When visiting Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is often a major destination, and a worthy one. However, this bustling city is only a glimpse into urban Vietnamese life. By exploring beyond the city limits, you’ll have a more authentic look at local culture. A day trip from Ho Chi Minh City to Mekong Delta is a fantastic way to get to know a more rural side to Vietnam, and along the way you’ll get to see everything from local bee farms to traditional fishing villages.
Meet at Saigon Opera House to board an air-conditioned bus leaving Ho Chi Minh City and heading toward My Tho, a former naval base on the Mekong River. Once in My Tho, the method of transport will switch from bus to long-tailed speedboat. As you begin the journey along the Mekong River, your guide will offer a history of the region and the importance of the Mekong Delta for agriculture as well as development. At the first stop, a lush island, you’ll have the chance to sample tropical fruit. Then it’s back on the boat to the next island, where locals make coconut candy that you can also taste. Tour the candy factory and see how modernization is blending with local life.
As you continue along the river, be sure to take plenty of photos. In addition to the scenic landscapes, there will be several local villages. The way of life is a total contrast to the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City. The next stop takes you out of the speedboat and into a small motorized cart, the perfect means of transport for a tour of a local bee farm in Xe Loi. Then, it is deeper into the river delta on a rowing boat, bringing you a truly unforgettable experience of the Mekong River. For lunch, it’s authentic cuisine at the Diem Phuong Restaurant, after which you can relax and enjoy the ride back into Ho Chi Minh City.