[Service learning diary] Visiting Cai Rang Floating Market

As part of a R&R break from house building project (who finds this term familiar with militarily service guys during the Vietnam War ?), we went to Can Tho for an overnight stay to catch the early boat to visit Cai Rang floating market. 

Cai Rang Floating market

cai rang floating market

Floating market is the authentic and traditional market in Mekong Delta. This place easily comes on top of mind when visiting the region. Especially Can Tho, the largest and also housed the largest surviving floating market.

The city welcomed us by the sunny sky. However, we experienced heavy rain on the boat while eating the juicy pineapples. But luckily, it stopped after 30 minutes or so, and we were able to continue our journey.

We spent almost one hour tour around the market. There are lots of vendors selling from wholesaling fruits and vegetables, to daily items and even foods and beverages!

The floating market has a lot of tourist boats. However, most items sold by boat vendors were for locals. We bought a cup of iced coffee for 10,000 Vnd, while another guy tried the rice noodle soup served by a boat stall.

The taste was not really special, but the feeling of having breakfast among countless of boats and the noise of people, waves and boat engines was just fantastic. 

Floating market used to be the main trading place for delta’s residents for generations. Crisscrossed canal system and an economy that mainly agriculture-based which required a lot of heavy transportation fostered the wealthiness of floating markets across Mekong Delta in the past. At it heyday, Mekong Delta had more than 10 floating markets. Most of floating markets located at river or canal intersections. When land transport became more popular, more roads and bridges were built, role of floating market started to declined. Nowadays, only half of the floating market survived, and their activities is also reduced substantially. 

Ba Cong Orchard

After the floating market, we left the boat and visit the Ba Cong Orchard. We saw many kinds of tree such as dragon fruit, jack fruit, pepper trees and so on.

The highlight of the day are the ‘monkey’ bridge. The bridge is made of bamboo or wooden stick with handles, crossing the canal or fish ponds. We must confess that it was challenging to cross and some of us decided to stay away!

We came back to have lunch at wonderful restaurant called Nam Bo. Keeping feeding ourselves with tasty food is the best way to add more energy for the way back to My Tho where the Vietnam house building project awaited us. A lovely weekend ends sooner than we thought because we enjoy every moment we have with each other. Now it is time to get ready for the work tomorrow.

To learn more about our service learning programs: https://scivitravel.com/vietnam-service-learning/

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