Can Tho is renowned for its scenic waterways and vibrant floating markets in Vietnam. A trip to a floating market in Can Tho is an indispensable experience that no one should miss out on when traveling to this city. Taking a boat in the early morning and immersing yourself in the frenetic trade activities will give you a glimpse of the authentic life here.
1. Cai Rang Floating Market – The largest floating market in Can Tho
1.1. Location and opening hours of Cai Rang Floating Market
As one of the most famous floating markets in the Mekong Delta, Cai Rang Floating Market Can Tho is an attractive cultural site. Downstream of Can Tho River in Ninh Kieu District, the market is open around 5:00 AM – 9:00 AM, but the busiest time is from 5:30 AM to 6:30 AM.
To reach this floating market in Can Tho, you can take a 40-minute boat ride from Ninh Kieu Wharf, which is located 6 kilometers away from the city center. You can easily take a taxi or motorbike to get to the wharf.
1.2. Highlights of Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho
Having thrived for over a century, Cai Rang Floating Market in Vietnam was established from the long-standing culture of the local people. Floating down the mighty river, the boats act as “mobile apartments” with full interiors such as TVs, stereos, pots, stoves, and even motorbikes.
At this floating market in Can Tho, you will see how people trade products. In front of your eyes are traders juggling fruits from boat to boat, long poles hanging samples of the goods for sale, and lots of boats loaded with seasonal fruits.
Here, don’t miss the chance to taste the local delicacies served right on the boats such as pho, hu tieu, bun rieu, com tam, sua dau nanh, and coffee. With only 1-2 USD, you can fill up your stomach with a hearty breakfast.
2. Phong Dien Floating Market in Can Tho
2.1. Location and opening hours of Phong Dien Floating Market
Located on the Phong Dien River in Phong Dien Town, about 17 kilometers away from the city center, Phong Dien Floating Market is one of the oldest Can Tho markets. It operates daily from 5:00 AM to 7:30 AM.
There are 2 ways to get to Phong Dien Floating Market Can Tho, either by boat or motorbike/taxi. You can go to Ninh Kieu Wharf to take a boat to the floating market, or book a taxi/rent a motorbike to reach the market.
2.2. What to expect at Phong Dien Floating Market?
Serving as a retail floating market in the Mekong Delta, Phong Dien Floating Market features small sampans loaded with diverse products, such as agricultural products, tropical fruits, household appliances, tools, rattan products, etc. You also find some boats serving typical foods for breakfast such as pho, hu tieu, porridge, coffee, etc. Enjoying a delicious breakfast while admiring the bustling atmosphere on this floating market in Can Tho is a must for visitors.
3. Tips for your first Can Tho floating market tour
3.1. When is the best time to visit the floating markets in Can Tho?
The floating markets in Can Tho are open throughout the year and can be visited at any time of the year. However, for a truly enjoyable trip, consider these ideal times:
- Best time of the year to visit: The dry season from October to April, when the weather is pleasant with little rain.
- Best time of the day to visit: 5:00 AM – 6:30 AM, when the sun rises dimly over the floating market and you can observe most closely how the vendors start their day at the market. The weather is also much more refreshing at this time.
3.2. How much does a Can Tho floating market tour cost?
On average, a boat ticket to a floating market in Can Tho costs around 2 – 4 USD per person if you travel in a group. Some travel agencies offer full-day and half-day tours with more stops, priced from 30 to 200 USD per person, depending on several factors such as the type of tour, duration, activities, etc.
What about exploring Can Tho floating markets by yourself? In this case, consider the following costs:
- Sleeper bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho Bus Station: 5-6 USD
- Taxi from Can Tho Bus Station to Ninh Kieu Wharf: 3-4 USD
- Rent a sampan by yourself: 13 USD for 2 or 3 people, 18 USD for 4 or 5 people, and 22 USD for 6 or 7 people
3.3. What to pack for your Can Tho floating market tour?
To make the most of your trip to the floating markets in Can Tho, follow these tips:
- Bring sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun.
- Bring cash in VND for convenient shopping experiences.
- Rent a boat to avoid the crowds and explore the markets at your own pace.
- Get up early and arrive at Ninh Kieu Wharf before 5:00 AM to contemplate the sunrise.
Apart from visiting a floating market in Can Tho, tourists should not miss other famous attractions, including Ninh Kieu Wharf, Con Son, My Khanh Tourist Village, Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary, Canton Assembly Hall of Can Tho, Munirensay Temple, Quang Duc Pagoda, Luu Huu Phuoc Park, Binh Thuy Ancient House, etc. From ancient pagodas and peaceful islets to pristine sanctuaries, Can Tho will bring you an unforgettable time in Southern Vietnam.
In addition to Can Tho, you should also check out other intriguing destinations in Vietnam, such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Ha Long. Each destination boasts an abundance of cultural gems, awe-inspiring spectacles, and vibrant dishes.
If you want to stay in a hotel or resort with a prime location in these destinations, look no further! The top-rated hotels and resorts of Vinpearl have affirmed their position in the hearts of customers over the years. Vinpearl offers opulent accommodations, scenic vistas, and top-notch amenities including bars, dining venues, fitness centers, spas, infinity pools, kids’ playgrounds, and much more.
Furthermore at Vinpearl, you will get to conquer the entertainment complexes of VinWonders, where exciting adventures await.
A floating market in Can Tho is an unmissable attraction on any Mekong Delta tour. Cai Rang and Phong Dien are the most attractive floating markets, offering a glimpse into the tradition of trading on waterways for over 100 years. So, pack your bags and embark on a trip to Can Tho – the heart of the Mekong Delta without hesitation!