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.
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1. Experience going to Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho
If you are wondering which river is the Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho? 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!
1.1. The formation of the 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, Can Tho City.
Cai Rang Floating Market Can Tho
- 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 formed in the early 20th century, mainly trading agricultural products, fruits, and specialties of the Mekong Delta.
In the past, the market used to be the largest place to buy rice in the West of overseas Chinese. For those who love to explore, and 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, the 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.
1.2. 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 should you go to Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho?
Can Tho have 2 distinct rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season starts from May – November, and 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 when the fruit is superabundant in the West.
What time of day should you go to Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho?
Completely different from the market on the mainland, the 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. Arriving 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 2 am to 3 am, 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 5 am to 9 am to serve visitors.
1.3. 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 which is Ninh Kieu Wharf – Can Tho Bridge – garden – coconut candy factory – traditional noodle oven lasting about 4 hours.
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 a price of 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!
2. What’s interesting about the Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho?
On the journey down to Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho (with a tour time of about 4 hours), we will go through the following points and experience the following interesting activities in turn:
Find out the busy trading activities at the floating market
- Have breakfast and enjoy delicious dishes right on the boat
- Eat fruit to your heart’s content in the garden by the river
- Visit my hometown coconut candy oven
- Visit a traditional noodle shop
- Enjoying Don Ca Tai Tu on the River
2.1. The method of “4 hanging” and the unique “bump” tree at the Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho
Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho sells a variety of items. Each 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, and the sound of loud explosions, it is not possible to use the same sound as on the mainland, so the items for sale will be hung by the boat owner on a pole – the people here call it a “bump” tree so that buyers can easily recognize the items they need and approach to buy.
And the “4 hanging” method here is:
- Hang whatever you want to sell: the owner of the boat sells something, and hangs it on the tree (for example, if you want to sell watermelons, 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 thatched roof, it can be understood that they sell their boat (I mean the boat is like their house).
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, in 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…
2.2. Explore the food market on the river
If you go to the floating market from 5 to 6 am, then 7 am is a great time for breakfast. You do not think here only of agricultural products such as sweet potatoes, pumpkins, tapioca, taro… or fresh fruits.
To serve the local people as well as tourists, there are many small boats weaving around the river selling breakfast on the boat such as porridge, rice ribs, noodle soup, vermicelli, fried vermicelli… and drinks such as tea, coffee, pineapple coconut, Siamese coconut, soy milk… And don’t be surprised when you see a pub right on the river!
Among the many delicious dishes sold here, noodle soup and braised coffee are two specialties you must try when coming to Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho. These are two unique delicious specialties born from the characteristics of river culture.
Talking about the birth of shaken noodles, it is because every time the boat selling noodles stops, customers buy a bowl of noodles to eat right there. There are no tables and chairs like on the shore. This noodle dish sits on a wobbly boat, shaking it back and forth, it is called shaking noodle soup. With the specialty of shaken noodles, in the past, people used crockery bowls and waited for customers to finish eating, then received the bowl back. Nowadays, to save time, there are many boats that people also make plastic bowls to take away.
As for the unique braised coffee, its birth is also very interesting. The story is that when selling coffee in the river, there is a lot of wind in every section, and the coffee is made very quickly, so people will have a stove (like super sharp water) and burn wood with a low fire to keep the coffee hot, so it has such a name. Kho coffee is also a familiar dish of the Chinese community if you have ever “wanted” the cafes in Saigon.
Just visit the Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho once, seeing with your own eyes the nomadic life of the people, but they are always happy, and happy, which will definitely make your Can Tho trip more interesting than ever.
2.3. Eat fruit to your heart’s content in the garden by the river
The next destination is the 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 Toi coconut candy oven first and then return to the garden. 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, and 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 very easy to get along and give more.
2.4. Que Toi Coconut Candy
Coconut candy is an indispensable snack in our childhood. So do you know how to make coconut candy? Coming to the Que Toi coconut candy oven, you will learn the full process of making 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 boiling candy mixture on the fire, wrapping the candy, etc., you can visit the souvenir stall and buy some souvenirs as a souvenir. And don’t forget to buy some Can Tho coconut candy for people at home!
2.5. Participating in making noodle soup at a traditional noodle shop
The traditional noodle oven is an attractive tourist destination when coming to Can Tho. Coming here, you will visit the traditional noodle-making process, and enjoy the unique “Pizza noodle soup”.
This traditional noodle oven 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 noodles. 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…
2.6. Listen to Don ca tai tu on the River – a treasure of the Southern River region
One of the most special things about the Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho is that every weekend (Saturday, and Sunday) there will be a don ca tai tu boat going along the river to perform for locals and tourists. This is the singing troupe of the Can Tho Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. If you want to rent for private service, you can also contact us!
While listening to Southern melodies, watching the scene of “daily” activities of a floating market, and sitting on a boat along the Hau River, you will feel the peace and excitement of this land. The sound of the boat engine, the sound of the water slapping the side of the boat, the cool breeze blowing into the skin and hair,… will make you love the peace and gentleness that is present here.
Occasionally, you will see a few clumps of water hyacinths bobbing in the distance over the murky alluvial water. Floating houses cling to each other on the river, then even the wooden workshop and the petrol station are also located on the floating houses on both sides of the waves…
3. Pocket notes 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 that I suggested in section 1.2 for the most complete experience
- 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…
In addition to Cai Rang floating market, Can Tho has many other beautiful and interesting destinations that you should go to at least once such as Ba Bo flower village, Tay Do night market, Binh Thuy Can Tho ancient house, My Khanh Can Tho tourist area, Can Tho artificial beach, Bang Lang stork garden in Can Tho, Phuong Nam Truc Lam Zen monastery in Can Tho, Can Tho museum…
To go to all these attractions, you need to have good health and a long enough time. So how to do that? Sheraton Can Tho is the perfect answer to the above answer.
This highest 5-star hotel in the West is not only located in the heart of Can Tho city to make it convenient for you to travel, eat, and play, but it also owns a system of hotel rooms, services, and amenities.
Related Article: Discover Can Tho with top 10 famous tourist destinations
So we have just shared with you all my experience of going to the Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho. Hopefully, with the above detailed and useful reviews, you will have a good trip to discover the floating market as well as the safe and happy Can Tho city with interesting experiences.