Exploring the biggest floating market in the Mekong Delta

Nga Do
The Mekong Delta is flat, low lying and is filled with canals and rivers. It is these characteristics that help create the unique impression of the Mekong Delta: the floating markets. There are several ones, but definitely the most obvious ones tourists must plan to visit are the Phung Hiep, Cai Rang, Cai Be and Phong Dien. Cai Rang floating market is a specific culture of the Mekong Delta region in Vietnam and Cai Rang floating market on the Hau River is the most striking tourist destination of Can Tho city.

Cai Rang market is about 5 km and 30 minutes by boat from Ninh Kieu quay in Can Tho, usually starting from the early morning to about 8, 9 a.m. Standing on Cai Rang Bridge and looking down the southern of the Can Tho River, Cai Rang Market is over a half of kilometer long, some parts are made excessively large, nearly over the face of the river, looking like a giant fruit tray full of bright colors on the River. This is also the wholesale market specializing in trading fruits, agricultural products of the region. In the future, Cai Rang floating market will become the largest “self-production - self-consumption” center of the region.

The goods are concentrated here in large quantities. If the local people and the surrounding areas often use medium boats to bring the agricultural products to this market, the large boats of merchants are distributed to Cambodia and China. The market hardly operates on the Lunar New Year (1 st and 2 nd of Tet Holiday or 5th of lunar May).

The particular feature of the boats is that on each boat there are a few poles, on which many type of products are dangling. So customers just look at the pole and see what these boats are selling. Because of this special way of doing selling, there is not often cries in the floating market like others, moreover, the noise of the waves and the engine explosion of the boat are so loud that they drowns out all the sound. So when sitting on boats or motorboats you can easily see poles and board the right boat to buy goods. Everything that is sold on the banks, there are also in the floating market such as orange, mango, banana, sugar cane and so on.

While people sell what they hang on the lope, but there are three exceptions:

For clothes, because most inhabitants in floating market usually live or work right on  the boat and they often put their clothes to air, so this 'item' are not sold. Many families with many generations live together  on a boat. It's like a 'mobile apartment' on the river with flower pots, pets, full amenities such as color tv, disc, sound system ... there is also a motorcycle parked on the boat.

For food and beverage, As these things can not be hung up, the needs of everyone as well, many other services are served on the boat for example noodles, coffee shop, bistro. Sometimes you can encounter a mobile phone shops, electronics stores or even a  motorbike repairing shop. The most interesting thing in Cai Rang floating market is  the unique way of delivering good: the seller stands on big boat and deliver a pairs of melon, dragon fruit in turn by using both hands to throw to the buyer in small boat skillfully.

Cai Rang floating market is not only preserving the beauty of long last culture, but also becoming an attractive tourist destination that tourists, especially foreign tourists loving to explore and experience. The visitors are always  very curious and interested in landscape and people of Tay Do land. Cai Rang Floating Market also has  economic potential that helps to create jobs for people living around the river as well as open many opportunities to promote the strength of region.

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