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4 amazing floating market in Mekong Delta Vietnam

1. PHONG DIEN FLOATING MARKET

Phong Dien Floating Market is about 20 kilometres southwest of Can Tho, the best floating market in the Mekong Delta.

Boats loaded with produce from nearby orchards of the Mekong Delta converge to the floating market. They carry mostly fruits but also coconuts, vegetables and fishes.

Buyers are local traders with bigger boats snapping everything by the bushels and resell at local markets or to wholesale dealers from big cities, often for a handsome profit.

Large floating markets are not complete without its floating restaurants, floating gas stations and an occasional tour boat filled with tourists.

Perhaps the best floating market in the Mekong Delta, Phong Dien has fewer motorised craft and more stand-up rowing boats. It’s less crowded than Cai Rang and there are far fewer tourists. The market is at its bustling best between 6am and 8am.

It is theoretically possible to do a whirl- wind boat trip here, visiting the small canals on the way and finishing back at the Cai Rang floating market. This journey should take approximately five hours return from Can Tho.

2. CAI RANG FLOATING MARKET

Together with Cai Be and Phung Hiep, Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City is one of the three biggest in the Mekong Delta. The shops and stalls at these markets are boats of different sizes.

Cai Rang Floating Market is open all day but it is busiest from sunrise to about 9am. The main items sold there are farm products and specialties of Cai Rang Town, Chau Thanh District and neighboring areas. Every boat has a long upright pole at its bow on which samples of the goods for sale are hung. 

During the early morning market hours, larger sized boats anchor and create lanes that smaller boats weave in and out of. The waterway becomes a maze of hundreds of boats packed with mango, bananas, papaya, pineapple, and even smuggled goods like cigarettes.Sellers do not have to cry out about their goods because their goods can be seen in a distance and their cries would not be heard in the vastness of the river and the noise of boat engines. Small boats that sell beer, soft drinks and wine go among the other boats to serve market-goers and visitors. Sellers tie their goods to a tall pole so that buyers can see from a distance what they are selling.

Each boat is loaded with plenty of seasonal goods. Activities at the market are also an occasion for tourists to study the cultural aspects of southerners.

To visit Cai Rang Floating Market, visitors can join a tour of the Mekong Delta. On the way to Can Tho, visitors can stop to visit My Tho and take a boat trip to visit orchards, bee farms and coconut candy establishments in Ben Tre.

3. CAI BE FLOATING MARKET

This bustling river market is worth including on a boat tour from Vinh Long.

It is opened from 5am to 5pm. It is best to go early in the morning. Wholesalers on big boats moor here, each specialising in one or a few types of fruit or vegetable. Customers cruise the market in smaller boats and can easily find what they’re looking for, as the larger boats hang samples of their goods from tall wooden poles.

One interesting thing you won’t see at other floating markets is the huge Catholic cathedral on the riverside – a popular and fantastic backdrop for photographs.

It takes about an hour to reach the market from Vinh Long, but most people make detours on the way there or back to see the canals or visit orchards.

4. PHUNG HIEP FLOATING MARKET

To Phung Hiep, visitors will see thousands of small boats full of agricultural products from Western corners to form 1km long floating market. It’s said to be a fruit-market of the Southern part and the market is cultural identity of the¬†Mekong Delta.

It is opened from 5am to 5pm. It is best to go early in the morning. Wholesalers on big boats moor here, each specialising in one or a few types of fruit or vegetable. Customers cruise the market in smaller boats and can easily find what they’re looking for, as the larger boats hang samples of their goods from tall wooden poles.

One interesting thing you won’t see at other floating markets is the huge Catholic cathedral on the riverside – a popular and fantastic backdrop for photographs.

It takes about an hour to reach the market from Vinh Long, but most people make detours on the way there or back to see the canals or visit orchards.

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