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Located on the lowland of Southwest Vietnam, Dong Thap has a dense rivers and canals system. Visiting Dong Thap is like visiting the rural version of Venice which is romantic, peaceful and simple, friendly and hospitable people. It is an idea place to hideaway from the rush of urban life.

Dong Thap
Source: cactinhmientay.com

I. WHEN TO TRAVEL TO DONG THAP, VIETNAM?

1. Weather information of Dong Thap, Vietnam

Lying at the middle of Cuu Long River’s delta, Dong Thap features all the characteristics of tropical climate. The average temperature is 26.6oC. The average annual humidity is 82.5% and the average hours of sunshine is 6.8 hours per day. There are 2 separately seasons: the rainy season from May to November and the dry season from December to April. The rain is mostly in the rainy season, with 1,170 – 1,520 mm on average.

2. Best time to travel to Dong Thap, Vietnam

Because of having stable weather, the vast rice fields, fragrant lotus ponds and the peaceful, tranquil canals and rivers, the beauty of Dong Thap remains around the year.

a. Rainy season (May to November) – The best time to visit Dong Thap

Dong Thap
Source: baotinnhanh.vn

If you don’t mind the sudden rains, visit Dong Thap during the time from May to November is the best choice. It is the time when the fruits are going to ripen and the lotus blooms at its best. The canals and rivers also get more transparent, along with the proliferation of marine creatures. All those factors will make it remarkable in your mind. The downside, of course, is the sudden rains that might annoy you.

b. Dry season (December to April)– An interesting alternative choice

On the other hand, visiting Dong Thap on the dry season will set you free from the sudden rains. The landscape is a little bit less impressive than in the rainy season but it doesn’t matter. In contrast, you might consider about the hot sunshine weather, high temperature and mosquitos. Bringing hat, sun cream, and medicines are necessary.

II. HOW TO TRAVEL TO DONG THAP FROM HANOI AND HO CHI MINH CITY?

Located in the Southern of Vietnam, it is better to start your trip from Ho Chi Minh City. Even though, if you are already in Hanoi, you should move from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City first. Among means of transportation such as shuttle buses, trains and airplanes, catching a flight is highly recommended due to its speed and convenience. From Ho Chi Minh City, there are several of ways to arrive in Dong Thap

There are 4 ways to travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City

1. Getting to Dong Thap from Ho Chi Minh City by shuttle bus

get to Dong Thap
Source: taxiairport.vn

From the Western Station, you can easily catch a shuttle bus to Dong Thap at any time. The trip is around 154 kilometers long and it takes 2 hours to complete. The price is from VND 70,000 to VND 160,000 depend on the type of car.

Below are some prominent transport-service providers you should consider:

Provider’s name Departure at Departure time Arrive in Reference price (VND/person) Contact
Hoang Minh Western Station 20:00 Sa Dec Station 160,000 (+84) 918 258 169
Tam Quoc My Western Station 06:00 Tan Phuoc Station 100,000 (+84) 949 101 045
Lien Hung An Suong Junction 21:30 Sa Dec Station 160,000 (+84) 905 383 390
Tai Loi Western Station 09:00 Hong Ngu Station 95,000 (+84) 277 383 7272
Quoc Hoang 53 Pham Huu Chi, District 5 04:00 Cao lanh Station 90,000 (+84) 283 955 1472
Hoang Phi Western Station 08:00 Truong Xuan Station 70,000 (+84) 984 444 431
Tam Nong Western Station 08:00 Tam Nong Station 85,000 (+84) 918 185 553
Quang Phat 108 E Tan Hung, District 5 10:00 Hong Ngu Station 100,000 (+84) 283 955 5999

You also can find more information about arriving Dong Thap from Ho Chi Minh City by shuttle bus

2. Getting to Dong Thap from Ho Chi Minh City by private vehicle

a. The route leading to Dong Thap from Ho Chi Minh City for both motorbike and car

