If you’ve followed this blog for some time, you’ll know I have a weakness for food markets. In fact, Poor John has resigned himself to shadowing me through markets in all parts of the world. I guess my kids know this too.
We recently visited second daughter, Petra, who works in the Australian Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She was super busy during our stay (couldn’t even take a day off), but she did organise a weekend for all of us to visit the Mekong Delta.
Not only did she book us into rather deluxe accommodation (we usually stay in tents), but she also booked us on a morning boat trip to the Cai Rang floating market, about 45 minutes up/down the Can Tho river.
Cai Rang is a wholesale market (I think you need to buy 10 kilos of produce at a time) and one of the oldest floating markets in the Mekong Delta. Every day, there are about 350 boats selling a wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables. The bigger boats display their main wares from a long pole.
The market starts early—about 5am—and is it at its busiest about an hour later. Of course, we chugged along much later, but there was still plenty of action.
Tourists flock to this market—there are up to 700 tourists each day. Breakfast is served on some boats, but we’d already had breakfast at our deluxe accommodation.
In addition to cruising through the floating market, we also saw riverside housing and industry. Given that some people live exclusively on the larger boats, it’s not surprising that there is a riverside petrol station. I thought I had a pic of that, but I can’t find it.
The tour included two land stops. We visited a lush garden with exotic fruits (bowls of some sliced fruits were brought back to our boat, but I forgot to photograph them), a noodle factory with food stalls, and a shop selling unusual liqueurs and dried goods (anyone want dried frogs?).
You’ll notice the sky is quite bleak. We were in Vietnam during the monsoon. There was only light rain while we were on the tour, but the rain bucketed down later in the day.
P.S. I had a terrible time trying to limit the number of pics on this post.