Mekong Delta is popular with many tourists by its green/yellow rice paddies, fruits orchards, local folk songs, and delicious local food and very friendliest people….and What make its unique are dense rivers, canals system, house stilts, and lifestyle of locals on river. Thus, it is quite exceptional and awesome to surround yourself with hectic and vibrant floating markets – one of the noticeable highlights of the Mekong Delta. Trading in the river
Such the markets become gathering places where the locals can buy goods while tourists can see their real activities. To help buyers see and realize what are sold from far away, traders tend to hang their products on the top of long poles. Along with goods and items, some small sampans also serve as café shops or food stores. It is quite possible to stop by one and then enjoy an iced cup of coffee, soft drinks or a noodle soup for breakfast.
In general, sunrise as early as possible is the best time to visit any of the floating markets, since this is the moment when everything is very colorful and vigorous. Of course, they are best discovered on small sampans with a local guide. Lets’s check it out top 7 floating market in Mekong river delta.
1. Cai Rang Floating Market – Cantho, Mekong delta capital city.
15 minutes drive from Cantho downtown. or 45 minutes boar ride along Hau river.
The market starts from 5 am and till 9 am, it’s crowded with boats. The special feature of this market is the trading of famous fruits of the Southern region.Like other floating market, people will hang on the pole what they sell. Coming here, visitors will be immersed with nature, rivers, early morning floating on the boats, watch the dawn or feel the unique bustle of floating markets.As the largest floating market in the region. Cai Rang often starts 5 AM and lasts until midday. But, it is better to arrive in it before 9 AM. The main goods here include wholesale fruits, agricultural products and specialties from Chau Thanh District and other neighboring areas. Of course, there is no need for sellers to cry out about their products. As mentioned above, each boat has a long upright pole where the samples of the goods are hung on the top for sale. So, if you want to buy bananas, for instance, just find which boat has bananas on the pole.
During the early morning, the waterway does become a maze of many different boats packed with papaya, mango, bananas, pineapple, and even cigarettes. To meet the demands of both domestic and foreign visitors, different services are also available on the floating market. Apart from fresh fruits, they are quite able to enjoy Vietnamese breakfast dishes, like Pho, Hu Tieu or coffee. ….Cai Rang floating market is open and busy all day. However, it’s liveliest and most animated from the dawn to 8 to 9 AM. But, you can wake up early and enjoy the most vibrant atmosphere of the market around 6 to 7 AM. There are two ways to mingle with the colorful life of locals on river. First, you may ask a local guide to instruct you by a small sampan. Second, Remember to drop by the merchant ships and feast your taste with some seasonal fruits before buying. Just gain hands-on experience and share your feeling with your beloved ones after the trip.
2. Cho Noi Nga Bay or Phung Hiep Floating Market . Hau Giang Province – Known as the market of snakes and toutoises
Also called Phung Hiep Floating Market, Nga Bay is known as the remarkable market in the Mekong Delta. In fact, it is just a general market on river, where people may purchase wholesale and retail. But, when arriving in here, visitors can be overwhelmed by inspirational colors of fruits, vegetables, seafood, poultry products, handicraft goods, domestic utensils as well as aquatic products of the waterway region. Goods come with various and abundant categories. Along with fruits, what make you amazed is the supply of snakes, birds, tortoises, iguanas and all year around.
Like other floating markets, several sampans and tiny junks also sell Pho, Banh Xeo, Banh Cuon and many kinds of drinks, which bring the distinguishing cuisine of the South. Don’t look at anywhere else because the market is great and imposing enough to satisfy you with its greenness and rural characteristics. Recently, this market is not popular with tourist any more. thank to the local urban development. However, You can check it out when you have more time in Mekong delta.
3. Cai Be Floating Market. Tien Giang Province
The nearest one from Saigon (HCMC) 2 hours drive to get to Cai Be township then take boat to visit this floating market and some local activities along Tien river.In general, the market is split into 2 distinguishing parts, called buying places and selling places. At that time, boats and sampans packed with vegetables, fruits, and other agricultural goods from other provinces, such as sweet potatoes (Vinh Long) and pumpkins (Hau Giang), will be anchored along the banks of the Tien River for kilometers. Similar to Cai Rang Market, the sample of the merchandise is also hung on a long pole in front of each boat to attract and help customers realize more easily. This seems to be a common and unique sign you only find in this region.
You are able to hire a motorboat to sail along the river as well as experience how animated and vibrant a floating market is. From the 3 AM in the early morning, boats and sampans are busy and crowded since Cai Be is considered one of the largest wholesale markets in the region. Spending their lifetime on the river, traders also use their boats as “mobile houses” from generation to generation. The water is likely to become an inseparable part of their daily lives. They eat, sleep, hang out, and do other jobs on water. On the deck of one boat, it is easy to catch the images of kids studying or playing with dogs.
In addition, you may also gain practical experience by accompanying with the locals to know how they catch fish. After sailing on the river, visitors may enjoy homestay atmosphere, wander around the fruit gardens, sample local cuisine and immerse in the old stories. If departing for the journey on a nice day without rain, you should not let this interesting tourist attraction slip out of your itinerary
Full day trip from HCMC is recommended..
