Vinh Long lies in the center of the Mekong Delta and is the capital of Vinh Long province. The city itself has long been famous for its fruit orchards and surrounding islets where fruits are produced and exported. Coming here, you can enjoy the simple local life, immerse yourself in nature, and explore the rich culture of the Mekong Delta area. With all the attractions and activities offered for tourists, Vinh Long city will never let you down.
Where is Vinh Long City?
Vinh Long is located in the Mekong Delta region, about 140km from the center of Ho Chi Minh City. With a convenient location, this city is a good place for you to admire a riverside area with orchards and much unique beauty of local culture. Also, Vinh Long is a peaceful and rustic space to explore and visit.
The city has been silted up by the Mekong River for a long time, which creates favorable conditions for the development of Vinh Long’s fruit trees and the unique types of water tourism.
Therefore, every year, thousands of tourists come to the city to take boat trips, marvel at the stunning river scenes, and taste the sweet tropical fruits.
Generally, Vinh Long can be an ideal getaway destination for those living in the urban area. However, the city is quite far from Ho Chi Minh city, which makes it unsuitable for a short trip. To enjoy the beauty of Vinh Long, you can take a Mekong Delta tour or combine it with other surrounding provinces in your itinerary.
Vinh Long’s history
The Vinh Long city’s history is closely connected to the province's history, which dates back to 1732.
The Nguyen Lords found Long Ho Dinh, including Vinh Long, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, and parts of Can Tho. Vinh Long province then witnessed the fighting between the Tay Son brothers and the Nguyen Lords as well as the victory of Nguyen Hue when he defeated Siamese forces assisting Nguyen Anh in the late 18th century.
In the following years, the province was repeatedly combined with and separated from the others. Until 1991, Vinh Long was finally recognized as a province with 7 main districts, 1 district-level town, and 1 provincial city of the same name.
Vinh Long city has been an official city since 2009 and consists of 11 wards.
Weather and climate
The weather of Vinh Long is warm all year round with a temperature of over 20°C. Like in other Mekong Delta areas, it experiences two seasons a year. Generally, the two are not too different from one another, and each will satisfy a particular travel demand.
From November to April is the season in Vinh Long city. The weather is quite hot and dry, sometimes it will make you very uncomfortable. Therefore, if you go at this time, please prepare all the sunscreen equipment, water supply necessary to combat the sun of Vinh Long.
The rainy season lasts from May to October. The weather at this time is in its most favorable condition. Trees start to produce fruits, and rains help natural scenery retain its beauty, making it convenient for water tourism. If you are not afraid of being interrupted sometimes by rain during your Vinh Long tour, you can take a trip to enjoy the deliciousness of the fruit trees here.
The best time to visit Vinh Long city is from January to March as it doesn’t rain much this time. The weather is cool and pretty comfortable, so you can join any activity that you like. Besides, during this time, the density of tourists is relatively low, which allows you to have a private vacation.
How to get there
Vinh Long is about 140km away from Ho Chi Minh City. The most convenient and familiar way to travel to Vinh Long is by bus due to its cheapness and flexibility. Usually, a Ho Chi Minh to Vinh Long bus will take you from 3 to 5 hours. Most buses are sleeper buses so you don’t have to worry about getting tired after such a long journey. You can come to the West bus station or contact a travel agency to book a tour, one-way tickets range from $3.50 to $7.86/ ticket/ one way (80,000 - 100,000 VND).
Alternatively, you can hire a motorbike. The motorbike ride will save you money and allow you to admire the scenery along the way.
From other Mekong Delta provinces, you can get to Vinh Long city by boat. By combining the city with other destinations in your boat trip, you can have a more convenient experience.
What see and things to do in Ben Tre
- Vinh Sang eco-tourism: Vinh Sang Farm is located on the bank of the Co Chien River, opposite Vinh Long City. Coming to Vinh Sang ecotourism area - a popular destination in Vinh Long, you can discover the southern garden by yourself, admire many rare animals such as bear, goat, pelican, python, mangrove, deer stars, clan pigs, red-cheeked gibbons, monkeys, peacocks, etc. living there. Ostriches and crocodiles are some of the typical wildlife when mentioned in the western region. For those who prefer outside activities, want to try strange and curious feelings, "riding an ostrich" or " fishing crocodile in a 200m2 wide lake" is also very interesting.
