Day 19: Can Tho: Floating Markets

Can Tho: Floating Market


Vietnamese FOD: School children are summoned by traditional gongs instead of bells.

Everyday Randomness: our boat driver circling his big boat around to collect a floating pineapple in the middle of the river! 

“Alarm 4:30am” is the last thing I remember Liam saying before I was awoken by said alarm. A brisk walk got us to the waterfront by 5:00am where we were greeted by many offers of private tours.

My impression from the LP was that the Càn Tho tourist office was the place to go but it wasn’t open until 7am which didn’t make much sense as the LP said that most boats leave at 5:30. So we walked down the waterfront until we reached a kiosk where we booked a private 3hr tour (two markets) for €10 each!

The sunrise was spectacular. Well worth the early wake up time! 

The first market is the one that Can Tho is known for. Sizeable boats were laden down with hundreds of pineapples in particular! They boats cleverly had staffs upon which the good that they sold was tied to:

As the second market was further away we just passed along the main market and continued on where there we hardly any tourist boats. Before we were gone too far, a woman in a boat selling coffee came along side us; a godsend!

The great thing about this floating market tour is that you also get a considerable amount of time to take in Mekong Delta life as you go so it’s like a Mekong cruise and floating market tour in one go!

We passed fisherman expertly balanced on the narrowest of boats and multiple houses with dodgy stilt extensions until we got to the second market which was a pure local market and had a real sense of authenticity about it! It was a much more relaxed atmosphere, and we had the time to just watch and take it all in.

The way back towards Can Tho was just as relaxing as we meandered along. Back at the main market, our driver got us onto one of the massive pineapple boats where we had the best views of all!

The pineapple itself was top notch, super soft and juicy! After another lap around and with the pineapple polished off we returned to solid ground in time for breakfast at a more social hour. 

A tasty, good value soup later we went to find coffee that was a bit more upmarket than the one we had consumed at 5:30am. We found just that on Highlands coffee. After a meander around some shops we walked back to the hotel for a well needed hammock break!

Lunch involved a well traversed walk back to the waterfront but the food was well and truly worth it. It is definitely the largest portion of food we had here, ever. It was teeming with fresh vegetables:

After giving ourselves a decent amount of digestion time we did some shopping. As they as not tourist-focussed here (most just do days trips) you don’t get much hassle at all meaning it’s quite a peaceful experience!

Back at the hotel we bumped into a guy what had met in Saigon who was supposed to be in Cambodia by now so it was all very unexpected! He was off on the food tour and we left for dinner. For starter we had the same kind of dish as we had last night, barbecued pork with noodles and vegetables wrapped in rice paper, except better. Mostly because the soy sauce for dipping was less overpowering so you could taste each of the ingredients! For main course we had lovely light rice noodles with day-fresh vegetables and herbs combined with barbecued pork and fried spring rolls. It was the best Vietnamese meal we’ve had since last year! 

Dessert was hot chocolate for a change in a small french cafe which was delicious as well as something different! A different day all around for us really, here’s to a long sleep tonight! 

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