnamese music including the one stringed guitar performed by local people. If you like the music, you can support them by buying their CD album for 5 USD.
15:00 Returning to Ho Chi Minh City
At the end of a full day of discovering the Mekong Delta, we headed back to Ho Chi Minh City and it took us about 2 hours to get back. We were dropped off in District 1, not far from the meeting point and backpackers area.
The Full Day Excursion to Mekong Delta was well-organized. The only downside was that our group was big with more than 40 people. However, the tour was worth it and we got to see many beautiful sights and there were many activities included for the price we paid.
Special thanks to our guide. He was brilliant and made our whole big group lively. He was knowledgeable, with good-natured humor and really looked after us.
All in all, the day trip to Mekong Delta gave us a gentle touch to the countryside of Vietnam. The scenery and trips by various local boats was amazing. This tour is an ideal option for those who wish to have real experience of discovering the landscape, people and culture of the Mekong Delta in Southern Vietnam. If you have a free day in Ho Chi Minh City, consider to escape the city and see rural life where you can learn more about Vietnamese culture.
Consider combining a trip to Mekong Delta with a visit to the underground world of Cu Chi Tunnels as both of them are the top tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City. The combined tour can be booked here: Cu Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta Day Tour from Ho Chi Minh.
The guide to amazing day trips from Saigon can be found here: Best Places for Day Trip from Ho Chi Minh City.