5 Famous Vietnam Floating Markets: Southern Vietnam’s Charming Beauty

A Guide to Vibrant Floating Markets in Vietnam

Jane Pham
Jane Pham | Published: April 28, 2020

There are many stores and shopping malls scattered in Vietnam. But, how about adding something new and different to your shopping experiences? Let’s plan a trip to one of famous, vibrant Vietnam floating markets

There are several floating markets in the country, most of them are located in the Southern region. These markets are always crowded with a lot of boats selling plenty of products. The locals come by land or water to buy their food or household goods. Here are some floating markets in Vietnam to enjoy the special shopping sides of Vietnamese people.

1. Long Xuyen Floating Market

Location: Ngo Thi Nham Street, Long Xuyen city, An Giang province

Opening hours: 5:00 am – 9:00 am

If you are searching for a non-touristy and not crowded shopping place, Long Xuyen floating market is a good choice. The market is a great combination of the charming countryside and the water area. Here, the local lifestyle and traditional culture still remains. Arriving the market early in the morning, you can witness the busy life on the river where people sell and buy fruits, vegetables, and goods by boats. Though the waterways are quite narrow, the boats can surprisingly pass. There are hundreds of boats from different places come and trade numerous agricultural products everyday.

The market also boasts for attractive and delicious dishes in the food court area. Visiting the market, don’t forget to try rice noodle soup, banh tam bi, banh bo, and drink coffee. It can visit the Long Xuyen floating market at any time of the year. However, it is advisable to come here in the floating season which lasts from the 7th to 10th lunar months. During this time, the scenery looks more vibrant with the most bustling exchanging scene.

2. Tra On Floating Market

Location: Tra On Town, Vinh Long Province, Vietnam

Opening hours: 2:00 am – 8:00 pm

Existing for hundreds of years, Tra On floating market is one of the most abundant Vietnam floating markets that still keeps its special cultural features of the people living in the river area. Visitors to the markets will be amazed by its bustling atmosphere of daily trading activities. Tra On market is divided into 2 parts: the one along riversides and the other one on the river. Activities in both 2 areas are bustling and exciting. This market begins a new day so early, from 2 am, when people are still sleeping. The busiest time is from 5 to 6 am when many boats gather here on the dock.

If you are a food lover, this is your heaven with many types of fruits like banana, coconut, jackfruit, guava, orange, pineapple,etc.  Besides, you can find all types of agricultural products including radishes, cabbage, gourds,etc. The shopping scene looks lively with the welcoming words from the sellers. The price is not fixed so you can practice your bargaining skills. 

3. Cai Rang Floating Market

Location: Hai Ba Trung street, Tan An, Ninh Kieu, Can Tho province

Opening hours: 4:00 am – 9:00 pm

Like other floating markets in the Mekong Delta, Cai Rang was firstly formed to meet the trading needs of local people. Located on the river with the same name – Cai Rang, the market is more than 100 years old now.  Known as one of the 3 biggest floating markets in the Mekong Delta region, it attracts a lot of local people from Cai Rang town and the surrounding areas come to trade. Everyday, hundreds of boats gather here, packed with colorful farm products and local specialties.

The most common products that can be found here are fruits including papayas, pineapple, bananas, mangos,etc. In this market, you will not hear the cries of sellers as the goods can be easily seen and the boat engines are quite loud. On the way to Cai Rang floating market, you can try some refreshing activities like visiting coconut candy making villages, bee farms, and orchards. These activities will give you a chance to learn about the cultural aspects of southerners. 

>> Check Out Our Two Day Glance at Mekong Delta!

4. Phong Dien Floating Market

Location: Phong Dien river, Nhon Ai commune, Phong Dien district, Can Tho province.

Opening hours: 4 am – 8 pm

Phong Dien floating market is a place full of interesting things for not only domestic but also foreign tourists. Around 17 kms from Can Tho City, the market is very popular with local people. Phong Dien floating market is not so far from Cai Rang floating market, but there is a big difference in the function of each market. While Cai Rang boasts its largest wholesale market, Phong Dien is a retail one that is located in the complex system of rivers and canals. With this function, you hardly find big boats here but only the small sampans, which is also the daily vehicle of local people.

The sound of the merchants is quite noisy to advertise the products. The market does not only sell fruits but also many other products like fixing machines, grocery stores, household appliances, etc. The unique scene of selling so many items brings unforgettable moments for tourists. Though the market is always crowded, the best time to visit is near Tet holiday when it is extremely crowded and people gather the most. Besides, another special feature of Phong Dien market is “cay beo” or the wooden bamboo stick. Instead of using banners, the sellers here hang their products on the top of “cay beo” so it is easy for the buyers to know what they sell. 

5. Nga Nam Floating Market

Location: Nga Nam town, Thanh Tri, Soc Trang province

Opening hours: 3 am – 7:30 pm

Nga Nam floating market is located in the Nga Nam town where the five rivers Vinh Quoi, Ca Mau, Thanh Tri, Long My, and Phung Hiep meet. Compared to other markets, it is well known for the hustle and bustle atmosphere which is hard to find in other markets. In this market, you can admire the endless stretches of big and small boats full of wide ranges of goods like tomato, garlic, cabbage, potato, etc. And, the temptation of the food is hard to resist, with many southern merchants selling delightful rice soup, seafood noodles, and coffee.

In Nga Nam Floating Market, you will experience the uniqueness of the Mekong Delta area like listening to sweet old folk songs, seeing “ao ba ba” – a traditional clothes of locals living in this region, and enjoying the distinctive accent of local people. The best way to get to the market is heading to Ca Mau province so you can get easier transportation. 

The vibrant Vietnam floating markets mentioned above are always good places to experience the life of southerners as well as their culture. If you have a trip to this region of Vietnam, don’t forget to plan your trip to one of these amazing floating markets. And, please remember to share with us your beautiful moments here.

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