Top 3 must-visit floating markets in the Mekong Delta

Not only capturing every visitor’s heart for its dizzying variety of greens and slashes with might waterways, the Mekong Delta of Vietnam is also famous for its floating markets, of which the best are Cai Be floating market in Vinh Long and Cai Rang and Phong Dien floating markets in Can Tho. Joining a tour to visit Mekong delta floating markets is one of the Top things to do in Ho Chi Minh City.

Cai Be floating market

Cai Be floating market - Mekong delta one day tour

Fascinating trip to visit Cai Be floating market

Apart from abundant orchards and rural homestays, Cai Be floating market is another worthwhile site in a major transit hub of Vinh Long province. Best time to join this bustling river market is from the early morning. Therefore, you need to wake up early if you travel plan includes Cai Be floating market tourist spot.

At the market, you can see wholesalers on big boats, each of which focuses on trading a few types of fruit or vegetable. Tourist can find out the hanging samples of goods from tall wooden poles (called Cây bẹo). Besides, a notable huge and photogenic Catholic cathedral on the riverside will make your early trip from Vinh Long town more worthwhile.

Starting from Vinh Long, it only takes you an hour to reach the river market where you will experience unique river lifestyle of local people. In addition, you cannot deny a chance to see the canals as well as to visit the lush orchards in Cai Be town.

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Cai Rang floating market

Cai Rang floating market - Mekong delta tour

Boat seller on Cai Rang river market

Continuing your boat trip to the political, economic, cul­tural and transportation Centre of the Me­kong Delta – Can Tho city, you will meet the biggest floating market of Cai Rang, just 6km from the city center. Although some vendors hang out until noon, the best time to visit Cai Rang is before 9.00 in the morning.

“It is quite an experience to see this in full swing, but it’s well worth getting up extra early to beat the tour-group crowds or you may end up seeing almost as many foreign­ers as market traders,” Lonely Planet said.

From the road, you can also see Cai Rang market; however, experiencing this river market by boat seems to be more interesting to everyone. There are two ways to reach Cai Rang floating market: (1) Take a boat trip from Can Tho and reach the market after about 1 hour; (2) Drive to the Cau Dau Sau boat landing, from where it takes only about 10 minutes to reach the market.

More Mekong delta tours to explore Cai Rang floating market can be found at:

Bustling Cai Rang floating market - Mekong delta tour to floating market

Cai Rang is the most bustling and biggest floating market of the Mekong delta river

Phong Dien Floating Market

Although Phong Dien has fewer motorized craft and more stand-up rowing boats, it is still the best floating market in the Mekong Delta River. It is less crowded than Cai Rang with far fewer tourists. Best time to see the Phong Dien market at its bustling is between 6.00am and 8.00am.

Phong Dien floating market - Mekong delta tour

Phong Dien floating market in the early morning

Phong Dien floating market is 20km southwest of Can Tho, therefore, most visitors travel there by road.

A recommended tour to Phong Dien floating market will require a 3.30am start and you will then do a whirlwind boat trip, visiting the small canals on the way and finishing back at the Cai Rang floating market. This journey should take about five hours return from Can Tho.