Can Tho is a large city with a population of over 1.5 million located on the Mekong Delta around 160 km to the South East of Ho Chi Minh city. Can Tho is a popular destination for foreign visitors, particularly people on day trip tours from Ho Chi Minh city who come to Can Tho to visit the colourful floating market.
Can Tho Floating Market
There are several floating markets near Can Tho which surrounded by a network of rivers and canals which are widely used as a form of transport for local residents. The largest floating market is Cai Rang Floating Market which the main wholesale market in Can Tho. Cai Rang Floating Market takes place at first light each day in the middle of the river.
Riverside shop in Can Tho
Traders come to Cai Rang Floating Market to sell mainly fruit and vegetables grown upriver in the Mekong Delta. There vendors selling food and drink. For some Vietnamese people the floating markets around Can Tho are a way of life and they live on their vessels.
There are also other smaller floating markets in and around Can Tho. Phon Dien floating market is around 20 km to the south west of the Can Thon and is a more low key market than Cai Rang Floating Market with less motorised boats, fewer tourists and much more of community market. Phung Hiep floating market is around 30 km and a 2 to 3 hour journey by boat from Can Tho. Phung Hiep floating market is at the intersection of 7 canals and can also be viewed from a bridge in Phung Hiep. This is a more remote market and much less visited by tourists. The market has a snake section as well where, if you want, you can drink snake blood or buy snake meat.
Travel to Can Tho
There are plenty of tour companies which will take you on all inclusive trips from Ho Chi Minh city to Can Tho and arrange for boat tours of the markets. If you have more time, and want to spend less money, you can travel cheaply from Ho Chi Minh city to Can Thon by bus. The journey takes around 3 hours and a bus ticket will cost you between $6 and $10 USD one-way depending upon which bus service you take. Bus services to Can Tho depart frequently from Ho Chi Minh city’s Western Bus Station (Mien Tay Bus Station).
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The complete 2019 Guide to travel in Vietnam by bus, train and ferry. Tickets, timetables, and maps.