Top 3 Things to See in Can Tho City

By: Quang Mai

After a long festive holiday, and with hope of a prosperous year coming up, the team has decided to celebrate on the Bassac Cruise in Mekong Delta and in Can Tho City.

Even though I have travelled to the area five times, Can Tho always makes me feel excited when I return. For those who are wondering why and how Can Tho can attract a travel addict, here are my answers:

Can Tho Bridge

Can Tho Bridge is the only gateway to access the city from the Northern provinces. It is currently the longest main span cable-stayed bridge in Southeast Asia and ranks 24th in the world. You will easily recognize its special red colour as soon as your car approaches it. At night, the bridge is lit up with hundreds of lamplights making it a must see from Ninh Kieu wharf.

Local insight: If you’d like to take picture of Can Tho Bridge, ask your driver to pull over at the first crossroads after reaching the end on the Can Tho side.

Photo by: Bang Nguyen

Ninh Kieu wharf

Can Tho city is famous for its Ninh Kieu wharf where most visitors go. The old Ninh Kieu port was extremely busy during the war period but it is now a peaceful and poetic part of the region. Ninh Kieu wharf is always ready to service visitors who desire to visit the floating market, enjoy special “river” food or just observe the routine of locals on the Mekong Delta. It takes around 30 minutes and the cost varies from 50,000-100,000 VND per person to transfer from Ninh Kieu wharf to Cai Rang floating market.

Local insight: For those who are late for the early boat, you can take a bus for 5,000 VND, a taxi for 70,000VND or a Xe ôm for 20,000VND to reach Cai Rang Bridge and turn onto Vo Tanh street to rent a small boat for 50,000 – 70,000 VND depending on junk or motorboat.

Photo by: Ân Nguyên

Cai Rang floating market

The market is crowded in the early morning. It was my mistake to leave for Cai Rang floating market at 5.00 a.m. I did not see the lively market that I had imagined. I was also unable to take a picture of the breathtaking sunrise at Cai Rang floating market.

This time I will set off at 6:00a.m to see barges heaped with different soils, wooden fishing boats, single long boats overflowing with fresh products and large boats packed with fellow sleepy-eyed tourists. All this traffic devoted to commerce. Often your tourist boat will take you to a big floating house close to the river bank but don’t buy anything here. Ask your guide to take you to the middle of the crowds where the locals gather to buy and sell.

Local insight: Try some chitterling gruel from vendors on small boats for cheaper prices and better quality

Those are top 3 main things that I love about Can Tho City. I will take this chance to check out the Bassac Cruise and give my own feedback and consider whether it could be my fourth main thing to do when I find myself in Can Tho again.

Discover Can Tho Museum

By: Aleksandr Smechov

Like many of Vietnam’s museums, the Can Tho Museum follows a standard format. You have Ho Chi Minh’s large bust at the entrance, then a strange assortment of things on the ground floor, some war artifacts upstairs and the sparse security guard lazing off in a corner.

This doesn’t mean you won’t learn something. Unlike many Western museums, you can get questionably close to things that should probably be better protected, behind a glass case or roped off. This give a strange level of immersion as you get pretty close to the odd khmer instrument, ancient pottery or shattered plane husk.

The entrance to Can Tho Museum is free. Stroll in at your leisure and you have the chance to take pictures if you please. After Ho Chi Minh’s bust, you begin, like most of Vietnam’s museums, with reproductions of old photographers, mainly from colonial times. These have English captions, although they are not of very high quality.

What follows is a strange mix of plant samples, wooden models of boats and other objects, local snake varieties preserved in alcohol, uncovered artifacts, musical instruments of all sorts, traditional Vietnamese, Khmer and Chinese clothing, farming tools, a few full-scale models of Vietnamese homes complete with eerie mannequins.

There are only two floors, and the second is dedicated to mostly American War remnants, photographs and big maps showing soldier movements during various offensives. Weapons, radios, vehicle parts, medals and old currency make for an interesting look-through. There is a corner showcasing the atrocities committed by Americans during the war - although the descriptions do sound subjective, and there is a questionable display of preserved human ears and a skeleton (the English caption reads only that).

There is a side room much like other Vietnamese museums showcasing the country’s labor industry and products, a sort of “Made in Vietnam” room. After the museum, you can stop by Cafe Bao Tang right outside, which provides some shade and ca phe sua da while you figure where to go next.

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