Cai Rang floating market in Vietnam

Cai Rang floating market is the place of trade in agricultural products, especially fruits of the Mekong Delta and an interesting destination in south of Vietnam.

Happening every day on the Mekong River, except during the celebration of Tet Holiday or Lunar calendar’s New Year, the Cai Rang floating market belongs to Cai Rang District, 6 km from the Can Tho City which is the capital of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.

Cai Rang floating market in Vietnam

Features of Cai Rang floating market:

Cai Rang floating market is the largest among similar markets in the Mekong Delta. Rather reserved exclusively to wholesalers, goods are concentrated in large numbers here.

Each kind of good is classified in groups of the same quality and in the same size. Farmers take their products to sell to traders on large barges. To show the products for sale on the boat, its samples are hung on a bamboo pole as a kind of advertising.

This floating market is one of the most famous in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam which specializes in fruit trade, agricultural products in the region. Every morning, hundreds of boats come here, side by side.  .

Due to the needs of merchants in market, there are not only boats for agricultural products, but many boats that serve: Noodles soup, coffee…services are thoughtful, quick even on waters sometimes agitated. The uniqueness of the floating market leaves good impressions to travelers, especially foreigners.

Cai Rang often begins early in the morning and up to about 8 or 9 h AM. These boats come here to buy agricultural products for sale elsewhere, even in Cambodia, China ... There are also boats carrying other items to provide local inhabitants: Gas, oil, salted fish, medicines, confectionery, salt...

In the 12 provinces of the Mekong Delta, the boat is the main means of transportation, movement of each family, such as bicycles, motorcycles of populations in the cities. These boats are operated with the formatting engine in shape of 'shrimp tail', rowed by hand or even by foot in a professional manner. Certainly, the Cai Rang floating market is an attractive destination for all travelers around the world.

Cai Rang floating market in Vietnam

Tourist attraction of Cai Rang floating market:

While plunging yourself in the lively atmosphere of the Cai Rang floating market by a boat trip from the port of Ninh Kieu, visitors can see many scenes of family life, even several generations living together on the boat that is as mobile floating houses on the water with pots of flowers, dogs, televisions, even motorcycles, karaoke ...!

My excursion to the lively market: 

Among the floating markets in the Mekong Delta, the Cai Rang floating market is the most frequented by locals and foreigners. One of the major reasons is that it doesn’t ask a lot of time. You can go there before returning to the Can Tho city or the capital of Mekong Delta for breakfast. For me, as for other travelers, every time when I take the boat from the city to go to the Cai Rang floating market, I stroll to satisfy the glances without knowing what I should buy.

This floating market is located on the river named Cai Rang which is a tributary of the Hau River or Back River belonging to the Mekong River. According to experts, the name of Cai Rang comes from the Khmer word: "Karan" which means "Mr. Tao" or the God of Kitchen in Vietnamese language.

In the past, the Khmer people in the south - west of the Mekong Delta were specialized in making clay pots called "Karan". They came to this current place by boats for sale. Over time, Vietnamese people transformed '' Karan '' into '' Cai Rang '.

I think about the origin of this name with pleasure, because sometimes, in the south of the country, I see that all the rivers are similar to each other by the current without stops where the water hyacinths float with many flowers making whole regions violet. I only have to take a boat to float on the current of the river to immerse myself in the fluvial pleasure.

The Cai Rang floating market is about 45 minutes by boat from the Ninh Kieu pier in the city of Can Tho and almost everyone goes there early in the morning although drowsiness is still on the eyelids.

Cai Rang floating market is animated every day

At 5:00, the boat owner has already come to the hotel. Everyone followed him to go to the dock at dawn on the river. From experience, the floating market begins at dawn when all boats from different places come here to exchange goods.

The last time I went there in the rainy season, so the driver had to cover boat with a canvas. I have seen only a white water layer. But this time was a beautiful day, so people prepared all positions to chase photos.

The people along the river have the simple life and they use several kinds of boats to take passengers to the market, even I have seen many boat carrying only two people.

This animated floating market was here! It was easy to recognize it from far. I started seeing countless boats of all sizes on the water surface in which the first sun rays danced jovially.

I was still impressed by the image of the pillars called Beo on the boat where they hung bananas, pineapples, watermelons… for introduce articles that traders transported here for sale. Like others, my boat sneaked into the special atmosphere to satisfy the eager looks.

Although this was the second time I went to the Cai Rang floating market, but curiosity and excitement covered me while thinking about a floating market in each morning. Small boats docked the big charged of goods, paid before going to a certain appointment. But the attraction is also the restaurants on the boats that sell everything: coffee, soft drinks, noodles ... The boats were approaching, the guests commanded and were rapidly served from the overbalancing space.

Purchases of travelers are rather for entertainment than the pleasure of eating. And above all there were a lot of small and mobile boats selling fruits. Each boat had two people, one to drive and the other for sales. The buying and selling were really fast, without checking the weight, without negotiating the price before going away like the lightning on the water.

So in agitation, it seems not to have the break. In the beautiful or the bad weather, there are always boats with people living in the fluvial space of the the Cai Rang floating market.

Getting to the Cai Rang floating market: 

Belonging to the capital of Mekong or Can Tho City, this animated market is, without doubt, the best place to experience the typical fluvial life in south during the travel Vietnam. Cai Rang is located at 6 km from Can Tho city center or about 30 minutes by boat from Ninh Kieu port. All boats await you every day. The market starts around 5 am - 6 am until about 8 to 9 am. However, activities continue throughout the day.

If you travel from Ho Chi Minh City, you should pass about the distance of 165 km with 4 hours of driving. If you travel from Vinh Long or Cai Be floating market, it takes about 1 hr. If you travel from the city of Chau Doc, the border town with Cambodia, it would take about 4 hours of driving...Please send us email to: info@guideduvietnam.com to have more free details about the Cai Rang floating market.