Every year, around October and November, the flood from the upstream Mekong River will flow to the Southwest region, covering paddy fields with water. On this occasion, visitors should not miss the chance to explore the flooded delta, and in order to prepare for your worthwhile Mekong delta tours, below are some tips you can see.
Rowing boats in Tra Su Cajuput Forest
Located in Tinh Binh District in An Giang Province, Tra Su Cajuput Forest covers itself with a green coat every time it comes to the flooding season. Under the shade of the forest, the boat drifts into the vast water fern on the immense water surface in a scarcely wild and pure atmosphere, making you feel like you are in a fairy tale. Wafting in the breeze is the passionate aroma of cajuput flowers and the sound of the birds singing. During the journey, you can touch the water fern on the water surface, admire the cork flowers in bright yellow, and purple water lily flowers. If you take the trip un the early morning or in the evening, you can have a chance to watch flocks of bird leaving or returning to their nests under the beautiful sky.
Fishing in Bung Binh Thien Lake
Located in An Phu District in An Giang Province, Bung Binh Thien Lake, which is also known as “the lake of heaven”, is surprisingly peaceful. The immense fresh-water lake reflects the yellow color of cork flowers and the blue of the sky which are added to the green of the lake’s water to create a breathtaking picture. The land around the lake is home to the ethnic Cham community who has maintained their amazing culture and traditional festivals. The flooding season is a nice business occasion for the locals here thanks to the high volume of aquatic products from the upstream, which also means you should not miss the chance to go fishing with local people.
Coming to Tram Chim National park to enjoy the dance of red head cranes
Hidden in Tam Nong District of Dong Thap Province, Tram Chim National Park is one of the country’s eight most important bird conservation areas and the only wet meadow area. The park is home to the red hear crane, which has been listed in the world’s Red Book of Threatened Species. In the flooding season, Tram Chim is turned into a green island which is highlighted with the impressive scene of thousands of white storks flying on the blue sky. From the bird-watching tower, tourists can have a view stretching to the horizon and admire the picturesque painting made by nature.
Swimming in the flooded field
In the flooding season, water covers all over the paddy fields in the Southwest and therefore, those fields appear as ideal places for swimming, a unique treat which can only be found in this delta region. The cool weather will make you feel refreshed. You should choose big fields to free yourselves in the water but make sure they have no obstacles and wear life jackets to ensure safety. The best time to go swimming in flooded paddy fields is the end of the flooding season when the water stays still and is about to go down.
Catching field mice and fishing
As water floods the paddy fields, the chubby mice will have no place to live but have to move to hillock or the cajuput trees to hide, making it easy for people to catch them. The mice hunting game, although may cause you to trip and fall and leave you dirty with mud, will bring you relaxing moment. In addition, you can choose to go fishing. In this time of year, you can easily find yourselves some booty thanks to the large amount of fishes swimming to the delta from the upstream.
Picking cork and water lily flowers
Flooding season is the occasion when you can row a boat along the river and pick cork flowers in bright yellow. Cork blossoms all year round but bloom the most in the flooding season. The other flower which also blooms in the flooding season is water lily flower. Over the water field, hundreds of water lily flowers in purple and white race against each other to show off their beauties. While the flowers can be used for decoration, their long and plump stems can be used to make different delicious dishes.
Enjoying specialties of the flooding season
The most famous specialty is Siamese mud carp which can be used to make different dishes such as cooking sour soup with cork flowers, cooking with brine and pepper, and deep frying. Other unique dishes of the delta in the flooding season include lẩu mắm (hotpot with fermented fish), field mice grilled with soya cheese, mixed salad of neem and fish, goby cooked with brine, bánh xèo (pan cake) with cork flowers, catfish cooked with brine and pineapple, grilled snakehead fish, and sour soup with anabas and water lily systems. Those dishes, though simple, will leave a deep memory about the Southwest land in your mind.
(By Quynh Anh)