Starting from downtown of Ho Chi Minh City, you move heading to Binh Chanh District and turn onto 1A National Highway at Binh Thuan Junction. After moving 16 kilometers, you will arrive in My Yen, Vinh Loc and keep the direction toward Ben Luc Bridge to be in Tan An City, Long An. Then, you must find the way to My Tho City, Tien Giang for about 16 kilometers more. From My Tho City,you turn right, follow the 1A National Highway for 55 kilometers till you are in An Huu Junction. After that, you turn onto National Highway 30 and keep moving for 33 kilometers more to arrive Cao Lanh City, Dong Thap.

get to Dong Thap
Source: urbanistnetwork.com

This route is just 135 kilometers long and it takes about 2,5 hours moving by motorbike to finish. The downside is that you have to get through many crowded cities and it might occur problems with the police. Therefore, you should completely obey the traffic law, wear the helmet and bring necessary documents to avoid as many unwanted stuffs as possible.

b. The car route from Ho Chi Minh City to Dong Thap

Start from the downtown of Ho Chi Minh City, you follow the route as in the first route but instead of turn onto 1A National highway at Binh Thuan Junction, you get onto Ho Chi Minh – Trung Luong Express for 50 kilometers. Then, you turn onto the 1A National Highway and drive 5 km more to arrive My Tho City. Then you can follow the route as we said above. You will arrive in Cao Lanh City after more than 1 hour.

This way is faster and easier to track. But it is the car only.

c. How to rent a private vehicle in Ho Chi Minh to arrive in Dong Thap

You can easily rent a private vehicle in Ho Chi Minh City as most of travel agents and hotels provide this service. Everything you need is to ask your hotel’s staff for information. If unfortunately, there is no service provider around, you might consider the bellowing:

Provider’s name Tel Number Reference price (VND/day) Address Website
Tigit Motorbikes (+84) 128 875 8055 200,000-1,000,000 B2-00/01 Sarimi, 72 Nguyen Co Thach, An Lou Dong Ward, District 2 Tigit Motorbikes
Saigon Scooter Rental (+84) 937 252

509

200,000-1,000,000 23 Han Mac Tu Street, Tan Thanh Ward, Tan Phu District,

Ho Chi Minh City

Saigon Scooter Rental
Thue Xe May (+84) 946 666 566 70,000-500,000 No.263 Nguyen Trong Tuyen, Ward 10, Phu Nhuan District Thue Xe May
Saigon Bike Rental (+84) 972 451 273 40,000-1,000,000 N/A Saigon Bike Rental

You might be required to left your passport or ID as the deposit but you will need them to get around. Therefore, you should negotiate the lease to accept the verified photo or show them your paper so they can verify it themselves. Moreover, you should be careful with the cheap and non-deposit rental services. They are usually low prestige and their vehicles may be too old and might lead to dangerous accidents. Read the contract carefully and check the vehicle carefully are the effective way to protect yourself from the unwanted burdens. One last thing, keep your bill with full of information include the date of rental, deposited documents and the vehicle’s license number so you can retrieve your stuff smoothly.

3. Getting around in Dong Thap Province

Unless you have already got to Dong Thap by private vehicle, you will need a transport to explore this Vietnamese-rural version of Venice.

a. Getting around Dong Thap by private vehicle

get to Dong Thap
Source: pinterest

You caught a shuttle bus to Dong Thap but now you want a motorbike? You can easily get one in Dong Thap itself. Motorbike features the most convenient mean of transport. As follows are some of the best rental motorbike providers in the province:

Provider’s name Reference price (VND/day/vehicle) Address Contact
Cho thuê xe máy Đồng Tháp chất lượng tốt 150,000 205 Cach Mang Thang Tam Street, District 3, Cao Lanh City (+84) 939 726 017
Thuê xe máy giá bình dân 100,000 – 150,000 N/A (+84) 944 355 582
Ms. Lan 100,000 – 250,000 1 Ngo Thoi Nham, District 1, Cao Lanh City (+84) 918 750 016
Bao Tram 100,000 – 150,000 209 Mai Van Khai, Cao Lanh City (+84) 902 202 202
Phuong Nam Hotel >100,000 384A Nguyen Sinh Sac Street, Sa Dec City (+84) 227 3867 867

