Floating Market and Canals of Can Tho

boat through canal

We’d heard and read so many good things about the Mekong delta in Vietnam, we could hardly wait to book our transportation (instead of going on one of those pre-packaged tours out of Ho Chi Minh City, which we’d heard a few horror stories about) and get down to see it ourselves. A day later, we fully understood that you can’t believe everything you hear.

I was excited for rice fields, floating markets, and cities that were smaller and more laid back than Saigon, which was pretty crazy. But after seeing similar places in Cambodia, I was a little disappointed. I think my expectations of the Delta may have been too high. In fact, it may have been more enjoyable if we had just booked a group tour. With that said, we still managed to have a great morning touring a floating market and some canals around Can Tho.

This is me with the lady who drove our boat. If you go to Can Tho, you will have no problem finding someone to show you around the canals (they’ll find you!) and the prices are really reasonable.

new bff

She didn’t speak any English, but she was really cheerful and fun, and made us jewelry out of palm leaves!

Our day started at 6 AM, just as the sun was coming up because that’s when the market is busiest.

small boat

As soon as we saw the drink lady’s boat, we ordered two coffees with sweetened condensed milk. Vietnamese coffee is the best there is!

drink lady

The floating market essentially consists of big boats full of produce, which are visited by smaller boats that buy that produce. To figure out which boats are selling what, you just look at the poles raised above the boats – they show you what that boat has.

product pole

The amount of produce available is staggering. There are entire boats full of cabbage…


or, more my style…watermelons!

I wish all this amazing fruit was this cheap and plentiful back at home!

We made our way back to Can Tho by cruising through an extensive network of canals. It was awesome to see just how vital the Mekong is to everyone’s life – for everything from transportation to brushing teeth, bathing, irrigation and laundry.

After returning to the city, we found a cafe for another iced coffee. I just can’t get enough of it!

ca phe da

1 Response to “Floating Market and Canals of Can Tho”

  1. 1 Kerstin December 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    What an amazing adventure you’re on. I’ve really enjoyed all your travel posts and feel like I’m right there with you 🙂

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