My Tho is the capital city of Tien Giang Province in the Mekong Delta. This center of Education, economics and technology has a population of around a quarter of a million. The majority of people here are ethnic Kinh. Many live in rickety stilt houses built into the My Tho River. It is a blaze of life and color. For many tourists coming to see Delta Tours; My Tho is the point of entry. Many of the tour buses from Saigon, arrive here dropping them off in order that they can board their tour boats.
A bit of Mekong history
My Tho was founded in about 1680 by Chinese immigrants fleeing persecution in Taiwan. The town was originally part of the Khmer Empire and was annexed by Vietnam in the 18th century. The My Tho River is one of the many that make up the Mekong Delta, it was from this that the city was named. When the French invaders came in 1862, the capture of My Tho was paramount to their control. The taking of the city is seen as the final cog in the establishment of French Cochichina. Colonialism did not however hamper the city’s economic development. Throughout this period in history it continued to prosper.
Easy access to a gateway city
There are many daily buses running from Mien Tay bus station in Ho Chi Ming City. In addition dozens of independent buses hired by hire companies make the trip. This is a really busy place. The bus station is on the outskirts of town an taxis and motorbikes bring passengers in. It is wroth noting that many will try and drop their passengers off at The Rang Dong Hotel, this is not in the center of town. It is worth giving clear instructions to your diver. The center of town is quite small and very easy to walk round.
There is plenty to do in this region and it nearly all involves the river. Boat trips are many and varied. Everything is accessible by water in the delta. Whether its to Can Tho, The floating markets, Ben Tre or anywhere else. Some of these routes are busy with tourists, others are quiet backwaters. Ben Tre for example is quiet, even though it is only a twenty minute boat ride away. The floating markets are incredibly busy, but that is their appeal. Everywhere you go in the Mekong the people are friendly, the food is great and the scenery is magnificent. It really is like stepping back in time. Probably the only difference between now and hundreds of year ago, will be the sound of the motor boat engines. The mekong delta tours reviews is a must for anyone coming to Vietnam, My Tho is the entry point and an excellent place to start.
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My Tho, the capital of Tien Giang, an indispensable province of Mekong Delta, is the gateway on a fantastic trip to the Mekong Delta for tourists. About 70km from Saigon to the North, My Tho, which means Beautiful Reed, is very famous for its luxuriant orchards. The economy here is largely built around fishing and agriculture.
And it should come as no surprise that in the late 19th century, French colonialists, in their quest to exploit and export, built the Saigon-My Tho railway line to connect the then capital to the river highway. If you love traveling, enjoy exotic tropical fruits and exploring the beautiful watery areas, My Tho will be an ideal destination for you.
1. The Four Major Islands (Dragon, Unicorn, Phoenix & Turtle)
A boat tour to the four islands of My Tho City is considered a must when traveling to the Mekong Delta. The tourists sailed across the narrow canals among the islands on wooden rowing boats. The wooden boats can take five or six people by means of oars, and most of them have eyes painted on the bow of the boats. Navigating on the calm water through low jungles in complete tranquility and peace must be an amazing and unique experience.
- The Dragon Island: nearest to the center of My Tho City, is the most populated island of all. The island is surrounded by tropical orchards, mostly longan and coconut trees. The typical characteristic of the island is of the green background covered with leaves, and the houses with red tile lie on tropical fruit orchards. The locals are mostly engaged in fishing, farming and boat building and repairing.
- The Turtle Island: is the smallest of the 4 Islands of My Tho City, but very rich in tropical fruits, particularly the dragon fruit, along with papaya and bananas. Many households are living here, and they build houses and grow tropical fruit trees like longan, mango, or pomelo.
- The Phoenix Island: is known as an island of the coconut monks. It is a true story that the monks of coconut are of a religion of Christianity and Buddhism in which coconut mixture is the only kind of food, feeding the followers. The tourists on the island can visit a monastery of the coconut monks.
- The Unicorn Island: The people on this island work to earn from orchards, bee farms and making coconut candies or fishing. Nowadays the tourism of the island is blooming, so that the locals can do some tourism service business like sailing wooden boats to take the visitors to or around the island, offering homestay or pubs to serve local foods or selling tropical fruits from the orchards.
2. Tan Thanh Beach
For those who love beaches, this will be an ideal option. The beach is only 50km from My Tho. You will totally enjoy sea activities on the Tan Thanh beach. As soon as you arrive, you will find a soft sandy beach. Tan Thanh is also considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam.
3. Vinh Trang Temple
Built in 1849, Vinh Trang temple’s architecture is the harmonious mix of Asian and European, where you can find the splendid beauty, solemnity but purity. This temple is the biggest one in Tien Giang, which is only 5km from My Tho so it is very convenient for the trip. This fine mixed structure includes five buildings, two ornamental and 178 pillars adorned with impressive woodworks and sculptures, not to mention the grounds featuring two massive statues of Giant Buddha. Moreover, the lovely gardens packed with colorful flowers, bonsai and lotus pools around the temple create a nice view and the harmony with nature for this peaceful place.
4. Cai Be Floating Market
The market is in Cai Be District, the charming town with lots of colorful fruit orchards, vegetable gardens and traditional crafts, and is one of the most bustling and hustling markets in Tien Giang. This market is the place for exchanging and selling products operating from early morning to night. In the floating season, a great number of domestic and foreign visitors come to visit this special destination on an exploration tour by taking a boat to enjoy the hustle and bustle of Cai Be floating market with various goods and fruits.
