Ranked #7 of 14 attractions in Can Tho
Category: Flea/ Street Markets
Touring a floating market in the Mekong Delta is a box that many travellers to Saigon wish to check, and none are bigger, or...
Touring a floating market in the Mekong Delta is a box that many travellers to Saigon wish to check, and none are bigger, or more popular than the Can Tho’s Cai Rang Floating Market.The Cai Rang Floating Market, the largest wholesale floating market in the Mekong Delta, starts around 04:00 and runs until 10:00, meaning that you’ll have to get an early start of the day if you want to visit.The market is about six kilometres from Can Tho, or about a 40-minute boat ride. While floating down the river, you get a glimpse of life along its shores. You’ll pass vibrantly painted boats anchored along the shore, merchant vessels carrying loads down the river and houses built on stilts over the water.Once you finally reach the market, it’s an impressive site. A stretch of boats selling all variety of goods lines the river. Not really a place for souvenirs, people come here instead to buy large quantities of goods, mostly foodstuffs, and you will get an idea of what water commerce in the Delta looks like. Your guide on the boat will usually give you information about Cai Rang as you weave through the hordes. You’ll learn that boats identify what they are selling by hanging a sample off the top of a long pole; if you want pineapple, simply scan the horizon for a hanging pineapple. You’ll also get the opportunity to interact with some of these floating merchants; most commonly this happens when a small boat selling drinks latches onto the tour boat’s side.After the market you’ll be ferried off to your breakfast break at a local orchard. You’ll be led around a fairly large garden growing a big variety of local fruits, which you’ll get to sample after your walk. Once your breakfast or fruits is eaten, you’ll go back to the boat and it’s time to explore some of the Mekong’s canals. Your tour boat will slowly coast down a few of these quiet canals, choked on both sides by greenery. As the sun starts to heat things up, your tour will draw to a close, returning you to downtown Can Tho.Since the market starts early in the morning, and because Can Tho is a healthy bus ride from Saigon — about four hours — you won’t have the option of seeing this floating market as a day tour from HCMC. Instead, you’ll have to spend the night in Can Tho.