This is a complete guide to traveling to Vinh Long written by a local girl born and raised in this peaceful town for over 20 years! Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Where is Vinh Long and Is It Worth a Visit?
A Clear Picture of Vinh Long
Vinh Long is located 120 kilometers away from the city center of Saigon – HCMC. It’s located in the middle of the Mekong Delta and surrounded by the famous cities such as Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Can Tho and Dong Thap.
Just like other provinces in the delta, Vinh Long is a riverside town. It takes you around 3 hours by car from Ho Chi Minh City to reach Vinh Long. It’s so convenient to get there from Ho Chi Minh City with an expressway and a suspension bridge. There are also a lot of food and drink services along the way to stop by if you get hungry on the ride. Gas stations are also available every few kilometers. So if you look for a weekend getaway from Saigon (or anywhere you are), consider paying Vinh Long a visit!
Should You Visit Vinh Long?
To answer this question, you need to ask yourself what kind of traveler you are. If you want to see the unmissable tourist attractions on Instagram and travel magazine, then Vinh Long may not be on your top list. But if you are a peace seeker and authenticity lover, Vinh Long is definitely a heaven on Earth for you.
Why is that?
Vinh Long is a typical town in the Mekong Delta. It has the lush tropical fruit orchards. It has the immense network of rivers and canals, where you can row a sampan and visit the rice fields. Vinh long is home to numerous homestays where you can learn about the culture of the Mekong locals. Besides, the tasty cuisine in Vinh Long are able to wake your taste buds.
So to wrap it up, Vinh Long is much less-touristy than My Tho or Can Tho. The only thing Vinh Long doesn’t have is the cacao plantation, which is pretty famous in Can Tho. Vinh Long also has a floating market in Tra On. But it’s not really operating anymore except for a few boats docking there to sell fruits. Most people visiting Vinh Long will stop by Cai Be Floating Market which is 33 kilometers away. They do it as a part of a Mekong Delta day tour from Ho Chi Minh City. But for now in 2020, the one in Cai Be is gradually disappearing, especially after Covid-19 pandemic, it’s hard to witness the golden age of this floating market living on again.
How Long Should I Stay in Vinh Long?
I would say at least 2 nights if you are a first-time visitor. If you’re not short in time then 3 nights will be pleasant.
You can spend the first night relaxing at the accommodation after arrival. The second day cycling around the island with some boating. And then save the last night sampling the best dishes in Vinh Long in a food tour.
How to Travel to Vinh Long?
Most people will start from Ho Chi Minh City as they need a breakaway to a peaceful Mekong Delta city. Traveling from Ho Chi Minh City to Vinh Long is very easy with just 3 hours roughly by car or bus. You can also drive a motorcycle or bicycle from Saigon to Vinh Long.
Taking a tour is another way to visit Vinh Long from Ho Chi Minh City. A lot of companies offer a 2-day trip to Vinh Long and they spend a night at a local homestay. Boat tour is another fun but less-touristy kind of tour you can consider. But taking a boat tour to Vinh Long is usually a stopover in a long-day trip to the Mekong Delta and Cambodia. So they usually just spend a night here on Vinh Long and depart to the next destination on the following day.
To give you a detailed instruction on how to travel to Vinh Long from Ho Chi Minh City, we have written a complete guide including all possible means of transportation you can think of.
The two articles below show you how to arrive in Vinh Long from the surrounding cities such as Ben Tre and Can Tho:
- How to Travel from Can Tho to Vinh Long?
- How to Travel from Ben Tre to Vinh Long?
Best Time to Visit Vinh Long
As a typical province in the Mekong Delta, Vinh Long has two distinctive seasons.
The dry season begins in November to April. The weather during this time is sunny and hot, with an average temperature reaching 38 degrees Celsius. This time also marks the arrival of Tet – Lunar New Year. You know Tet is a great moment to visit Vietnam even though the price can rise a little higher than usual. But if you visit Vinh Long during this time and stay at a homestay, you surely gain a cultural insight when welcoming Tet with the locals. They will show you how to prepare for the big occasion, making traditional cakes, buying flowers from the markets and doing all the offerings.
That is the reason why this time is the peak season of tourism. But as we said, Vinh Long is less touristy than the surrounding cities, so there’s nothing much to worry about.
The rainy season lasts from May to early November. It’s not raining like cats and dogs all day long but the rains can come unexpectedly with heavy drops and leave right afterwards.
It usually rains in the morning or later in the afternoon. But honestly it won’t affect much on your vacation. Everything happens as normal and you can still enjoy the best feature of the city.
Be mindful about the flooding season from September to October. It’s not as bad as Saigon and not every single place in Vinh Long is filled with water. Only a few wards or areas in town have to deal with this. But the water level does not cover the whole section of the road. Only a few houses with the ground lower than river level will see the approach of water from around 5pm. It lasts for a few hours then the tide is gone.
However, the locals in the Mekong Delta love the flooding season more than anyone else in Vietnam. The waters bring along a huge mesh of fish and seafood from upstream. The tropical gardens and rice fields get more lush and prosperous. All in all, it’s a great source of vitality which brings a lot of benefits to the native dwellers.
