South Vietnam covers the Mekong Delta, the extreme southern end of the Mekong River, and the area around Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
As all delta, it receives the bounty of the siltation from the upper Mekong, and as such is a very rich and lush area, covered with rice fields. It produces about half of the total of Vietnam's agricultural output, and is the place for timeless sceneries of farmers planting or harvesting rice.
The Mekong splits in Cambodia into two main rivers, the Bassac and the First river, then in Vietnam into a more complex system, creating a maze of small canals, rivers and arroyos interspersed with villages and floating markets.
Life in the Mekong Delta revolves much around the river, and all the villages are often accessible by river rather than by road.
The high times of life in the Mekong delta are the lunar new year and the mid-autumn festival, where children will set hundreds of candles on their way on the river on as many tiny skiffs.
If you know how to take your time, or are guided by an able guide, you will certainly enjoy your stay in the Mekong delta.
The most renowned places in the Mekong delta are My Tho (Mỹ Tho) and Cai Be (Caí Bè) near Ho Chi Minh City, then, more to the heart of the region, Vinh Long (Vĩnh Long) and Can Tho (Cần Thơ), from where it is possible to reach the remotest confines of the delta, South towards the mangrove and the South China Sea, North towards Chau Doc (Châu Đốc) and Cambodia, or West towards the island of Phu Quoc (Phú Quốc).
Things to do, What to see! Most of the interest of the place resides in its floating markets, and the life around the rivers criss-crossing the area; also the national parks and nature reserves. It is possible to take tours on small boats around My Tho (Mỹ Tho) and the islands north of Ben Tre (Bến Tre); around Cai Be (Cái Bè) and the An Binh peninsula; and around Can Tho (Cần Thơ). Both Cai Be and Can Tho feature floating markets.
It is also possible to get away from the main road and into the more remote rivers on board larger river cruisers for discovery cruises of the area in comfort. How to get there - Vinh Long is 70km from My Tho, 34km from Can Tho and 136km from Ho Chi Minh City. The inter-province bus station is 5km from the centre of Vinh Long. There are buses between Vinh Long and Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, My Tho, Long Xuyen, Sa Dec, Rach Gia, and other Mekong Delta destinations.
Mekong delta tour