Boat Woman on Phong Dien. Jared Kelly /Creative Commons.
A trip to Viet Nam won’t be complete without seeing the floating markets in the Mekong Delta. Viet Nam’s southwestern region where the might Mekong River flows and drains to the sea is home to countless tributaries, rice paddies, fish farms, swamplands, mangrove forests, islands, villages, and floating markets. To see everyday life in the delta, there are tours departing from Ho Chi Minh City or you can do it on your own, whichever you prefer, but be sure it includes experiencing one or two of the Mekong’s floating markets.
The biggest (and most popular) one is Cai Rang. It’s a 30-minute boat ride from Can Tho, the delta’s centre where you probably will want to stay the night to get an early start at Cai Rang. The wholesale floating market gets up at around 5 a.m. and it’s worth the early wake-up call—seeing the sunrise, the river’s bustling commerce, the swarm of boats, the abundance of produce and colour. If your sampan has been gliding through the quiet and palm-lined backwaters of the river beforehand, the sight of Cai Rang poses as a sharp contrast.
For a less crowded market experience, Phong Dien is deemed Mekong Delta’s “best floating market.” It might have something to do with the fewer motorised boats and tourists. The market also just doesn’t sell produce like Cai Rang, it trades all sorts of tools, boats, weaving products, and even noodle soups. Some local vendors might even approach your boat to sell some drinks and snacks. But similar to Cai Rang, it’s best seen in the early morning hours but if you miss it, Phong Dien is at least open until the afternoon.
Cai Rang Floating Market. Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism.
Floating Market off Can Tho. Hugh Derr /Creative Commons.
Similar Southeast Asia Experiences
Southeast Asia's traditional communities have a strong affinity with water, as you can see around the lakeside villages in Inle Lake, Myanmar and the water village at Kampong Ayer, Brunei. For other traditional markets around the region, visit Bangkok, Thailand's markets; Hanoi, Vietnam's Old District; Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown; Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei; and Inle Lake in Myanmar.
Visit the 28 stilt villages that together make up Kampong Ayer – where 20,000 people still live a unique river-based li...
Yangon in Myanmar, Ho Chi Minh City in Viet Nam; Siem Reap in Cambodia; and Luang Prabang in Laos.VIEW DETAILS
Your grand tour of Viet Nam's, Cambodia's and Thailand's cities begins at the alluring Vietnamese capital city of...VIEW DETAILS
Tour that takes guests through the best of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam. Buckle your seatbelts, this four-country it...VIEW DETAILS
Refresh your senses on the pristine Nantai Beach with Aleenta Phuket.VIEW DETAILS
Unravel the enigma of Jim Thompson in the Jim Thompson Mystery Trail - Jim Thompson’s eye for beauty was not only confi...VIEW DETAILS
Be at the crossroads of culture, Village Hotel Bugis SingaporeVIEW DETAILS
Go on an epic Asean journey with AirAsia Asean Pass, a travel pass that allows you to book our base fares at least 14 days or...VIEW DETAILS
Rent a car for 2 days or more at participating locations in Asia and enjoy up to 15% offVIEW DETAILS
Hotel location: Bali, IndonesiaVIEW DETAILS
Booking Website : http://www.royalebintang-penang.com/ Offer : 30% off prevailing Best Available Rate for Superior and Del...VIEW DETAILS
Experience your time at Tara Angkor Hotel by our multiple options are offered to suit all ages fun even your few days to rela...VIEW DETAILS