Vinh Long in Vietnam.
About visiting the Vietnamese town of Vinh Long which is situated deep in the Mekong Delta.
Located well inside in Vietnam's beautiful Mekong Delta, Vinh Long is around 84 miles (136km) southwest of Ho Chi Minh City. Vinh Long is a
lovely place to stay in for a few days however it is a working town rather than a tourist destination so Vih Long does not get many visitors - in fact you might
be lucky (or unlucky) to spot a tourist.
Vinh Long is considered to be too far from Saigon to get any day trippers which is why it is so quiet - quite curious really as many
organised tours go to nearbye Cai Be Village to take the boat trips around the floating market there. Therefore do not expect much choice in the way of hotels and even restaurants as there are not exactly a lot
of either in Vinh Long. In addition when you wander around do not be annoyed if you get stared at by the local Vietnamese - they are not being rude - it's simply that
they are not used to seeing many overseas visitors and are just curious. The town is very interesting to walk round and you really do get a feel for Mekong Delta life -
especially when wandering around Vinh Long's huge market which takes up the whole road and offers for sale everything you can imagine.
The numerous and varied types of boats on
the Co Chien River are fascinating to watch - a lot of normal Vietnamese life involves the river (which is a tributary of the Mekong River). Also a visit to Vinh Long would not be complete without taking a boat trip on the river and around the islands plus
a sampan ride along some of the island's beautiful narrow canals.[ Click the thumbnails for a larger photo, use the back button to return to this page ]
Ways of Travelling to Vinh Long, Vietnam.
As is normal throughout Vietnam there is a huge network of local and express buses available connecting most of the towns in the Mekong Delta - including buses up to Saigon. The State run buses call into the bus station on 3 Thang 2 in the centre of Vinh Long, private buses pull
in around 2kms southwest of town on Nguyen Hue road.
As an alternative to buses It is also simple to book a car and driver between towns - this can be done in advance from any
location within Vietnam e.g. in Hoi An you could arrange through a travel agency for a car to meet you off your flight at Ho Chi Minh airport and take you to
Vinh Long. There is a travel agency in the Cuu Long B Hotel and also a perhaps better one at No8 1 Phang 5 called Mekong Travel - this was the cheapest for getting a car and driver (bartering is of course involved for a while and this is cash).
Getting around Vinh Long itself is probably best
achieved by foot or by hiring a bicycle - there are not exactly a lot of taxis etc. around - remember this is basically a Vietnamese working town and not a
tourist spot. Getting across to the various islands is easily done by using one of the several local river ferries which are really inexpensive to use and seem safe enough although they can get exceedingly crowded.
Vinh Long Rooms and Vinh Long Hotels.
The main hotel in Vinh Long is the Hotel Cuu Long B which is located on Phan Boi Chau street alongside the river. This is an
inexpensive government run hotel which is quite basic but ok to stay in. The lift is to say the least antiquated and liable to give up the ghost if more than one
person gets in - quite a pain if you are several flights up. As the hotel is alongside the river then the nicest rooms are those with balconies overlooking
it and despite the temperamental lift it's best to be a couple of floors up at least.
At time of writing this hotel was not
book able directly on the internet - there seems to be a select few travel agents who will do this for you (even if you are still in the UK) - for instance Asia Pacific Travel Company ltd. There are also a few guest houses scattered around the town -
for instance there is one on the corner of Market Street down by the river and another just a little way up Market Street from the same end. There are also home stays available on
An Binh Island
- these provide basic inexpensive accommodation and let you stay and experience real Vietnamese life - check with the local travel agents in Vinh Long for availability.
Vinh Long Restaurants and Cafes, Supermarkets, Markets and Shops. As you wander around the town you will see the odd small local cafe but there are no obvious proper restaurants except -
surprise surprise - the government run restaurant which is opposite the Cuu Long B Hotel. This offered basic food so you would not starve but in reality not too
great a menu choice and not exactly wonderful to sit in whilst eating. A nice cafe where you can sit and watch the world and the river traffic etc. is on the
corner of Phan Boi Chau street and Market Street (1 Thang 5).
There are a few small supermarkets mixed up with all the turmoil of the actual market along Market
Street - but you do have to have a good search around for particularly bottled water and fruit juice. There are plenty of shops selling counterfeit goods like sunglasses and clothes around the town.
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