Nobody will ever say to you, “If you go to Vietnam, you
have to see Long Xuyen.” Not that you should avoid it- it’s quite an interesting, regional centre, surrounded by some beautiful river and farmland scenery. It’s that farm life and scenery, as well as a lack of tourists, which make Long Xuyen a place to see unfiltered rural life, rather than any “attractions.” There aren’t any. But don’t let that worry you.
Long Xuyen isn't that kind of place that you won't find in any guidebooks.
But if you did, you'd probably not pay it much attention.
It's inland from the Gulf Of Thailand, down the Hua River from the Cambodian border.
There's a large, colourful and active floating market.....
....which takes place next to the more conventional land based market.
You could buy yourself some ducklings.
Or maybe some electrical fittings.....
Khmer Krom (ethnic Cambodians) live around Long Xuyen, and their temples look out of place in Vietnam.
The peculiar Cao Dai sect also has many followers around the town.
And while there is pretty much not much else, I did take a lot of photos in the area.
The surrounding area suffered from some particularly bad flooding that year.
Water as far as the eye could see, lapping up at the highway.
Schools and other public buildings cut off.
Farmers were out trying to salvage what they could.
Home made boats floating were rice crops once stood.
Others just waded in up to their chests.
But this lovely gal in her gorgeous headress was never going to stop smiling.
While the water level in town got precariously high, the town itself was spared.
The rain did make places pretty muddy and dirty though.
I have no idea what Long Xuyen looks like in 2021.
It was certainly a likable place, a medium sized regional centre.
No doubt it has benefitted from increased tourist numbers, and the opening of the nearby Moc Bai crossing to Cambodia.
I doubt that i will become a major tourist spot, making it a good place to see rural life.
Tourist attractions such as a presidential museum and the largest Catholic church in the delta are probably less of an attraction than the lifetsyles of the not rich or famous.
Dr Google tells me that tour operators offer boat excursions through the villages.
Renting a bicycle would be another way to experience village life, but hopefully the choice of rides has improved since the 90s.
Touts and husslers that throng to tourist towns won't make it in Long Xuyen, where the delta way of life still flows to the age old rhythms.