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Posts Tagged ‘Mekong delta’

Located in Mekong River Delta of Southern Vietnam, approximately 135km from Saigon, Vinh Long province is now easily accessible by car via the National Road 1A and the My Thuan Bridge.Let’s join with us in one day tour in Vinh Long to see what this province offers.

After 2 hours driving from the center of Saigon, we reached to the pier and embarked on a cruise. Our tour guide was a very friendly woman in the traditional costume a – the “ba ba” shirt and the traditional hat.

Our cruise took us to visit the brick kilns. It was a small factory but without machinery. The local people was creating beautiful potteries from clay by their own hands. We were surprised at how manually way they were doing cause it’s the 21st century already!

Pottery making in Vinh Long

Pottery making in Vinh Long

This man is focusing on making the pottery We came back to the boat and continue the trip by visiting a local workshop, where many local products were producing every day. Seeing how the coconut candy is made and try doing the rice paper by ourself. At first, we thought it was very easy to make, but it is always easier to look than done. It requires lots of technique and experience to make perfect products and the woman who made these things are really artists.

Will try making the rice paper by yourself? It requires more technique than you thought

Will try making the rice paper by yourself? It requires more technique than you thought

We also had the chance to see how they make the pop rice and popcorn by a traditional way with a big hot pot and the special kind of sands. All were done beautifully and followed a smooth procedure.

This is the way how pop rice candy made

This is the way how pop rice candy made – source: internet

We enjoyed some kinds of candies and a cup of hot tea prepared by the friendly local people.

The boat took us to visit the orchard and traditional house of Ut Trinh family. We had a tasty lunch made with fresh local ingredients. After that, we enjoyed some kinds of fresh seasonal fruits when listening to the traditional music of local people. We then walked around the orchard to see the varieties of tropical fruits such as the jackfruit, durian, rambutan, mango, etc.

In the afternoon, we passed on a small rowing boat – as known as the sampan to go deeper into the countryside on smaller canals and enjoy a peaceful time. It was so interesting to see traditional houses made of wood or palm tree leaves and see some activities of the local farmers, see how they picked up fruits by ancestral ways in Mekong Delta.

Happy biking time!

Happy biking time!

The last activity of the trip is biking! We biked on the small roads around the orchard, yellow flowers were blooming on the way and there were some fruits hanging right above our heads! What a peaceful time! On the way, we passed a school and saw the children were playing at their break time playing some traditional games. It seemed like this place hasn’t been affected by the technology, the smartphones and social network.

Children are helping their parents to do some handcrafting. The products are made from water hyacinth

Children are helping their parents to do some handcrafting. The products are made from water hyacinth

We back to the cruise and headed to Vinh Long city, where our car was waiting to take us back to Saigon. What an interesting day with many new things to see and do in Vinh Long!

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A popular stopover town in Mekong Delta, Chau Doc is a one-night stop for travellers before leaving Vietnam to Cambodia.

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A part of Chau Doc Town

For years, this town has many investments from the government but all most everything is still in basic and this town offers you a peaceful and non-technology atmosphere. To be the last destination in Vietnam, most of travellers only spend one night in here as a result, they also miss a chance to see many great things of this town, which you can have a pure experience. Mekong river cruise

Stay here more than one night, you can visit Sam Mountain, the highest mountain in Mekong Delta (284m). This mountain is a popular place for local people workout. You will see a lot of people walk up and down this mountain to keep fit. There are about 200 temples and shrines in this mountain but on top, there is nothing too special but you will see the whole city with endless green field and it’s worth to climbing up there.

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The rice field seems never end!

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Chau Doc is one of the town has produce the largest crop in Mekong Delta.

And the most famous temple in Chau Doc is Ba Chua Xu Temple. A festival will be hold annually, last for 7 days from 23rd April to 27th April based on Moon Calendar. Thank to this festival, each year, more than 2 million visitors has come here to join and pray for their family. According to tales, people believe they can ask for anything if they worship enough and remember to pay back when they achieve.

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Main building of the temple is well maintain thanks to visitor’s payback.

From Chau Doc, there is another place that you might want to see is the Tra Su Mangrove Forrest. A stunning scene with full of green will let you come close to Mother Nature.

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A green scene to relax your eyes!

Before saying goodbye Vietnam, you can stand at the pier and look toward Cambodia and feel the great of Mekong River.

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A great view from Vietnam to Cambodia!

With these little things, I believe Chau Doc is worth for you to stay longer, take it slow and forget the rest of the world for a moment.

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Mekong Delta is an important part of Vietnam. Each year, this area produce around 25 million ton of rice for the country, take more than a half of total production in all over Vietnam.

Besides of this, Mekong Delta is well known of unique culture and mind concept, which is different from other parts of Vietnam. The most famous thing when we talk about this place is the floating market in Cai Be and Can Tho. With busy boats, crowded people and lots of local products, these market has been attracted many visitors each year.

However, if you have seen this before and you want to seek for a different path in the complicated canals network in this delta, let’s follow me on this off the beaten track. Mekong delta tours

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A great view to the wide-open river.

From Saigon, we drive to Ben Tre Province. On the way, don’t forget to take a quick stop at the Mekong Rest stop. Not because you need to go to the “happy room”, but this place has well planned with great view to take some photos in there.

