Three Southwestern Floating Markets: An Unforgettable Experience!

Why don’t you make a withdrawal from the dusty, noisy cities that always stuck in blockages and track down the Southwest of vast fields of green, where storks hovering in the sky of blue, to immerse in the mild, rusticity and serenity of the misty dawn?

Somewhere in this rich silt plain, when the sun is still peeking over the horizon, withholding the rays of light, “all of a sudden,” the people come into sight! They flocked the river by wooden boats, canoe-liked boats, fast canoes (motor canoes) fully stuffed with fruits, vegetables, or even carrying pots of crab paste noodles and offals rice porridge as an invitation for guests, making a bustle floating scene.

Nga Bay – Hau Giang Floating Market

Topping the must-list of floating markets for tourists is Nga Bay Floating Market, also known as Phung Hiep Floating Market in Nga Bay City, Hau Giang Province. In 1915, this market was formed and developed to this day with many trading activities of residents in the province.

Nga Bay’s market-place is crowded in the hazy view of 5 am before sunrise. The peak time of all trading activities in this unique market comes around 7-8 am. The characteristic of the Nga Bay floating market is the dense “coverage” of seasonal fruits, with a variety of types and colours.

Nga Bay Floating Market is not only a market for local people but also the number one tourist attraction in the Mekong Delta provinces. However, in 2002, because the over-density of all kinds of boat anchoring at the market caused waterway traffic disturbance, Nga Bay floating market was relocated to Ba Ngan canal in Dai Thanh commune, about 3 km from the previous location.

Since then, the trading activities on the river have also started to be sparse and less bustling because it could not meet the tourist needs of visitors. Till now, the images of the old Nga Bay floating market are just the fragments of memories of so many residents.

Cai Rang Floating Market – Can Tho

As one of the famous tourist attractions of Can Tho that is no much different from other floating markets, Cai Rang floating market was formed to boost the trading smoothly and quickly by waterway. Located in Cai Rang district, Can Tho city, Cai Rang floating market is always bustling with the laughter-filled sellers and buyers.

Due to the increasing demand, Cai Rang floating market has not only a place to exchange and purchase seasonal products and fruits, but also a culinary destination with more boats and canoes selling cakes, meals, vermicelli, pho, noodles, coffee or even “floating pubs” on the river.

Cai Rang Floating Market also opened very early at dawn and lasted until 8-9 am. If tourists want to visit it, they will have to depart such early to fully enjoy the beauty of this famous market as well as tasting many fragrant fruit and cakes, eating a bowl of crab paste noodles or fermented fish vermicelli on the boat, catching the scene of sunrise to welcome a refreshing new day.

Long Xuyen floating market – An Giang

Haven’t been as noisy and bustling as Cai Rang, Long Xuyen floating market is considered to be a rustic and idyllic market of An Giang province. For being hardly affected by commercialization, the river courses that hold markets are not too crowded and flocked like other floating markets.

Each boat sells a commodity mostly in wholesale, such as fresh coconut, pineapple, watermelon, etc. A new feature of the Long Xuyen floating market is that the wooden cargo boats will orderly anchor in clusters by category, sharing the same corner of the river with sellers of the same product.

Only the boats selling food and drinks will creep here and there to serve small traders on the floating market. Most of the food sellers serving stir-fried vermicelli, noodles soup, crab paste noodle, silkworm cake, thick noodles, etc. don’t compete because the sellers also specialize in dishes. That is, each boat sells only one and the best food following the cooks’ forte. Although time passes like strong water, the call of the homeland remains the same, forever in the hearts of the little children of that day!

Read more: Visit Vietnam’s Top Liveliest Markets Now!

This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt

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