Amazing Floating Markets in Vietnam

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Floating Markets in Vietnam

Like in most countries among the Indochinese countries, the floating markets in Vietnam are a testament to a way of life for communities relying on the riverways. In Vietnam, the Mekong Delta is home (Read More) to some of the oldest and largest floating markets. While these markets may not be as glitzy as their Thai counterparts, they are always brimming with life. With boats filled with local produce, meat and fish, Vietnamese street food vendors and knick-knacks, these markets are an excellent way to interact with the locals and enjoy a boat ride or two.

Here is the list of 7 Amazing Floating Markets in Vietnam

1. Nga Bay Floating Market (Hau Giang province)

Nga Bay Floating Market (Hau Giang province)

Also known as the Phung Hiep floating market, the Nga Bay floating is one of the largest floating markets in Vietnam. It is also one of the oldest - it opened in 1915, which means it is over a hundred years old. Merchants stock their boats with fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables. One characteristic feature of this floating market is that each boat sells only one kind of product, and it is hung on the lateral bar of the boat for the customers to easily identify. Some merchants also sell animals and birds.

How to reach: At Nga Bay district about 60 km from Can Tho
Timings: From 7 AM daily

2. Nga Nam Floating Market (Soc Trang province)

Nga Nam Floating Market (Soc Trang province)

‘Nam’ in Vietnamese means five and the Nga Nam floating market is situated in the intersection of five rivers and is one of the busiest markets in the whole of Vietnam. This market too offers fresh produce including veggies, tropical fruits and various types of seafood. Rarely, one can find a few boats selling household or electronic goods. Since it forms the centre of the Mekong Delta, the market has boats selling the best of the goods specific to the delta.

How to reach: Take the bus to reach the market. Renting a boat costs as less as VND 25,000!
Timings: 3 AM - 8 AM

3. Cai Rang Floating Market (Can Tho province)

Cai Rang Floating Market (Can Tho province)

This is the largest floating market in Vietnam and is popular since it is easily accessible. The best part of this market is that you can find exotic fruits which are endemic to the region such as the Nam Roi grapefruit, the Cai Mon Durian and the Vinh Long pink kiwi kumquat. The Cai Rang showcases the true commercial water culture, catering to the numerous tourists who visit the market. A few boats have become makeshift restaurants with plastic chairs serving breakfast dishes such as bun ca and hu tieu San Dec. This market is also a great place to enjoy scenic sunrises!

How to reach: A short boat ride from the Can Tho city centre
Timings: From 5 AM daily
Boat Rental Cost: Private boat rentals cost about VND 35,000.

4. Cai Be Floating Market (Tien Gang province)

Cai Be Floating Market (Tien Gang province)

This market is important for transporting agricultural products and seafood from the Mekong Delta to the rest of Vietnam. It is located on the giant Tien river and is closest to Ho Chi Minh City making it popular among tourists. One can also accompany the locals to try and learn fishing or stroll around the fruit gardens and sample local cuisine after sailing and shopping through the market.

How to Reach: Rent a taxi or take a bus to reach Cai Be market from Ho Chi Minh City.
Timings: From 6 AM daily

5. Long Xuyen Floating Market (An Giang province)

Long Xuyen Floating Market (An Giang province)

If you want an authentic rustic floating market experience, Long Xuyen is the place to be since it has not been very commercialised. You also find very few tourists here since this market is not as popular as the other markets. The locals offer fresh produce and snacks such as the fish noodle soup and pigskin pieces. They are also very cheerful and try showing around the place to tourists since they don’t see a lot of tourists there!

How to reach: Situated on the Hau river and is just 2 km from the Long Xuyen city centre
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM

6. Tra On Floating Market (Vinh Long province)

Tra On Floating Market (Vinh Long province)

Located at the intersection of the Hau and the Mang Thit rivers, this market is just like the other floating markets in Vietnam in terms of business, selling fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products. What is special about this market however is the unique morning ritual these merchants do preparing their mobile shops for that day’s transactions. The boats which look colourful are definitely a feast to the eyes!

How to reach: Catch a bus to Vinh Long from Ho Chi Minh City and then rent a motorbike taxi to the market.
Timings: From 2 AM daily. 

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7. Phong Dien Floating Market (Can Tho province)

Phong Dien Floating Market (Can Tho province)

Unlike the Cai Rang market in the same province, the Phong Dien floating market is not as crowded. The markets have a few motorised boats and stand-up rowing boats as well. It also has a very lively ambience as the merchants keep singing songs, talking to each other and laughing. If you plan to interact with the locals untouched by urban life, you might want to visit this market for a hustle free experience. This market is connected by road to the Cai Rang market.

Timings: 5 AM and 7 PM

This post was published by Ghanavi Umesh

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