Floating markets in the south-western region

Monday, 2017-10-30 12:50:29
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The floating market system has created a unique feature of the Mekong River Delta provinces in the country.
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NDO – The south-western region in Vietnam is known as ‘the land of rivers’ and the lives of the local people are associated with boats and the waterway market culture.

From Ho Chi Minh City to the southernmost Ca Mau Cape, visitors can discover numerous floating markets, including Cai Be in Tien Giang province, Cai Rang in Can Tho, Phung Hiep in Hau giang, Nga Nam in Soc Trang and Ganh Hao and Thoi Binh in Ca Mau.

Being one of the three largest floating markets in the south-western region, Cai Rang floating market is located around 6km from the centre of Can Tho city. It provides typical agricultural products from neighbouring provinces. Visitors can also enjoy numerous specialities, including cups of coffee in the morning, crab noodle soup and traditional cakes.

Cai Be (Tien Giang province) is one of the oldest floating markets in the region. In addition to the busy boats, the market attracts visitors thanks to its gardens, the old streets along the river and nipas.

Formed in 1915, Phung Hiep became one the largest waterway traffic hubs in the south. Phung Hiep (known as Nga Bay) has been considered as the most unique and largest floating market in the Mekong River Delta. Various goods, imbued with the culture and of the local people, are purchased both wholesale and retail in the market.

Cay Beo (a tall pole in front of the boats) is the most unique image in the floating market. The sellers hang their products on them so buyers can clearly see what the boat sells. In the markets in upper areas, such as Cai Rang, Cai Be, Nga Nam and Phung Hiep, the Cay Beo are made of long and vertical Nulgar bamboo.

Meanwhile, in the floating markets in lower areas, such as Ganh Hao, U Minh, Thoi Binh and Tac Cau, local people use mangroves as sticks on which they hang their products. They explained that in this region, there are many Cau Khi (rope bridges), and small mangrove trees can pass under the bridges.

From the 20th day of the 12th lunar month every year, floating markets are busier than normal days due to the Tet (Lunar New Year) atmosphere.

On normal days, floating markets mostly provide agricultural products, such as fruit and vegetables. However, during the days before Tet, the floating markets are full of flowers and products in preparation for the holiday.