The market operates on the river, where sellers and buyers use boats as means of transport for goods and for people. Markets are open all day, but they usually get busiest in the mornings. Each boat is loaded with a specific product, be it fruits, vegetables and flowers from farms, or fresh aquatic products such as shrimp,fish and crabs. Exotic animals on sales may include turtles and snakes...
Floating markets have long been established in Cai Be (Tien Giang province), Cai Rang (Can Tho), Vam Lang (Phong Dien), Phung Hiep Bay (Hau Giang), Ganh Hao River (Ca Mau), Vinh Thuan (Kien Giang) and Long Xuyen (An Giang)... Once in Can Tho, we should spend time to visit Cai Rang floating market.
Transportation: a boat trip from Ninh Kieu wharf to the market (10 km) and back and a shuttle bus from your hotel to the wharf
- We could go to Ninh Kieu wharf to book a motorized boat to get to the market. The receptionist at your hotel can also be helpful in arranging such a trip, or helping you connect with a boat owner.
Time: 30-40 minutes by boat from Ninh Kieu wharf to the market; Boats leave as early as 4:00-4:30 a.m.
Your boat arrangement should be done preferably one day before, so the boat owner can give you a wake-up call and have you picked up by a shuttle bus from your hotel.
- From Ninh Kieu wharf to Cai Rang market: Given the early departure time, it is still dark but as soon as you notice more boats on the river, it's the signal you are near the market. Have your camera ready for nice photos with early market activities in the dawn lights.
- Have your Vietnamese-style breakfast at one of the boats. Various types of noodle, bread with beef stew or rice with pork ribs are ready for your choice.
- Check on the goods on sales: by looking at the item hung on a pole on each boat, visitors may guess what type of goods the boat owner is dealing with.
Note: boats hanging clothes don't mean they sell clothes.
- The boat trip to the Cai Rang market may be combined with a tour to a fruit farm to fully spend the first half of your day. Negotiations should be done in advance with the boat owner or a tour operator.