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My Tho: A Premier Destination for a Unique and Memorable Experience

My Tho is a young and dynamic city located on the romantic banks of the Tien River in Tien Giang Province. It’s a city that I happened to visit spontaneously, without any plans, during my backpacking trip with friends. Despite the lack of prior arrangements, My Tho treated me to a feast of tranquil landscapes and fresh air. Follow me to explore the places that have left behind beautiful, peaceful, and serene memories in my heart of this land.

My Tho: A Premier Destination for a Unique and Memorable Experience

Before embarking on my exploration of My Tho, I only knew that it was a city with great tourism potential, especially known for its lush greenery and waterways. What sprung into my mind first was the famous scenery that I often came across online about this region, such as the Cai Be floating market and the sprawling gardens, etc. However, witnessing the scene of hundreds of colorful cargo boats bobbing on the water and the fruit gardens laden with heavy branches, I was overwhelmed by the surreal, vibrant beauty of this city.

Unforgettable Places Etched in My Memories

I began my journey of exploration in My Tho on an early morning at the Cai Be floating market. I witnessed every aspect of the morning market scenes, from the lively hustle and bustle of boats transporting fruits from orchards and freshly caught seafood to the bustiest and liveliest moment of the market when people engaged in buying, selling, and exchanging right on the river at specific areas for easy selection. What impressed me the most was the sight of the sky gradually brightening, harmonizing with the vibrant colors of the boats and bustling traffic on the river.

Cai Be Floating marketing - My Tho - Mekong Delta

After leaving Cai Be floating market, I visited the orchards of Cai Be, a vast area of fruit trees located along the banks of the Tien River in Cai Be town, Tien Giang province. In this orchard stretching about 1500 hectares along the northern bank of the Tien River, I witnessed a picturesque scene of various fruit trees planted in different varieties. What amazed me even more was hearing the gardeners mention that these fruit trees bear fruits all year round, and each fruit is plump, round, and incredibly juicy. After thoroughly enjoying the sight of fruit-laden branches, I picked some fruits right from the orchard, savoring the delicious and sweet taste of fruits nurtured by the fertile soil enriched by the annual flooding of the Tien River. I look at the network of canals, streams, and the river enveloping the orchards, creating an incredibly poetic and serene atmosphere. The orchards of Cai Be usually cost around 30,000 VND to 60,000 VND/person and will depend on different seasons and times.

My Tho Juice

Continuing my journey based on the recommendations of the locals, I visited the Thoi Son islet. Renting a horse carriage, I began to explore the serene beauty of Thoi Son islet. You can also take a boat to admire the closely planted coconut trees, which create a lush and peaceful scene along the river. I stopped by a village dedicated to beekeeping, where I marveled at the process of raising bees and harvesting honey to produce high-quality products. Additionally, I had the opportunity to enjoy a national music genre on Thoi Son islet called “Đờn ca tài tử,” or Southern amateur music in English. More than just a mere artistic performance, Đờn ca tài tử represents the unique and vibrant cultural heritage found only in the Mekong Delta region.

My Tho Tour

Please note that when visiting Thoi Son Islet, you need to purchase a ticket. The adult ticket price is 30,000 VND for each person, and the round-trip ticket price ranges from 60,000 to 80,000 VND per ticket. Children over 1.2 meters tall pay 15,000 VND for each ticket and, like adults, can purchase round-trip tickets ranging from 60,000 to 80,000 VND per ticket. It’s worth noting that children under 1.2 meters tall can enter this site for free.

 

By buying a 30,000 VND ticket for one person, I can easily enter Dong Tam Snake Farm, a destination that is not as famous as many other tourist attractions. But it is a very unique space to visit and learn about different species of snakes, which makes both children and adults extremely excited. Here, I learned about taking care of snakes from the staff at Dong Tam Snake Farm, Tien Giang. They must always be gentle and meticulous in their care to help the snake adapt and develop. Each snake at the farm is raised and treated for health problems. Dong Tam Snake Farm, Tien Giang, is an extremely interesting destination for those who love nature and want to understand more about the animal world.

Before going to a final destination on this journey, I dropped by Vinh Trang Pagoda, the place that made me overwhelmed by its grandeur, vastness, and unique architecture. The pagoda’s architecture is a harmonious blend of Eastern and Western cultures, infused with the soul of traditional Vietnamese art. Walking along this vast pagoda of 14.000 m2 and watching 20 ancient landscape paintings made me forget that I was traveling, as the tranquility combined with the scenery of rockeries created a sense of indescribable serenity. Hearing that the pagoda has 60 Buddha statues cast in many different materials, such as wood, bronze, cement, and terracotta, all painted and gilded, I am even more amazed at the builders’ capacity. With this free destination, I have many stunning photos with unique check-in points. This destination promises to draw your soul to tranquil scenery.

