British travel publication Rough Guides listed Cai Rang floating market in Mekong Delta’s Can Tho City among the world’s 19 must-visit food hubs.
The market, the biggest of its kind in the Mekong Delta where trading on waterways has been a way of life for generations, was the only Southeast Asian representative to break into the list.
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“Visiting the floating market in Cai Rang is a must when in Mekong Delta. A huge spread of produce is on sale from a fleet of brightly colored boats. Most traders advertise their wares from the top of a long pole attached to their vessel,” Rough Guides stated.
Cai Rang is about five kilometers from downtown Can Tho and 30 minutes by boat from Ninh Kieu Wharf. From early morning, traders gather to buy fresh vegetables and fruit to resell elsewhere. The most crowded time is from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. when many boats clog the waterway.
The 40-minute boat ride is the best way to explore life along the waterways as it passes houses built on stilts over the water and boats in a bewildering variety of sizes, shapes and colors docked along the shore.
Can Tho, the largest economic hub in Mekong Delta, Vietnam’s most productive agriculture and aquaculture region, lies at an intersection of canal and river networks that measure a total 1,157 kilometers. The Hau River, one of two tributaries of Mekong River in Vietnam, flows along the city’s north.
Other famous food markets in Asia included by the British magazine were Tsukiji fish market in Japan, Kashgar market in China, Kreta Ayer wet market in Singapore, and Kowloon City wet market in Hong Kong.