A Guide to Vietnam’s Floating Markets

When it comes to floating markets, Thailand often comes to mind to most travelers. But what they did not know is that Vietnam has also its own fair share of excellent floating markets. In fact, there are plenty of floating markets in the country and all of them are truly worth a visit. The floating market has become the way of life in Vietnam and seeing the locals go about their daily trade by the river is such a wonderful experience.

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1. Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho

The Cai Rang Floating Market is located in Can Tho, a city in the Mekong Delta region. It’s a sprawling wholesale floating market and is the most popular in the region due to its strategic location and easy accessibility. The Cai Rang Floating Market is in fact the largest in the Mekong Delta. Here, you’ll find all sorts of fruits and vegetables being peddled by local vendors in a boat.

To reach Cai Rang, take a bus from the city of Ho Chi Minh going to the city of Can Tho. From the city, you can walk your way towards the Ninh Kieu Wharf and take a boat from here going to the market. Be sure to get there early in the morning so you can enjoy the beautiful sunrise views and this is also the time when the market would open so you can observe lots of actions going on.

2. Phong Dien Floating Market in Can Tho

The Phong Dien floating market is also in the city of Can Tho and is another popular tourist attraction in Vietnam. What’s good about this market is that it’s less crowded than the other floating markets in the Mekong Delta. There are more stand-up rowing boats here than the motorized boats, which creates a more intimate experience. It is best to visit this market between 5 AM to 7 AM.

You can reach Phong Dien by hiring a taxi from the city of Can Tho, although it’s more convenient if you book a tour that includes a visit to this market.

3. Cai Be Floating Market at the Tien Giang Province

The Cai Be Floating Market at the Tien Giang province of Vietnam is another popular floating market that a lot of tourists would visit. This floating market is a hub for transporting seafood and local agricultural food since its located close to the city of Ho Chi Minh.

The best way to tour the Cai Be Floating Market is to join a private tour coming from the city of Ho Chi Minh or hire a taxi from the city going to the market. If you want to save money, take a public bus going to My Tho and then board another bus going to the floating market. The market is usually open at a later time so time your visit late in the day in order to experience the market’s bustling atmosphere.

4. Nga Bay Floating Market at the Hau Giang province

The Phung Hiep floating market in Nga Bay has been operating for more than 100 years, having opened in 1915. It’s been the major trading area for locals living in the town of Nga Bay. Here, you’ll find numerous boats stacked with all kinds of goods, including fruits and vegetables in different colors, which is truly fascinating to watch! Aside from fruits and vegetables, you’ll also find exotic animals being traded here, such as snakes, iguanas, turtles, etc.

To get to Nga Bay, you must first go to the city of Can Tho. From Can Tho, hire a private car or get a taxi that will take you to Nga Bay. When you reach Nga Bay, you’ll find several boats that you can hire to explore the market. The floating market is open early in the morning and is usually most busy around 7 AM.

5. Nga Nam Floating Market in Soc Trang Province

Nga Nam market is located in the intersection of five canals in the province of Soc Trang. This is perhaps the busiest of all the floating markets in Vietnam. As the central market in the region, pretty much everything is being sold here, from fruits, vegetables, seafood, rice, and many more. Some boats are even selling electronic items and household goods, which makes for a truly unique experience!

You can reach the market by taking a bus from Ho Chi Minh going to the city of Cau Mau. From Cau Mau, take another bus that will take you to the town of Nga Nam. Upon arriving at the market, simply hire a boat that will take you around the market.

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