Let me first discuss Mekong Delta before heading to the main topic so that you can understand where Im coming from.
Mekong Delta, is a huge river that runs from in Vietnam and empties towards the South China sea and is home to thousands of species. It is not only famous for its clean waters but it is famous for its length and wideness that is why it is called the 9 dragon delta for it runs in all 12 districts of the country.
Mekong Delta is famous globally for its unique floating markets where trading is done while riding boats or sampans. When you arrive on the Mekong Delta, you can visit Cai Be floating market or the other bigger floating markets where people exchange goods and other products on their boats
Farmers mostly bring their hard labored crops, meats, vegetables and fruits to the market and deal it with local buyers. Those buyers will then resell the products they purchased with interest in the local shops in neighboring towns or those wholesaler buyers to be taken into bigger towns or cities.
When trading sellers usually hang their goods as samples on top of their bamboo poles so that buyers can see instead of shouting or calling out and this will also help the buyers see the product from a distance making selling a lot easier.
Although mostly are sellers like farmers, you can also find other things in this market ike floating restaurants where you can eat local freshly cooked dishes like noodles, dumplings and other kids of food, you can also find floating bars selling wines and beers, floating gas stations and other floating shops like those selling fabrics.
Cai Be floating market
Cai be floating market is among the most famous floating market in southen Vietnam and is formed in the 19th century at the Nguyen Dynasty. It is located at Ca Be district in Tien Gian Province and is in the intersection of 3 provinces namely Ben Tre, Vinh Long, and Tien Giang. Cai be is a cute town not far from Ho Chi Minh city which is about two hours drive. Here you will find lots of traditional crafts, a 1935 French church, vegetable gardens and variety of fruits. It is a very nice peaceful place but unfortunately the once buzzling Cai Be floating market is getting smaller yearly. There are many small canals in Cai Be serves as tourist spots through sampan and you can also explore the areas by bicycle riding
The Cai Be floating market just like the bigger floating markets is where local farmers trade their goods through boats and rafts.
Cai Be, one of the many well-known floating markets in the western region of southern Vietnam was formed in the Nguyen Dynasty in the 19th century. The Cai Be Floating Market is always busy, bearing all the characteristics of the locals’ life in the western region. All the goods are transported to the market by rafts and boats.
The floating market is open from 3 in the morning and ends almost at noon. Even though it is getting smaller yearly there are still hundreds of sellers and buyer here. Traders usually live on their boats and just use motorized generator that runs on gasoline for electricity. When selling goods, it is the same as what they do in bigger floating markets, sellers hang samples of their goods on the bamboo pole so that buyers will see and contact or call the sellers and make hard bargain for their goods.
There are many boats that serves as taxis here for the convenience of tourists and travellers. You can also ask them around for guides and they can give you also good information on what you want to find. it is said that going to floating markets is a can not missed iterinary when visiting Vietnam, not just for finding good purchases but a place to interact with the locals and get the feel of real Vietnam.
If you want to go here you can contact many tour agencies that spread all over Vietnam or you can ask some help from your hotel to recommend you to a good travel agency.
About the Author
Liu Ching from VietFun Travel, is a local tour guide and agent located in Ho Chi Minh City.