Mekong Delta: Colorful floating market!

Mekong Delta

Cai Rang Floating Market is a unique and typical type of market in the Mekong Delta that cannot be found anywhere else in Vietnam. And this is also the typical, bustling, and most famous market for the western river culture.

Experience going to Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho

If you are wondering which river is Cai Rang Can Tho floating market located on? Cai Rang floating market Can Tho belong to which province? Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho is located on which river? Which market should you go to at a reasonable time and what is the price of boat tickets? Let’s answer all the above questions right here.

Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho, Mekong Delta

Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho, Mekong Delta

Overview of Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho

Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho: located on Can Tho river, 46 Hai Ba Trung street, Ninh Kieu district, Cantho city.

Distance from Cai Rang Floating Market Can Tho to:

  • Ninh Kieu Wharf: about 30 minutes by boat
  • Can Tho city center: about 6km
  • Ho Chi Minh City: about 170 km to the southwest

Cai Rang Can Tho Floating Market was recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2016. Cai Rang Can Tho Floating Market was established in the early 20th century, mainly trading agricultural products, fruits and vegetables, specialties of the Mekong Delta.

In the past, the market used to be the largest place to buy rice in the West of the overseas Chinese. For those who love to explore, want to learn about the culture of the Southern river region, Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho is the most ideal destination.

History of Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho

Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho has a common feature of Western floating markets as it is located at the confluence of 3 rivers (branch of Cai Rang and Hau rivers). This position has a water level that is neither deep nor shallow so that boats can easily anchor and move. This place is also located near a market on the shore and a large fruit granary.

Previously, Cai Rang market sold mainly agricultural products and each boat only specialized in selling a certain type of item. However, now the market has sold more variety such as cuisine, household items and necessities for life on the river.

Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho, Mekong Delta

Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho, Mekong Delta

The ideal time to go to Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho

What time is Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho open? Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho operates day and night for locals trading goods on the river. If you want to travel to the floating market here, you can book a boat in advance to have fun at any time of day you like!

When to go to Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho?

Can Tho has 2 distinct rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season starts from May – November, the dry season from December – April next year. You can go to the floating market in both seasons. If you like to eat fruit, you should go in the dry season (summer) because this is the season where fruit is super abundant in the West.

What time of day to go to Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho?

Completely different from the market on the mainland, Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho and other floating markets of the western provinces and cities are held very early. From 4 am to 5 am is the right time to go to Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho.

By this time, the boats had begun racing to the market. Coming to the market at this time, you will not only be immersed in the lively atmosphere, bustling with buyers and sellers, but also have the opportunity to admire the beautiful floating market picture at dawn. Arrive at the market center around 6 am, at this time you can have breakfast right on the boat.

Additional information: In the past, the market operated from 2am to 3am, because at that time it was still a wholesale market (like a wholesale market on the mainland). This is the time when merchants go to buy goods to sell in other places, so they often have to go early. Later, tourist activities in Cai Rang took place more, so the market began to operate with the time frame from 5am to 9am to serve visitors.

Boat ticket price to visit Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho

Currently, there are many routes to visit the floating market from Ninh Kieu wharf, but I will introduce to everyone the most popular route that is Ninh Kieu wharf – Can Tho bridge – garden – coconut candy factory – traditional pulled noodles about 4 hours long.

There are two most popular forms of boat/boat/boat charter here:

  • Joining with other groups on a large ship/boat
  • Private boat/boat/boat charter: boat/boat if you’re traveling in a group; small boat/boat if you go 1-3 people.

However, according to your self-sufficient 3 days 2 nights Can Tho travel experience, you should rent a boat right at Ninh Kieu wharf. Rent a private boat if your group is traveling in large numbers so you don’t have to depend on others and can reuse it at any point you like. If you go alone, you can join a group with the price from 30,000 – 40,000 VND (depending on the number of people on the boat).

Boat rental rates for reference:

  • From 1 to 7 passengers: 500,000 VND/boat
  • From 8 to 15 passengers: 600,000 VND/boat
  • From 16 to 30 passengers: 700,000 VND/boat
  • From 31 to 40 guests: 800,000 VND/boat
  • From 40 guests or more: 900,000 VND/boat

This is just a reference price, it may change depending on the travel season and your bargaining ability.

What’s interesting about the Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho?

Explore the busy trading activities at the floating market

Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho sells a variety of items. Each boat / boat sells a different product, from baskets of fresh and delicious Western fruits to stalls of essential household goods for daily life.

Due to the large floating market space, the sound of waves crashing, the sound of loud explosions, so it is not possible to use the sound like on the mainland, so the goods for sale will be hung by the boat owner on a pole – the people here call it a “beo” tree, so that buyers can easily recognize the item they need and approach them to buy.

