A Guide and Itinerary for 48 hours in Can Tho
Can Tho (pronounced ‘can tuh’) is the largest city in the Mekong Delta area. The area’s uniqueness makes it one of my favorite places in the country. Thailand and the Philippines may have better beaches than Vietnam, Laos has a peacefulness that is difficult to find in Vietnam, Myanmar has the friendliest people, but none of those places have the Mekong Delta.
This guide and itinerary will give you step-by-step directions to making the most out of your 2 days in Can Tho.
My Tho is the closest Mekong Delta city to Ho Chi Minh City, so it’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for a quick trip to the Mekong Delta. It’s possible to take a day tour here, but I feel that the small city is definitely worth a bit more of your time, and that heading there independently is a more rewarding experience.
The Story – My Tho, Vietnam
I know how it goes.
I get on a bus, someone’s always late, we head out and I listen to people talk about how much they drank last night, everyone gets off the bus and piles onto a boat, we’re herded to various sites that are very much setup for tourists, I start to plan how I could secretly execute the loudest most obnoxious person on the tour, I get back on the bus and head back disappointed because I didn’t get a chance to execute that annoying person.
In this episode of Exploring Vietnam, I investigate the Mekong Delta and its oh-so-fertile lands. The Delta is responsible for 40% of Vietnam’s food. It’s a very important place that is often over-looked by tourists. From Can Tho, I visit the local market, take a bicycle ride around farm land, and tour the floating market of Cai Rang. Learn about the popular fish of the area, see the area’s fruit growing in orchards, rice paddy fields, and of course the craziness of the floating market. The Mekong Delta is my favorite place in Vietnam. If you make it to the country, don’t skip this miraculous area.
The Story – Can Tho, Vietnam
A bus from Vinh Long (1.5 hours, 50,000d/$2.50) took us to Can Tho, our last stop in the Mekong Delta. It is the fifth largest city in Vietnam so it’s nothing to be balked at and isn’t exactly a sleepy little Mekong town.
The Story – Vinh Long, Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Coming from Ben Tre, we took Bus 8 from the bus station for a very reasonable 20,000d/$1. The bus had absolutely NO leg room. We piled our luggage on our seats next to us and hoped that no one would want to sit down there. We were lucky that Asian people never want to sit next to westerners on a bus. The bus was used for everything from cargo transport to school bus, and it appears that tickets can be bought or bartered for with pretty much anything, including motorcycle parts [disclaimer: this may or may not be true].
The Story – Ben Tre, Vietnam
We almost decided not to go to the Mekong Delta. It’s one of the places we found the most difficult to research transportation for. Even Lonely Planet’s Southeast Asia on a Shoestring suggests that the easiest (and cheapest) way to do it is to buy a tour from a travel agent in Ho Chi Minh City. This may be an easier option but the idea of spending three days on a tour bus, cramming in as many towns as possible, and eating in the prescribed restaurants is not really our scene. We decided to go at it alone. Our first stop in the Mekong Delta was Ben Tre.