Can Tho is the capital of the Mekong Delta, home to the country’s most popular floating markets. The city’s most popular attraction is the Cai Rang floating market and is often the main reason why tourists would flock to the city. But aside from the floating market, there are several other things that travelers can do in Can Tho. If you want to know what else is there to do in Can Tho, then check out the list below.
1. Check out the Can Tho Grand Prison
Can Tho is not only about the floating market. It’s also home to some important historical attractions, such as the Can Tho Grand prison. This prison plays a significant role in the history of Vietnam. Although it was the French who built it, Americans and South Vietnamese were the ones who used the prison during the Vietnam War.
Nowadays, the prison serves as a museum, similar to Ho Chi Minh’s War Remnant Museum. Take time to explore the place while in Can Tho and you’ll have the opportunity to peek into the cruel conditions suffered by the prisoners during the war, which were depicted by mannequins that look like real human beings.
2. Explore the Ninh Kieu Wharf
Another popular tourist attraction in Can Tho is the Ninh Kieu Wharf, which is located just a few minutes away from the city center. The Wharf features a beautiful green park that gets lively at night when the night markets open up. There are also plenty of hotels and restaurants nearby and the park features a statue of former President Ho Chi Minh.
The wharf is a great place to explore during sunset as it opens to the lovely view of the river where there are plenty of colorful fishing boats. Take time to explore the place in the evening, take a few photos, and check out the night markets.
3. Visit the Cacao Farm
The Mekong Delta is famed for its agriculture and among the city’s agricultural produce is cacao, a small tropical tree from which cocoa powders and chocolates are derived from. If you’re interested to learn more about cacao, visit the cacao farm that’s managed by a local family who also runs a homestay. They offer short tours of their farm where you get to learn how the beans are made into various cacao products. You can also shop from their supermarket to purchase the different products made from cacao.
4. Sample Local Delicacies
Perhaps you have already tasted a lot of Vietnamese delicacies from the other cities you have visited in Vietnam. But have you tasted any Mekong Delta specialties?
In Can Tho, you’ll find many stalls selling different kinds of Mekong Delta specialties, such as the Cai Rang grilled meat rolls. This roll consists of fresh pork that’s cooked with cucumber, pineapple, star fruit, and other herbs, then wrapped in a rice paper. Other specialties that you should try while in Can Tho are the fish noodles, crab noodles, fish hot pot, and many other local dishes. If you’re a foodie, then you’ll surely enjoy sampling different local specialties in Can Tho’s street stalls and night markets.
5. Stay at a Local Homestay
If you want to immerse yourself in the culture of the locals in Can Tho, the best way is to stay at a local homestay and live with a local family. While there are a few hotels in Can Tho, staying at a local homestay is a more authentic experience. Your local host will treat you like part of the family and you’ll have the opportunity to dine and interact with them.
Aside from the fact that staying at a homestay is usually cheaper than staying in a hotel, you’ll also get to taste the family’s home cooked meals and some of them might even take you on a tour of the city. Your local host will also share to you some interesting stories about the Vietnamese culture, tradition, customs, and other things that you may not find from the pages of any travel guidebook.
6. Tour the Floating Market
Of course, you can never leave Can Tho without exploring the Cai Rang floating market. In fact, the city is famous for this floating market, which attracts hundreds of tourists each day. The floating market, which is located in Hau River, is usually packed in the morning and you get to witness a lot of activities going on.
Large and small vessels can be seen selling all kinds of products, from meat, vegetables, fruits, and several other things! Hire a boat that can tour you in the market and explore the various things that are being sold there. If you are interested in buying something from the boats that are passing by, simply lean over and the vendor will entertain you. It’s such a fun experience and a must-do on your trip to Vietnam!