Undoubtedly, the Mekong Delta endowed with the peaceful charms in various aspects is supposed to be the key reason why I easily fall in love with this water region. Despite the fact that the Delta is not a rich and sumptuous land, the serenity in its landscapes, the rural cuisine, ancient sites, and hospitable people are enough to win my heart. If you are also a newbie in tripping to Vietnam and in more detail to the Mekong area, let’s get to know why it is believed that you will surely love it so much.
It is sure that what strongly impresses any traveler to a new land is the unique cuisine there; hence, when it comes to a few reasons for falling in love with the Mekong Delta, I never put the attractive dishes from this rural region out of my list. The aroma and flavor of the Mekong Delta food always convinces me to come back and enjoy the other new things. Take a look at the fantastic specialties you will regret if missing:
- Grilled Coconut Mice: being a species of animal damaging coconut trees, the coconut mice are caught for food. The mouse meat is quite sweet and does not contain much fat, so it easily becomes the favorite food of travelers to the Mekong Delta. It is totally luscious when grilled, streamed, and cooked with curry.
- Bot Loc Cake: considered as a snack, the cake is liked by both locals and international travelers. Mainly made from flour, it is quite chewy, making it interesting to enjoy. The filling is a great flavor with shrimp and pork. Just soak it in sweet sour fish sauce, and you will recognize the marvelous elements of the Delta cuisine.
- Sa Dec Noodle Soup and My Tho Noodle Soup: those two types of noodle soup will never disappoint you since you taste their broth which is terrifically sweet by stewing pig’s bones. It deserves to be tried!
- Lo Ren Star Apple: the fruit is loved by a large number of people, so it is transferred from the Mekong Delta to many regions through the country whereby it becomes a famed brand of Tien Giang Province. It is difficult to resist a try when you look at the milky pulp inside each star apple.
- Besides, there are also dozens of others Mekong Delta specialties making getting you excited to taste them, such as banh bo thot not Chau Doc, linh fish hotpot with cork flowers, Cho Moi’s ticky rice, gray eel-catfish, Hoi Cake eaten with baked rolls, Vietnamese Fried ruffled gourami fish, etc.
Of course, the best places for sightseeing are indispensable for a Mekong Delta trip, also making me fall in love with this peaceful land. From such sightseeing trips, you will obtain the more understanding of the Delta region at many different aspects, like culture, the locals’ spiritual life, cuisine, and landscapes. Upon coming here, don’t forget to visit:
- Vinh Trang Pagoda: with the area of 2,000 square meters, the pagoda is impressively surrounded by tall trees, creating the mysterious and solemn ambiance for the structure. Built in the form of “Nation” letter of Chinese characters, it is referred to as a brilliant combination of Asian and Western styles in the architecture, forming a phenomenal religious painting among the water region.
- Floating markets: there is more than one floating market found in the Mekong Delta, and those are truly must-visit places. Most of the floating markets represent distinct features in the Mekong region’s culture and the locals’ work for their daily bread. Waking up in the early morning and heading toward the markets by boat enables you to explore the bustling perspective among a tranquil Mekong Delta. Furthermore, it is an occasion for you to enjoy fresh fruit transferred right from the local fruit orchards. The most outstanding spots: Cai Be Floating Market, Cai Rang Floating Market, Phong Dien Floating Market, Nga Bay Floating Market, etc.
- Xeo Quyt Eco-tourism site: the sightseeing trip to Xeo Quyt will win the heart of those who not only love the natural beauty, but also wish to learn more about the Vietnamese history. Behind the forest canopy of vines and huge trees is a large swamp, used to be the base of the former Vietnamese guerillas many decades ago. It will be exciting to explore!
- Tram Chim National Park: stretching over 7,500 hectares, the park is known as the habitat of around 200 genres of bird, one of which is Red-crown-Crane, listed in Red Book. Additionally, the diversity of flora will be a stunning feature.
- Tra Su Cajuput Forest: here is the home of 22 genres of fish, 20 types of reptiles, 11 genres of animals, 140 flora genres, and 70 bird species. Being rowed through small canals to gaze into tiny birds walking on green duckweed and enjoy poetic landscapes around is absolutely a too awesome experience. The charm of local flowers at two sides of the waterway will get you absorbed for certain.
- Many other spots for a sightseeing trip are Ong Temple, Sam Mountain, Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House, Sa Dec Flower Village, etc.
Coming to the Mekong Delta, what makes me comfortable is the way the locals treat me. They are always friendly and hospitable, even though they must confront lots of day-by-day difficulties in their life. It is possible to say that the hard life fails to knock them out, and the hope of a bright future shows up on their faces at all times. Bumping into a local gardening, I was pretty afraid to ask directions to my expected destination around the Mekong Delta as he looked very busy; in contrast to my thought, he was seemingly pleased to catch my eyes looking him and started to use his body language and a little bit of his English to talk with me. It was indeed a stimulating conversation I was lucky to have during the Delta trip. Moreover, a homestay experience allowed me to be closer to the locals’ life and especially know about the Vietnamese simple meal full of the family warmth.