Can Tho is a city in the Mekong Delta in Southern Vietnam. It is located on the southern banks of the Bassac River (known as the Hau River locally), itself a distributary channel of the Tonle Sap in Cambodia and the Mekong River. Can Tho contains a complex system of canal networks and is a fascinating way to explore the city. It is definitely a more relaxed mode of transportation when compared to the hustle and bustle when traveling by road.
Can Tho has a population of over one million people, making it one of the biggest cities in the Mekong Delta. It is developing at a quick rate but still retains much of its charm and rural personality. Because of its position within the delta, Can Tho is a lush and green area, rich in a variety of flora and fauna.
No visit to Can Tho is complete without experiencing its wonderful and colorful floating markets. They are truly lively, unique and practically contain much of the goods that are exchanged throughout the area. The markets can easily be reached by any small boat.
So, what are some of the markets to visit? Below is a list of some of the more interesting ones:
• Tra On – A small floating village market anchored near Cu Lao May Island in Vinh Long Province.
• Cai Rang – The main wholesale floating market near Can Tho. It is best to go there early and to experience it at its peak hours.
• Phong Dien – Is further upstream on the Can Tho River, this retail market is very busy during the morning hours, so land transportation might have to be considered.
• Phung Hiep – is perhaps the furthest located market (located in Hau Giang Province) and is always bustling with activity throughout the day.
Many of these markets sell traditional Vietnamese goods, which make for a great opportunity for souvenir shopping. Other produce being sold includes fruits, vegetables, food and many other commodity items. In addition, the atmosphere at these markets is unlike any in the world, so just going there to absorb the ambiance is an experience in itself.
The Mekong Delta city is easily accessible from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) by road, taking about three hours to travel from the country’s biggest city to the Mekong Delta. The drive is filled with beautiful rice fields and rural flavor, making for an interesting and scenic ride. After the drive to the Mekong Delta, visitors can then board the Bassac boat to Can Tho or to other parts of the Mekong Delta. Visit Exotissimo’s Vietnam’s Southern Charms tour for a detailed description of this Southern Vietnam/Mekong Delta experience.
The Mekong Delta is a fascinating region in Vietnam. The people here are also very friendly and welcoming of visitors. Your time here will surely be memorable! You can also see our Waterways of the Mekong Delta or our Deep in the Delta tours for other interesting and unforgettable journeys into this area of Vietnam.
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