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An update from Evaneos

On the Mekong from Can Tho

When you organise your trip to Vietnam, don't forget to include the Mekong Delta on your itinerary. And you can't visit the Mekong Delta without missing out on Can Tho! It really is the perfect town to organise a day out on the mythical Mekong.

Organise the excursion

It is completely unnecessary to organise your day's sailing on the mythical Mekong River too far in advance. Make the most of your time in the town of Can Tho during your trip to Vietnam, by organising everything here.

You won't need to scout out a travel agency, as your hotel will offer you the excursion. If you would prefer to negotiate directly with a boatman, you can do so. You will likely meet one when walking the streets or, even better, on the riverbanks. You won't have to wait long to be accosted by the boatmen themselves.

Do not hesitate to stand your ground when negotiating. The prices originally proposed may seem excessive. To give you an idea, you should expect to pay approximately €12 per boat, for an excursion lasting approximately three hours. Three hours isn't necessarily a very long time to discover the river. Don't hesitate to opt for the six-hour excursion, which will see you depart before sunrise.

If you love to spend time on the water, you may even want to arrange an excursion over multiple days. Cast off the mooring line and take to the water.


In one day on the wayer

Get up at 4.30am for a morning spent sailing on the Mekong. When you first get onto your pirogue with your captain, it will still be dark.

Shortly after leaving, you will stop at the floating petrol station. It works just like a traditional petrol station, except being on the water it's actually quite unique!

After one hour's sailing you will arrive at the Cai Rang floating market Hundreds of boats, big and small, offer a wide selection of fruit and vegetables. This is the wholesale market. You'll find tonnes of pineapple, cauliflowers, watermelon, tomatoes, beetroot and more! If a boat is specialised in a particular fruit, they are allocated a special stall at the high end.

At bit further along, you will arrive at Phong Dien floating market. It's a bit smaller than the last one you visited. There are no longer any large, specialised boats but there are still boats-turned-shop which sell all sorts. They are authentic little grocers. All the merchants wear the traditional conical hat. Some are cooking up big pots of soup. Discovering the canals is a stunning experience, Glide on the water between palm trees, orchards and small homes.


David Debrincat
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