The Mekong Delta in Vietnam includes the municipality of Can Tho and other 12 provinces. In Vietnam, Mekong Delta is divided into 2 main branches that are called “Tien Giang” (“river in the front” and “Hau Giang” (“river at the back“). These enter the sea by nine estuaries, like roots, thus explaining the Vietnamese name for the river: song Cuu Long (“river of the nine dragons“).
- 1 2 Days in Mekong Delta: What to do?
- 1.1 Cruise option: if your budget is generous
- 1.2 Hotel option: if your budget is tighter or you do not like to go on a cruise
2 Days in Mekong Delta: What to do?
There are 2 ways to discover the Mekong Delta in 2 days 1 night
- Cruise option: Cruise and sleep on a boat
- Hotel option: Make visits by small boat and sleep in a hotel / homestay
Cruise option: if your budget is generous
Cruises in the Mekong Delta are a little expensive, they are even more expensive than in Halong Bay.
- A 2-day 1-night Bassac cruise costs from $ 240 per person.
- A boat cruise Cochinchine costs more than $ 200 per person.
- A privatized sampan cruise Song Xanh costs more than $ 240 per person.
- A sampan Mango cruise costs more than $ 250 per person.
Description of the boats:
Most of the boats are wooden, and include dozens of private cabins, with en-suite bathrooms with showers and toilets. The Mango sampan has fewer cabins and is better equipped. The sampan Song Xanh is simpler.
How are cruises on the Mekong River?
Cruises are of course a great way to discover the Mekong Delta. The boats welcome you to the quays of Cai Be, Can Tho or Ben Tre around noon.
During cruises, boats sometimes stop on land for bicycle tours, village tours, visits to craft factories, stroll through fruit plantations etc. Meals are served on the boat and you spend the night in your private cabin.
The next morning, you will normally discover a floating market before leaving the boat and return to Ho Chi Minh City.
What are the best boats for a cruise on the Mekong?
For a private cruise, travelers prefer sampan Song Xanh and the sampan Mango because they are small and suitable for a family or a small group. Sampan Mango cruises take place in Ben Tre, less touristy.
The Le Cochinchine boat offers cruises rather classic, at prices cheaper than other boats. Its rooms are nice.
The Bassac boat’s rooms are smaller but its services and itineraries are well appreciated. It is the company of a Franco-Vietnamese couple.
Hotel option: if your budget is tighter or you do not like to go on a cruise
If you like to visit a floating market
For the 2-day 1-night stay in the Mekong Delta, we can choose to visit the Cai Rang Floating Market or that of Cai Be. The Cai Rang market is bigger and more animated.
Floating markets are open early in the morning, so you need to spend the night near Can Tho or near Cai Be and you can leave early the next morning.
Mekong Delta 2 days visiting the Cai Rang Market in Can Tho
Can Tho is a 4-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City. You can choose to stay in a hotel in the city of Can Tho or an hotel outside the city.
If you like to stay in typical peaceful villages of the Mekong Delta, here are some suggestions like accommodation:
- Green Village 2 – Mekong Lake View: 49 €
See on agoda.com
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- Nguyen Shack Mekong – € 21
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If you are looking for a boutique hotel in Can Tho, Victoria Can Tho Resort is undoubtedly the best choice.
See on agoda.com
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If you are traveling on your own, here is the simplest itinerary of 2 days 1 night:
- Buy Futa bus tickets (Phuong Trang) for the trip: HCMC – Can Tho on this site.
- Go to their office at 231-233 Le Hong Phong Street, District 5, HCMC: ~ 4km, ~ $ 4 by taxi
- You will arrive in Can Tho town after 3.5 hours.
- Motorcycle taxi for Nguyen Shack Mekong: 100,000 VND (~ $ 4,4) per person or taxi: more than 100.000VND/car. Green village homestay is a little further. Lunch in town or at Nguyen Shack Mekong / Green Homestay Village.
