Known to the Vietnamese as “the River of Nine Dragons”, the Mekong spreads out over the south of Vietnam as an intricate network of tributaries and waterways. The delta is a lush, tropical world of rice paddies, mangrove swamps and canals with overhanging foliage where boats, stilt houses and markets float on the life-giving waters of the mighty Mekong.
Blessed with nutrient-rich soils, the Mekong Delta is described as the “rice bowl” of Vietnam, and at just ten percent of the country’s landmass it produces almost a half of Vietnam’s annual food crops. A cone-hatted farmer working the field with a water buffalo is still a common sight here, the rustic way of life very much in evidence throughout the region. Thrown into the mix are bustling market towns, Khmer temples and remains of Viet Cong bunkers.
Take a sampan trip to a colourful floating market at the crack of dawn and let your oarsman take you on a relaxing ride through a water labyrinth. And if rising early isn’t really your thing, then explore the area on two wheels and experience the legendary hospitality of the local people first-hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time to visit Mekong Delta?
Rainy Season: May to October
Dry Season: November to April
Temperature Range: 23 to 30 °C, all year round
Rice Field Cropping Season: March/ April, July/ August, October/ December
Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, part of the Lower Mekong River Basin, has a tropical monsoon climate chiefly due to the Southwest Monsoon that is responsible for the rainy period across the Indian sub-continent. This results in dry and rainy seasons of similar length in the Mekong Delta, with June and July bearing the brunt of the wet weather. The temperate remains moderate with slight variations between 23 to 30 °C throughout the year, with March and April being the warmest months.
Boat full of Pineapple, floating market, Vietnam @ Onfokus / Getty Images Signature
Most tourist choose to visit the Mekong Delta from October to February, during the dry season, and veering away from the warmer, humid, months. Yet, the rainy season need not be a barrier to visitors, the showers usually last for an hour and mostly fall in the afternoons.
Year round, the Mekong Delta river brings different delights to guests.
Late-January to March: A vibrant Mekong Delta bursting with spring flowers
April to May: Calm waters with many fruits coming into season
June to September: Wetter weather but with the greatest variety of tropical ripe fruit, be sure to visit a fruit orchard
October to December: Floating season comes around with wild water lilies blooming and abundant water vegetables
To sum it up, there is no poor time to explore the Mekong Delta. The valley and its water capillaries promise fresh fruit and local goods whenever you choose to visit.