The floating market.
The floating market in Can Tho is the biggest in Vietnam and pretty cool to visit.
Make sure to get there as early as possible as you can in the morning as this is a morning thing and if you show up after 10pm it will be half closed.
People come in from various villages and small islands in the delta to sell their produce there and it's a very lively scene with people selling mostly fruit and vegetables from their boats.
The best way to see the market is to hire a small boat to take you there.
If you want to save money then you can book through a local travel agent and go with a few other travellers.
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help poor orphan kids
go deep into the countryside and buy some stuff for some orphan kids who are good students and get good grades but have suffered some hardship with out easy access to large charities.
buy some bikes or pre-determine who needs what to keep them in school and not lose a chance for a normal life.
Supervised by government.
cheap medical care /testing
got an MRI and a bunch of blood work done here = $135usd total - did everything in 2 hours
Also got an x-ray of my knee here a couple years ago. cost about $35 usd total
Modern and has some competent staff.
You pay for everything in advance, then you do get it done.
Unlike some other vn hospitals I've been in. (some like a horror movie - not kidding)
Watch out Mr Triet Quang
Please read tourist trap for detail.
The floating market is not so good. The boating trip with Mr Triet Quang is a bizzar. As for a morning boating trip, it is better take 3 hours' tour with somebody else. It is really useless to take 7 or 8 hours' tour.
Anyhow watch out Mr Triet if you care for your money. That guy is a scam artist.
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It's a must-do in Can Tho, take a boat trip to the floating market, have a beef rice noodle on the boat from boat vendor. Or climb to the boat selling seasonal fruits. The whole pineapple in Late Dec and early Jan season is just 10,000VND, half dollar in 2010 Dec-2011 Jan.
Mekong River Cruise
We choose to do a 2 day, 1 night trip from HCMC as we wanted to see the floating markets at Cai Rang. The trip cost US$21 including return bus, boat trip, overnight accomodation in Can Tho, lunch on the 1st day and breakfast and lunch on the 2nd day.
We had a lovely lunch on Unicorn Island. This was followed by a coconut candy making demo, sampling the local honey tea, fruit, a sing-song and also a demo on making rice vermicelli noodles.
The highlight was definitely the next morning experiencing the floating market by boat.
Touristy, but for $21, it is a must-see if you can spare the time whilst in HCMC
Cantho University - Campus 2
Founded in 1966 in Cantho and located in the heart of the Mekong Delta, Cantho University ( CTU) is the only state university of the MD. Since 1975, there have been several reorganizations of its administrative structure and curricula. Now, CTU offers undergraduate and graduate training as well as doing research and facilitating technology transfer to satisfy individual aspirations and to contribute to the socio-economical and cultural development of the region and the country. CTU is constantly expanding and strengthening. CTU is well-known for its out-reach programs serving communities throughout the delta, and works closely with provincial authorities, private and public enterprises, and farmers. This creates a better understanding of practical problems and enables CTU to focus teaching and research activities on the needs of the environment and the rapidly changing labor market.
CTU is offering training leading to degrees-Bachelor, Master and Ph. D.- in various fields. According to the strategic plan for the first decade of the new millennium, the number of full-time students will be increased annually by more than 1,000. A comprehensive review has recently been carried out to allow any future growth on campus to be organized rationally.
Cai Rang floating Market
Together with Cai Be and Phung Hiep, Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City is one of the three biggest in the Mekong Delta. The shops and stalls at these markets are boats of different sizes.
Cai Rang Floating Market is open all day but it is busiest from sunrise to about 9am. The main items sold there are farm products and specialties of Cai Rang Town, Chau Thanh District and neighboring areas. Every boat has a long upright pole at its bow on which samples of the goods for sale are hung. Sellers do not have to cry out about their goods because their goods can be seen in a distance and their cries would not be heard in the vastness of the river and the noise of boat engines. Small boats that sell beer, soft drinks and wine go among the other boats to serve market-goers and visitors. The most common goods sold are fruit. Big boats are the wholesalers, selling fruit to dealers from neighboring provinces. Each boat is loaded with plenty of seasonal goods. Activities at the market are also an occasion for tourists to study the cultural aspects of southerners.
