Vinh Long is the gateway to river islands and some worthwhile sites, including the Cai Be floating market, orchards and homestays – which can be a highlight of a Mekong journey.
1. An Binh-Binh Hoa Phuoc
The island of An Binh-Binh Hoa Phuoc emerges from the middle of the Tien River, just opposite to the town of Vinh Long. The island covers an area of around 60 km2 and has four communes: An Binh, Binh Hoa Phuoc, Hoa Ninh and Dong Phu. It has fertile and rich soil, fresh water and fruit trees. Several fruit orchard are opened to the public. Visitors coming to the island can walk among the trees, relax in hammocks, try all kinds of delicious tropical fruits, and sometimes ones have a meal or stay overnight.
Some of the more popular islands to visit include Binh Hoa Phuoc and An Binh Island, but there are many others. This low-lying region is as much water as land and houses are generally built on stilts. Bring plenty of film because there are photo opportunities in every direction.
2. Attractions in An Binh – Binh Hoa Phuoc River Island
Mr. Sau Giao’s Flower Garden is located in Hoa Ninh commune, with hundreds of various ornamental plants: yellow apricots, chieu thuy plums and jasmine. Longan and mango tree gardens and fish ponds are all around the garden.
Mr. Muoi Day’s Stilt-House is made of wood and sits on the Ninh Hoa Canal. Beside it are fruit tree gardens of longans, grapefruits and sapoches. The house can serve tourists lunch, or provide a place to stay for an evening or two.
Mr. Hai Hoang’s Old House was built in the style of the French with a large yard, and behind are rambutan and longan tree gardens. Lunch and evening stays are also provided for tourists.
3. Cai Be floating market
Cai Be, one of the many well-known floating markets in the western region of southern Vietnam was formed in the Nguyen Dynasty in the 19th century. The Cai Be Floating Market is always busy, bearing all the characteristics of the locals’ life in the western region. This floating market lies in the Tien River, adjacent to three provinces of Tien Giang, Vinh Long and Ben Tre. It has attracted a lot of people come to buy sell and exchange goods.
In the early morning, hundreds of people poured into the market, revitalizing the river reach. With its advantage of diverse fruit trees, Tien Giang province has brought to the market with the famous delicious fruits such as orange, mango, etc.
Take a boat trip to Cai Be floating market, tourists are attracted by the painting of real life of people here with the looming streets under the coconut trees along the river, gourd groves swaying in the wind. All create agreeable scenery for travelers to enjoy. Linking gardens, connecting rivers and interleaving canals – the pure beauty of the countryside has become an ideal destination for those who wish to escape from the busy cities.
Cai Be floating market alone is a unique cultural characteristic of this waters region. With the line of people and boats going in a rush, with all means of transport by waterways, the market is line a miniature city on the river. The market is busy all the day long, with a wide range of items trades here from fruits, households items to clothing, etc. Visiting Cai Be Floating Market, tourists can also find for themselves many kinds of special food and drink on the boats, or even enjoy a cup of coffee for a relaxing morning.
A very special thing is that on each boat, goods are hung on poles that are called dialectically “cay beo”. Hundreds of such poles point the sky wards. Boats also operate like “taxis,” very convenient for tourists around the region.
The Cai Be Floating Market becomes more sparkling at night by the lights from the boats on the river. When the “floating city” lights up, the lights are reflected through the river water like thousands of stars falling down. To increase the charm for “city” at night, many of the boat heads are hung with lovely lanterns like lighting eyes.