The Mekong Delta ( Đồng bằng Sông Cửu Long “Nine Dragon river delta” covers 15,000 sq mi of the South Western region of Vietnam. A system of rivers, streams and canals where most villages and towns are accessible by. Despite it’s water bound areas, it’s a motorcyclists paradise. Long stretches of highways, tiny river roads and dirt tracks make for an unforgettable ride. It would probably take a lifetime to visit every little village and hamlet. In nine months and 4 trips I’ve managed to cover maybe a third of the watery world south west of Saigon.
The tributaries of the Delta are the lifeblood of the region. Transportation of goods, taking kids to school, agricultural irrigation, ,and of course, tourism. According to Wikipedia, the region accounts for almost half of the countries offshore fishing vessels. Add to that number the small all purpose boats used by the locals you imagine waterways more like highways.
Similar to most places in the world, the distribution of wealth is unbalanced. With Can Tho and My Tho being the major centres of the region the development has been much more rapid than smaller more far flung cities of Bac Lieu or Sa Dec.
As you can imagine, travelling by road you encounter many bridges and ferry crossings. This brings a lot of charm to the ride. Different vantage points of the landscape and just the act of waiting for a ferry gives you a chance to interact with the locals.
In the major centres like Can Tho, you find the floating markets. A peculiar site to see as hundreds of boats gather near the town as a central trading point for locally grown produce. I’d imagine over time with the development of infrastructure these markets will slowly disappear.
It is highly recommended to take a trip to the Mekong Delta. Between the the river culture and beautiful rice fields that fill the in between bits, it’s a paradise to ride in for the experienced or novice motorcycle rider.