No place gives better insight into life on the Mekong Delta than the Cai Rang Floating Market (Chợ Noi Cái Rang), where hundreds of wooden rowboats showcase everything from rice and clothing to exotic fruits and vegetables. Located just 4 miles (6 kilometers) from the city of Can Tho, the market can be admired from dry land or during a boat ride. The Basics
Options for exploring the Mekong Delta are plentiful and provide a relaxing break from the bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, which serves as a convenient jumping-off point for the river. Visitors can enjoy Cai Rang Floating Market independently or as part of a multi-day Mekong tour. These range in length from one to four days and typically include accommodation in a local home and activities such as biking on Ben Tre Island and a cruise by wooden rowboat.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Cai Rang Floating Market is a must-see for visitors in the Mekong Delta.
- Bring plenty of sunscreen as shade is rare when exploring the outdoor market.
- Southern Vietnam is prone to sudden downpours, so an umbrella and raincoat are useful at any time of year.
- Bring plenty of smaller bills if you’re planning to purchase goods as vendors rarely have change.
By road from Ho Chi Minh City, the journey to Cai Rang Floating Market takes around 3.5 hours depending on traffic. Most travelers visit the market by boat from the Mekong Delta town of Can Tho, 45 minutes away. If not arriving as part of an organized tour, get a boat from the market area in Can Tho or drive to the Cau Dau Sau pier and take a boat the last 10 minutes from there.When to Get There
The Cai Rang Floating Market is at its best between 6am and 8am. Cai Rang Bridge is a great spot for taking photos, and going earlier will mean capturing the busyness of the market before it is overcrowded with day-trippers.Feast Your Senses at the Floating Market
Cai Rang Floating Market gives visitors the chance to sample exotic produce they may never even have heard of. Adventurous travelers can try mangosteens, recognizable by a deep purple exterior; durian, a fruit so pungent that many hotels ban guests bringing it inside; and coconut candy, a prize Mekong Delta export.