Cai Rang - Can Tho floating market

In the Mekong Delta, countless arms dotted with floating markets here and there attract more of the river than ever. Some of them are very impressive as that of Cai Rang in the city of Can Tho, one of the three biggest in the Mekong Delta. The floating markets are a typical cultural and social aspect of the Mekong Delta, famous for his arms and being omnipresent water.

Located five kilometers from the center of the city of Can Tho (Mekong Delta), the Cai Rang floating market is a wholesale market with a myriad of boats loaded with watermelons, mangoes, bananas, papayas, pineapples, onion etc. The main items sold there are farm products and specialties of the region. Many producers and farmers come here to sell their crop to wholesalers.

If the first boats arrive very early in the morning, the Cai Rang market is in full swing a little later, around 7 or 8 hours. We then see hundreds exchange of goods. Local transport their products junks medium while traders use large boats to then carry the goods to Cambodia, Thailand and China. All kinds of sounds are heard: those engines, trains plunging into water, waves hitting the side of the boat, sellers and buyers are challenging each other ...

Small boats offering snacks and drinks go here and there to serve their customers. A bowl of hu tieu (noodle soup with pork, specialty South) costs 7,000 or 8,000 VND and takes a drink of coffee for 3,000 VND (Here, drink iced coffee). Aperitifs are offered to accompany alcohol. In short, men, women, children: nobody leaves on an empty stomach.

There are also plenty of other things on the market separately. There is always happiness that we seek engine, balance, gasoline, bottles of fish sauce, salt, medicine or candy ...

Life on the water 

Each boat has a vertical pole on which are suspended samples of goods. Generally, the sale is all that is suspended but there are three exceptions that are guessing that local visitors often ask. The first, "what is suspended but not sold?" Answer, clothes. Traders live on their boat, so they dry their clothes in the sun but "the goods", they do not sell. The second, "what is sold but not suspended?". These are of course the food and beverages. It is unclear how the restaurant boats could expose their soups, for example. The last riddle, "which suspends a commodity but sold another?" The answer is that those who want to sell their boat. Thus, according to tradition, a resident who wants to sell his boat, suspend a piece of coconut leaf.

The floating market of Cai Rang attracts about 500 visitors per day, according to the director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Can Tho, Viet Dinh Khanh. Across the market, visitors can chat with farmers growing fruit trees. Sometimes, when these offer tasty fruit gift or for a small fee.

This scene full trade life is typical of the Mekong Delta. It is very nice to take part and witness this traditional way of life. Boats families traders dropped anchor near the shore. They are like moving apartments on the water, with all the comforts of the ancestors' altar to the TV through the stereo or motorcycle... 

So many things to discover in Cai Rang floating market! On occasion, spend a day with traders and people so friendly South. You will not be disappointed.

Can Tho City

Area: 1 401.6 km ²

Population: 1 139 900 inhabitants (year 2006)

Administrative Division:

- Districts: Ninh Kieu, Binh Thuy, Cai Rang, O My

- Districts: Phong Dien, Co Do, Thot Not, Vinh Thanh

Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Khmer, Hoa, Cham ...

Can Tho City is located in the center of the Mekong Delta in southern Hau River. This river supplies annually rice fields of a large quantity of sand deposits.


The climatic characteristics of this region are similar to those in other provinces of the Mekong Delta. The annual temperature is 27ºC; The rainy season extends from May to November, and the hot season is from December to April.

Economy and tourism 

Situated on a low land with many channels, the city of Can Tho is a granary of Mekong Delta. Several species of fruit trees are cultivated (durian, mangosteen, mango, banana, rambutan, coconut, cocoa, cashew, orange, mandarin, sugarcane). The poultry farming, fishing for freshwater fish, exploitation of melaena and mangrove, the production of sugar and fish sauce is well developed. The industrial sector electric plant Tra Noc (33,000 kW), a shipbuilding company, a cement plant, Tra Noc airport, the Ninh Kieu pier and number of river ports. The city of Can Tho is considered as the capital of the southwestern part of South Vietnam. 

The first high school appeared to Can Tho in 1926 At present, Can Tho University has three departments. Agriculture, medicine and education.

The boat rides are very nice during sunny days. The Ninh Kieu pier, known for its idyllic location is on the east side of the Hau River. A floating restaurant is also not far away; a bridge connects it to the bank. Restaurant guests have the opportunity to taste the dishes of eels, a specialty of the region.


Can Tho is 168km from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and 877km.

The transport system: the land and river routes. The city has the Tra Noc airport.

National Highway 1A leading to Vinh Long, Tien Giang, Long An and Ho Chi Minh City to the north, and Hau Giang, Soc Trang in the south. National 91 city of Long Xuyen (An Giang)



Leave your comment