Again, you should be careful to avoid unwanted burdens. If you forgot it already, we wrote it right above.

b. Getting around Dong Thap Province by taxi

Hail a cab is a very convenient way in Dong Thap as you only need to make a call or hand signal any taxi is passing by. The prices are just around the average and really available in the city. Even though, you might need to wait for a while if your location is far from the urban area. In that case, you will need contact of the taxi brands in Dong Thap:

Provider’s name Contact
Taxi Vinasa Đồng Tháp                (+84) 2773 866 666
Taxi Phú Vĩnh Long       (+84) 2773 869 222
Taxi Mai Linh (+84) 2773 686 868
Taxi Thanh Tùng (+84) 2773 877 777

c. Getting around Dong Thap by motor taxi and Xe Loi

As every other places in Vietnam, motor taxi is very convenient and available. You can find them at every corner. The price of motor taxi in Dong Thap is not expensive but you still need to negotiate with the driver to get the most reasonable price.

get to dong thap
Source: cokhikhanhhuyen.vn

Xe Loi is a home-craft vehicle which was created by putting a small trailer behind the bicycle so they can carry more heavy stuff. It looks like the reversed version of Xich Lo. This means of transport is very popular and you can easily ask the local for a drive. The price will depend on your bargaining skill.

d. Getting around Dong Thap Province by boats

This is exactly why I called Dong Thap is the Venice in Vietnamese-rural version. Due to the characteristics of the lowland, you can get around Dong Thap only by boat. Some attractions like Nguyen Sinh Sac’s tomb, Go Thap historical relic, Kien An Cung ancient architecture and Xeo Quyt historical area can be explored by boats.

You can ask your hotel’s staff for more information on place and price of hiring a boat.

III. WHERE TO TRAVEL IN DONG THAP PROVINCE, VIETNAM?

1. Thap Muoi lotus – The symbol of Dong Thap, Vietnam

Dong Thap
Source: ecotrans.vn

Lotus is the most gracious of Thap Muoi
and the most gracious of Vietnam is Uncle Ho

The lotus in Thap Muoi is famously beautiful. The largest field of lotus of Dong Thap locates at My Hoa commune, 40 kilometers far from Cao Lanh City will surely satisfy you. A wide, simple and rural-style atmosphere blended with the light aroma from lotus blossoms free you from the stress and tired of the regular work and replace them with relaxation and peace. You can also have the chance to try the unique dishes from the lotus and the swamp itself like lotus sweet soup, sticky rice with lotus seeds in lotus leaves, the lotus salad with chicken and the grilled snakehead fish on lotus leaves. Don’t worry if you think the smell of the swamp might ruin your trip, as the presence of lotus has magically eliminated the annoying smell of the swamp.

The rainy season is the best time to get there, while the lotus is at its best. If you want to go further into the swamp, you will need to ask the landlord for a boat.

Besides boat, you also can hire the local’s costumes

Address: Tan Kieu, Thap Muoi, Dong Thap
Price: VND 20,000 – VND 30,000
Tel: (+84) 981 878 882
Open days: from Monday to Friday

2. Xeo Quyt historical area – The relic of the heroic fight of Dong Thap people

Xeo quyt - Dong Thap
Source: namviettours.com

Once it was the resistance headquarter of Dong Thap people during the Vietnam war from 1960 to 1975. This relic located on an area of 500000 m2 between My Hiep commune and My Long commune. It features more than 200000 m2 of untouched forest with many rare species. The old generation of majestic melaleuca trees with some are more than 30 years old, covered by the green vines stand lordly toward the sky which can’t be found anywhere else in the Dong Thap Muoi region. There are currently 200 wild animal species live in Xeo Quyt, including 13 species are in the Red List. On the rainy season, you are able to get deeper in Xeo Quyt by boat. This is your chance to admire the bio-diverse of this place.

