Top 5 attractive floating markets in Mekong | Cruise Mekong River

Top 5 attractive floating markets in Mekong

Phung Hiep floating market

The Vietnam Record Centre (Vietking) has announced top 5 floating markets in the western region of the country that attract a huge number of domestic and foreign visitors.

Phung Hiep floating market (Hau Giang province)

The market meets all day long, but most noisy and busy in the morning. The precious evening, from far-and-wide, boats full of seasonal vegetables and fruits: mangoes, durians, bananas, oranges, coconuts… left their villages to head for the sunrise market. Every boat is full of fruits. Some boats are covered with roofs, some are not. On boats without roofs, the sellers have to hold high a stick hanging with fruits as signals. Market-goers do not bargain, just a few words exchange, they sell and get paid. Normally, fruits are sold and brought to big boats. Then they will be transported to fruit-processing factories or to Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau, even to Hanoi and Northern provinces. Mekong river cruise

Phung Hiep floating market

Phung Hiep floating market

It’s a floating market’ but services are available, foods and drinks on small boats twist and turn to serve hungry sellers and buyers. Signal to buy is only a whistling or waving band. Apart from fruits, local products: snakes, birds, turtles… are easy to find near Phung Hiep bridge. These specialties are almost bought and brought to restaurants in Can Tho or Ho Chi Minh City.
The atmosphere in Phung Hiep market was exciting, as we witnessed snake traders fearfully transferring poisonous copperheads, kraits, and rattlesnakes, from their cages to purchaser’s jute bags.
The price for a snake ranges from tens of thousands of dong for individual specimens, to hundreds of thousands of dong per kilogram. One kilogram of water snakes is priced at VND30, 000-VND50, 000 (US$1.88 – $3.13); while copperheads sell for between VND50, 000-VND400, 000 ($3.13 – $25) per kilo.
Second to the snakes in quantity at Phung Hiep market are wild birds. All species favoured by urban gastronomers such as cao, cu dat, stork, blosh dove, moorcook, and la mia, are sold at the market.
Birds are hanged up on the motorbikes of bird hunters from rural areas and confined in narrowed cages. Thousands of birds are purchased each hour, and transported to “headquarters” for retail sale to restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City and southwestern provinces.
Phung Hiep Snake Market, located close to the floating market, is known worldwide. Visitors from all over the world go there to taste the snake liquor and see the dangerous snake dance.

Cai Rang floating market (Can Tho province)

Cai Rang Floating Market is open all day but it is busiest from sunrise to about 9am. The main items sold there are farm products and specialties of Cai Rang Town, Chau Thanh District and neighboring areas. Every boat has a long upright pole at its bow on which samples of the goods for sale are hung.
During the early morning market hours, larger sized boats anchor and create lanes that smaller boats weave in and out of. The waterway becomes a maze of hundreds of boats packed with mango, bananas, papaya, pineapple, and even smuggled goods like cigarettes.Sellers do not have to cry out about their goods because their goods can be seen in a distance and their cries would not be heard in the vastness of the river and the noise of boat engines. Small boats that sell beer, soft drinks and wine go among the other boats to serve market-goers and visitors. Sellers tie their goods to a tall pole so that buyers can see from a distance what they are selling.

Cai Rang floating market

Cai Rang floating market

Each boat is loaded with plenty of seasonal goods. Activities at the market are also an occasion for tourists to study the cultural aspects of southerners.
To visit Cai Rang Floating Market, visitors can join a tour of the Mekong Delta. On the way to Can Tho, visitors can stop to visit My Tho and take a boat trip to visit orchards, bee farms and coconut candy establishments in Ben Tre.

Cai Be Floating Market (TienGiang province)

Cai Be is a biggest wholesale market in the region, which 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 boats.

Cai Be Floating Market

Cai Be Floating Market

The floating market lies on the Tien River, adjacent to three provinces of TienGiang, Vinh Long and Ben Tre.

Approximately 400 to 500 boats filled with fruits, vegetables, and other products are anchored along the rive banks. Boats also operate like “taxis,” very convenient for tourists.

Miet Thu floating market (KienGiang province)

The floating market in Miet Thu, with its system of entangled rivers and canals is a sight to see.

The locals in Miet Thu mainly use canoe and wooden boat as transportation means which are also their shelter.

Miet Thu floating market

Miet Thu floating market

A floating market meets on the river’s intersections where larger boats become houses to sell goods, mainly farm produce and food. Meanwhile, smaller boats drift along the canal to supply necessities to households living far from the market.

Long Xuyen floating market (An Giang province)

Although Long Xuyen floating market is not as famous as others in the southern region, tourists will still feel the generosity of southerners.

Along the banks are different landscapes. Beautiful houses are situated on one side while paddy fields and houses on stilts are on the other. The river becomes more and more bustling, especially at the river mouth.

Long Xuyen floating market

Long Xuyen floating market

Boats selling the same agro-product items are tied together in groups. Some boats sell fuel and offer mechanical repair services.

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