Vietnam // The Mekong Delta //

Get your kicks on highway 63

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Of all the roads that crisscross the Mekong Delta, few have such a strong sense of what this watery world is all about as Highway 63, which zigzags north from Ca Mau to Minh Luong, just south of Rach Gia – a distance of a little over 100 kilometres. The road is sealed all the way, though it’s often no wider than a single track road, and for most of its journey it follows narrow canals that carry a real hotchpotch of vessels going about their business. At Vinh Tuan it crosses a wide canal, allowing great views of river life, though parking on the bridge is illegal, so park near and walk on to it. There are also several monkey bridges across the canals – fragile structures consisting of narrow tree trunks, which require the assured balance of a monkey to cross them (thus the name). Like many other aspects of local culture, monkey bridges are disappearing fast, but Highway 63 still offers a fascinating glimpse of traditional life in the delta. Near the end of the highway, you need to cross a wide river by ferry at Tac Cau, where you’ll see huge fishing ships loading ice to freeze their catch. If you don’t have your own transport, take a bus from Ca Mau to Rach Gia to follow this highway.

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