Highlight: The Mekong Delta (Vietnamese: đồng bằng sông Cửu Long “Nine Dragon river delta”) is the region in southwestern Vietnam where the Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea through a network of distributaries. The Mekong delta region encompasses a large portion of southeastern Vietnam of 39,000 square kilometres (15,000 sq mi). The size of the area covered by water depends on the season.
The area is home to large numbers of rice fields. In 1997, in large part thanks to the Mekong Delta, Vietnam was the second largest exporter of rice globally after Thailand and India . www.easy Indochinatravel.com. In 2007, Vietnam was the world's second largest exporter of rice. Additionally, the region is home to large exports of basa fish, Tra catfish and shrimp, much of which is exported.
This region has recently been dubbed as a 'biological treasure trove'. Over 1,000 new species have been discovered in previously unexplored areas of Mekong Delta, including a species of rat thought to be extinct.
The inhabitants of the Mekong Delta region are largely ethnic Viet, with Khmer minority populations living primarily in the Trà Vinh, Sóc Trăng, and Muslim Chăm in Tan Chau, by An Giang provinces. There are also sizeable Hoa (ethnic Chinese) populations in the Kiên Giang and Trà Vinh provinces.
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After breakfast you will transfer a couple of hours out of Ho Chi Minh City to Mytho – the gateway of the Mekong delta. Today’s ride will lead you right into the heart of the rural Mekong. The cycling will begin after a ferry ride across the Tien River at My Tho. The route will take you on narrow roads and lanes, past banana plantations, fields of sugar cane, and the lush green landscape of the delta. A section of biking cuts off road onto gravel and dirt lanes, and weaves around hamlets, across water channels, and through dense vegetation; this makes for superb biking. Then, we’ll take a ferry ride across the gaping expanse of the Cochien River to Tra Vinh, a pretty tree lined town with a large population of ethnic Khmer. We’ll stay overnight in hotel in Tra Vinh.
After breakfast at our home stay, we’ll board a boat to Vinhlong, one of the famous fruit towns in the Mekong. You’ll bike along narrow country lanes, enjoying the view from easy dirt tracks and trails. Easy Indochina Tours’ll cycle past tiny orchards and picturesque delta homes, witnessing colorful life along the riverside. There will be plenty of time to explore side tracks and trails, as the cycling distance today is not far. We’ll stay overnight at a local hotel in Can Tho.
The third day’s ride is split into two sections and is a contrast to the previous day’s ride. After a very early breakfast, we will take a boat trip to the famous Cai Rang floating market before riding on a narrow paved road market to Phong Dien. The route weaves through a bustling morning market along the banks of the very busy river. You’ll absorb sights of endless cottage industries, timber merchants, coconut shredders, small docks loading/unloading rice, and tiny vibrant markets. Then, Easy Indochina Bike Tours’ll continue by bike on the narrow lane to the main road for a transfer back to Can Tho for lunch. In the afternoon, we’ll ride along a tiny road leading upstream towards Long Xuyen. The day will end with a final ferry crossing and short transfer to our hotel in Ha Tien.
After breakfast, we’ll have a quick transfer to Triton. Afterward, we’ll begin cycling towards Chau Doc. The road is quite hilly, but the path is unique. The presence of Thot Not trees indicates proximity to Cambodia and the local people speak Vietnamese as their second language. Along the way, you will stop at the killing fields of Vietnam at Bachuc, where Polpot’s regime massacred over 3,000 Vietnamese in 1978. Then, we’ll continue cycling for a mid-afternoon arrival in Chau Doc. Those with energy to spare can climb Sam Mountain for a great view of the sunset! You will enjoy dinner and stay overnight in Chau Doc.
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll board a boat and head to the floating houses of the upper Mekong River. We’ll stop to look beneath the floating homes at catfish and red snapper farms. Then, we’ll keep boating to visit a Cham village of about 12,000 artists where the locals weave sarongs and hats by hand, in keeping with their ancestral tradition. In the afternoon, we’ll cruise back to the bus to drive to Ho Chi Minh City to end the trip.