Mekong Delta Overview
Don't leave without seeing the Mekong Delta, one of Vietnam's most interesting and scenic regions. An organized tour offers action-packed days with bus and boat trips to small craft villages, mangrove swamps, island orchards, and spectacular floating markets. A 1-day trip isn't quite enough to fully delve into the delta, so plan on an overnight -- best in the delta's urban centers of Can Tho or Chau Doc near Cambodia.
The delta is a web of Mekong River waterways covering an area of about 60,000km (37,200 miles) across three provinces. The region is densely populated with 17 million souls, most engaged in farming and fishing. Called the "rice basket" of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta accounts for more than 50% of all rice and produce in the country, and the land is tessellated with bright green rice paddies, fruit orchards, sugar-cane fields, and vegetable gardens, and its waters stay busy with boats and fish farms. Rice production and harvest still involve water buffaloes instead of tractors, as well as backbreaking hand planting of rice shoots, weeding, and hand harvesting.