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The Mekong Delta – Cruise Through Vibrant River Living in South Vietnam

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The Mekong Delta is a region in South Vietnam where the world’s 12th longest river empties out into the sea.  The numerous tributaries and canals form an extensive and complex network of waterways.  As a result, the area is rich and filled with scenic rice fields and many floating markets.

The delta is one of the world’s greatest producers of rice.  Half of the country’s rice production comes from the delta.  A lot of the country’s fruits also come from the numerous orchids in the area.  In addition, the region’s fauna is quite diverse, with a wide range of fish and crustaceans.  New species of animals are continually discovered, including a species of rat thought to have been extinct.

The Mekong Delta covers nine provinces in Southern Vietnam.  The majority of the people are ethnic Vietnamese with Khmer, Chinese and Cham making up the minority.  Because of this variety, the area is culturally diverse.

Most of the people living in the delta are farmers or fishermen.  They often live on the edge of the river and their homes are built from whatever material is available to them.  This makes housing construction and architecture between regions in the delta distinct and unique from each other.  Most of these houses often have bamboo cages underneath which are used to breed fish.

The Mekong Delta is also home to a thriving snake industry.  Originally created as a research institution for the snake’s venom, Dong Nam Snake Farm in Can Tho (Mekong Delta’s biggest city) is the largest snake farm in Vietnam.  It is home to a wide range of venomous and non-venomous snakes.  Another interesting site common in the delta are bottles of snake wine.  Cobras and other venomous snakes are infused in glass bottles of rice wine or grain alcohol.  Snake wine is believed to possess medicinal qualities and increase fertility.  The venom is dissolved and denatured by the ethanol, so it is safe to consume it.

One of the popular attractions on a Mekong Delta cruise is the region’s vibrant and lively floating markets.  Phung Hiep floating market in Hau Giang Province is the largest and a nearby bridge is an excellent spot to take photographs.    Boats loaded with produce ranging from fruits, vegetables, and fish converge to form a sea of colorful vendors.  Also present at the markets are floating restaurants, gas stations and tour boats filled with on looking tourists.

The Mekong Delta is one of Southeast Asia’s unique areas and a recommended stop for anyone planning to visit Vietnam.  Taking you on a cruise to the heart of the delta, our Deep in the Delta tour brings the cultures and sceneries of the region to life.  Visit a wide range villages, floating markets and craft shops as you navigate through the many waterways of the area.  If you only have a day and would like to explore the delta, you can take Exotissimo’s A Day Cai Be & Vinh Long – Ho Chi Minh City tour.  You will get a chance to explore the region’s floating markets, rice fields and waterways in this enlightening day trip to South Vietnam.  You can also see our recommended Vietnam tours page for other journeys into the always fascinating and charming country of Vietnam.

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