Tel: 070 + Pop 124,600
Vinh Long, the capital of Vinh Long province, is a medium – sized town along the banks of the Mekong River, about midway between Mytho and Cantho
Van Hai Tourism offers a variety of boat tours ranging from three to five hours in length, as well as overnight excursions. Tours destinations include small canals, fruit orchards, brick kilns, a conical palm hat workshop and the Cai Be Floating Market. Homestays at the one of the orchards can also be arranged.
As is the case in most of the Mekong Delta, if you’re travelling independently you will need to organise at least a few people to go with you in order to make the prices of these tours reasonable.
Internet access can be found at La Huy ( 37 D Trung Nu). The rate charged there is 100d per minute.
Mekong River Island
What makes a trip to Vinh Long worthwhile is not the town itself but the beautiful small islands in the river, The islands are totally given over the agricalture, especially the growing of tropical fruit, which are shipped to markets in HCMC.
To víit the ílands you have to chảtẻ a boat through Van Hai Tourism. Small boat cost around US$30 per person for a three hour journey ( minimum of three people). However, you may be able to negotiate a better deal. The tours include an English or French speaking Vietnamese guide.
One way to pypass the government monopoly is to take the public ferry (5000d) to one of the islands and then walk around on your own; however, this is not nearly as interesting as a boat tour, since you will not cruise the narrow canals.
Some of the more popular islands to visit include Binh Hoa Phuoc and An Binh Island, but there are also many others. This low-lying regiuon is as much wawter as land, and houses are generally built on stilts. Bring plenty of firm because there are photo opportunites in every direction you look.
Cai Be floating Market
This bustling river market ( open 5am – 5pm) is worth including on a boat tour from Vinh Long, It is best to go early in the morning Wholesalers on big boats moor here, each specialising in one or a few types of fruit or vegetables. Customers cruise the market in smaller boats and can easily find what they’er looking for , as the larger boats hang samples of their goods from tall wooden poles.
One interesting thing you won’t see at other floating markets is the huge Catholic cathedral on the riverside – a popular and fantastic back drop for photographs.
It takes about an hour to reach the market from Vinh Long, but most people make detours on the way there or back to see the canals or visit orchards.