If you have only one day or two days and you need a Mekong river life outlook. CaiBe – Vinh Long is a good choice. If the most populated places are rather much visited, as soon as you get away from the crowds, you are getting in touch with the nice people of the delta and their always welcoming attitude. Boating along Mekong River is a pleasant way to escape the bustle of the city centre. And let the Mekong Queen brings you closer to Vietnamese local lives in Mekong Delta.
Featuring five different excursions, the Mekong Queen services will surely take you beyond Delta’s stunning sites and charming people. It is possible to take tours on small boats into the more remote rivers for getting through local villages in comfort. It is also possible to cycle around the rude road through local lives and along the river when you get off on board. Food tastes better when flavored by the chef who has a passion for his art. The same thing applies to a variety of activities in life.
The Mekong River is one of the world's 10th rivers in its river length and has great influences upon nature and societies of the Indo-china Peninsula. The name "MEKONG" originates in Thai language, Mae Nam Khong. The Mekong River is the heart and soul of mainland Southeast Asia, which runs 4,800 kilometers from its headwaters on the Tibetan Plateau through Yunnan Province of China, Burma, Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam. The source of the Mekong River is in Tibet Mountains and is called Dza Chu River (River of Rock). After running through very narrow valley paralling Yangz Jiang and Salween River, the Mekong reaches to Yung-Nan Province of China and is called Lancang Jiang (Turbulent River). Via Golden Triangle, the crossing of Burma, Thailand, and Laos border, the Mekong flow into Vientiane Plain. The term, Lower Mekong means downstream segment from the point. There are some notorious rapids for French navigation plan in colonial period before the Mekong get to Cambodia, and the last segment is the Mekong Delta in Viet Nam, which distributes grate influences to agriculture, especially paddy fields there. According to a sketch on the right, we can see this long river with some segments hereinafter. Over 60 million people depend on the Mekong and its tributaries for food, water, transport and many other aspects of their daily lives. Its annual flood drought cycles are essential for the sustainable production of rice and vegetables on the floodplains and along the riverbanks during the dry season. Known as the Mother of waters, the river supports one of the world's most diverse fisheries, second only to the Amazon.
The Mekong of Vietnam is one of the two main rice bowls of the country. Dominated by Large lowland Stretching from Cambodia to Sai Gon, the surrounding lands are comprised of low lying rice paddies and the rivers are bordered by dense mangroves and palms. The tributaries of the hectic Mekong River highway provide a comprehensive network of canals and channels. The rivers are the best methods to explore the region at a leisurely pace and offer the opportunity to experience the truly unique Mekong River lifestyle
A one day excursion will begin after boarding a luxury wooden boat, the Mekong Queen, with a visit of the colorful Cai Be floating market where you can experience all of local trading activities with several kinds of agricultural products from one boat to another. The Cai Be floating market is one of the most well-known and the biggest wholesaler markets in the Southern Vietnam, which was formed during the Nguyen Dynasty in the 19th century. It is always busy, bearing all the characteristics of the Southern local’s life in the Mekong Delta. All the goods are transported to the market by boats. The floating market lies on the Tien (Upper) river, and is divided into two parts: buying and selling places. Boats are anchored along the two sides of the river for kilometers. From the floating market, goods are shifted for selling at inland markets or have small boats taken for delivery along canals in the Plain of Reeds. Approximately 400 to 500 boats filled with fruits, vegetables, and other products are joining here and make it very busy from 05:00 am in the morning until late in the afternoon. Traders live on the river and on their mobile houses for ages. The products are hung on a pole in front of the boats to attract customers. Their needs are everywhere anticipated on the floating market.
You then continue boarding to a local factory to visit and learn how pop rice, pop corn, rice paper and coconut candies are made. You also have an opportunity to taste these products served with a cup of hot green tea.
Let’s get back to the Mekong Queen and spend one hour and a half cruising through Dong Phu canal, Binh Hoa Phuoc and An Binh to Vinh Long, the capital town of Cuu Long (nine Dragon) Province. Spending your time, laying your back on the boat and shooting the beautiful and peaceful sceneries along the river, life is much easier experiencing the local village lives in the Mekong Delta.
The boat stop at Mr. Tam Ho (No 8 Tiger) where you can take a short walk through his nursery garden to learn how economy of this family is based on, and then enjoy several kinds of tropical fruit in the Mekong Delta. Here you will have a chance to taste the home-made snake wine while listening to Vietnamese traditional music (subject to availability), called Tai Tu and performed by the locals.
Getting back to the boat and crossing the Co Chien River, one of the two branches of the Mekong to Vinh Long to visit one of the biggest local brick factories, please get your camera ready to shoot some photos of the very hard working local workers.
You are almost reaching to the final fantastic destination of your day on the Mekong Queen, Sa Dec. Stop to visit the local floating houses where thousands of fishes are raised in the wooden boxes underneath in the natural water of the river and Tan Hoa Temple which was built hundreds of years ago by the locals. Continue cruising on the river for another one hour to Sadec, you will have a big chance to discover the beautiful landscapes and the typical life of the Mekong Delta along the way. On arrival, landing at the central market located right on the bank of the river. After saying goodbye to the crew, take a very short walk to experience yourself at an ancient house which was built in French colonial architecture. This is a house shot in a very famous movie called “ The Lovers “, based on a true love story of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, a rich Vietnamese-Chinese gentleman and Ms. Marguerite Duras.
End of tour around 15:30 or almost 16:00 pm and board your own vehicle for a drive to your hotel.