Traveling for sure has got a lot easier.
Mush easier compared to when my dad was young.
Airbnb, Uber or Kayak. There’s an app for everything.
Another trend is to buy a tour instead of doing your own planning.
Sure I can understand why. It’s very convenient. Heck even I do it sometimes. On my first visit to Vietnam back in 2009 I bought a tour to visit the Can Tho floating markets. It was a good experience. But also pretty boring. We were shipped around like cattle and I felt like I only scratched the surface of that beautiful region.
Fast forward 8 years. Now I want to visit the Can Tho floating market again. But this time I want to do all the planning myself.
Welcome to my DIY guide for visiting the Can Tho floating markets!
How To Visit The Can Tho Floating Markets
Let’s start with the obvious. How to get from Ho Chi Minh to Can Tho.
How To Get From Ho Chi Minh to Can Tho
For my second trip to the Mekong delta I decided to be more adventurous and take a bus. Just like a local.
Buses from Ho Chi Minh to Can Tho are leaving from the western bus station, a 20 to 25 minute drive from the Saigon city centre. You can find the bus station by Google “ben xe mien tay”.
I used an Uber to get there which was easy and not expensive.
When you arrive at the bus station, find the bus company of your choice and buy your ticket. I used a bus company called Futa which had comfortable and air conditioned buses. The bus ticket from Ho Chi Minh to Can Tho cost 110,000 Vietnamese Dong.
Buying a ticket from Futa was very easy. Large signs directed me to their ticket counters. And there were plenty of employees that helped me get on the right bus. In addition the buses had clear English signs with their destination and departure time.
What To Do In Can Tho
The main reason to go to Can Tho is for the floating market. But there are a few other things to do as well, which I will describe below.
In addition I find the region a perfect place to escape the hustle of bustle of Saigon and just relax.
Can Tho is surrounded by beautiful canals. And most of them have paved roads running alongside them, which makes them perfect for exploring by bicycles.
Most homestays should have bicycles you can use for free. Some even have canoes.
During your bike tour you will see people go about their daily lives in their stilted houses. Families bathing in the canals. Women preparing meals and men fishing.
Also notice the boats the locals are using. On the bow you will see the painted faces this region is known for. The faces are believed to scare off the evil spirits that are lurking underwater.
Vietnamese are a superstitious people.
Can Tho Floating Markets
The main attraction is of course the Can Tho floating market.
The official name for the market is Cai Rang. And it’s the largest and most popular market in the Mekong delta.
Cai Rang is located in central Can Tho and most homestays organizes boat trips there. It will be a 30 minute to an hour boat ride depending where you stay. From Green Village it was about 30 minutes.
The Can Tho floating market opens at 7am which means you have to leave early.
The market is a myriad of boats selling all sorts of food items. Like they have done for generations. You can see what they are selling by what’s hanging in their mast. If it’s a pineapple they are selling pineapples.
Most homestays also take you to a factory to see how the local products are produced. In my case we visited a small noodle factory where we made our own noodles.
Can Tho also have a night market. It’s relatively small compared to other night markets in Vietnam. But still worth a visit.
It starts at at 7pm and runs until about 10pm. The vendors are selling locally produced products next to the usual souvenirs. And you will see many locals as well as tourists here.
My homestay was a bit outside the center but I paid the guide to give me a ride there. In the center he waited until I was ready to go back.
Green Village Homestay Review
On hotels.com I found a great place called Green Village Homestay. It’s not really a homestay, which I define as staying in the home of real local people. But they do have several comfortable cottages. The rooms have no air-condition but the fan was enough to stay cool.
Green Village Homestay has a restaurant, a local guide and they are offering many trips. For example to the Can Tho floating market. In addition they have bicycles and canoes that you can rent for free.
I thought Green Village Homestay was great value. The cottages were clean and had everything I needed. In addition the staff was friendly and the food was great.
I will definitely stay here again on my next Mekong delta trip. If you decide to stay at Green Village Homestay I recommend to book using a reputable website like hotels.com.
Did you like reading how to visit the Can Tho floating markets and my Green Village Homestay review?
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