My journey started at Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon) and from there I explored the south of this diverse country. To visit Vietnam you need to apply to your Visa beforehand, there is no possibility to get a Visa once you are at the border or the airport.
Ho Chi Minh City has a pulsate and chaotic energy. The traffic is something beyond explanation, but despite that, it’s full of life and the best way to explore the city is losing yourself in the street.
This is what I recommend to visit:
- Jade Emperor Pagoda
- Phuoc An Hoi Quan Pagoda
- Binh Tay Market
- Ben Thanh Market
- Botanic Gardens
- Cho Lon area
Once in HCMC don’t miss the coffee, it’s a true delight and also all the incredible vegan food.
Mekong Delta has many places to explore, and it’s incredibly beautiful and exotic with its water floating world. You need time to explore all its beauty and its innumerable rivers, canals and, streams that cross the landscape.
I need to say that’s possible to visit the Mekong Delta without a tour and is actually quite easy. You just need to ask around and combine different ways of transport, bus, ferry and motorbikes.
You have so many options to choose from, that taking a decision is pretty difficult mostly when you don’t have much time, so I will leave a small list of the best places I visit:
- Ben Tre – it’s very picturesque and less tourist than My Tho. This area is famous for its keo dua (coconut candy)
- Ha Tien – it’s beautiful, has a nice riverside market, lots of caves to visit some of which have been turned into temples. Thach dong cave pagoda deserves a visit.
- Tra Vinh – for me is one of the charming towns in the Mekong Delta
- Minh Long – has the Cai Be floating market that is always busy, carrying all the characteristics of the locals’ life.
- Sam Mountain– has a strong Chinese influence and its full of pagodas and temple the Cavern Pagoda it’s a nice one to visit.
- Can Tho – is the largest city in the region you can visit the floating markets, Phong Dien, Cai Rang – and take a boat along the canals. Phung Hiep is the biggest and busiest floating market in the Mekong Delta it opens at 4.00 am closes at 11.00 am.