Explore Mekong Delta with Kids

Best Way to Explore Mekong Delta with Kids

The Mekong Delta was one of the most beautiful experiences on our Vietnam trip with the children. We stayed at a lovely homestay in Vinh Long province, where we felt right at home. We explored a chunk of Anh Binh Island by bicycle, we made rice paper, had rambutans straight from the tree and went boating on the canals among the coconut palms. It was exactly how I imagined staying in the Mekong Delta.

The Mekong Delta, like any popular tourist attraction, can generate a range of opinions, depending on your expectations and what you have seen. Experienced, we know that even the most popular places can be charming if you choose not to follow the crowd. That is why I was not keen to explore this region in a rush, as a part of a few-hour trip from Saigon. Instead, we decided to spend a whole weekend in the Mekong Delta, taking it easy and in our own way. It was wonderful!

Mekong Pottery Homestay, the Ideal Stay at the Mekong Delta with Kids

Mekong Pottery Homestay Explore Mekong Delta with Kids

I adore small scale hotels and homestays where you feel the authentic local atmosphere like nowhere else. So for our stay, I chose Mekong Pottery Homestay and this is how I found the best homestay we have ever stayed in. The homestay is run by the extremely friendly owner, Yennie, with her charming family. 

We experienced how welcoming and kind they are the day we arrived, when our departure from Saigon was delayed for important reasons and Yennie's dad, which was our driver, was waiting for as long as necessary. 

When we got there we immediately forgot about the poor morning because we had landed in pure paradise. From the moment we entered, we felt like we had arrived at a warm home, a beautiful home. The children were immediately taken by the friendly atmosphere and felt very at ease there. If you are planning a stay in the Mekong Delta with kids, I highly recommend this place.

The Homestay is not only beautifully decorated, but also well designed. Hot water is sourced from solar panels, rainwater is collected to water the garden and there are recycling bins on site. 

Yennie has taken care of every detail from the interior decor up to the home-cooked delicious food. I would particularly recommend trying the special dish of shrimp in coconut sauce served with banh mi (the best thing we ate in Vietnam!), the tofu fried with lemongrass and the squash and shrimp soup. The children enjoyed noodle soup, rice, banh mi, fried eggs, fresh vegetables and fruits. 

Mekong Pottery Homestay Explore Mekong Delta with Kids

Vinh Long Town and the Homestay Neighbourhood

Homestay położony jest w spokojnej miejscowości w pobliżu miasta Vinh Long. Do Vinh Long można dojechać transportem publicznym lub zamówić  transport prywatny z homestayu. Dojazd z Sajgonu (Ho Chi Minh City) zajmuje około 3 godziny. 

There are shops, an ATM and a temple within a 10-minute walk of the homestay. From the homestay you can take a taxi to Vinh Long, where you have a wider choice of shops, shopping malls and restaurants. Following Yennie's advice, we visited Meo U Kitchen, which offers fine dining, shopping and a nice art workshop.

Mekong Delta & Bike Tour with Kids around Anh Binh Island

The next day right after breakfast we set off for the Mekong Delta tour, which we selected from the range of offers provided by the homestay. The tour began with a bike ride to a nearby pottery factory. From there we boarded a motor boat to cross the Co Chien River, which is a branch of the Mekong. On the other side of the river, we embarked on a bike tour of Anh Binh, visiting the Rice Paper Village, a rambutan plantation and a prepared rice factory. After the bicycle tour, we took boats on the peaceful canals amongst the lush vegetation. We were accompanied at all times by a guide who spoke excellent English.

The Mekong Delta tour lasted around 4 hours and is great for families with kids. The agenda is not too overloaded, yet it is entertaining enough that the children do not get bored and they can actually learn new things. You visit places where there are not many tourists and you can feel the very local atmosphere.

Pottery Factory in the Mekong Delta

The pottery factory is just a five-minute drive from the homestay. It manufactures beautiful clay articles, which are fired in huge kilns. We were able to enter the kiln where giant vases stood. If children are interested in handicrafts, they can make their own clay pieces for a small fee of VDN 50 000. The handicrafts made can be collected on the return from the tour. 

Explore Mekong Delta with Kids
Mekong Pottery Factory

Co Chien River Cruise

Straight from the factory, we boarded a motor boat which already carried our bikes. The river crossing on the Mekong Delta took about 15-20 minutes, during which we admired the views and the children tried to pull floating plants out of the water.

Explore Mekong Delta with Kids
Explore Mekong Delta with Kids
Explore Mekong Delta with Kids

Rice Paper Village Experience

After reaching Anh Binh Island, we hopped on our bikes again and followed our guide to a village where rice paper is made. All the families in the village produce rice paper for only two months of the year, in December and January. 

The family we came to was very friendly, showing us the whole process and treating us to the already finished rice paper. I watched with fascination how efficiently the whole family took part in the production. The seniors were in charge of cooking the rice pulp and placing the rice cakes on special trays made from coconut palm leaves. The trays were taken out to the courtyard to dry, and those already with dry paper were brought back to remove the paper from them. Rice paper dries for 1-3 hours and crackles quite loudly while drying.

Explore Mekong Delta with Kids
Explore Mekong Delta with Kids

Rambutans Straight from the Tree

Next, we got on our bikes to go to a rambutan orchard. Rambutans straight from the tree taste fantastic. The children eagerly proceeded to eat and to help peel the leaves.

Mekong Delta Sweets Factory

The next stop on the tour was the prepared rice factory, where we were able to take a moment to relax, drink green tea and eat local sweets. There are toilets, a shop selling local products as well as chilled drinks and some ice cream. It is possible to pay by card at this location.

After enjoying refreshments, we went to watch how the prepared rice and coconut candies are made. 

Mekong Delta Canal Boat Ride

At the very end of the tour, we switched to the boats to paddle along the island's peaceful canals amidst the lush vegetation. It was a very enjoyable part of our Mekong River tour. 

Explore Mekong Delta with Kids
Explore Mekong Delta with Kids

What You Should Know about The Mekong Delta with Kids

The Mekong Delta is in the southern part of Vietnam, and hence has a tropical hot climate. During the trip, you will be exposed to the sun for a couple of hours, so when going on a tour of the Mekong Delta, it is important to prepare accordingly, especially if you are there with children. You will need sunscreen with a high sun protection factor, comfortable clothes, a hat and plenty of water. You can read about how to prepare for the tropics with children in the following article  Travel to the Tropics with Kids: How to Prepare.
Life jackets were available during the cruise, but only in large sizes. 

In addition, it is important to remember about mosquito protection and take repellents with you, and use mosquito nets at night. 

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