A voyage through Southeast Asia with Oceania Cruises offers many opportunities to experience the colorful splendor of magnificent landscapes. Guests onboard Nautica recently explored the rich, conflicted history, diverse cultures and stunning scenery of Vietnam. While the port city of Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh City, is a major draw to travelers, many guests chose to venture beyond Saigon to the grandeur of the Vietnamese countryside. One shore excursion took Nautica guests to the gateway of the Mekong Delta, the harbor town of My Tho. Just on the outskirts of this town stands the Vinh Trang Pagoda, a major center of Buddhist worship.

Mekong River - Saigon (3)
Known as the “Happy Buddha,” or “Laughing Buddha,” this enormous statue towers over the temple grounds.
Mekong River - Saigon (2)

In contrast, a smaller interior shrine is embellished with amazingly intricate details.

Mekong River - Saigon (1)
After experiencing the marvels of the Vinh Trang Pagoda, Oceania Cruises guests explored a portion of the Mekong Delta. This region is an extensive network of rivers and waterways, a result of various headwaters throughout Southeast Asia that ultimately reach the South China Sea. Fishing is a major industry for the region as is rice production. The Mekong Delta is responsible for three different rice harvests in a calendar year and accounts for nearly half of all rice produced in Vietnam. In fact, the delta produces more rice than Japan and Korea combined.

Mekong River - Saigon (14)

Green
Roads in this region are few and far between, so various watercraft are used to navigate the tributaries. Oceania Cruises guests were able to team up with some locals to explore the delta at length. Scientists here are continually discovering new species in the dense tropical setting.

Mekong River - Saigon (9) Mekong River - Saigon (8)

Mekong River - Saigon (11) Mekong River - Saigon (12)Soon it was time to return to Nautica and navigate the more expansive waterways of the South China Sea. But Nautica will call on Saigon again in the very near future, so guests can enjoy further adventures amidst the exotic grandeur of Vietnam.

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