The biggest city in the Mekong Delta, Can Tho is the place to visit the lively floating markets, which the area is famous for. Home to a small Khmer population, Can Tho is surrounded by a maze of scenic rivers and small canals, bright green rice fields, and shady tropical fruit orchards.

Take a luxurious breakfast cruise on an air conditioned sampan, or jump right into the action and have a local take you around in a small wooden row boat. For a taste of the laid back rural life style, rent a bicycle and explore the many small villages dotting the banks of the canals. You may soon find yourself invited for a cup of tea... Either way, the charm of the local people and the tranquil scenery will ensure a perfectly relaxed stay.

Places to See

The main attractions are no doubt the many floating markets in and around Can Tho. Make sure to visit them early in the morning, as the main selling and trading action winds down after a few hours. Ideal visiting times are between 6AM and 9AM. The markets take place in the middle of stretches where the rivers are particularly wide, and sellers advertise their goods by hanging samples on long wooden poles that are attached to the boats. Hone your haggling skills and buy some of the fresh fruit on offer!

Top Three Floating Markets:

Can Tho Pictures

  • Cai Rang Floating Market If you only have time to see one floating market, this is it. Cai Rang is the biggest floating market in the Mekong Delta with a bridge offering great views of the colorful hustle and bustle.

  • Phong Dien Floating Market Located 20km outside of Can Tho, Phong Dien is much less touristy and definitely worth a visit. Go early as the main action winds down after 8AM.

  • Phung Hiep Floating Market Conveniently situated on Highway 1 and only a little over 1km from Can Tho, this smaller floating market is ideal if you are pressed for time.

  • Activities

    Can Tho, Vietnam

  • Take a luxurious river cruise on a traditional sampan (wooden boat), and enjoy the colorful scenery of the floating markets while sampling the freshly prepared breakfast on board.

  • Hire a local to take you around the many small canals in a wooden row boat. Watch life on the river banks, and don't forget to bring your camera.

  • Rent a bicycle and explore the countryside. Small paved paths with only foot and bicycle traffic lead through lush green rice fields, coconut palm groves, and mango orchards. Along the way, you'll encounter the friendly locals and get to immerse yourself in the slow paced life style of rural Vietnam. The perfect way to spend a relaxing afternoon!

  • Food

    The Mekong Delta is home to the best tropical fruit in Vietnam. Sample some of the fresh fruit that's offered at markets and road side stalls, including mango, durian, pomelo, longan, and jackfruit.


    For recommended hotels in Can Tho, click here: Can Tho Hotels.


    Tropical climate. Hot and humid year round, with an average annual temperature of 27C (80F). Best time to visit is November to February when it is cooler and dryer.


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    Notes From the Field

    We reached Can Tho after a 10-hour journey by boat, cyclo, and taxi from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The trip was very scenic and interesting, but a bit long. For those traveling from Phnom Penh to Can Tho, I'd recommend breaking up the trip with an overnight stay in Chau Doc.

    In Can Tho we stayed at Nature Mekong, a bed and breakfast located outside the city right next to the floating market of Cai Rang. The market was incredible!! My wife noticed that each boat advertised its goods on a long wooden pole. We enjoyed a trip through the small canals in a wooden row boat even more than the market. If you have time make sure to explore the little waterways and tributaries. Even though local tour companies organize such excursions, it's easy enough to arrange them yourself as it is common for locals to ask if you'd like them to take you on a boat tour.

    In Can Tho we rented bicycles and rode through the countryside on small paths, crossing canals on little bridges with groups of children running after us screaming, "Hello, hello!" People were incredibly friendly and we were invited for tea on multiple occasions. We highly recommend a bike trip in the countryside!.

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