Cần Thơ is the largest city in the Mekong Delta. Despite its size, Cần Thơ remains a peaceful destination owing to its laid-back vibes and charming riverside cafés and restaurants that serve up freshly caught seafood. Its close proximity to Cambodia means there are several stunning Khmer temples to marvel at. Cần Thơ is most famous for its floating markets, but as the city modernizes these markets may not be around for much longer. It’s best to check out this relaxed, charming city before it’s swallowed up by big business.
This small town inside the province of the same name is known for its beautiful waterfront with fisherman minding traditional Vietnamese fishing boats. It’s a local custom to paint the boats with eyes at the front to stave off storms, crocodiles and pirates lurking in the Mekong river! A visit to Bến Tre should include a trip to the colonial Revolutionary Museum, as well as a tour of the local coconut candy factory. Bến Tre also has a lovely riverfront market for you to pick up some fresh fruits and, of course, delightful seafood.
Sa Đéc is a lovely colonial town in the Mekong Delta. The town’s claim to the fame is that it is the setting of the novel The Lover by Marguerite Duras; the school where her mother was a teacher, as well as the home of the novel’s protagonist, are popular attractions for tourists. There is an authentic market close to the river and plenty of colorful colonial homes to admire, as well as the historical Kiến An Cung pagoda in the center of town. Sa Đéc is also home to Flower Village, of the Mekong Delta’s best flower nurseries.
Mỹ Tho is the capital city of Tiền Giang province. Open-air restaurants along the river serve delicious seafood and walking through the alleys and markets is a treat. However, the main attraction for anyone seeking a restful getaway is Mỹ Tho’s proximity to three car-free islands in the Mekong that you can only arrive at by boat. The islands are named Cồn Tân Long, Cồn Quy and Cồn Thới Sơn (translated into Dragon, Tortoise, and Unicorn, respectively) and are best seen by the help of a hired boatman who can also show you local fruit plantations. Keep an eye out for the many tropical birds and perhaps even a crocodile or two!
Đông Hòa Hiệp
This ancient village is nestled in southern Vietnam’s Tiền Giang province. Đông Hòa Hiệp is renowned for its ancient mansions that are available for tourists to experience the opulence of past wealthy Vietnamese. The beautiful homes grow amid lush, fruit-bearing orchards that shield visitors from the blazing sun. Tourists shouldn’t miss the former home of Phan Văn Đức – this architectural splendor is a romantic blend of Western and Oriental styles. The Cái Bè floating market is nearby and makes a great pit-stop either to or from the village.