5. Dong Tam Snake Farm
Located on the bank of Tien River with an area of 30 hectare surrounded by green trees, this place is considered as the first museum of snakes in Vietnam, where you can see many types of snakes (over 400 species) from poisoned to normal ones. Alos, you will have a chance to see how people take the venom from snakes which will be served for medicine and other uses. There is a snake-breeding zone with dozens of species to feed or even to play with. There are also crocodiles and other species of birds and animals on hand.
6. Man Dinh Hong Flower Garden
Located in Phuoc Thanh commune, Man Dinh Hong flower garden is a new place for tourism as it has been opened since 2013. The total area of the garden is just over 1 ha, in which there are many kinds of flowers, including sunflowers, lotus, roses, pansy, daisies, and more. It has been attracting a large number of travelers to take photos among the gorgeous blossoms. This is also a romantic area for the couples in the wedding season to take memorable and beautiful photos.
7. Vinh Kim Fruit Garden.
Vinh Kim Fruit Garden is one of the two largest fruit ones of Tien Giang. The garden brings the tranquility of a quiet countryside. You will be delighted by the cool, fresh air and free to enjoy many different special fruits reaching here. To visit the garden, the tourists can travel by bicycle, but it is amazing to get to the garden by wooden boat.
My Tho is not far from Ho Chi Minh City, also small yet packed with interesting destinations. So one day in My Tho will give you the most commonly fun facts in the area.
AM: Arrive Cai Be Floating Market in early morning. Do some shopping, eat some food and enjoy the bustling atmosphere. Then visit Dong Tam Snake Farm to witness how locals raise the snakes and use them for different purposes.
PM: Head to Unicorn Island, join a performance site where Vietnamese traditional music is playing, and taste various tropical fruits. Then visit Vinh Trang Temple to have a nice sight-seeing at one of the greatest landmarks of My Tho.
If you are a vetaren backpacker, please feel free to manage the trip on your own and alter it when needed, else, we recommend you join a tour organized by a professional company, that can free you from hassles and keep you safe throughout the journey.
1. My Tho Rice Noodle Soup
The famous dish has a naturally sweet broth, soft noodles serving with fresh vegetables and bean sprouts to make the flavor become stronger. The special thing to make the unique flavor for this special food is the ingredients that are only available in this province. Pig organs, bones or seafood are the main materials to be put into the bow. The fresh local vegetables and bean sprouts are added along with fried onion and pepper. All the essence of the food converged in the bowl of delicious noodles is incredible with the smell of spicy. This dish is a must for those who ever come to visit Tien Giang.
2. Grilled Snakehead Fish
This is a specialty dish of the South of Vietnam in general, and in Tien Giang in particular, with the outstanding taste of the food coming from special ingredients and unique method of cooking. The fish must be grilled evenly to be delicious, and is served with girdle cakes, fresh vegetables, rice vermicelli and cucumber. The sauce for this dish is also very simple with only salt mixed with chili and pepper or fish sauce mixed with chopped star fruit, lemon juice, sugar and chili.
3. Bloating Fern-Shaped Cake
A familiar and tasty food in My Tho, the cake consists of three parts, including the plain cake made from rice flour; the filling made from dried shrimp, bread, mung bean, pork skin, deep-fried onion; and the dipping sauce made from fish sauce, sugar, garlic, chili pepper. The dish can be eaten hot or cold. To serve, the seller tops savory dried shrimp, buttery mung bean paste, crunchy pork skin strips, crispy deep-fried cubes of bread onto the white cake. The dipping sauce is made from fish sauce, water, lime, sugar, chili pepper, garlic, and carrots. The buttery, greasy and smelling sweet Bloating fern-shaped cake is made from rice or rice flour, coconut cream, pandan juice or magenta juice. The filling is made from mung bean and coconut cream.
4. Grilled Pork Cake
This dish is very popular here. The main ingredient is the pork meat. The pork is washed, boiled well, sliced thinly, stir-fried with shallot and garlic. Then the stir-fried pork is mixed with duck eggs, shallot, garlic, ground pepper and fish sauce. The cook uses a cast iron pot to grill the pork. It is necessary to cover the pot with a layer of banana leaves, the pork and egg mixture, a thin layer of oil, and lastly a thin layer of egg yolk. To serve well, these cakes are cut into small pieces. The locals often wrap vegetables and herbs in rice paper into the roll, which is cut into 5-cm-long chunks, and served with sweet and sour dipping sauce.
Each season has its own unique features but the best time to visit My Tho may be summer, when all fruit trees and flowers bloom as well as it is a great time for exploring this land by boats or swimming.
However, there will be rain most days between May and October, often in the form of a heavy afternoon shower. But it won’t stop you from enjoying the trip anyway.
My Tho is 70km from Ho Chi Minh City. Tourists can get to My Tho very easily by taking a public bus, private car/ motorbike or even by a boat.
By bus: Visitors can travel to My Tho by bus Saigon – My Tho at ChoLon Bus Station. You can check out some bus lines such as Phuong Trang or Mai Linh or buy a ticket at the West Station (Kinh Duong Vuong, An Lac, Binh Tan District, Ho chi Minh City).
By private car/motorcycles: It is a relatively short distance to go by private cars and motorcycles. The route is very simple: just going along Highway 1A toward the West, through Long An, driving about 20 km left until reaching Trung Luong folk, then turning left to get to My Tho.
By boats: This type of transport is also quite popular. However, traveling by boat with high speed on the river, it is quite dangerous. If you cannot swim or fear of water, you should not take this transport.
Throughout this article, we wish you to have an idea of how to travel to My Tho for your best experience. In case you are looking for your own travel agent, who can offer a wonderful and hassle-free trip to Phu Quoc, please feel free to let us know. We always commit our best to make it your once-in-a-lifetime journey.