Rach Gam-Xoai Mut Historical Site

The last destination I visited during this exploration was Rach Gam-Xoai Mut Historical Site, a place I learned about in history class. I couldn’t explore all three exhibition areas: Exhibition House 1, Exhibition House 2, and the Southern Ancient House. I chose to visit Exhibition House 2, a space covering approximately 132 square meters, where a collection of 546 artifacts, including weapons and tools used by both sides, was displayed. Additionally, if you have the opportunity, you should visit Exhibition House 1, which covers an area of about 135 square meters. This is where pottery paintings and various artifacts related to the war, such as weapons used by the Tay Son and Xiem armies, are exhibited. Most of these artifacts were found beneath the riverbed where the intense battle took place. The Southern ancient house, which is divided into three rooms, two wings, 48 wooden columns, and a yin and yang tiled roof located on a land area of 225 square meters is also a place worth admiring. The space inside the ancient house is used to recreate the lives of rich farmers in the South in the past. This ancient house has been restored and moved intact from the Go Cong district.

Special food

My Tho: A Premier Destination for a Unique and Memorable Experience

Coming to My Tho was also a unique culinary experience for me. The Hu Tieu My Tho (a Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Pork and Shrimp) bowl is loaded with various toppings, complemented by crispy, soft, chewy, and tender Hu Tieu noodles, offering a distinctive flavor different from hủ tiếu in other regions, rightfully earning its title as the number one specialty of Tien Giang province. Additionally, the bún gỏi già is another delicious dish that exploded with flavors when I tasted it. A bowl of noodles is a harmonious blend of colors, aromas, and tastes right from the first bite, with the fragrant aroma of shrimp and the sourness of tamarind. The flavorful broth, simmered from pork bones, shrimp, and pork belly and served with pure fish sauce, enhances the dish’s appeal. Chuối quết dừa (mashed banana with coconut) was also a favorite dish of mine on this trip. I was quite curious about the name of this dish, and the vendor explained that the word “quết” in the local language of the people from the Western region means to mash and mix into a blend. Hearing the name, I initially thought it was a sweet dish, but surprisingly, chuối quết dừa is enjoyed with fish sauce and raw vegetables. It’s quite unusual, but the more I ate it, the more delicious it became.

My Tho: A Premier Destination for a Unique and Memorable Experience

You can refer to the following locations, which are destinations where I have tried these renowned dishes:

  • Address for the specialty dish ‘bún gỏi già’ in Mỹ Tho, Tiền Giang:

186 Nguyen Hue, Ward 1, Chau Thanh District, Tien Giang Province. (Price range: 30,000 VND – 40,000 VND)

  • Address for the specialty Hu Tieu My Tho:

Hủ Tiếu Sa Tế Chín Hoàng: 206A Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Ward 1, My Tho City, Tien Giang. (Price will vary between 30,000 VND and 50,000 VND)

  • Address for the ‘chuối quết dừa’ dish in Tiền Giang:

Various street vendors sell this dish in the central area of My Tho City. You can stroll around and visit any vendor. The price ranges from 20,000 VND to 25,000 VND per serving.

When to Visit My Tho for the Ultimate Experience

Despite it being by accident, I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to visit My Tho in July, the most vibrant time to explore the city. It’s also the season of fruit harvest, so the lingering aroma of ripe fruits is incredibly alluring in the floating markets and lush gardens, etc.

My Tho: A Premier Destination for a Unique and Memorable Experience

Additionally, I highly recommend visiting My Tho during the floating water season, which occurs from September to November. During this time, the rivers and canals in the area are flooded, creating a unique landscape and providing a distinctive experience. You can explore the flooded lands and participate in activities such as river cruises to admire the beautiful scenery. If you desire an experience like mine, you can come here from June to August.

Getting to My Tho: Transport Options

My Tho is located about 70 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City. It takes just over an hour by motorbike or car to easily set foot in the land of My Tho from Ho Chi Minh City.

During this trip, I traveled by motorbike to purely enjoy the scenic landscapes along the way and to be able to stop anywhere I wanted to admire or capture beautiful photos. Moreover, the motorbike was very convenient for me to move around within the city of My Tho.

My Tho: A Premier Destination for a Unique and Memorable Experience

Additionally, there are other convenient options such as buses (you can buy tickets to My Tho at the Western Bus Station), private cars, etc.

Here is the route to My Tho that I took from the center of Ho Chi Minh City: I headed out on National Highway 1A towards the west. Then, I passed through Long An and continued straight for about 20 kilometers to the Trung Luong intersection, where I turned left to reach My Tho.

Take your backpack and head to My Tho to experience unique experiences available only at My Tho.

Kris Goetghebeur

Author: Kris Goetghebeur

With over 20 years of work experience, ranging from seasonal to full-time assignments in different sectors of the Travel, Recreation, Hostelry, and Service Industry, I have a strong background. I have been based in Saigon, Vietnam, since 1999. My educational qualifications include a degree in Management in Tourism and Recreation Studies as well as a degree in Accountancy. I am proficient in French, Dutch, English, and German. I have extensive experience in crafting tailor-made tours and incentive packages, boasting a nearly 100% satisfaction record from my customers.