In addition, Xeo Quyt has 250000 m2 large of playground and camping area. There are many interesting cultural activities are held by the locals. In the night, sometimes there is a traditional singing performance by the Dong Thap female singers.

It locates 30 kilometers far from Cao Lanh City. You will have to head toward An Huu Junction, Cai Be Commune until you arrive in Long HIep Bridge. Here you can catch a boat to get to Xeo Quyt or follow National Highway 1, then turn onto National Highway 30 to Xeo Quyt.

3. Go Thap Historical Area – The historical-cultural tourism complex of Dong Thap

attractions in Dong Thap
vanhoamientay.com

With the acreage of 3000000 m2, Go Thap historical area includes attractions as Go Thap Muoi, Go Minh Su, Go Ba Chua Xu, Hoang Co Temple, Altar of Thien Ho Vo Duy Duong and Doc Binh Nguyen Tan Kieu, massacre hole, etc. There are several annual festivals are held in this place. The two major festivals you should notice are in April and December. According to the archaeologists, this place once belonged to the Phu Nam civilization – one of the most ancient civilizations in Southeast Asia.

Address: Hamlet 4, Tan Kieu Commune, Thap Muoi District, 43 kilometers away from Cao Lanh City in Northeast
Email: bqlkdtgt@dongthap.gov.vn
Tel: (+84) 277 396 0071

4. Gao Giong Eco-tourism – The Melaleuca forest of Dong Thap

attractions in Dong Thap
Source: tourdulichmientay.com

Being called as the “Little Dong Thap Muoi”, Gao Giong Eco-tourism is 1700 ha large, which mostly is melaleuca forest. You are able to enjoy the peace, the fresh air and the beauty of nature when jogging or cycling in the forest. You are also served the best specialties of this land. Besides, sailing through the forest is awesome and it just cost about VND 15,000.

Address: Hamlet 6, Giao Giong Commune, 17 kilometers far from Cao Lanh City
Price: VND 10,000; If you want to use more services, you must exchange your money for tickets.
It is the best to get there by motorbike because the road is not broad enough for vehicle bigger than a 4-seat car.

5. Phuong Nam culture-tourism – The culture-spiritual attraction of Dong Thap

Attractions in Dong Thao
Source: kienthucdulich.vn

Just opened in 2017, this is a culture-spiritual architecture complex that worships historical characters of the Southern. On an area of 50000 m2, there are 4 major architectures, includes:

  • The Southern temple where worship the individual who reclaimed this land, who died protecting it and the ones who have major contribution to the development of this place
  • The Altar of Dang family where worship the ancestors of the Dang family, who built this complex
  • 2 museums, one contains the artifacts of Dang family and one exhibits the photos about the rightful sovereignty of Vietnam on the Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands.

Address: Hung Quoi 2, Long Hung A Commune, Lap Vo District
Tel: (+84) 277 388 2727
Email: khudlvhphuongnam@gmail.com

6. Tram Chim National Park – The cranes’ heaven in Dong Thap

attractions in Dong Thap
Source: baomoi.vn

Alongside with the melaleuca forest stretches to the horizon and the green grasses on the middle of the swamp are thousands of Sarus Cranes are flying in the sky. You can choose whether start your trip in the early morning or late afternoon because it is the time the cranes most active, makes it a remarkable scenery.

The best time to visit this place is from September to December. During this time the water gets higher and drowns most of the land, the bio-diversity is increases and the lotus blossoms are at its best. You can hire a small boat to explore the swamp and experience the daily life of locals.

If you come back in Spring (March – April), there are even more birds gather in Tram Chim

Address: Tram Chim Town, Tam Nong District
Price: VND 800,000/boat/12 people in average; Advanced tour: VND 1,000,000/12 people
Tel: (+84) 277 382 7436

7. The tomb of Nguyen Sinh Sac – An attractive destination in Dong Thap

attractions in Dong Thap
Source: vietnamtourism.com

Just 1 kilometer far from the center of Cao Lanh City, the tomb of Nguyen Sinh Sac is a popular attraction of Dong Thap. A common knowledge in Vietnam that Nguyen Sinh Sac is the father of Ho Chi Minh, the national hero and the leader of Vietnamese resistance during the French colonial. The whole area is 36,000 m2 large, which is divided into 3 quarters, including the tomb of Nguyen Sinh Sac, the house of Ho Chi Minh and a pond of lotus.

