Mekong Delta Transportation Guide: How to Get to & Getting around

Rachel Tran
Rachel Tran | Published: September 20, 2021

Getting to and around Delta is such a great experience due to beautiful scenery, hospital and friendly people, unique culture and convenient transportation.

The way to get to and around the Mekong River Delta is now easier thanks to the development of the modern system of the roadway and waterway. Depending on your preference and budget, you can choose the most suitable transportation type to get there and get around the delta.

Below we introduce a quick guide to Mekong Delta transportation, helping you know how to get to Mekong delta and getting around there with ease. Let’s see!

Overview of Mekong Delta Transportation

To get to Mekong Delta, you follow National Highway 1, connecting Ho Chi Minh City, My Tho (Tien Giang), Vinh Long and ending in Can Tho. There are several other highways connecting the main cities of the whole region. Roads in Can Tho, Chau Doc, Rach Gia and My Tho are generally easy to go, while in local villages, there are narrow footpaths with very peaceful surroundings.

When traveling to Mekong River delta, you will see many long cable-stayed bridges, which were built not long ago to help people travel more conveniently. My Thuan Bridge connects Cai Be (Tien Giang) with Vinh Long. Rach Gia Bridge connects My Tho and Ben Tre, making this no longer an isolated land. Can Tho Bridge is the longest cable-stayed bridge in Southeast Asia. The ferry (also known as river taxi) is still a popular means of transportation in some other provinces. Taxis, public, and motorbike taxis (also called Xe Om in Vietnamese) are everywhere and quite efficient.

How to Get to Mekong Delta from Ho Chi Minh City

Located quite near Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta is easily accessible. Here are the best ways on how to get to Mekong Delta from Ho Chi Minh city:

1. By Airplane

Get to Mekong delta by airplane

Ho Chi Minh City is quite close to the Mekong Delta. The fastest and easiest way to get from Ho Chi Minh City to Mekong Delta is by plane. There are two airports in the Mekong, one in Can Tho and the other in Phu Quoc island, Kien Giang province.

From Tan Son Nhat airport, you can take a flight to the airport at Can Tho which takes just 45 minutes instead of 4 hours if traveling by road. Chances are, you will have a panoramic view of the vast Mekong Delta from above. One-way flight ticket from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho is about 600,000 VND (tax included).

From Can Tho, a suggestion for you is to book a cruise to start exploring the beauty of neighboring provinces in the Mekong River region.

2. By Bus

Get to Mekong delta by bus

It only takes 3 hours by bus to get to Mekong Delta from Ho Chi Minh City. This is the most popular and economical means of transport with many bus companies for you to choose from, such as Futa (Phuong Trang), Mai Linh, or The Sinh Tourists.

It is recommended to choose Futa if you want to book a ticket by yourself. Compared to other brands, Futa is the leader speaking of quality and charisma. 

Ticket prices range from 60,000 VND to 120,000 VND depending on seating position, amenities and time of booking. There are many flights with different departure times to make it easy for you to choose; however, it is best to book tickets in advance so as to choose your desired seats and avoid being sold out during peak season.

If you use a bus to get to Mekong Delta, you need to pay attention to:

  • Destination
  • Schedule (find information on the garage homepage)
  • Pick up point (where you need to stand to pick up the car)

3. By Private Car

Get to Mekong Delta by private car

If you want to travel the Mekong Delta with friends or relatives, choose a private car as the main means of transportation. This is considered the best option because it is convenient and comfortable. You can easily rent a private car at the hotels in the area with prices from 600,000 VND depending on the seat location, service quality, and car model. Although more expensive than other means of transportation, using a private car will help you be more proactive with your itinerary and routes.

Here is the detailed price table of renting a private car:

Routes4 seat car (max 2 pax)7 seat car (2-3 pax)minivan 16 seats (4 – 10 pax)
Ho Chi Minh – My ThoUS$55US$65 US$105
Ho Chi Minh – Ben TreUS$60 US$70 US$110
Ho Chi Minh – Cai BeUS$70 US$80US$120
Ho Chi Minh – Can ThoUS$90US$100US$140
Ho Chi Minh – Chau DocUS$130US$140US$180 

4. By Motorbike

Get to Mekong delta by motorbike

For those who want to find thrills and experience the journey from Ho Chi Minh City to Mekong in their own way, a motorbike is the best choice of Mekong Delta transportation. As the most popular means of transport in Vietnam, motorbikes help tourists have the most “real” experience about the places, people, and cuisine where they are about to pass. The motorbike trip takes less than 4 hours, which makes it easy, fast and cheap. With just a motorbike, you can travel like a local, visit every nook and cranny, and experience an exciting adventure that you will remember for a lifetime. 

The cost of renting a motorbike is 20USD/day. If you are not familiar with the roads here, find a local or use Google Map as a companion on your trip. You can refer to car rental at:

  • Tigit Motorbikes Hanoi
  • Hiep Motorbike Rental
  • Gia Hưng Motorbike Rental
  • Vietnam Motorbike Tours & Rentals

If you decide to ride a motorbike to Mekong Delta, you should pay attention to the following:

  • You need a driver’s license
  • Vietnamese drive on the right hand side
  • Traffic in Vietnam is quite chaotic, most people drive in the wrong lane. If you do not pay attention, it is easy to have an accident.
  • Traffic jams happen quite often, especially during rush hour, with thousands of vehicles on the road.