4. Cho Noi Nga 5 Soc Trang Province
Located in Soc Trang Province, what make Nga Nam Floating Market stand out from others is that it lies on the convergent point of 5 rivers flowing into 5 directions: My Long (Hau Giang), Vinh Quoi (Soc Trang), Phung Hiep (Hau Giang), Phuoc Long (Bac Lieu) and Phu Loc (Soc Trang). That’s why it is also called Nga Nam Market.
Both business and life activities mostly take place on the boat. Thus, boats become the means for the locals to transport and do transactions on the river. Of course, fruits, vegetables and seasonal goods are not only diverse, but also rich in both volume and quality. The best time to set foot on Nga Nam floating market is at dawn, when the sun starts rising and people are ready for trading. It is quite possible to find nearly anything here, from meat, rice and fruits to even TV and other electronic goods. Mingle with the residents’ lives by chatting with them.
Starting early morning from Cantho city then spend 1 and 1/2 hours drive to get here. Take sampan ride to visit.
5. Tra On floating Market – Travinh Province
Tra On Floating Market will surely give you a feeling for the rhythm of how the daily life there is. Situated at the intersection of the Hau River and Mang Thit River, adjacent to Tra On Town, this is known as the final floating market on the Hau River. The market often starts a new day at the very early morning, about 2 AM to 3 AM. But, you can arrive in it around 5 AM to 6 AM as this is the busiest moment. At that time, various boats full of products will gather here.
Like other large floating markets in Mekong Delta, the main goods are fruits and seasonal agricultural products. Your eyes and tastes will be feasted with a wide range of mangoes, longan, rambutan, etc. In addition, there are also many other agricultural products, like gourds, potatoes, okra, cabbage, radishes, melon, and more etc. The whole scene is more exciting and lively with small boats served as coffee shops and food stores. The laugh of people and the sound of engines do create an unforgettable remix.
6. Long Xuyen Floating market – Long Xuyen city – An Giang province
Long Xuyen floating market is not as big as other markets but is a tourist destination where visitors can find out about the idyllic, quiet, pristine nature of people and rivers here. The market is about 2 km from Long Xuyen city, located along one side of the Hau river with heavy alluvium. The main goods here are kinds of vegetables and famous snacks of An Giang region such as fish noodles or pork-skin cakes. You can visit Long Xuyen land market to see all fresh vegetable, tropical fruits then snakes market – Recommend this area during ” High water season” in Mekong river delta that comes from Sept to Nov in every year where you can find many local reptiles, rodents, tortoises …..then take a boat trip from here. You even can combine your longer boat trip to visit Ong Ho island – Mr Tiger island to learn more about local life and their history.
7. Chau Doc floating market – Chau Doc city – An Giang province.
Going to Chau Doc, you may have enabled yourself to discover the charming attraction in the three-hour visit. This tour bring you to the floating market place, the floating village offshore, a Cham village along the river, and maybe a peek in the Kinh Vinh Te, the canal that leads south to Ha Tien.
Being busiest around 7am, the floating market is around 10 minutes downstream on the central market place. In the morning, many boats are going to be fully crammed up using goods, especially fruit to get ready for an industry day. Boats head off to receive fruit in Sa Dec or Can Tho every day or two, but there’s always plenty of business inside early hours.
Floating village would be another stop you shouldn’t miss, which are selection of houses with roof as well as wall made of aluminum. Inside are plenty of huge, netted ‘fish farms embedded, ’ where by hundreds and a huge selection of ca vo dem sea food await canh chua servings; some visitor could possibly get shipped downriver to Can Tho as well as beyond. Note the huge moored wood boats, which avalanche their reduced decks to maintain the sea food alive through the trip.In addition, Da Phuoc is another must-see place in Chau Doc, which is a Cham village along the river on Con Tien Tropical isle from Chau Doc’s heart. Along the streets, you should have chances to find out many females having turbans made of Cham-style fabrics that they can weave – through dry time – underneath their houses that endure on stilts. Inside rainy time, because the river level rises up extremely high, Cham females usually placed on conical caps or nón lá once they go to Chau Doc Market, to “blend in’ apparently. The 1992 mosque sometimes hosts marriage ceremony parity, because buildings inside village will not be large plenty of to host the wedding.
8. Phong Dien Floating Market Cantho Capital city: (02 in 01 market) wholesaler and retailer.
Unlike Cai Rang Floating Market, Phong Dien Floating Market not just sells agricultural products, but also other various ones. In the market, there are boats selling household and working tools such as canoes, boats, roofing sheets, knives, hoes, machete, and fishing tools like fishing nets, or weaving products as baskets, and all kinds of general domestic and foreign cargoes. In addition, the market also sells many types of food: noodle soup, noodle with toasted meat, rice soup, Hu Tieu, and coffee, etc. In particular, there are dozens of ferry and vessels anchoring at the river’s bank. They are ready to take tourists to visit the floating market.You can combine this market with Caring floating market on the same Hau (bassac river) . Starting early morning from Cantho capital city to Phong Dien district. Taking boat to visit here then long boat ride on papaya natural canals to rach Cai Rang floating market… beautiful sunrise on Mekong river some day too. Have a good time