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“Nice experience”

Cai Rang Floating Market
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Mekong Delta and Cai Rang Floating Market Half-Day Tour
Ranked #1 of 6 Shopping in Can Tho
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Owner description: Touring a floating market in the Mekong Delta is a box that many travellers to Saigon wish to check, and none are bigger, or more popular than the Can Tho’s Cai Rang Floating Market.The Cai Rang Floating Market, the largest wholesale floating market in the Mekong Delta, starts around 04:00 and runs until 10:00, meaning that you’ll have to get an early start of the day if you want to visit.The market is about six kilometres from Can Tho, or about a 40-minute boat ride. While floating down the river, you get a glimpse of life along its shores. You’ll pass vibrantly painted boats anchored along the shore, merchant vessels carrying loads down the river and houses built on stilts over the water.Once you finally reach the market, it’s an impressive site. A stretch of boats selling all variety of goods lines the river. Not really a place for souvenirs, people come here instead to buy large quantities of goods, mostly foodstuffs, and you will get an idea of what water commerce in the Delta looks like. Your guide on the boat will usually give you information about Cai Rang as you weave through the hordes. You’ll learn that boats identify what they are selling by hanging a sample off the top of a long pole; if you want pineapple, simply scan the horizon for a hanging pineapple. You’ll also get the opportunity to interact with some of these floating merchants; most commonly this happens when a small boat selling drinks latches onto the tour boat’s side.After the market you’ll be ferried off to your breakfast break at a local orchard. You’ll be led around a fairly large garden growing a big variety of local fruits, which you’ll get to sample after your walk. Once your breakfast or fruits is eaten, you’ll go back to the boat and it’s time to explore some of the Mekong’s canals. Your tour boat will slowly coast down a few of these quiet canals, choked on both sides by greenery. As the sun starts to heat things up, your tour will draw to a close, returning you to downtown Can Tho.Since the market starts early in the morning, and because Can Tho is a healthy bus ride from Saigon — about four hours — you won’t have the option of seeing this floating market as a day tour from HCMC. Instead, you’ll have to spend the night in Can Tho.
Nuremberg, Germany
Level Contributor
132 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Nice experience”
Reviewed September 2, 2013

Tour was booked for us and it was a private one. Took us around 3 hours in total. but it was very nice to see. Not only to see the market and got the explanation how it worked. The tour guide spoke good English and we had a great time in the small canals and river arms beneath the. Also the start was a bit later than usual I don't think we missed something :-)! Overall a great experience to see.

Visited August 2013
Thank Peter H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Hong Kong
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2013

it is a must. you have to experience this via one of those countless boat tour companies. Do it early with sun raising above the river and you won't regret the experience.

Visited August 2013
Thank Forsixentu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Koh Tao
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Great Experience, but book directly with a boat driver”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

This tour is definitively worth your time (besides, there is nothing else to do in Can Tho). The tour starts at 5:30 am and it lasts around 6 hours. Make sure you book the extended tour, which takes you to 2 floating markets, the first one is quite impressive, the second one is a bit of a joke but part of the deal anyway. Then you are taken to a noddle/rice paper factory which is really interesting to see. Then a very long ride through small canals, which was really beautiful. At some point they make you get out of the boat and walk around so you can see the rice fields and the fruit gardens. Then you cross the "monkey bridge" to get back to your boat.

My key advise would be: Don't book the tour with the people who come to your hotel to try to sell it to you (fr 20-25 dlls per person) or with the people following you on the street. They are just the middle man who get a commission for your booking. If you are in a budget and don't really mind not having a guide just walk next to the river in the afternoon/night and book it directly with the boat driver. They speak poor english but they know what you are after. 400,000 Dong (20 dlls) for 2 people is standard. And this is what they will get even if you book with a middle man, the rest is their commission. If you do want a guide and you have a lot of patience you can probably ask directly to the boat driver, cost is 10 dlls extra per boat.

Other tips:

- If you book at the "tourist information office" they will not take you to the noddle factory, nor the small canals, nor the monkey bridge. This is only possible in the small boat.
- Small boats will take you to for lunch to a "home stay" restaurant, they will then ask if you want to pay for the lunch of your driver/guide. You of course feel obliged to do so, even though the food is terribly overpriced and terrible quality. Also, this is just before you go back to your hotel so you could easily skip it..... the decision is up to you. Just thought worth mentioning

Visited August 2013
8 Thank Diana G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Too touristy”
Reviewed August 17, 2013

Admittedly, the idea of a floating wholesale market with boats laden with exotic fruits and vegetables, and charming people with the conicql vietnamese hats selling fresh drinks and foodis strongly appealing.

But what you discover instead is boats upon boats carrying bright orange lifejacket strapped tourists (and this isnt even the peak season) and aggressive sellers of coffee etc who accost your boat and give withering looks if you choose to to buy their wares. I got barely any wide angle photo which didnt have the dreaded orange in them...

Plus the fact that the road connectivity has improved manifold is showing in the number of genuine wholeseller and retail buyer boats (which seemed rather small given that this is supposedly the biggest water based wholesale market in mekong delta's commercial capital)

Having said that, taking the tour is a great way to get a historical sense of trade and commerce I the mekong delta and marvel at the richness and variety of agriculture produce. and if you are upto it, why not buy breakfast from one of the hatted ladies!

Go really early to beat the tourists, we started at 5, were the first boat to sail, but others caught up really fast!

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Pallavi V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Up early 5.30 see the sunrise buy freshest fruit ,fun and worthwhile.”
Reviewed August 15, 2013 via mobile

We wanted to do trip on small boat and just go to floating market and back. Went to Can Tho for dinner walked along near statue of Uncle Ho looked at some boats many people will ask you . We were picked up as planned by our boat at hotel Hang was our boat driver and lovely fun lady . Glad we just did short trip 2 1/2 hrs plenty of great photos back before it got hot.The number was 01673458039.

Visited August 2013
Thank peSue_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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