Going to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam? In this installment of our Vietnam Travel Guide Series, we bring you one of the best ways to experience Mekong Delta.

How to visit Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta is a region in the southernmost region of Vietnam. Covering more than 40 thousand square kilometres, it is where the Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea through a network of distributaries.  Because of its fertile land, Mekong Delta is famous for its three harvests of rice per year and its tropical fruits and flowers.

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Journey through Mekong Delta by speedboat and wander through its cultural attractions. Witness epic views of the Vietnamese countryside at Cai Dao Temple and Tuong Van Pagoda. Click here for more details.

Day Tour from Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta by Speedboat

From Ho Chi Minh city, the Mekong Delta is conveniently accessible by land transport, an option that most tourists would take.  However, this will typically involve many hours of travelling time to get to the delta.

We took a more unconventional means to explore the Mekong Delta – by speedboat which would depart from Ho Chi Minh city and which would bring us to the heart of the Mekong Delta.  This 9-hr day tour by speedboat from KKday promises a day of cultural immersion and local experiences with the help of an English-speaking guide.

Fantastic City View on Ho Chi Minh River Cruise

The speedboat started its cruise from the heart of Ho Chi Minh city, allowing us a view of the splendid city from its river.

From the rapidly developing Ho Chi Minh city, the view slowly changes to that of a suburbs and the constructions that are happening in the area.

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Enjoy Light Breakfast with Local Fruits

A simple light breakfast with some local fruits is included for the speedboat tour. Mineral water and soft drinks are also complimentary throughout the tour.

The Vietnamese are superstitious and believes that all objects have a spirit in them – the same extends to their boats.  All of these boats that we passed by during the cruise have eyes painted on their front hull to represent it as a living spirit.

These river slums are something that we would never see by land transport.  They stretch for miles and miles along the river and further inland from the river.  Despite the prosperity that Ho Chi Minh city paints, the fact remains that many of their people still continue to live in undesirable conditions.

These buildings look very much like our own HDB flats, until one notices the river slums beside it and realised that we were not in Singapore.

This photo shows the progress of Vietnam as slums are slowly replaced by modern housings beside them.

River Taxis are a common sight along the river, and are the only means for the people to cross the river.

This cruise by speedboat along the Mekong Delta’s scenic rivers and jungles proved to be a good choice – it was a lot more relaxing than travelling by bus, and you would never see these scenic sights from the window of a bus.

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Journey through Mekong Delta by speedboat and wander through its cultural attractions. Witness epic views of the Vietnamese countryside at Cai Dao Temple and Tuong Van Pagoda. Click here for more details.

# 1 : Visit Majestic Tuong Van Pagoda

Our first cultural stop along the Mekong Delta was at the majestic Tuong Van Pagoda.

The Vietnamese are still majority Buddhists and similar to other parts of Asia, they also worship in the Kuan Yin Buddhisattva.  If you are lucky, you may also witness some of these Buddhists rituals conducted by the Buddhists monks living at the temple.

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# 2 : Visit Local Village and Enjoy Sampan Experience

As we continued on with our cruise, the waters get cleaner, and the scenery more beautiful.

We soon reached a small tributary to transfer from our speedboat to our first-ever sampan boat ride, Vietnamese-style.

Fortunately, we need not do the rowing ourselves.  This was one of the best experiences of our day tour.

After getting off the sampan, we were to explore the rest of the village by foot.

Would you believe that this was a pond covered by algae and not a grass field on land?

Many of these village scenes resonates with me because they reminded me of my grandparents’ place at Changi Village before its redevelopment.

Our ultimate destination was a local villager’s home – and would you believe it, we were here to visit his pet!

That’s the pet in the cage…

The local pet that the villagers were keeping turned out to be this huge python.

If you are wondering about his source of food, you need not worry, because there was a huge duck pond behind his cage. These ducks ultimately will end up in the python’s cage.

The python was too huge and heavy to carry out of its cage, but a baby version was available for photo-taking.

Walking through the rest of the village like a true-blue villager.

These are water graves!

Some of the best sceneries of this day tour were from this rural village.

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# 3 : Visit Colourful Cao Dai Temple – Mix of Religion and Style

Our next stop of the KKday Mekong Delta Speedboat Tour was the Cao Dai Temple.

Caodiasm is a new religion  in Vietnam combining elements and practices of other religions. Specifically, Caodiasts honour the Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad and Confucius, in addition to Joan of Arc and Julius Cesar at their temple.

The temple is a combination of Neo-Gothic, Baroque and Oriental design and is very ornately decorated including dragon wrapped pillars and ceilings of sky blue.

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# 4 : Explore a Local Riverside Market

At the same stop, we had the opportunity to browse the local market and experience some sights that we will never see in developed Singapore.

These chicks are so adorable!

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If you are interested in exploring Mekong Delta in a speedboat like we did, click here for more details.

# 5 : Enjoy a Sumptuous Authentic Local Lunch

Lunch was included in the day tour as a means of letting us experience a local home-cooked meal. Today, our lunch destination was the home of one of the residents at the Mekong Delta.

First up, try some authentic Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls.

Next up, enjoy some fresh tiger prawns.

More dishes after a long hot day at the Mekong Delta.

The Fried Elephant ear fish was one of the Mekong Delta specialty! A Must Try!

We were treated to different flavours of the Mekong whisky.  Guess what flavour this was?

This was honey whiskey, made by submerging the entire honey comb and its nest of bees in the alcohol.  If you noticed, the honey bees and honey comb took up almost a third of the container!  We also had banana-flavored and local herb flavoured whiskey to try.

The fantastic meal ends with fresh coconut water and some fruits to share.

The sugar cane plantation of the house owner.

After a good lunch, it was time to bid farewell to the host and take our non-stop speedboat ride back to Ho Chi Minh City.

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Final Verdict

Overall, the Speedboat cruise was an enjoyable way to view Mekong Delta’s scenic rivers and jungles. Cultural insights were gained from the visits to religious sites such as Tuong Van Pagoda, the Cao Dai Temple and at traditional Mekong Delta villages. The authentic lunch prepared by locals was the best way to end the fantastic day.

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This Mekong Delta by Speedboat Tour was made possible through our partnership with Kkday. Click here for more details.

Join us next as we visit the Cu Chi Tunnels with KKday.

First published 22 Sep 2017
Last updated 05 Jan 2019

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