The Mekong Delta, as a region, lies immediately to the west of Ho Chi Minh City (also called Saigon by locals), roughly forming a triangle stretching from My Tho in the east to Chau Doc and Ha Tien in the northwest, down to Ca Mau at the southernmost tip of Vietnam, and including the island of Phu Quoc.
The ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, the delta is carpeted in a dizzying variety of greens. It's a water world that moves to the rhythms of the mighty Mekong, where boats, houses and markets float upon the innumerable rivers, canals and streams that criss-cross the landscape like arteries.
The bustling commerce of its towns contrasts sharply with the languid, almost soporific pace of life in the countryside. Here buffalo wallow in rice paddies, coconut- and fruit-laden boats float slowly along the mud-brown waters, and two-wheeled exploration of the narrow lanes is amply rewarded with a true taste of rural hospitality (and delicious river fish).
Elsewhere, mangrove forests teem with a wealth of birdlife and bristle with the remains of Viet Cong bunkers, ornate Khmer pagodas and Buddhist temples reach for the sky, while off-coast islands offer white-sand beaches and tropical hideaways to some, and pirate havens to others.
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