Ringed by water and besieged by boats and tumbledown stilt houses, the island that forms the heart of Vinh Long has the feel of a medieval fortress. However, if you find yourself yearning for a peaceful backwater, first impressions will be a let – down; central Vinh Long is hectic and noisy, its streets a blur of buses and motorbikes. Make for the waterfront, though, and it’s a different story, with hotels, restaurants and cafes conjuring up something of a Riviera atmosphere. From here you can watch the Co Chien River roll by, dotted with sampans, houseboats and the odd raft of river – weed. Though there’s little to see or do in town, Vinh Long offers some of the most interesting boat trips in the delta – to the Cai Be floating market, coconut candy workshop, fruit orchards or even overnight in home – stays.