- Afternoon: With bikes provided by these two hotels, you can take a bike ride through villages, rice paddies, orchards and discover the daily life of the inhabitants and then have dinner in these two hotels.
- Return to the 2 hotels for breakfast.
- Take part in a tour organized by these 2 hotels, for example: Boat trip around Nguyen Shack Mekong, bike ride around the villages of Green Village Homestay, city tour in Can Tho and tasting of local dishes … Each tour costs between $ 10-15 per person.
- Taxi or motorcycle taxi to Can Tho bus station. Take the Futa bus to Ho Chi Minh City.
- Futa or Phuong Trang in Vietnamese is the largest bus company in South Vietnam. The buses are air-conditioned and comfortable.
- There are a large number of hotel choices in the city of Can Tho. But I highly recommend the hotels listed above to be able to feel the calm and typical features of the Mekong Delta.
- The Cai Rang Floating Market is better than Cai Be below.
- The Cai Rang Floating Market tour from Nguyen Shack Mekong is very convenient and cheap. You will pay the same amount if you rent a boat at the Can Tho pier.
Mekong Delta 2 days visiting the Cai Be market in Cai Be
The Cai Be Floating Market is located near Cai Be and Vinh Long. So you can stay in Cai Be, Vinh Long or An Binh Island – close to the town of Vinh Long.
The simple route to visit Vinh Long – Cai Be in 2 days:
- Buy Futa bus tickets (Phuong Trang). Price: 105,000 VND.
- Go to their office at 231-233 Le Hong Phong Street, District 5, HCMC: ~ 4km, ~ $ 4 by taxi. If you travel alone, the Grabbike moto-taxi app is great.
- Arrival in Vinh Long town after 3 hours drive.
- Motorcycle taxi to An Binh Island: about 100,000 VND. The motorcycle taxi price already includes the 10,000 VND ferry fee. That is to say from Vinh Long city, you will pass a ferry to reach the An Binh Island.
- Arrival on An Binh Island, stay at Ba Linh Homestay, Phuong Thao Homestay or Ut Trinh Homestay.
- The afternoon: Cycling through lush villages and orchards on An Binh Island. Participating in other activities such as fish fishing, fruit picking, cooking classes … They are normally free. Then dinner and spend the night with locals.
- Around 6am, rent a boat to go to the Cai Be floating market. The boat trip takes about 1 hour and costs about 600,000 VND/boat of ten seats.
- Disembarkation at Cai Be pier. There are some small agencies that offer a tour around Cai Be: visit the old houses, visit craft factories, ride in rowboat … You can buy the combo: Cai Be floating market visit + other activities mentioned above in locals: Ba Linh, Phuong Thao …
- Taxi ride from Cai Be to Futa bus station: 60 000 VND/person. You can buy tickets on the spot, there is a Cai Be – HCMC departure all the time. Price: ~ 95,000 VND. Arrival at HCMC after 1.5 hours.
Other accommodation options: Mekong Lodge Resort in Cai Be is also a very good choice as accommodation. These are the bungalows located on the bank of the Mekong. If your budget allows, you can stay there and visit the Cai Be Floating Market the next morning.
Ba Duc Ancient House at Cai Be offers comfortable private rooms but its services are not at the top.
If the visit to a floating market does not a matter to you
You can spend the night and discover the daily life in the Mekong Delta:
- At Charming Countryside Homestay in Ben Tre, the province of coconut palms.
- At The Island Lodge Thoi Son, which is luxurious, located in a less touristy corner of the Thoi Son Island, in My Tho, the capital of the province of Tien Giang.
- At Suonsia Homestay Tra Vinh, off-the-beaten-track, is located in the Tra Vinh province, where the Khmer pagodas are very beautiful.
Then go to Cambodia after your trip to Mekong Delta in Vietnam because it is easy to reach Cambodia from Mekong Delta in Vietnam, especially by boat on the Mekong river. More details here.