Blogs Blogs

the Mekong Delta Town of My Tho

Generally, about the really nice Mekong Delta Town of My Tho which is situated in the southern part of Vietnam.
The Vietnamese town of My Tho is 45 miles (72kms) southwest of Ho Chi Minh City and therefore quite deep within the Mekong Delta. My Tho is quite well known as it is one of the most popular destination for Vietnamese day trips from Saigon. Tourists arrive early on coaches from Ho Chi Minh City, get straight onto boats for the trips out to the Mekong River's islands for a few hours and then get back on their coaches and whiz off back to Saigon. They therefore sadly do not see anything of this really nice Vietnamese town - My Tho has far more to offer than just it's boat trips and makes a very pleasant place to stay for a few days holiday.
You may also be interested in our other Mekong Delta touring topics about nearby locations easily visited as part of a self-guided tour. These are about Can Tho, Chau Doc and the rarely visited but definitely worth visiting Mekong Delta town of Vinh Long. The photo on the right is of the beautiful Vinh Trang Pagoda. If anywhere remotely near My Tho you really have to go and look round this Pagoda - it's fantastic - see our item about the gorgeous Vinh Trang Pagoda at My Tho in Vietnam.

Ways of Travelling to My Tho in Vietnam's beautiful Mekong Delta.
Similar to other nearby Mekong Delta towns there are numerous bus connections to and from My Tho and it's also easy to arrange a car and driver. The bus station for My Tho is called Tien Giang and it's located 3km northwest of the town center.

Hotels in My Tho, Rooms and Restaurants.
Although accommodation and restaurants are limited in My Tho, Chuong Duong Hotel - which is state run - makes a good inexpensive choice - especially if you book one of the upstairs rooms with balconies thus overlooking the Tien Giang River (Mekong River). The hotel also has a restaurant - one of the few available in My Tho and probably the best. Bear in mind that this hotel is not easily book-able on the web so if you are trying to sort rooms out before arriving in Vietnam you may have to use a Vietnamese travel agent - for example TUN Travel. However, if you have already started your holidays in Vietnam then a local agency will probably ring them and make your booking for you.

Out and Around in My Tho - markets, wandering the streets and looking at the Bao Dinh Canal.
One of the most interesting areas of My Tho is the Bao Dinh Canal with its stilt houses and constant flow of river craft. In this part of the Mekong Delta the water-borne activity is always so fascinating - things going on all the time and all manner of different sized and shaped boats - so easily possible to spend far too much time just watching it all. A little way along the canal the accompanying road leads to one of the largest and most interesting markets to be found in the Mekong Delta. Everything spills out into the road including fruit and veg, fish dead and alive, pots and pans, clothing, shoes, nets and baskets - it's busy, colorful and noisy. As you wander around My Tho you may well be stared at a little - this is because the locals are just not used to foreigners being around the town so they are curious. Don't be put off or annoyed as the local Vietnamese are really friendly people and very inclined to want to have a chat.

On the western side of My Tho there is a large man-made lake - this is actually only a short walk from the river front. The lake makes for a very enjoyable place to walk around especially in the late afternoon when you will be joined by many local Vietnamese who have the same idea. There are plenty of seating areas around the lake and several cafes. Obviously just sitting on one of the benches for a while watching the world not rushing by is an excellent pastime. However, do not be surprised if a local or two does not come over and have a conversation with you - especially young students who want to practice their English. Unlike in some countries we have visited - particularly in India - the students do just want to do that i.e. not begging or selling something).

My Tho Ferries and getting to several of the Mekong Delta Islands.
Between My Tho and Ben Tre Province there are four islands which until recently were connected by ferries but now that the new suspension bridge (Rach Mieu Bridge) is open the only ferry still operating is to Dragon Island. Although it's interesting to watch the somewhat dilapidated local ferry going over to Dragon Island perhaps do not be tempted to have a ride on it and actually go to the island. Local people quite strongly suggested we didn't go to Dragon Island as they considered it was not exactly a friendly area particularly for tourists and had lots of vagrants wandering around. Anyway - using the new suspension bridge is now the only one to get over to the other islands and this is a long diversion and makes a hard trip to take on gear-less sit-up-and-beg Vietnamese bicycles.

More about getting around My Tho - Bike Rides.
Apart from walking one of the best ways to get around My Tho is to hire a bicycle although actually finding one to hire is not quite as simple as it should be. The Post office is meant to have bikes for hire but after several enquiries it seemed that firstly they wanted passports and visa to be left as security (leaving your passport and Vietnam visa is never a good idea) and secondly the only bikes they actually had were great lumps of old-fashioned tandems. Luckily you can hire bikes from a small shop which is along the river front near the corner of Nam Ky Khoi Nighia street - these bikes as usual do not have gears. Hiring bikes also offer the opportunity to take some excellent rides out into the beautiful countryside around My Tho. - An update on hiring bikes - on a recent visit to My Tho it seems the Post Office has abandoned hiring bikes anyway - also sadly the small shop mentioned above was closed while we were staying - whether temporarily or not is unknown. Lots of enquiries failed to find anywhere else where a bike could be hired.
There are many quiet lanes around My Tho - you can divert and cycle along narrow tracks and go out onto the rice fields using the myriad of small paths and have a lovely peaceful time. Vinh Trang Pagoda (see below) is also easily reached by bicycle and having visited it you can also go off down paths amongst the houses and out into the open countryside, more rice fields - all very beautiful. Without any doubt Vietnam and particularly the Mekong Delta really is an excellent choice to choose for a holiday.