Mekong Delta floating market in Vietnam

A day at the Mekong Delta floating market in Vietnam

The Mekong is a fascinating river. Not only because it bathes all the countries of South East Asia, from the source onwards Tibet, passing through Myanmar, Laos, Cambogia and finally Vietnam but also because its calm and abundant waters have brought prosperity to the civilizations that inhabited these lands in ancient times, from the Khmer kingdom of Angkor Wat to the Laotian kingdom of the Lan Xang.

Today, this important source of livelihood for the people employed in South Vietnamese rice cultivation is in danger.
The Lao government, in fact, has long planned and found international support for the construction of numerous dams for hydroelectric purposes along the river.

In China they have already been built in the past, but the distance from the mouth has not affected the natural inflows of salt water and the reproduction of aquatic species.
If Laos were to succeed in its, albeit legitimate, aim of energy and economic development, the repercussions on the harvests south of Saigon, which today number three a year, would be catastrophic. It’s better to hurry, then!

Have you found plane tickets? See also on Traveljourn
Read also: Coffee in Vietnam, the best and, the most expensive in the world
a woman is rowing a boat in the water

Can Tho

And Ho Chi Minh City there are many buses (make sure it’s not a mini van, or you’ll have to keep all your luggage between your legs) that will take you to Can Tho, the most important town in the Mekong Delta. The city itself doesn’t have much to offer, touristically speaking. The food is great in southern Vietnam, so wherever you go you will fall on your feet. I particularly liked it, besides the incredible ones Ban Mih of the road (baguettes stuffed with the most delicious meat pâtés, for just 10 thousand Dong), a place called Thanh Vân where you can have fun making your own spring rollil Grilled spring roll cake: a stack of rice sheets and tons of herbs, vegetables and sauces to use as you like. I love DIY food.

You can spend the evening on the roof-top of a hotel, the Kim Thơ, which offers an excellent view of the river illuminated by boats, while sipping an economical and delicious smoothy at the fruit.

The floating market

The area where dozens and dozens of boats of all sizes and loaded with the most disparate fruits of the earth meet is a few kilometers upstream from Can Toh: it is here that every morning the goods coming from all parts of the delta are exchanged. It will take between 40 and 60 minutes to get there, depending on the vehicle you choose. You will have two alternatives: take one small boat with guide/pilot for two people at a cost of $20 each, or rely on the larger and more comfortable boats of the organized tours ($10 per person), which however only includes a quick visit to the largest market.

The alarm is set for 5:00. Or maybe it’s better at 4:58…better woken up by your own alarm clock than by the speakers of the national radio scattered around the city, which at 5 in the morning and in the afternoon, right on time, shake the earth with the news! At the first dawn you arrive at your destination, and the view is remarkable: the sun, just risen, illuminates the boats overloaded with fruit and vegetables, and the dance of the traders begins.

There is a great flurry of engines and the negotiations heat up. The small boat we are sitting on parades among the larger ones, thanks to the skill of the friendly elderly woman at the controls, giving us a front row seat to this spectacle of colours, sounds and smells.

Mekong Delta floating market in Vietnam
Mekong Delta floating market in Vietnam

The bow is still pointed upstream.
Another hour of sailing to get to the next scheduled water market. It’s not comparable to the first in size, but it’s still very pretty. Around lunchtime we begin our return but, unexpectedly, we take a narrow and tortuous canal which we row along, disappearing into the vegetation. The scenario is surreal to say the least.

Plants of banana, bamboo and multicolored flowers They brush against us, making me lose my sense of direction. We will continue on foot for a few hundred meters, closely observing the flora and life in the villages, where we have lunch and rest for a couple of hours. We witness the preparation by hand of the classic rice sheets, steamed and left in the sun to dry. They will become noodle, cut by a machine similar to the one used by our grandmothers to make pasta at home.
We return to Can Tho around 3pm, and it feels like we’ve been out and about for two whole days!

Disclaimer: In this post, some of the links provided are affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through these links. However, this does not incur any additional cost to you. The commissions I receive through these affiliate links they help fund and support my blog, thus maintaining its independence and lack of sponsorship. I always strive to provide you with the best information and advice possible, based on my personal experience and research. I would like to underline that your support is essential to keep this blog alive and continue to provide you with quality content. Thank you for your support!

Read also: Vietnam Visa: What to Know and Documents

10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Thailand

Documents to enter Vietnam: Passport?

Follow us on facebook
Are you getting ready to travel? Check out these useful!!
Cheap flights
Don’t forget your travel insurance!
Car rental with

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *