As you travel along the Vietnamese portion of the Mekong River, you’ll notice how resourceful the Vietnamese are.
Nothing is wasted and no person is without a job or purpose. From fish farming to creating boats by hand – a trip along Vietnam’s Mekong region is a great way to immerse yourself into the Vietnamese way of life.
Here are our recommendations for areas not to be missed along Vietnam’s Mekong.
Escape the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, and discover some of Vietnam’s rural delights on this first stop along the Mekong River. Visit a local workshop where you can watch how many Vietnamese treats are made, including rice paper, rice wine, coconut candy and puffed rice. If you’re lucky, you can sample all of the specialities as well!
Cu Lao Gieng
Located in the middle of the Tien River, is the island of Cu Lao Gieng. The island can be reached via sampan (small wooden boat); and is a welcoming sight, with a strong sense of rural calm.
As you wander around Cu Lao Gieng, it is likely that you will see locals working on their handicrafts. Some favourites include watching a local craftsman hand-make sampans and seeing how ‘non la’, conical hats are made.
To complete your visit to this small island village, hop on board a motor cart and make your way to one of Vietnam’s oldest Catholic churches. The church is said to have been built by a French priest in 1879 and is made out of materials that were shipped all the way from France. Nowadays, Cu Lao Gieng Church is used as a venue for Franciscans and is also a great attraction for visitors.
Situated on the banks of the Hau Giang River, Chau Doc is known for being the last city in Vietnam before reaching the Cambodian border. Due to its location, Chau Doc is very culturally diverse, with there being significant Chinese, Cham and Khmer communities.
To experience the best of the city, take a stroll along the waterfront, where you can view some of the areas fascinating floating houses. As you continue to walk along the waterfront, you will eventually arrive at the Chau Doc market, a bustling scene where locals come to buy local goods and food.
Exploring some of the area’s pilgrimage sights is also guaranteed to be a fascinating experience. Hop on a boat across the river to the local Cham communities or nearby Sam Mountain, where you can visit Ba Chau Xu (Sam Mountain Lady Temple); a temple built for Sam Mountain Lady, the prosperity goddess of the Vietnamese folk religion, Thanism.