An annual memorial ceremony of Nguyen Phong Sac is held on the October 27th in moon calendar (or late November – early December in normal calendar). This ceremony attracts many people from the neighbor area.

Address: 137 Pham Huu Lau, Ward 4, Cao Lanh City

8. Phuoc Kien Temple – Where there is the mystic lotus can carry a man

Attractions in Dong Thap
Source: viagemcomcharme.com

Do you know the lotus which is the tiny little soft plant which half of it is drowned in the swamp? However, in Phuoc Kien Temple, you will find the super large lotus which can carry 140 kilograms while floating on the water surface. That means an average human can stand or sit comfortably on the diameter of 2 – 3 meters long.

You will have to visit the temple in the period of September – October when the lotus leaves grow completely as you can stand on it. The best time to take photos is after 9:00 because the sunlight will make your photo better. But we think you still have to get there early as it is really crowded that time.

Notice that you have to keep quiet. Be loud in the temple is rude

Address: Hoa Binh, Chau Thanh, Dong Thap
You are free to visit the temple. But if you want to take a photo with the lotus, the charge is VND 20,000/person

9. Kien An Cung Temple – The Chinese temple in Dong Thap

attractions in Dong Thap
vietlandsmark.com

According to the locals, Kien An Cung was built by the Chinese artists who travel from Phuc Kien to Dong Thap just to construct this temple as most genuine as possible. Inside the temple are the places to worship people who have great influence on the Chinese community in Dong Thap. There are 2 major annual ceremonies in late March (February 22nd on Moon calendar) and late September (August 22nd on Moon calendar)

Address: Phan Boi Chau, Ward 1, Sa Dec City

10. Buu Lam Temple – The relic of Truc Lam renaissance in Dong Thap

Attractions in Dong Thap
Source: vietlacso.com

As the evident of the presence of Truc Lam – a meditation style from Tran Dynasty – in Dong Thap.  Being built at the late of XVII century, Buu Lam Temple has hundreds of Buddha statues, copper bells, seals, etc. The atmosphere in this place is really fresh, peaceful and quiet. It is an unmissable destination for Buddhists when you come to Dong Thap

Address: Hamlet III, Binh Hang Trung Commune, Cao Lanh District

11. Dinh Yen Communal house – One of the biggest communal house in Dong Thap

attractions in Dong Thap
Source: vietnamtourism.com

Dinh Yen Communal house was built in 1909, it is one of the largest Dinh in Dong Thap. Here people worship the heroic individual who had served the country and Dong Thap province. 2 annual festivals are held in this Dinh on May and December, which are the most crowded festival in Dong Thap. It is the chance for you to learn more about the culture and lifestyle of Dong Thap people.

Address: An Loi A Village, Dinh Yen Commune, Lap Vo District, Dong Thap Province

12. Huynh Thuy Le ancient house – The house in L’ Amant of Dong Thap

attractions in Dong Thap
Source: cloudfront.net

This is the house of Huynh Thuy Le – the first lover of the female French writer Marguerite Duras. This relationship later became her memoir to write the famous novel L’ Amant (The Lover) in 1984 (was translated into more than 40 different languages). In 1992, the French director Jean-Jacques Annaud turned it into a film named L’ Amant.

The house was designed as the combination of Vietnamese and French architecture but inside was decorated in Chinese style.

Address: No. 255A, Nguyen Hue Street, Ward 2, Sa Dec City
Ticket price: VND 10,000 (including a foreign language speaker tour guide, tea and ginger candy)
You can have dinner or lunch in here for VND 100,000/person
There are 2 rooms for 4 people each. You can rest here overnight for US$ 15 (including a breakfast and a lunch)