The unique “4 hanging” method at Cai Rang Can Tho floating market here is:

  • Hang whatever you want to sell: the owner of the boat sells something, hangs it on the tree (for example, if you want to sell watermelon, you will hang the watermelon)
  • Hanging without selling: It is the clothes of many households living on the boat
  • Do not hang but sell: only small boats crept to serve items for customers going to the market such as: vermicelli, noodle soup, vermicelli, coffee, meat bread…
  • Hang one but sell another: When you see them hanging a roof sheet, it can be understood that they sell their boat (I mean the boat is like their house)
Trading activities in Cai Rang floating market

Trading activities in Cai Rang floating market

People trade with each other from boat to boat by juggling or passing items. Immersed in the atmosphere of the market, you can learn about the river life of the people, on the “mobile apartments” with full televisions, stoves, ornamental plants…

Do you wonder why the Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho sells so many fruits? That’s because all the floating markets on the river in this coastal country are located near the fruit granaries, from which to transship to other places.

So going to the floating market, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of seasonal fruit dishes such as pineapple (fragrant), mango, strawberry, watermelon, orange, coconut, mangosteen, custard apple, banana, grapefruit…

Experience the food market on the river

Besides selling a variety of fruits, there are many small boats weaving around the river selling breakfast for guests and locals on the boat such as porridge, rice ribs, noodles, vermicelli,… and assorted varieties. drinks such as tea, coffee, pineapple coconut, Siamese coconut, etc. And there’s a pub right on the river so don’t be too surprised!

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When you come down here, don’t miss the two specialties, shake noodle soup and braised coffee. Sitting on a boat, in the middle of a large river, eating a bowl of hot noodles with a cup of bitter sweet coffee will be an unforgettable experience.

Visitors eat fruit in Cai Rang floating market

Visitors eat fruit in Cai Rang floating market

Eat fruit to your heart’s content in the garden by the river

The next destination is Ba Cong fruit garden. There is a small note that I have learned from the previous trip to Can Tho for 3 days and 2 nights: after visiting the floating market, you should visit the Que Me coconut candy oven first and then come back. garden again. Because coming to the garden, we will definitely enjoy a lot of fresh fruits, but before that, I just had breakfast, so it will reduce your “taste” quite a bit.

  • Tickets to the orchard: 15,000 VND/person

Come here, after visiting the garden, taking pictures with the fruits and vegetables, you will enjoy a small fruit plate with about 4-5 types depending on the season (this is included in the initial fee). If you want to buy fruit here, you can tell the owner of the garden it’s okay, buy as much as you want. However, the aunt and uncle are from the West, so it’s easy to be easy, all of them give extra free.

Visit Que Toi coconut candy shop

Coconut candy is an indispensable snack in our childhood. So do you know how to make coconut candy? Coming to Que Toi coconut candy shop, you will learn the full process of making a small, beautiful but extremely delicious coconut candy.

There is no entry fee here, after visiting and “asking” the aunt and uncle to participate in some stages of the coconut candy making process such as: stirring the candy-making mixture that is boiling on the fire, wrapping the candy… you can visit a souvenir stall and buy some souvenirs as gifts. And don’t forget to buy some Can Tho coconut candy for people at home!

Coconut candy

Coconut candy

Visit a traditional rice noodle factory 

The traditional noodle soup factory is an attractive tourist destination when coming to Can Tho. Coming here, you will visit the traditional noodle soup making process, enjoy the unique “Pizza noodle soup” from 1-0-2.

This place has been around for a long time. Coming here, you will visit the stages of making noodle soup from cooking rice paper from flour, drying, cutting into noodles and other stages.

In particular, not only can you see, but you can also try some of the stages of making traditional noodle soup. There are all kinds of noodles with many colors, each color is from natural ingredients. The red color of gac, the green of pandan leaves, the white color of rice flour…

Rice Noodle factory

Rice Noodle factory

Enjoying Don Ca Tai Tu on the River

One of the most special things about Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho is that every weekend there will be a don ca tai tu boat going along the river to perform for locals and tourists. If you want to hire for private service, you can also contact the singing group of the Can Tho Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Sitting on a boat along the Hau River, listening to the melodies of the Southwest region and watching the daily activities of a floating market, you will feel the peace and excitement of this land.

Don Ca Tai Tu in Cai Rang floating market

Don Ca Tai Tu in Cai Rang floating market

Some tips when going to Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho

For the most complete trip to the floating market, please note the following useful notes!

  • Find out information about the weather in Can Tho in advance to determine a reasonable time to go.
  • When renting a boat to the floating market, you should find out the exact information of the charterer, negotiate the price and agree on the time and attractions.
  • Do not deposit any amount in advance, if required, there must be a clear receipt.
  • Pay attention to the ideal time frame to go to the floating market 
  • It is possible to combine visiting the floating market with famous Can Tho tourist sites around which can be moved by train such as gardens, My Khanh tourist village …
  • Wear a full life jacket when traveling on board
  • Ask the price before enjoying breakfast dishes such as porridge, vermicelli, noodles… at the boat shops on the river.
  • Don’t ask for too much but don’t buy, especially with boats selling fruit and agricultural products…

Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho, Mekong Delta

Above is the full and detailed experience of going to Cai Rang floating market. Hope this useful information will help you have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

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