5. By Cruise or Boat

How to get to Mekong delta from Ho Chi Minh City

From Ho Chi Minh City, you can take advantage of the waterway on the Saigon River to access the gigantic and popular Mekong Delta. Taking a cruise as a means of transportation is a good idea since it offers high-class experiences; however, the price is quite high (about 1,500,000 VND/person).

Alternatively, you can also go to the Mekong Delta by boat and witness the fascinating bustle of small villages along the way. This is truly a one-of-a-kind experience in a very special rural area of Vietnam. 

There are some companies providing Mekong Delta boat tours from Saigon by speed boat. You will wait to be picked up at the pier in Saigon center and then head to Mekong Delta by waterway. After a day of visiting the Mekong Delta, the operator will bring you back to Saigon by boat. 

The price for a boat tour to Mekong Delta from Saigon is not cheap at all, which costs from US$110/person for a full-day tour consisting of boat transfer, tour guide, ticket, and lunch. Yet, the experiences are really worth it. 

6. On Mekong Delta Tour

Get to Mekong delta on Mekong delta tour

It can be said that booking a tour is probably the best way for you to travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Mekong Delta. You do not need to spend time looking for vehicles, finding places to pick up and drop off. Most Mekong Delta tours offer free pick up and drop off from/to Ho Chi Minh City. Depending on your time budget, you can book a 1-day, 2-day tour or a long-term tour to Mekong Delta.

However, if you choose bus tours from Ho Chi Minh City to Mekong Delta, keep in mind that many of them are usually cheap and touristy. In the itinerary, you will stop at places where they ask you to spend money on souvenirs so that the guide can make extra commission. So, it is better to do your research in advance and understand what type of experience you wish for the amount of money you would like to spend.

A Quick Guide to Getting around Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta River has a slow pace of life, with floating markets, palm trees, colonial towns crisscrossed by meandering rivers and streams. You can spend several days, weeks or even months exploring all of the towns and villages in the region. So how to get around Mekong Delta easily and rewardingly?
The following is a detailed guide on getting around Mekong Delta. Let’s see!

1. By Boat

Getting around Mekong delta by boat

When arriving in the Mekong Delta, the best way to travel the region is by boat. 

For boats, the water level fluctuates by season but is still ideal for traveling by boat. Nonetheless, it is not easy for you to go on your own because many boat owners cannot communicate fluently in English, so you should find a tour guide as a companion.  

Pros: 

  • Watch the scenic villages along the waterway
  • Exclusive local experiences
  • Discover destination off the beaten track
  • Cost effective
  • Environmental

Cons:

  • Slower than other transportation
  • Affected by bad weather
  • Inflexible routes and timetables
  • Perhaps need a tour guide as a companion

2. By Bicycle

Getting around Mekong Delta by bicycle

Cycling is one of the most immerise, popular ways to see the delta. There are many companies that offer guided cycling tours to and around the region, from quick day trips to longer adventures through remote and unpopular provinces. 

With the two wheels, there is no rush. Move slowly through the rural, weaving through footpaths, over bridges just small enough for one to cross and through the wide paddy fields and coconut groves, maybe stopping in the shade for an iced tropical fruit. 

Pros:

  • Cost effective
  • Travel in your own pace
  • Off the beaten path
  • A great form to exercise

Cons:

  • Travel in a short distance 
  • Not suitable for the one with insufficient health
  • Extensive planning required

3. By River Cruise

Getting around Mekong Delta by river cruise

To get around the Mekong Delta, you can go on a luxury river cruise. River cruises have certainly become a relaxing and immersive form of travel. You just have to unpack once, so you can spend your extra time exploring the ship and making friends.  Just imagine days and nights, you drift wide, tropical waterways, with palm trees and mangroves lining along the riverbanks, see a constant stream passing villages and colorful boats to catch your eyes. 

Wake up at sunrise, watch the sky transform into a soft pink over the palm trees, or enjoy a dinner on the water prior to taking a rest in a cozy wooden cabin.

When cruising, you might choose to disembark to wander around local towns, buy fresh tropical fruit or take a stroll in emerald-green rice paddies before coming back to your boat for extra relaxation.

Pros:

  • Relaxing
  • See a lot in a short space of time
  • Easy

Cons:

  • Not have much time in each location
  • No flexibility
  • High cost

4. By Motorbike

Get around Mekong Delta by motorbike

The lanes in Mekong Delta are wide and flat, which are ideal for motorbike enthusiasts and pillion riders. Get the map and visit the Mekong Delta by motorbike. The beauty of this transportation type is that you can actively go anywhere at your own pace. Drive through the scenic roads or stop at cafes along the way or dig into a bowl of Hu Tieu My Tho on the street. Mekong Delta is amazing for anyone who loves to get around on motorcycles. 

Pros:

  • Freedom and flexibility
  • Great views
  • Getting off beaten track
  • Meet the locals
  • Cheap
  • Adventurous

Cons: 

  • Dangerous
  • Not suitable for the one with insufficient health

Hope that this article has helped you navigate the best types of means when it comes to Mekong Delta transportation.

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