Introducing Long Xuyen (Mekong Delta)
Earlier this year, In Country Tours opened another office, in Long Xuyen, An Giang Province (Mekong Delta area). Recently the ICT team took some day trips around the area, visiting several sites including the Tra Su Forest & Bird Sanctuary, and the floating markets at Long Xuyen.
Where is Long Xuyen?
Long Xuyên) is the capital city of An Giang Province, in the Mekong Delta region of south-western Vietnam. It is located approximately 189 km from Ho Chi Minh City, and only 45 km from the Cambodian border. With a population of over 300 000 people, Long Xuyên city is the second most prosperous city in south-western Vietnam, just after Cần Thơ city. An Giang is home to a sizable number of people from Vietnam’s ethnic minorities and has influences from their respective cultures.
Tra Su Forest & Bird Sanctuary
Tra Su is a huge forest and wetlands area located approximately 60km from Long Xuyen City. This beautiful 800,000-hectare location is home to an impressive number of wading birds. To protect the birds’ breeding grounds, much of the wetland area is off-limits to visitors. Visitors can enjoy a short speedboat ride and a tranquil paddle down narrow channels and explore through the visually stunning green forest. Travellers can enjoy this serene setting and have a relaxing morning or afternoon. Bird-watchers will have an extra-special time here spotting birds amongst the trees. It’s also a great spot for photos, and our team had a lot of fun getting some nice shots.
Dawn Experience on the River
One of the most interesting activities and attractions in the Mekong Delta river region is an early-morning visit to one of the floating markets. Far from being an event created for tourists, the floating markets make up a daily part of life on the river and have done for centuries. Due to the closer proximity to both Saigon, the markets around Can Tho are larger and receive a much higher number of travelers visiting. The floating market near Long Xuyen may be smaller, but what it lacks in size it makes up for with an opportunity to be one of few tourists visiting on that day. With this comes the chance to get a closer look at this authentic local marketplace.
The 2000 year-old city of Oc Eo
Approximately 40km South-West from Long Xuyen is the archaeological site of Oc Eo. Oc Eo is an ancient port-city, established in the 1st century AD. The Kingdom of Funan was prevalent in South-East Asia from the 1st-12th Centuries, and was highly influenced by Indian culture. Oc Eo was thought to be a busy port with international trade. Also it had an elaborate system of canals used for irrigation and transport. Many artifacts have been recovered from the site, and some of these can be seen at the An Giang Museum in Long Xuyen (plus more at museums in Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City).
What else can travelers see & do?
The whole Mekong Delta region is a chance to experience a simpler farming and river-based lifestyle. This is in stark contrast to the bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City. There are local stops for interaction on routes, including visiting small villages to see locals making incense sticks and bamboo baskets to a backdrop of the beautiful river system.
A famous food in this region is a special hot-pot style dish called ‘Lau Mam’. This dish is quite special as it includes the combination of flavours and styles from 4 main cultural groups; Kinh (Vietnamese), Khmer (Cambodian), Cham and Hao (Chinese). Lau Mam has evolved with time and influence from the cultures over many different generations.
How To Get There
These attractions can easily be visited on day trips from Long Xuyên city or Chau Doc. It is also possible to see them on a trip from Can Tho city or Ha Tien. But from these we would recommend an overnight stay for a more leisurely pace and a greater experience. Long Xuyen stays can be scheduled on an itinerary for guests travelling between Saigon and Cambodia. It can also make a lovely journey for guests between Phu Quoc and Saigon. At less than 200km from Saigon, we usually recommend travelling by private road transport.
For more information on the Mekong Delta, check this link.
For more information about these attractions and visiting Long Xuyen, please get in contact with our team.