In Southern Vietnam, Vinh Long Province sits at the heart of the country’s Mekong Delta Region. A smaller province, Vinh Long has been heavily cultivated for agriculture and the area is well-known for its rice fields and fruit orchards. Lined with canals and dotted with pagodas, tourists will enjoy exploring the city landscape too.
With a developed tourist industry, Vinh Long Province has plenty of attractions like amusement parks as well as resorts, hotels, and restaurants.
How to Get to Vinh Long
Bounded by several provinces and Can Tho City, Vinh Long Province is also nestled between the Tiên and Hâu Rivers. Bearing the mostly flat and water-filled landscape of the Mekong Delta, the province covers an area of 1,475 sq km (569.5 sq mi). Connected to the region by rivers, canals, and highways, the province is easily accessible to tourists traveling through the region.
South Vietnam’s most famous city, Ho Chi Minh, formerly called Saigon, sits 154 km (95.7 mi) to the north of the Vinh Long Province. There are no trains from HCMC to the Mekong Delta, but travelers can arrange transportation by car, bus, or taxi to Vinh Long. Similarly, flights from HCMC to Vinh Long are not available.
Instead, travelers could fly from HCMC to Cân Tho. From Cân Tho, Vinh Long Province is about 43 km (27 mi) away, which equals just over an hour of driving time.
Vinh Long Province once belonged to the Long Hô Dinh, which was a barrack built by Nguyên lords in the year 1732. The barrack encompassed the area around the modern-day Vinh Long Province including the neighboring provinces of Bên Tre, Tà Vinh, and the city, Cân Tho. By the mid-1780s, the Tây Son brothers began to fight with the Nguyên lords for control of the barrack.
Ultimately, Nguyên Huê of the Tây Son Dynasty took control. Centuries later, the province would come under the control of the Souther Resistance Administrative Committee of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. In 1951, the government merged Vinh Long with the Trà Vinh province to create the now-defunct, Vinh Trà Province.
Lasting until 1954, it wasn’t until 1957 that the replacement for the Vinh Trà Province was named. Consisting of six districts, the Vinh Long Province was created. After the end of the war and the fall of South Vietnam, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam again reshaped the Vinh Long Province. Combining Vinh Long with Trà Vinh, the Cuu Long Province was formed in 1976.
For several decades the Cuu Long Province ruled until it was again split into two with the names, Vinh Long and Trà Vinh used once again. Since then, the province has remained relatively unchanged aside from a few district reformations.
- The Vinh Long Province is subdivided into 6 districts, 1 district-level town, 1 provincial city, 5 commune-level towns, 94 communes, and 10 wards.
- Notable residents include Vo Van Kiêt, a Vietnamese politician, and Petrus Ky a Vietnamese scholar.
- An estimated 1,028,600 people live in the Vinh Long Province as of 2011.
Sitting at the midway point between My Tho and Cân Tho, Vinh Long is the capital city of the Vinh Long Province. Named using the former Hán Nôm writing system, Vinh Long means “eternal prosperity”. The city was built on the bank of the Cô Chiên River, which branches off from the larger, Mekong River.
A city of canals, floating markets, and orchards, Vinh Long is a must-see destination in Vietnam’s Mekong River Delta. Close in proximity to other major cities like My Tho, it is easy for travelers to add Vinh Long to their itinerary. Developed as a city but still undeveloped as a tourist destination, Vinh Long is relaxed and peaceful.
Steeping foot into the city, many tourists are easily charmed by Vinh Long’s romantic character. The metropolitan area of Vinh Long is crossed by rivers and canals, which makes boats one of the best ways to explore the city. Floating down the quiet streams, visitors can unwind in the lush tropical climate.
Attractions in Vinh Long that have become popular destinations are the An Binh Bonsai Garden, Thanh Mieu Temple, Cai Be Floating Market, Chùa Tiên Châu Temple, and the Vinh Long Provincial Museum.
Although a quieter city, there are still plenty of accommodation options for travelers in Vinh Long. Most hotels have received a 1 or 3-star rating, however, there are a few 4-star properties, though they are small. The best hotels in Vinh Long are the Phuoc Thanh IV Hotel, Khách San Ngoc Hung, Khách San Sài Gòn Vinh Long, and Hotel Restaurant Hoang Uyen.
Blending with the local vibe, many restaurants in Vinh Long will only serve traditional Vietnamese food as international meals have yet to become popular in the city. However, using fresh ingredients, the restaurants cook up delicious meals for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Some of the best places to eat in Vinh Long are the street stalls or local markets.
For those who want to dine in, the best restaurants in Vinh Long are Nhât Quán Âm Thuc Hà Nôi, Quán Com Chay Âu Lac Vinh Long, Duc Phat Hoang Gia Restaurant, Co May Restaurant, and Anh Thu Restaurant.
Famous Places in the Vinh Long Province
A tranquil province that is nestled between the Hau and Tien Rivers, Vinh Long Province’s quiet cities and rural landscapes showcase the best of Vietnam’s Mekong River Delta. Most of the destinations in the province are situated away from the cities, giving tourists the opportunity to discover and connect with Vietnam’s ethnic communities.
A few of the best places for tourists to explore in the Vinh Long Province include the Long Ho District, Thanh Duc Commune, and the Dong Thanh Commune.
Long Ho District
Vinh Long Province’s Long Ho District is renowned for its village where locals handcraft pottery and bricks. Settled next to the Co Chien stream outside of Vinh Long City, Long Ho District cannot be missed. Nicknamed the “Red Kingdom” because of the brickyards, the village preserves some of the country’s traditional artisan crafts.
Tourists are permitted to visit the brickyards and watch as the locals work the kilns to create dozens of bricks.