- Mang Thit Terracotta Village: Until now, Mang Thit Terracotta Village is one of the places that have the largest craft brick and pottery kilns in the Mekong Delta. Leaving the busy urban area, you should have a look at Mang Thit when coming to Vinh Long. Mang Thit not only allows you to admire the remnants of the ancient brick kingdom, but this place also brings you to immerse yourself in the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere even though there is still a little sadness.
- La Han Pagoda: La Han Pagoda is located in Cau Den hamlet, ward 8, Soc Trang city. Legend has it that in the past, the Chinese wanted to pray for health, weather, and their business so they built a pagoda worshiping 18 “La Han” Buddha statues, it was the origin of this name. The pagoda has a large area, with many unique architectural styles, especially the image of "Dragon, Lion, Turtle, and Phoenix" displayed next to Pho Da mountain. La Han Pagoda is not only a place for people to leave their worries and sadness in life, immerse themselves in the spiritual world, but this is also an attraction for many visitors because of the beautiful scenery like heaven on earth.
- Don Ca Tai Tu folk music: It is typical art of Vietnamese culture, which arrived and developed from the end of the 19th century. This is an indispensable cultural activity of the locals on many important occasions such as Tet holidays, anniversaries, weddings, gatherings, etc. Don Ca Tai Tu is a form of folk music (guitar) and the songs composed by the common people of Southern Vietnam based on the music of the ceremony, folk songs, and royal music in Hue, etc.
- Customs and habits: The customs of celebrating a new house, worshiping Hung Vuong, and Tet holiday is the same as in many regions of Vietnam. The characteristic in Vinh Long is the customs and traditions of the ethnic groups, which are typically Khmer.
Must-eat foods in Ben Tre
- Fried giant gourami: Giant gourami is a rare kind of fish that can only be found in the Mekong River area. Coming to Vinh Long, you should never miss trying this fish. Usually, the fish will be deeply fried and eaten with vermicelli as well as a lot of vegetables. You put things together on paper, roll them, dip the roll into a spicy sour sauce, then enjoy the taste. The fish is soft and juicy. The vegetables are fresh. The taste is such that you will never stop eating.
- Stewed toadfish with coconut water: Toadfish is another rare one that you should try during your trip. Unlike giant gourami, this kind of fish is cooked in a way that makes it more flavourful. A toadfish, after being cleaned, will be marinated with salt, pepper, sugar and stewed with coconut water until the water condenses. The dish will then be served with rice. Due to being stewed for a long time, the fish is soft, juicy, sweet, and very delicious.
- Grilled snakehead: As Vinh Long lies next to the river, it is not strange that 3 out of 4 must-eat foods here are fish-related. Snakehead is not a rare fish but the way it is cooked makes it so delicious that you should never miss trying it. The fish is grilled directly in the fire. The skin, therefore, gets burnt and ineligible. The meat inside, surprisingly, turns out soft, sweet, and very juicy. Like fried giant gourami, the grilled snakehead is served with vermicelli, rice paper, and vegetables.
- Steamed chicken with alcohol: If you are not into or eat a lot of fish dishes in Vinh Long, maybe the dish can give you a new taste. Simply cooked with familiar ingredients, the chicken is soft, sweet, delicious, and easy to eat. Besides, due to being steamed, the dish retains its nutritions. Therefore, it is, in some way, really good for your health.
- Bargain prices before buying specialty items at roadside grocery stores.
- Should visit the orchard, hand-pick the products you like the best as souvenirs after the trip.
- Start your trip from Ho Chi Minh City and combine Vinh Long city with other destinations.
- Go on a Mekong delta tour to explore the beauty of the whole area
- Bring sunscreen and insect repellent with you
- If coming in the rainy season, you should bring along a raincoat and an umbrella
- On hiring the boat to visit the floating market, ask for the price first
- In the evening, cruising on the Hau River to listen to folk music is enjoyable