To visit Cai Rang Floating Market, visitors can join a tour of the Mekong Delta. On the way to Can Tho, visitors can stop to visit My Tho and take a boat trip to visit orchards, bee farms and coconut candy establishments in Ben Tre. Visitors can also explore Can Tho on their own by taking a coach. In Can Tho, besides Cai Rang Floating Market, Visitors can visit other places such as Can Tho Market, Ninh Kieu Quay, Binh Thuy Temple, and private tourist gardens. In these gardens, visitors can walk, breathe fresh air, enjoy different kinds of fruits and countryside specialties and stay at nice guest houses in the shade of trees.
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CanTho Old Market
The busiest market located in the center of Cantho city is considered a nice place not only its unique native features but cultural values as well. Traditionally, market was a trading center of old Southerners and its main function attached to the old people’s daily activities in the past.
Cantho old market once called Hang Duong market ( means market with full of poplar trees) or Market of Six Southern Provinces. Located at the Hai Ba Trung street, the old market is over one hundred years old, and its construction built at the same time as of Ben Thanh and Binh Tay market.
The Cantho market deeply shows the typical cultural features of the Mekong Delta region. It gives us a beautiful view of the tranquil riverside as well as the busiest trading activities in the whole evening. Inside the market, there are about eighty kiosques displaying and selling a wide range of goods and traditional handicraft products for souvenirs. Also, more than twenty kiosques selling agricultural and seafood products of Song Hau farm are available for local people and tourists as well.
With the existence of the typical market in the center of Cantho city, visitors and tourists in the whole country can enjoy the culture tourist and quick shopping expedition of stores and markets while coming to the land of Tay Do province
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Bang Lang Stork Santuray - Bird Watching
45km from Can Tho, the area of 1,300 square meters is home of 150,000 storks (11 kinds of them including fly stork, egret, heron, pelican, woodpecker, etc). The biggest bird is 1.4 kg with wingspan of 1.4 meter, the smallest one weighs only 150grams.
From the gate, visitors would walk over two bamboo bridges leading to the garden, then climb up to the stairs to a balcony where they can behold the stork. Some experienced after having seen the sea of storks covering fully the garden that as if they were in a cotton yard during a blooming season or they were watching a snow-filled expanse in Europe when snow falls.
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Ong pagoda was in institution by efforts of a segment of Hoa people in two chief towns Quang Chau and Trieu Khanh of Quang Dong, China in 1894 - 1896 for worshipping Quan Cong. This 532 sq.m pagoda stays in Hai Ba Trung road (Tan An precinct belonging to Ninh Kieu wharf area) in east - west direction.
In respect of architecture, it deeply carries out Chinese architecture since almost elements consisting of stone pillars, underpinning, purling, etc., were brought from Wangdoung. It’s shaped as "Quoc" character (old Han script) where including closed ranges of apartments locating quadrate one another and a space in the centre called Thien Tinh (open well)
The pagoda's most important apartment leaves in sanctum where main duty staying in worshipping Quan Cong in the main altar (in the midst), respecting Tho Dia (God of the soil) and Thien Hau Thanh Mau on the right, as well as Dong Vinh first doctorate candidate and Tai Bach Tinh Quan on right hand additionally. In front of sanctuary are six incense-tables including three grind-stone tables built in 1974 carrying bronze urns dated 1896 and three relief characters "Hiep thien cung" written in Han script; the rear row lays three wood-framed and glass-surfaced tables kept gold-plated relievo. The rest rows perform adoring Goddess of Mercy and receiving guesses of the pagoda's administrative section.
Despite the unique and gaudy appearance, the Ong pagoda is deep in ancient property. Factually, sophisticated carving items place the pagoda to be both solemn and bright. Moreover, the relic is put in celebrated quality through its great arts and religious value through calligraphy in model of "Trien" and "Thao" engraved in horizontal lacquered boards, pots, urns, bronze bells, etc.
