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5 Reasons Why Cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam is a Must

Vietnam is a country of contrasts, tasty food, and jaw-dropping natural beauty.

As a place full of rivers, bays, thousands of miles of coastline, and even islands, you can imagine that many of the ideal spots to visit in Vietnam are near the water.

However, one place that stands out and brings the best aspects of the country together is the Mekong Delta.

Mekong River
Mekong River

Most travelers put Halong Bay high up on their list. Its dramatic scenery, green waters, and moody landscapes are what you picture when you think of Vietnam.

Options range from backpacker party boats to quiet and luxurious overnight journeys around the bay.

Although Halong Bay is worth visiting in the North, many travelers miss out on a Mekong River experience in the South.

It’s a shame because it’s where so much vibrant diversity and traditional Vietnamese culture can be found.

The Mekong may not have the same striking beauty or popularity as Halong Bay, but it has charms, culture, and attractiveness that are unique.

Cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam is an experience you shouldn’t miss.

Mekong River Cruising

1. The River Itself

The Mekong River has a rich agricultural history in Vietnam and Asia. It’s the 12th longest river in the world and winds around six countries.

Chances are, if you’re backpacking through Asia, you will come across the river multiple times.

Vietnam is an ideal place to see the river because it’s home to the Mekong Delta, where the river ends and empties into the sea.

The Mekong Delta has been a key agricultural area in Vietnam for many years.

It has been an essential area for producing much of the country’s food crops; even today, it provides more than one-third of Vietnam’s food.

It’s also one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world, second only to the Amazon River.

2. Witnessing Mekong Culture Firsthand

Guitar player on the Mekong River, Vietnam
Guitar player

If you’re cruising the Mekong River, you’ll probably leave from My Tho or another small city along the river or near the Delta.

Life around the Delta is a different kind of snapshot of daily Vietnamese life that revolves around fishing and agriculture.

It’s a place with a culture that is uniquely its own; the pace of life is slower here, and the locals are welcoming and friendly.

Stop at the little islands along the river to find traditional music, try fresh fruit, visit eco-bee farms, and sip on fresh coconuts.

There are countless opportunities to learn more about the local culture and discover why the Mekong is such a captivating place.

3. The Natural Beauty

Southern Vietnam sometimes gets passed over because everyone wants to see the dramatic beauty so well known in central and northern Vietnam.

After visiting Ho Chi Minh City, many travelers start their journey up north without considering going further south.

The landscape is entirely different in the South, but I’d argue that it has its own attractiveness and draw.

Even though the Mekong River is a notorious muddy brown color, the scenery around the river can be stunning and charming. There’s a reason cruising the Mekong is seen as a romantic experience.

The lush green branches overhanging the rushing water, the slow sampan boats that can be found floating down the small canals, and the abundance of wildlife.

When the intense Vietnamese sun goes down, and the pink and orange hues come out over the water, there’s nowhere else you’d rather be.

4. Use it for Travel

If you want to encapsulate all the river offers, signing up for package tours in Vietnam can be a great option.

Mekong cruises stop at a few other cities, even going to Phnom Penh in Cambodia, so you can see various parts of the river and travel around the area simultaneously.

And if you’re enjoying a multi-day journey, this allows you to see the river at its most serene at sunrise and sunset.

5. The Food

Local fish
Local fish

As mentioned above, the river and this area of Vietnam is known for its agriculture.

The nutrient-rich soil is the perfect base for growing crops, and this makes the Mekong Delta one of the leading food suppliers for the rest of the country.

You can bet that you will find some of the freshest food in Vietnam around the area.

Try popular Mekong dishes such as Elephant Ear Fish, com tam (broken rice), banh canh (soup cake), bun ca (fish noodle soup), and Sa Dec noodles.

One of the best parts about Vietnam is the fresh food, so why not try it from the source?


This story was brought to you by BestPriceTravel.

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Prin Suparat

Wednesday 6th of September 2017

Well, Please visit Cambodia. The next country of Vietnam. There are many fish. I have been there since 2014. I always go fishing at the weekend. People are friendly and very joyful. Thanks

Nakisha William

Monday 31st of July 2017

The Mekong river attract me. It seems surrounded by island. What are the price wandering on the river by boat?

Have any awesome hotel for stay ?

Thanks for sharing.


Wednesday 19th of July 2017

We did the Mekong River from the Thai/Laos border down to Luang Prabang. An experience, although for this section I would say more for the history than the views, which were "nice" but hardly stunning. Our narrow boat had two rows of padded seats at the back, but they were near the engines which were bloody noisy. We sat nearer the front, and one of the best investments of our whole trip were the 40p cushions we bought before we boarded. I swear those wooden benches got harder each mile we travelled. Also be aware that fort each stop, scores of children jump in the river and rather aggessively man handle your baggage off the boat, whether you want them to or not.

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