It is truly awesome to surround yourself with vibrant floating boats to experience local life and spread your eyes over the cheerful panorama around. Explore Mekong Delta floating markets to know more about Southern Vietnam and the people here!
You can’t visit the Mekong Delta and not visit any floating market. It’s like going to Saigon and skipping the Notre Dame Cathedral. Who does that? Getting away from the fast pace in Ho Chi Minh City, you will find another good place to make friends with amicable locals and comnune with nature. Read down below to know how the Mekong Delta with floating markets will make your day.
What are floating markets?
Floating markets have become an iconic brand name in terms of tourism in the Mekong Delta. As the name suggests, you can only find this unique kind of market on the river. No surprise, that is totally different from what you already know about markets in Saigon like Ben Thanh Market or Binh Tay Market.
The Mekong Delta finds floating markets as a good solution to take advantage of its geographical position. Thanks to the complex and extensive river system of the region, local people created floating markets as a way to make trading much easier.
Each market has its own opening hours, but the busiest time usually falls in the early morning. There are various items for sale on boats, all kinds of fruits and vegetables, coffee, breakfast dishes, and even lottery tickets. Products are usually hung on bamboo poles to signal locals and tourists which products are sold. However, in some cases, it is not unusual for local vendors to hung one item but sell the other one. If you ask for something not available, you will receive a warm smile instead.
Must-see floating markets in the Mekong Delta
Floating markets play an important role in the daily of local people in terms of both trading and tourism. Anyone who visits Mekong Delta makes it a point to join the tour to top Mekong Delta floating markets.
Cai Rang Floating Market – Can Tho
Chosen as one of ten most impressive markets in the world by UK’s Rough Guide, Cai Rang Floating Market is obviously a highlight for any Mekong Delta tour. Located on Cai Rang River, 6 km away from the center of Can Tho City, the market has survived over a hundred years, associated with many ups and downs of this area.
Cai Rang Floating Market usually starts from 3 AM to 9 AM. The dominated scene here is obviously boats filled with fruits and vegetables from surrounding areas. You will have a great chance to be a part of local trading activities, getting to know how they sell food and many items from boats to boats.
Nga Bay Floating Market – Hau Giang
Nga Bay Floating Market is the convergent point of seven canals. In its golden time, there were thousands of boats gathering there for trading. Though time passed, Nga Bay Floating Market still stays busy and is one of the most important markets in the Mekong Delta. Travelers will soon be dazzled by an array of colors, smells and sounds here. Sitting on a boat with a cup of coffee, you don’t have to look hard to find fun in life.
Once you get to Nga Bay Floating Market, don’t be scared by bottles of wine that are made from snakes, scorpions, chameleons, etc. According to the locals’ general belief, these animals can cure many diseases and empower the whole body.
Nga Nam Floating Market – Soc Trang
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A day at Nga Nam Floating Market usually begins at 3 AM or 4 AM and the busiest time of the day is from 5 AM to 7 AM. Hundreds of sampans, motorboats wake up the whole area and paint the picture of Soc Trang more colorful. Local people find pleasure in selling fresh cabbages, potatoes, tomatoes, and a wide range of seafood. When you feel their enthusiasm, you will know how they really take pride in ‘floating market’ culture.
If you are not interested in fruits and vegetables as a local, you can enjoy the epicurean in the Mekong cuisine. Vendors will try to catch your attention to their Hu tieu, Bun ca or coffee. You just have to sit down and wait to be served the best dish made out of fresh ingredients in the blink of an eye.
Long Xuyen Floating Market – An Giang
Compared to many floating markets in the Mekong Delta, Long Xuyen Floating Market is less well-known. It is, however, wins the heart of many tourists thanks to the lively atmosphere and hospitable vendors. You are greeted with friendly smiles that say much about the exuberance as a typical trait of character of Southern people.
Long Xuyen Floating Market is located on the Hau River, Long Xuyen City, An Giang Province. The size of the market is humble, and not many tourists have visited this spot. That is the reason why you will get the most unique experiences here, find yourself surrounded by the lovely hustle and bustle of a typical floating market.
Cai Be Floating Market – Tien Giang
Cai Be Floating Market is on Tien River in Tien Giang Province, bordered to Vinh Long and Ben Tre. It is one of the most energetic floating markets in the area that visitors to the Mekong Delta have to include in their bucket lists. A short stop at the market will help you get an insight into the river life and local specialities.
Not only does the floating market beautify Tien Giang Province but this area is also painted vibrant with orchards and rows of houses. You see the magnificence of landscapes perfectly blend with people’s activities to make one of the must-have experiences in Vietnam. Cruise on your boat, enjoy local fruits such as longans, rambutans, mangoes, and feel the cool breeze – You get that all for a wonderful experience in the countryside of Vietnam.
Suggested tours to Mekong Delta floating markets
Here are some of the best Mekong Delta tours that will take you to the essence of the Mekong Delta’s life and floating market experiences. You can contact us to book a private Mekong Delta tour at any time.
On this tour you’ll experience the daily life of locals on the beautiful Mekong River. Expect a truly sensory adventure as you glide through a traditional floating market, visit a handicraft village and try out some local Mekong delicacies.
You have a great opportunity to marvel at the river that proudly sits at the heart of rural daily life. On this tour, you’ll cruise down the spectacular delta and through some amazing floating markets. You can buy some local products to bring back home as souvenirs from Vietnam and sip your morning coffee at one of the awesome floating coffee shops.
During this trip, you’ll have the chance to visit bustling floating markets, stunning temples, and beautiful wilderness areas. Get up early and you can visit the biggest floating market in the whole of Asia at the busiest time of the day. Contact us now.
Trinh Tran written for Maika Tours
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