In respect of faith and religion, the faith stands out for the more frequency than the religion. Personalities given adoration becomes various as if "mishmash-like modern popular religion reality" in the book "Hoa people in South Vietnam" by Tsai-Maw-Kuey. The Ong pagoda brings not only religious services but also cultural and educational doings of the Hoa for sustaining traditional cultural values like wood sculpture and calligraphy.
With regards to historical meanings, in the war against the American troops, it is in the pagoda the Hoa gave cover to revolutionary soldiers whose secret deeds done inner the city. Obviously, that precious assistance has helped tighten the Hoa - Viet friendship in the struggle against the national liberation and building.
As a place carrying historical and architectural values, the Ong pagoda was recognised cultural historical relic by Ministry of Culture and Information (MOCI) on June 21st 1993.
Festivals in Ong pagoda
Of all festivals occurring all year round, Tet Nguyen Dan is the biggest-organised one. Besides, some other festivals are also held in Ong pagoda, as follows:
- Birthday of main deity Phuc Duc (sir Bon) occurring on 2nd of the second month every lunar year
- Birthday of Thien Hau Thanh Mau on 23rd of the third month every lunar year
- Birthday of Quan Cong on 24th of the sixth every lunar year
- Birthday of Tai Bach Tinh Quan (Deity Tai) on 22nd of the seventh month every lunar year
After an enjoyable sightseeing in daytime, there are fewer more pleasant experiences than enjoying a delicious meal at Ninh Kieu floating restaurant. This is the time to really settle back and savor the local culture, Ninh Kieu boat restaurant will take you on a dinner cruise night from 8pm to 9 pm along the enchantion Hau river. You may take an elegant dining on board, settle down to enjoy Southern folk music or “ don ca tai tu Nam Bo”
(a kind of music performance appeared in the early 20th century, of which the origin from folk in South Vietnam).
The trip to Mekong offers a glimpse into the agrarian life of the vibrant Southern Delta region as you wind our way through the tributaries of the Mekong Delta. From the small boats, you are able to closely observe the daily rituals of river life and participate in the bustling commercial activities as you buy the fruits from the floating markets. Along the way, we will visit an orchard farm, handicraft village, and a land market with an abundance of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables.
Source: Cantho Gov
See the real Mekong Delta
Avoid the bustle of the overpriced tour boats and take a private boat to whizz by the floating markets and explore the wonders of the infinite maze of canals that define the Mekong Delta.
After a 6am start, watch the morning sun sparkle on the river and stop off at the market boats to grab some coffee, bread and sample some of the mouth-watering fruits of Vietnam to set you on your way.
For a really wonderful tour, look out for Ut, a elequent and charming lady, that will take you out and explain the ways of the river and the mysteries of Vietnam.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the conversation as time slips by as you meander through the narrow waters of the Mekong.
You'll usually find Ut sitting at the side of the street opposite the Ho Chi Minh statue
conversing with a friend over a cup of green tea waiting for some business to call in,
or just ask at your hotel for Ut and Hai and you might get lucky.
- Sailing and Boating
visit the floating markets
Sampans filled with fish, octopi, flowers, jars of herbs, wood sculptures, melons and much more would be along the shoreline at Cai Rang district and with a little haggling you could get just about anything (Legal and illegal) for very little money (especially if you used American dollars). It appears that the same boats are still there (I am sure they are actually different boats but they look just the same as in the 1960s). Possibly they are the grandchildren of the vendors we did business with.
The floating market that floated downstream
According to many of the guidebooks, the floating market at Phung Hiep has either shrunk or vanished altogether. In fact, "rumors of its death have been greatly exaggerated". It seems the fact that the bridge in Phung Hiep provided such a good view of the goings on, the traffic and crowds at the bridge became a hazard. As a result, the market is still alive and well a few kilometers downstream. To get there, you first need to get to Phung Hiep from Can Tho (about 30km), and then do your best song and dance in Phung Hiep to find a boat that will take you to the market. 3 hrs in the boat will be plenty of time to explore the market and some of the surrounding channels.
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