The Mekong is a mighty river that meanders through several South-east Asian countries, culminating in southern Vietnam where it flows out into the South China Sea. There are nine major waterways here in the Mekong Delta – nicknamed the ‘Nine Dragons’ by locals – which play host to floating villages, homes and markets, surrounded by lush rice paddies, mangrove forests and even pagodas and temples.
The Mekong Delta may just be a couple of hours away from the city of Ho Chi Minh, but it feels like another world entirely. The bountiful nature of the region means that rice, fish, fruit and vegetables are in absolute abundance; an important food source both locally and for the rest of Vietnam too. It also means that the floating markets are brimming with fresh produce, and an early morning tour is a must-do Mekong experience to see them; Cai Rang in Can Tho is one of the most famous floating markets to discover.
You can then embark on a boutique Mekong River cruise, soaking up the shifting delta scenery and villages propped up on stilts. You’ll have the opportunity to hop off along the journey to explore the surrounding countryside by bicycle as you go, before enjoying an exquisite meal back onboard. Depending on which cruise boat you opt for, your Mekong cruise may involve al fresco yoga on the sundeck, or simply relishing a soak in a Jacuzzi tub as Vietnam passes you by; bliss.