Floating markets have existed in Vietnam for hundreds of years and have become crucial part of daily life in the Mekong Delta. Visiting one of these vibrant floating markets is something that can not be skipped when visiting Vietnam. There are plenty to chose from but these are the ones that top the list.
Cai Rang Floating Market
Not surprisingly the Cai Rang Floating Market is located on the Cai Rang river which is just 6 km outside of Can Tho City (The capital of the Mekong Delta). Cai Rang was initially formed to meet the trading needs of the locals as the road system was still under construction 100 years ago.
The boats here are packed with socialities from the nearby farms and villages such as vegetables, coconut, banana, watermelon, grapefruit and dragon fruit. As well as produce the market offers products that would be found in any other conventual market such as clothes, cosmetic supplies, mobile cards and motorbike repair parts.
Taking a bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho is the best way to get here. Once in Can Tho you are just 6 km away from the market. You can either take a taxi or book a private boat from Ninh Kieu Station.
Cai Be Floating Market
Cai Be Market is located on the Tien River in Cai Be district. Due to its proximity to Ho Chi Minh City this floating market is one of the most popular for tourist to visit. Unlike other floating markets in the region who open in the early morning and finish earlier this one stays open later to accommodate tourist who would prefer to get up in the break of dawn. This certainly means that the market is the most “touristy” of all the markets but the accessibility and longer opening time make it an ideal floating market to visit for those with limited time.
Nga Nam Market
Nga Nam Market is located in Nga Nam town on the intersection of 5 rivers, Cau Mau, Vinh Quoi, Long My, Tanh Tri and Phung Hiep. This market is notorious for its hustle and bustle atmosphere. The best time to visit is in the early morning while the sun rises from the east. You can find practically anything at this market from rice, meat, fresh fruits or TV’s and electrical goods.
Long Xuyen Market
The Long Xuyen Market is located along the bank of the Hau River in An Giang and is widely regarded as one of the most important floating markets in the region. The people here are known to be especially friendly and you can expect to hear the locals here singing traditional Vietnamese folk music. Tourist are not a common sight here so expect the locals to be very curious and try to communicate with you.
Tra Onh Floating Market
Located on the intersection of the Hau and Mang Thit river, and is the final floating market of the Hau River. This market can wake up as early as 2 AM and catching the early morning routines is absolutely recommended. Like in the other market the main goods sold are fruits and seasonal agricultural products.