How to Get around Vinh Long?
Renting a Bike or Motorcycle
You can travel around Vinh Long by bicycles or scooters. That’s the most convenient way. Most accommodations in Vinh Long offer free bikes and rental motorcycles. You will pay a little over 100.000 VND a day to rent a motorcycle depending on types. Usually, the automatic motorcycles are more expensive than the one with gears.
One thing to keep in mind is that you need an international driving license to drive a motorbike in Vietnam. If you don’t have this, consider riding a bike.
Bikes are also better if you want to take it slow and explore the countryside in the peaceful ambiance. In case you want to visit the neighboring cities, then a motorcycle is obviously better.
Traveling around Vinh Long by Bus
Vinh Long is a small town, which means it doesn’t have buses to travel within the province. Taking buses is only for those who want to travel to the neighboring cities like Ben Tre and Can Tho.
The central bus station in Vinh Long is the one offering buses to Ho Chi Minh City. That is where the big brand Futa is located with the ticket office.
P/s: Return to the previous part “How to travel to Vinh Long” to read our complete travel guide for transportation from and to Vinh Long!
Renting a Boat in Vinh Long
Boating is fun and easy. It’s like a half-day tour all within the town of Vinh Long. These boats are docked at the An Binh Boat Station in Ward 1. Just go there if you stay close by and ask for the price with detailed tour program. The receptionist will advise you with the right itinerary you want.
Most of these boat trips will take you to An Binh island across the Tien River. You will visit the fruit plantation, a bee farm, coconut candy making factory and the ancient houses. These are the main attractions in Vinh Long for the first-time travelers.
A boat trip to the island fluctuates around 1.200.000 VND depending on the tour program. To get a better price, contact Mekong Pottery Homestay to design the best itinerary that suits you the most!
Selecting taxi as your transportation to get around Vinh Long is one of the most convenient way, especially when you travel in a big group or with your family.
You can wave for a taxi if you are staying in the city center since many taxi drivers park around the tourist hub, which is around the Vinh Long Square. They charge 16.000 VND per kilometer by a meter at the front seat.
Here are the 3 best taxi brands in Vinh Long:
- Mai Linh Taxi (0270.3878.878).
- Phu Taxi (0270 3836 666).
- Vinasun Taxi (0270 3 966 666).
You can also book a taxi through the operator. Dial the number above and request a service. In case of language barrier, you can ask a local friend or your receptionist to help.
Grab is another convenient way to travel around Vinh Long. Just install the app, set the destination and the price is automatically calculated!
However, Grab in Vinh Long is not widely available as you see in the Vietnam’s bigger cities. Sometimes they are not working even though the service is confirmed. So keep this in mind, and it’s worth to try anyway!
Where to Stay in Vinh Long?
Staying in a homestay is one of the primary reasons why people choose to visit Vinh Long. This town is known as the top destination in the Mekong Delta for a homestay trip.
The past 10 years have witnessed dozens of local homestays emerging in the island of An Binh. Meanwhile, the city center is home to plenty of family-run hotels and a few 3-star hotels like Cuu Long Hotel and Saigon – Vinh Long Hotel.
Homestay is an ideal choice for those who want to travel like a real local and learn about the daily life with the Vietnamese hosts in Vinh Long. If you choose hotel, it’s more suitable for a business trip or those who seek out the classic style of hospitality, like buffet breakfast or air-conditioner.
To give you an insightful look into where to stay in Vinh Long, here is a complete guide to choosing the right accommodation:
Top Things to Do in Vinh Long
This is literally the same question for everyone visiting Vinh Long. Simply because you cannot stay on bed for the whole day, you’ve got to explore.
So here is what most people do: They visit An Binh Island and explore some traditional handicraft factories in a boat tour, then that’s it! They barely know other cool places to see, except for some ancient houses and the floating market in a neighboring province.
So as a local in Vinh Long and a tour guide, I have written an A-Z travel guide focusing on the best activities and attractions in Vinh Long:
To give you a sneak peek about what we are going to say in the article, here’s an INFOGRAPHIC about the top-rated attractions and activities you cannot miss in Vinh Long (MAP included)!
What to Eat in Vinh Long?
If you want to eat like a real local, why not contact a local guide for the best Mekong Delta food tour? This way allows you to discover the most mouthwatering dishes and understand the culture behind it.
Apart from that, you can also pick your favorite restaurant and explore it on your own. Within the past few years, we have seen a lot more modern styled food and beverage services opened in Vinh Long. These are bars and pubs, shopping malls, liquor store, beer, BBQ, pizza and many more.
And of course, the local Vietnamese restaurants are always available if you want to try the authentic Mekong Delta cuisine.
To give you a complete guide to best places to eat in Vinh Long, here is a COMPULSIVE MAP OF EAT AND DRINK spotting out all of the best restaurants in town. We cover all kinds of food and beverages you can think of!
So now with this guide, if you crave for pizza or authentic Mekong Delta noodle soup, everything is right in this INFOGRAPHIC for you to explore.