(Vietnam Travel Times) – Floating market is special feature only available in Mekong Delta Vietnam. It’s the true market as it is only for local people coming there for buying things for their daily cooking.
Let us show you a trip to Cai Rang Floating market at a sunny day in Mekong. We are Margaret, Anne, Christopher and Michael plus tour guide named Long.
We start at 7:00 am a too early time for our travelers but we decided to do it because we want to see the full view of floating market in Vietnam, the local goes there very early. Please note that the market in Thailand is only for tourists but the one here is only for the local people. The more we are early, the more we can see the true activities of the local.
That’s a boat trip along Cantho River to go to the floaing market which takes around 30 minutes. The misty fog on the river surface is just the last struggle against the first sunshine of the sunny day. On the water surface is already the busy lives of Mekong. Many small sampan are operating as ferries to cross the river. The big boats are heavily carrying commodities up and down the flow. The long passenger boats are tearing the air with a high speed. All is contributing to a bustling and noisy atmostphere on the river. Among those noises we still feel peaceful lives around us.
The views along the river is magic. We have seen the local markets, factories, workshops, houses, coffee shops, and even beer shops. All is along the river. We have also seen the local people eating, preparing foods, or doing their laundry.
Suddenly we saw a group of boats at the river bank, then we saw many boats, big and small. We may have never seen so many boats like here. The boats are full of fruits and vegetables. We saw boats of mangoes, roseapples, rambutans, bananas, longan, water melon, jackfruits, etc. We also see yams, taroes, white beat roots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, … and even sugar cane. It is amazing!
There are such many boats on the river, stretching around 2km long. The big boats here wholesale buyers and retail sellers, and vice versa, the small boats are the wholesale sellers and retail buyers. This means that if you have planted some water melons at your garden, you may bring your melons to the floating market and sell them all to a big boat, where other boat may go there to buy one or two for home consumption. Sometimes these boats can run to Saigon ( 25 hours) to have a better price there.
In front of many boats, there are bamboo sticks 3m high. At the top of the stick the local people hang the vegetables or the fruits they sell. Then others can know what the boat is selling and decide whether to row to that boat or not. The boat with tomatoes at bamboo stick top can sell tomatoes, however, boat with coconut leaf plates is for selling the boat, because in Vietnam the coconut leaf plate stands for a roof of a house. Normally one boat may sell and buy onely one thing, but there are some boat trading the vegetables of the same family. Bargain is also common here.If you doesn’t agree with one man, you can row your boat to others to hope a higher price.
We end up the trip with a walking tour to a local village to see lives on this maze-of-canal land. The green color, the friendly smiles, the „hello“ salutation from nowhere are the highlights that we never forget.
This is Long tour guide with demonstration on how to catch fishes from the net.
Other pictures from the Mekong floating market trip