Thanh Duc Commune
In the Thanh Duc Commune, the Hoang Hao Ecotourism Area is a new addition meant to encourage tourists to visit the Vinh Long Province. Featuring a lush and verdant scenery, the Hoang Hao Ecotourism Area is lined with mini houses, colorful walls, and open-air spaces. The commune sits just off of Highway 57 and it is only 2 km (1.24 mi) away from the Dinh Khao Ferry.
Dong Thanh Commune
At the Dong Thanh Commune, visitors can tour the Khmer Pu Ly Pagoda, which is an ancient place of worship that was originally built by the Khmer people. Featuring a unique blend of Indian, Thai, and Cambodian architecture, the pagoda is a historic gem for the Vinh Long Pagoda.
Having stood for almost 350 years, tourists can view the numerous pictures of Buddha in the temple halls or take a peaceful moment to view the majestic Buddha statue in the garden. The temple is open on a daily basis and it welcomes all visitors.
There are plenty of sites, apart from those listed above, that tourists should consider when in Vinh Long Province. Filled with culture, natural beauty and river islands, the province is just waiting to be discovered. Must-see attractions in Vinh Long Province include the Cai Cuong Ancient House, Vinh-Sang Eco-Tourism Area, Temple of Literature, Islet May, An Binh Islet, and Tra On Floating Market.
Cai Cuong Ancient House
Originally built in 1885, Cai Cuong Ancient House blends traditional Vietnamese architecture with a French colonial style. A beautiful building, the details are in the ceramic tiles, doors, and decorations. Within the home, carved columns depict Vietnamese flora and fauna, as well as rivers and landscapes.
Covering the Phu Thanh and Luc Si Thanh Communes, Islet May is a small island in the Hau River. Famous for its fruit gardens, which grow throughout the year, tourists visiting the island can try Vietnamese favorites like rambutan, grapefruit, and longan. A small restaurant on the island serves traditional meals like chicken porridge, lemongrass chicken, and Vietnamese hot pot.
An Binh Islet
Another island that is famous for its orchards is An Binh Islet. Consisting of 4 communes, the islet has a few gardens that act as orchards for the local fruit. At An Binh, locals also produce various goods like rice wine, rice paper, coconut candy, and Com candy. Group tours of the islet are available and it is the best way to visit the island.
With a tour, travelers won’t have to worry about transportation and with the extensive knowledge of the guides, they’ll be able to learn more about the cultivation of fruit in Vinh Long.
Tra On Floating Market
On a stream branching off from the Hau River, the Tra On Floating Market has become a highlight of Vinh Long Province. Instead of sitting in stalls, vendors fill their boats with a variety of products like fresh produce, handmade crafts, and homecooked meals. Somewhat chaotic at times, the market is certainly a unique way to experience the local lifestyle.
For those stopping by the market, you can’t miss trying the famous beef balls and noodles, which have become the market’s go-to meal.
Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature actually consists of two temples, a garden, and three sacred shrines. Situated on the bank of the Long Ho River, it’s in the 4th ward of the city. Tourists travel to the area to view the ornate temples and to admire the stunning architecture. Preserving the culture and history of the local people, the temple acts as a museum about Vinh Long’s identity.
Vinh-Sang Eco-Tourism Area
On the river next to Vinh Long City, the Vinh-Sang Eco-Tourism Area is a small farm where rare animals are housed. Featuring bears, goats, deer, boar, and monkeys, the area has become a fun attraction for travelers with families. Activities at the Vinh-Sand Eco-Tourism Area include slides, shooting games, and fishing. Tourists can take a boat from Vinh Long to visit the area.
Festivals are always fun to visit and they are a great way to bring tourists to an area. In Vinh Long Province, many festivals are dedicated to the local crafts and culture. Popular festivals that are held in Vinh Long Province include the Don Ta Ceremony, Ky Yen Festival, and Rice Festival. Each is unique as it offers visitors a glimpse at the local culture and history.
The Don Ta Ceremony is one of the biggest celebrations of the year in Vinh Long and it honors the Khmer ethnic people. Beginning in late August, the ceremony is a combination of agriculture and worship performances. In mid-December, the Ky Yen Festival is held to pray for the safety and prosperity of the village.
Sacrifices and numerous ceremonies are performed during the ceremony. Finally, in tune with the abundance of rice paddies in the Mekong Delta River, Vinh Long Province hosts an annual Rice Festival. A chance for locals to learn more about the development of rice, many vendors also travel to Vinh Long to showcase and sell their goods.
As a part of the Mekong Delta Region, Vinh Long Province has a tropical climate that is pounded by monsoons during specific times of the year. Hot, humid, and wet, the least popular time to visit Vinh Long is during the summer months of May, June, July, August, and September. Starting in October, the number of rainy days and high temperatures begin to dwindle.
The best time to visit the Vinh Long Province is during the months of December, January, February, March, and April. The weather in the province should be more temperate with cooler temperatures and little rain. January and February are less crowded because most of the visitors will have left Vinh Long after the holiday season.
A peaceful destination that embodies the quiet nature of the Mekong Delta Region, Vinh Long Province should be on everyone’s list to visit while in South Vietnam. Not too far from Ho Chi Minh City, the province is a dynamic destination where tourists can explore the unique lifestyle, culture, and character of the Mekong Delta.
Often overlooked by tourists, it won’t be long before the crowds catch on and Vinh Long Province becomes one of the Mekong Delta’s top destinations.
Activities near Vinh Long Province
- Bien Hoa (185km)
- Can Tho (72km)
- HCMC (154km)
- Long Xuyen (98km)
- My Tho (90km)
- Rach Gia (148km)
- Sa Dec (48km)
- Vung Tau (237km)