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An overview to the lotus lake at Mekong Rest Stop

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A small space at the middle – the favorite place of many visitors!

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Arrive in Ben Tre, we go through these small canals and reach to some local workshops in there to have a closer look to people’s life and interact with them.

Our first stop is the coconut factory. Not big as a real factory but people live in here have to rely on this work. None part of the coconut is wasted. Juice is used for drinking or making candy. Coconut milk is used for cookies, cosmetic. Copra is used like wood or coal…

Un-shell coconut, prepared to break.

Un-shell coconut, prepared to break.

Even the worm live in the coconut tree can be eaten. This worm is not cheap at all (1 US dollar/worm) and hard to catch this. If you have a chance to see this dish in the restaurant, please, please try it. But remember that you will have to eat this when it’s still alive o.0

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This worm is known as the special dish of the river. It taste creamy and full of coconut flavour!

Then we move to see a brick factory, where all the bricks are handmade.

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Inside a brick stove! Amazing right?

We also grab a bike and ride on the village road to see the noodle factory, visit a veteran to learn about the war while watching his wife making the rice paper. If you believe in your clever hand, you can try to make some and compete with her.

IVT team in Mekong Delta. We will dig every hidden thing up!

IVT team in Mekong Delta. We are ready to try everything!

The Mekong Delta seems peaceful and makes you want to live slowly but deep down under the water are crocodile’s home so if you leave your hand out of the boat, be careful.

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They seem to blend like a stone but don’t try to touch them!

Just kidding! These creatures only live in some part of the river and hardly see them in daily live. To have a closer look to them, we will drop by Long Xuyen Province and visit a crocodile farm in there. Even they are locked in cage and just lie under the sun, you still can feel the threat from them.

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Sunbathing!!!

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In this modern life, people always said about take thing slowly and sometimes, stay away from the busy life. If you can arrange your time, just leave everything at home and come here to find the peace in yourself.

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Monks at Phnom Bakheng, Siemreap / Photo: hcao

Written by Mr Nam Ngo – Our Travel Consultant

 

You can ask anyone who has been to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap – Cambodia and they would tell you it’s the most stunning sight in all of Southeast Asia, and it is – one of my most favourite destinations. The massive complex of temples, located in the ancient Khmer city, speaks volumes of the brilliant and sophisticated of the Khmer people.

 

The temples are scattered across 30km and each stone monument  have its own story to tell, through carving on the outside depicting the battles and life style of the Khmer from the eighth to the tenth century BC. As you wander past 100m long stone bathing pool with its elegantly carved stone steps or the 40m long arched Khmer figure, it’s easy to conjure images of the people washing themselves or studying in the gardens around the outside. The 80 stone faces of Ta Phrom lit up under the mid afternoon sun create an eerie feeling for its visitors. This meticulously carved faced appear incredibly calm as tourists wander through their stone arches and follow their stories on the main walls.

A bride and groom-to-be at wedding photo shooting outside Angkor Wat / Photo: hcao

You can buy a one, three or seven-day pass to visit the temples and other monuments that form the complex of Angkor. Most of the important sites can be seen in three days, but trust me, you may be “wat-out” by the third day. A guide is essential to navigate through the sites, and you can hire a minibus, taxi or tuk-tuk to transfer from one monument to another. Be prepared for a lot of walking and climbing huge stone steps. Personally, I enjoy cycling from the Siemreap town to Angkor Wat, follow the path with thousand years old trees. A pleasant way to end your trip is to take a leisurely boat ride on Tonle Sap Lake, past a fishing village where homes, schools and playgrounds are all built on floating bamboo rafts.

 

Kids rowing boats on Tonle Sap/ Photo:hcao

Apart from the ancient Angkor is the active town where you can easily splurge another two or three days, wandering through the old market area, indulging in a massage, sipping Angkor beer on a high stools and people-watch on bustling Pub street at night time. The town is lit up at night with full range of restaurants, bars and hotels, and street food stalls of Khmer food. If you are jewellery/crafts addicted, it is the place to splurge the dollars, you won’t regret to bring this special things home.

Cute handmade figures / Photo: hcao

From Bangkok/ Vientiane, Hanoi or Saigon you can fly to Siemreap (easiest and fastest way, we will mention about boating/bus from Vietnam to Siemreap in one of the later post). Among those departure destinations, flight from Hanoi or Saigon are the most expensive choice since Vietnam Airlines is the only air carrier to fly this route. But the good news is, Vietnam Airlines often runs a Summer Promotion (launching in every April/May) and a Fall promotion (launching in every Aug/early Sept) that can save you 50% of the rates so the fare is only about US$89-119, exclude taxes, fees, charges. This year, the promotion is on sales for 17 days with travelling date from August 15, 2012 to August 31, 2012. Departure periods: from September 05, 2012 to December 20, 2012 and from March 05, 2013 to May 20, 2013 (except for peak periods and holidays).

 

For flight booking, please contact our Ticketing department:

Tel: (84 4) 2244 8899 | Fax: (84 4) 3972 6888 | Hotline: (84) 91 868 6428
bongsenvang@gmail.com | http://www.vietnamflightbooking.com

 

For tours and other arrangements, pease contact our Travel Consultants:

info@indochinavoyages.com | www.indochinavoyages.com

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