The Mekong Delta, literally Nine Dragon river delta, also known as the Western Region is the region in southwestern Vietnam where the Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea through a network of distributaries. The Mekong delta region encompasses a large portion of southwestern Vietnam of over 40,500 square kilometres (15,600 sq mi). The size of the area covered by water depends on the season. Before 1975, Mekong Delta was part of Republic of Vietnam.
Today, the region comprises 12 provinces: Long An, Dong Thap, Tien Giang, An Giang, Ben Tre, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Soc Trang, Bạc Lieu, and Ca Mau, along with the province-level municipality of Can Thơ.
The Mekong Delta has been dubbed a ‘biological treasure trove’. Over 1,000 animal species were recorded between 1997 and 2007 and new species of plants, fish, lizards, and mammals have been discovered in previously unexplored areas, thought to be extinct.