The mighty Mekong River is a trans-boundary river, flowing through Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, China and Myanmar.
Winding through some of the world’s most fertile land, along its banks, human life is connected to the water. See daily life come alive as you cruise with Avalon Waterways down the lower Mekong through Vietnam and Cambodia as you pass traditional villages, witness spectacular sunsets and learn about the activities, history and cultures along the longest river in Southeast Asia.
Here are some of our favourite Mekong experiences:
Catch a sunrise on the river
Even if you’re not much of a morning person, setting the alarm to watch the day begin on the Mekong River is definitely worth it. The sun rising signals the start of the day for locals, so you’ll see the river come to life as the sounds of boat motors and bird calls fill the air.
Visit a floating market
A highlight of the Mekong Delta that’s not to be missed – visiting a floating market. The earlier you can get to the markets, the better, as they tend to get very busy! The floating markets of the Mekong are where the locals go to buy goods and where tourists can be seen spreading their eyes over the lively surrounds. To help buyers see what is being sold, traders will hang their products on top of long poles.
Take a ride in a sampan
A lot of the small riverways in the Mekong Delta can only be accessed by sampan (small wooden boats). The locals use these boats as a means of transportation, however for visitors, it’s easier to a have a guide show you around.
Learn how to make coconut candy
A visit to the province of Ben Tre would hardly be complete without observing how the locals make their famous keo dua (coconut candy). Workers use manual machinery to make a variety of coconut candy, flavoured with ginger, cacao and pandan to name a few. From its early days as a coconut, workers will shred and then crush the flesh for the milk and cream, boil it into a caramel mixture and make it into the candy. You can also observe locals making rice wine and rice paper rolls in Ben Tre too!
Sample local foods
It’s likely you’d have noticed at the floating markets that the food produced in the Mekong Delta is always fresh. From just-caught barbecued fish to sticky, sweet pandan desserts – the Vietnamese know how to cook good food!
Visit a local village
Dock your sampan and spend a few hours wandering around a small village. Spending time with the locals in their homes is a great way to gain insight into their day-to-day lives. Keep an eye out for people working in the rice fields and basket weavers.