Tourist boats often depart from Ninh Kieu Pier at 7 a.m. or later, and it takes about 30 minutes or longer to get to the Can Tho Floating Market, which is also known as Cai Rang Floating Market. The journey of 30 minutes en route to the market is enjoyable as guests can view the main square, old market, new pedestrian bridge that links Ninh Kieu Pier and Cai Khe Islet and other landmarks in the city as well as scenes of locals casting nets on little skiffs to catch fish and trawlers and boats full of fruits on the way to the market.
Time flies and here comes the floating market. There, tourists can see people buy and sell all sorts of goods produced in the Mekong Delta such as watermelons, mangos, pineapples, tomatoes, pumpkins, vegetables, flowers and ornamental trees.
As usual, vendors hang samples of the products they sell on bamboo poles erected on their boats and buyers purchase goods in large quantity after both sides reach pricing deals.
A number of small boats ply the market selling dishes for breakfast, including com suon (cooked rice with grilled pork ribs), banh mi thit (break with sliced pork, cucumber and pickles), hu tiu (noodle soup with sliced pork or shrimp) and food specialties of the Mekong Delta. They also offer coffee and other drinks to vendors and tourists alike.
Tours to the floating market can be purchased at Victoria Can Tho and other hotels as well as travel firms in the city. It is advisable for tourists to book the tours one day ahead of their departures.
A vendor orders a plate of com suon at the floating market
A boat hangs tomatoes on a pole to show what
Foreigners travel by boat to the floating market
A new bridge for pedestrians in Can Tho – Photos: Binh Nguyen