Cai Be and Cai Rang Floating Market in Southern Vietnam
CAI BE & CAI RANG FLOATING MARKET
Cai Be and Cai Rang Floating Market are only 2 main markets exist in the Mekong delta.
Have you ever wondered about some big rivers around the world? Maybe you always hear about Amazon, Nile, … do you know the river flows through 6 countries of Asia but just only the world’s twelve largest river. Yes, that’s true? It is Mekong River. Let’s come to Vietnam and to see last part of this river.
Mekong river flows through 6 countries including Tibet, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. When it flows to Vietnam, the river divines into 9 branches. And in Vietnam, we don’t call that the Mekong river, it is called “Song Cuu Long”. It means “nine dragons” represented for 9 branches. Mekong river creates a big river culture. Everybody stays in the Mekong delta sticking their life on the river. Every activities, lifestyle of people is always on the boat so that the reason why day by day many markets was established by the locals on the river. Traders live on the boat everyday come to these markets to sell and buy many stuffs such as fruits, breakfast, …even boats. Whenever you came to the delta, you have to enjoy the life on the boat and visit the floating market to see the way that the people doing business on the river. There used to have many floating markets on Mekong river but the life is changing a lot so that many people move to the land to have a better life. Right now, just only 2 main markets exist in the Mekong delta. So, what are you waiting for? Let come with us and see how the markets work in different ways.
Mekong Delta leaves a strong impression on tourists by its green/yellow rice paddies, fruits orchards, Southern folk songs, and delicious regional dishes. 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.
Such the markets become gathering places where the locals can buy goods while tourists can spread their eyes over the lively panorama around. 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 coffee 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.
Cai Be Floating Market
Another prominent floating market in Mekong Delta is Cai Be, which is located at Tien River in the intersection of Vinh Long, Tien Giang and Ben Tre Provinces. This market is busy from the early morning (around 3:00 AM) to late afternoon. The goods exhibited here are abundant and multiform, ranging from fruits, seafood, animals, chicken, materials and commodities to sweet mandarin, coconut soap and candy. About 400 to 500 rafts and boats packed with vegetables, fruits and other regional products will be anchored along the 2 sides of the river. Just like Cai Rang Floating Market, the samples of products in each boat here will also be hung on a pole to attract customers.
Along with many different kinds of boats, Cai Be Floating Market also leaves travelers from admiration to admiration by the magnetic sights along the river, such as lines of coconut trees and stilt houses on 2 banks. At that time, boats and sampans can serve as “water taxis” which help traveler to sightsee and visit somewhere more conveniently and easily.
** Address: Cai Be town, Cai Be District, Tien Giang.
** Pros: less travelers
** Cons: most of food traders closed their floating boats nowaday and they changed into another job
Cai Rang Floating Market
As the largest floating market in the Mekong Delta. Cai Rang often starts 5 AM and lasts until midday. But, it is better to arrive in it before 8:00 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. Try imagining that how unforgettable it is when tasting a delicious Pho bowl while paddling along the river, right? Of course, don not try to search for which boat has a bowl of noodle hanging on pole since it is impossible. Instead, locals around will help you to find the suitable shop and store.
** Address: 46 Hai Ba Trung Can Tho city
** Open at 4 AM till 9 AM
Overall, Saigon Adventure recommends you going to Cai Rang Floating Market for real local experiences